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Sharpening the Saw… with Books

Yeah, I took a Covey quote.

Earlier this year, I’ve been hearing rumblings around the community about some books that they recommended. Though alot of coding is learned through production, the urge to read also gives a standing ground for well-balanced diets in both good practices and in-depth coverage on subjects. Though a thorough paper cannot cut through hands-on experience, it’s always refreshing to detach oneself from the screen to a human’s translation of a certain subject that only computers can comprehend.

Sadly, mine is now a list.

Several for Introduction to HTML5 by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. I’ve seen it lurk at a hackathon and it looks more in-depth than Sitepoint’s HTML 5/CSS3 for the Real World. More technical based instead of a app approach, I feel. Then again, it could work both ways for many. The sense of accomplishment must be in Sitepoint’s methodology. After you’ve done XYZ, you’ll have site, yet I’d question this: would one skip through the theoretic to create or will there be a nagging to take in some of the core concepts and reasoning behind them while assisting in the works of a fictional football club’s web presence?

Another seemed to be JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford, which was one that was formed from another hackathon opinion. The technical grasp this book held on the first go felt overwhelming at first, but I will be returning. JavaScript seems to be a sticking point because I have yet to breathe through it more than my career and experimentation allowed. Common sense decisions in syntax layout and commenting are there, but to dig deep is still needed. Break out the jsfiddle!

Still, the list of my reads and technical goals seem to grow. Any suggestions would be appreciated, but not enough to drown me.

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Great! Even #devTO has a meetup.com page!

After a year(12 months and change) of consistencies, #devTO decided to get a meetup.com group. We’ll be keeping our peeps here, too in terms of having a real group setting. There’s a bit more consistency with keeping folks in the know and together moretimes than MailChimp0ing 300 followers. Also, there’s something for you, too: perhaps remembering who you spoke with at a previous #devTO. I’m sure the regulars have all signed up by now. Definitely worth a peak!

Please believe: Atendy's still our homies and we still love them *pat pat*. We can't wait to see what they're hatching for the beta!

See ya on the 27th!

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Lists are lists

Something I’d irk about, but I’m sure alot of HTML folks do. For myself, yeah, I don’t deal with that through other people’s mess, but lists are lists. When it comes to getting a PSD out like you’re a surgeon, it’s important to use an

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RIM Hacking OR Why I Wasn’t At Podcamp 2012

Sup, gang? I have alotta ‘splainin’ to do. Especially with …the contest.

… no, not the Seinfeld one.

But anyway. Toronto Podcamp 2012. Yeah, I heard about it. Yeah, I knew about it. But really, it’s hard to plan to attend an event that gets mentioned like… once or so in the spawn of its’ creation to the actual time of. The organizers look as if they lost some sort of interest and faith in the event. I heard the content was great, with the likes of Third Ocean’s Karim Kanji, and the Toronto elite like doing talks. And the last time I checked, even Rogers was backing this event. How could it slip so easily? Poor advertising. Simple. Regrettably, I had previous engagements. By the time the second one came about, I was pretty knocked out.

Now, interrupt this thought to tell you this one. I was at a hackathon. Yes, my second. Was I prepared? probably…

Laptop - check.
Power Bar - check.
Independent Development Environment(my’s Eclipse) - check.
Stein - check.

it was the first HTML5 Toronto User Group Hackathon! Which resulted in a calling out out 21 folks from the industry to get at it. Of course, we had to do a special test which got the scenesters out of play with a CSS test. Usually, it’s a file, similar to http://www.csszengarden.com/, but it’s more of a nomad’s land. Matthew, the organizer of the HTML5 Toronto Group took on the organization of the event with Blackberry as the co-organizers. Other members of the interactive “underground” scene also stepped in to assist. Some GTUG, some Bnotions cats.

A few days before the event, there was a bit of a change in the structure, which resulted in a more focused product than what was expected: the identification of the HTML Toronto User Group. That came hella out of nowhere. Still, it meant that we would break into two teams: one covering the content while the other taking on the task of creating the site. Obviously, I took in a content role covering the importances of Semantic content through the use of Outline Algorthyms. A topic that is engulfed with the very basis of HTML5’s tag structure and how it helps with SEO, accessibility, and other moments of note. Yes, not the usual thing to do at a hackathon, but hey - felt different. And some of the conversations were so deep about the game, that I felt as if I was lacking at the end of it. That’s the thing - learning doesn’t stop. Especially in an ever changing industry such as ours.

So we hammered it out, in a hotel, to a point of having a great amount of material on HTML5 and a site that’s probably 80% done, but from what I gathered, looked great. Hopefully, we’ll see another. Perhaps with the Blackberry Playbooks that were received for uploading an app. Still, it was a good time at the Marriott. All 15 or so hours of me being at it.

Question being: will I return to see the HTML5 Group’s progression?
In the last week, I’ve been invited to several groups about interactive construction and the Toronto area. The bombardment. Dang. I’m flattered immensely.  To go out of your way to hold an event, that is more hands-on, is way more meaningful than an event that ends up serving the same content style as a crapload of others that I’ll probably have no real interest in. As for this group, I had a great time and learned alot, or attempted to keep up with. It was quite a well-received dowsing. And a contribution to the group on the first time in: that’s quite rewarding to know that I passed on knowledge.

Definitely worth checking out this group if you’re into HTML5.

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It’s All Been Done… Or has it?

Hey gang:
First off, I DO have a correction to make about my last post on the Microsoft Giveaway: I’ll be making a new hashtag for it. Just can’t seem to think of a GOOD one yet.

I interrupt that thought to tell you this one: Perhaps everything ISN’T done yet. Then again, when I’m busy talking to you right now, someone’s already making a Mass Effect follow-up or a calendar app that will make folks do all sorts of things. But really: it can’t all be done by now, the apps.

Two friends of mine were brainstorming about apps on the phone, and of course  we had to throw ether on Minecraft’s wild success. But it’s hard to ignore the numbers when someone has a great idea about apps to build. If they ever threw in the F word into what they’re trying to assimilate.If you’re a developer of any kind, you know where THAT ONE is going.

But yeah, several 100k apps on Apple’s side, with the rest looking to catch up to its’  foes. But really: does THAT actually stop you from making a good app that solves problems better than the other one. This always exists. Plenty of time to see what did work from what didn’t. Which horses need to be sent to the morgue on arrival. There’s always need for improvement.

Just remember to watch out for that tree of NDA when you’re pitch it. And no, it’s not a barber shop idea. As for myself, I’ll just watch from the sidelines. :)

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