And so today in personal growth: front-end web development

Front-End Web Development and I are going on a date tomorrow night and I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to lead to several more and be the start of something enduring.
In a bid to just be a bit more technically on it, I’m enrolled in General Assembly’s Front-End Development course and will be learning the following: HTML5, CSS and Javascript. It’s the Javascript in particular that floats my boat because it can be used in both front and back end. Maybe now I can build those pipe dream projects that sometimes keep me awake at night? Projects that include, but are not limited to:

  • the email nostalgia project

wherein I design something that will access older email and messaging platforms to compile all messages from one person, say, your lover or best friend, and then store, arrange and present these messages in a uniform, readable way. Perhaps something like the look of the Medium site, which is an utter pleasure to write in and read, for example. I could even transcribe the letters in episctolar novels or, you know, real life, to better present letters/messages on screens. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre for example…

  • produce a beautiful site to honour the universe created by Frederic Clemens in The Merchant of Marvels and Peddler of Dreams.

I’d need some serious coding chops for this, but it would be deeply satisfying to try and at least work in this way. I also have a short story that I have written about a finch, that could benefit from this sort of story format. Hmmmm.

  • design cards for Google Now

This is due to selfish reasons, but, as a New York City resident I’m often caught out by changes to the rubbish and recycling collection schedule.

“Oh, there’s a full moon and an ‘r’ in the month? No rubbish collection tomorrow then!”

(me, repeatedly over the last seven years)

Also, the whole concept of alternate side street parking rules makes me clammy with anxiety. I’d like to build a card that integrates with the city’s API, alerting me of service changes, reminding me of scheduled pick-ups and the like. It could save a fair amount of anxiety. If only I could do it, if only, if only.

  • build an email plugin that recognizes pre-approved names and automatically sends those emails to your inbox, not your junk folders.

This issue might resolve itself but sometimes I find that formerly-approved contacts, when writing from another email address, whether personal or a new business account, can sometimes get relegated to spam folders in yahoo mail and gmail. I’d like to build a plugin that accesses old email names and addresses to more accurately sift emails, to avoid missing anything pivotal.

  • artist-identification software to be used by galleries and auction houses alike

This is born out of my frustration with the habit, in the art world, of making cataloguing information available only once, people spend hours loading items into their software for auction but all of that effort and information rarely goes anywhere. There is a paying service, Artnet, that allows both auction houses to list their results and art buyers to access this database. They have the advantage of time, but as auction houses are, by default, public sales, there must be an easier way. It may come after Artnet’s business model but if Google decide to move into this realm, it’s as good as over for them anyway. In my dreamy utopia, auction results for every single auction house will all be accessible via a google search. The idea of the plugin I’d design is that it would identify the artist and correctly attribute it, no more typos coming between sellers and buyers. As the secondary market thrives on obscurity this new transparency might not be welcome but… the art world is ripe for some “disruption”, much as I think that term is over-used.

It is clear that I have ideas, some better than others, I’d simply like to challenge myself to start getting involved with the making and building of them. This front-end web development course is just the starting point.


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