OK – back in April,  PHP got me smoking again – I’m fairly certain Javascript will lead me to drink this month – and who knows to what new lows  CGI or AJAX will take me…  My husband says that by the time I finish this program I’ll have so many vices I’ll have to become a journalist instead of a web designer!

But seriously, folks – Javascript. I find it easier to understand than PHP – although it uses many of the same operations; strings, functions, “if” statements, “while” loops, “switch” statements, regular expressions, etc.  Maybe I do actually remember some of the PHP I learned (was it only a couple of months ago?). I am also aware that a great part of the appeal of Javascript for me is the instant gratification  – being a client-side language, I can see the results of my work instantly – more to the point I can see my mistakes right away!

And the mistakes are really what I learn from. I find I can draw some parallels from the classroom experience to my “real life”. For example, just yesterday I had written a piece of code to fulfill an assignment in class. It was running perfectly on my classroom computer. I had the teacher check it and she said it was fine – then she left for the day. 

As soon as I loaded it up to the server it went all catawumpus. None of my smaller images showed up – at all! I tried everything – I checked and re-checked the punctuation (those single and double quotation marks will be the death of me…) Got a couple of classmates to look at it – they were as much in the dark as I was. I made sure I had the divs where they should be and that the CSS was good. I validated the HTML  and the CSS with the W3C Validators. All good. Downloaded it and uploaded it again (well, it’s Windows – you never know…).  It still worked great on my computer. It still wouldn’t work properly on the server. I was going nuts.

So I went home and had a beer and sat on my deck and looked at my gardens. I thought about other things. I cooked supper and ate it, and finally went into my “office” and sat down at my computer.  I opened my FTP program to download the files from the school server to my home computer, and VOILA!  There, clear as day, was the answer to my problem.

I was looking at a list of the files on the server, and I saw that the ones that were not showing were the ones with capitalized file extensions.  The program that I had used to creat the images with automatically saves in that format and I had forgotten. I went in and changed the extensions to lowercase right on the server, and as simple as that, it’s fixed. It runs perfectly. Took less than five minutes. I am happy.

And the parallel is, not to bang it home too bluntly – a paraphrase of something my Mom told me years ago – If you have tried everything in your power, everything you can think of, that’s the best you can do. Leave it alone for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes. Maybe you’ll see a solution then, maybe not, but fretting and worrying over something you can’t fix is a waste of time and energy. Take a break, go do something else, and come back to it when you are calmer. I have to keep reminding myself of this, and these reminders are a pretty nifty side-effect of this whole back-to-school experience.

But seriously – Javascript? I wish they had called it something nicer – maybe named it after something I truly love – why couldn’t it be called Coffee Code?