Parenthood – The journey begins

Parenthood:

Parenthood is a never-ending journey and every day is a new adventure into making mistakes while trying to keep some sanity. Parenthood has no rules, guidelines or even a reference guide but it is still a great thing to be a part of. I entered upon this journey on June 7. Okay not entirely but that was the day my little boy, Salvador, was born so I will count that as the actual day the journey began. I will add more and more pages as time goes on and I get time to share these little life lessons.

Parenthood and the rules

Really there have been no rules for either one of us since SJ was born. SJ because his middle name of course begins with a “J” and if you were to look at my little man you would say that is a big name for a little guy. Now I’m just getting a little off track. The things that both of us have learned are things that people often tell us. A good example is when people tell us that we won’t be getting any sleep. I’m used to not sleeping so that is not really new to me. My body has been so REM deprived over the last years that I am more than capable of functioning on three or four hours of sleep a day. The one thing that has changed about that is that the so-called sleep pattern is more random that ever.

Parenthood and the guidelines

Okay the basic guidelines are pretty simple when you get down to it: Don’t kill the baby. That is the basic guideline and the one thing to really follow. Everyday is an exploration into a world of how to. How to keep the little one entertained while keeping your sanity, how to keep him quiet long enough to make a bottle so he won’t scream your ears off. No one thing will work the same way the next day. That is one thing you can count on to be true. There are moments when you will want to be alone to think, read or do something so simple as taking a shower but it can feel like forever because you are changing, feeding, burping and then changing again just to keep your little one from bawling.

What can oftentimes make things easy is having somebody there to help out to accomplish those basic everyday tasks like doing laundry, eating, cooking, cleaning or taking a bath. Unfortunately, I know some people out there don’t often have that luxury and I often wonder about how they manage to do it and have a huge amount of respect for them for being able to pull it off.

Random issues

The other day I encountered something that was fun to solve. It was also a little frustrating because I couldn’t completely replicate on my local install. It had to do with using a mobile device and using a WebView. I am not an app developer but I do want to learn about that process. Maybe one day I’ll explore a little more on how to build an app.

It dealt with JavaScript a little bit. It was great because I was able to apply things I had learned on troubleshooting some Facebook related issues. The harder part was actually getting it to work on other apps as well. The issue was a browser check. It may sound simple for some and a pain for others. This was because in-app browsers can be a little different based on device. Android is not exactly the same as iOS, and they are not the same as Windows. Yes, there are people who actually use those type of phones.

The issue was only on iOS devices. I naturally searched for something that would help me find my answer. In our company repo, I saw a few commits that somewhat helped me figure out where things were going wrong. There was a comment that also helped me solve this. It was fixed and things worked again.

Or so I thought.

You see the fix worked but then I had introduced a small issue. It was adding a class to the body that should not have been. So, I dug a little deeper and realized what I had done wrong.

What’s cool is that I already knew about this but had forgotten to actually do this. I wasn’t checking if a property existed. You see, when I had submitted my fix I was simply using something like:

if (!window.object.property) {
  // do things here
}

While that is great, it did not take into account if that property didn’t exist. What I really should have done was:

if ("property" in window.object.property === false ) {
  // do things here
}

Such a simple mistake to make. It happens.

I learned from it.

The object I was using was the navigator object. The property I was trying to check for was the standalone property. This is a property that only iOS devices have so when it was running the first snippet it was giving an undefined but because it was using the ! it was really saying it was trueso it was actually executing the code inside of that when it should not have.

My Vim experiment

For the last couple of weeks – I lost track honestly – I have been using Vim as my editor. I do this when I’m not working. I don’t want it get in the way. So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the docs. Like reading as much of the docs as I possibly can without going insane.

It’s been really neat to see and learn about how much can actually be done within Vim. There are, of course, some limits to what can be done – then again that’s pretty true for just about any text editor.

The thing to keep in mind is that I really don’t have a lot of experience with many text editors. Over the years I have looked at, and used, NotePad++, Atom, Sublime Text, Coda, Brackets, and dare I say DreamWeaver. For a long time I did consider trying to use GoLive but never got a chance to really see how that all worked. I did try PHPStorm but never did fully get behind using it since I had to really think about having to learn new keyboard shortcuts

Yeah, I am not a fan of that.

That is only because I am a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to my development experience. It sounds strange to say that. Okay, writing it out but you get the idea.

I’ve come to like editing files on Vim because it makes me think a little different when it comes to editing and typing. It’s not always standard, control and z, control this or that, or any random combination of clacking that some of us are used to.One thing that did get my attention was actually repeating things. For example, if I add seven spaces to a line, typically I would select, copy then paste and keep pasting until I wanted. In vim I can type out far less because using the.makes it so much faster to repeat the last action.

I’m sure there are a lot of other things I still haven’t learned but I’m looking forward to reading and doing many of them. I mean I did manage to get NerdTree working on my first try so that has to say something right?

Long overdue update

Yes, very super delayed post and I don’t know what to really say about it all. To be honest I barely even remember making this post and it was set to draft initially. I think I might have published it and then changed it later on.

Anyway.

The last several weeks have proven to be a mental explosion of PHP, CSS, and JS blended together. The nice part is I have gotten much more comfortable using the command line that I’ve begun to use Vim as my go to for editing now. I know some people out there are yelling and crying a little that I’m resorting to that. I like some aspects of it and do like the fact that I can use that on my site when I can.

The main reason I chose to go that route was because it is a bit more of a challenge for me. The nicer part is that it does lend some ability so I can edit files remotely as well and not have to rely on other software to do that. Just a little bit of storage that can be used for more random images, right? I love me a good meme here and there.

Now, the other things that have happened are that I bought a laptop to use for just work and installed Ubuntu. Yes, another hit for some of you but it is something I have wanted to do for some time now. I still like using OSX from time to time and am somewhat forced to work with Window 10 because, you know, that won’t be going away any time soon, It’s mostly for my Adobe apps that I’m using that anyway since the machine I built can handle that better than the OSX laptop. There are a few more things that I will be getting more used to but it will be fine and I’m definitely going love this.

As for the code side of things, I haven’t been too deep into learning and am a little saddened by this. I have expanded my knowledge in using ReactJS a little better. That’s a good thing. Trying to think positive here. It’s not always easy when you hit a small mental block and that hits you harder than you expected.

I need to find a way to balance my fun reading and work reading as well since they do align together at times. I know I can find plenty of online resources to help me in getting a better understanding of advanced concepts in code. Okay, I just need to find a way to keep a tally of things I have read and need to read. If only there was a tool that did that online…

On to other things.

One thing I have done is gotten a little more familiar with the command line so I’ve been resorting to reading about server things. My site has been hosted with Dreamhost for quite some time and I’ve been happy with them. There are a few things that I learned while learning about the command line.

One, that Dreamhost has WP-CLI running. Two, that they have neat little tools when it comes to their shell access and I hope to use it some time this year.

Yeah, there are a lot of articles I will need to read and a lot of mistakes I’ll need to make but I will make happy mistakes because I’ll be learning. I’m talking about code mistakes of course.

Something, something update

Yeah, I know, I know. It has been several weeks since I posted on here but I have good reasons.

I do.

I swear.

Yes, a lot has happened since I last posted on here. I know. I am trying to get better at it.

Week nine

As I have been doing the last couple of weeks, I have been getting more and more time using only the command line. It hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world but I am getting more confident that I won’t break things when I use the command line.

I did run into a small issue when I went to merge something and had merge conflicts. The part that made me laugh was that I had only changed one file and it was saying four files were modified. Gave me a good chuckle.

The other thing I was able to do was getting my alphabet illustration up on Github. Yes, I am aware that I don’t have a license declaration yet but it is public domain. So use them in what you want. I will try and get SVG versions as well when I can.

Finally, I’ll be heads down for the next three to four weeks so you may not see much on this but I will try and post on my random one.

Week Eight

Okay, sort of back on track with this thing. For the most part. This week I really tried hard to do all things in the command line. I did learn how to go to a specific line but still have to look it up from time to time. I at least remember how to exit the editor both by saving changes and not saving changes. I successfully edited a file, saved those changes, staged the file, and made a commit.

The next few minutes were spent on correcting the spelling of a function check but it worked either way. I amazed myself when I checked my site and it didn't give me a white screen or an error. Needless to say I celebrated with a little dance at my desk when I saw no errors.

I am getting a bit more comfortable using core JavaScript as much as I can and of course I do have this habit of commenting it all as I write it out. The biggest reason is because I know there are several other people who will be looking at the code and it is nice to show your work, even if it is in comment form.

I'll end it with one thing. I will always dislike CSS because it can be irritating to troubleshoot browser specific things.

I'm looking at you IE.

It was a fairly good week with a few things learned along the way and this coming week I want to push myself more so I can better improve and get that muscle memory within the command line.

Week five, six, and seven

Okay, super late and just combined to make it a little easier. I hope. Been working a lot on retaining knowledge learned. Some days have been easier than others.

One thing that I have made progress on is getting more comfortable using the command line. At least when it comes to working with Git. I am understanding more and more since I am forcing myself to use the command line to stage changes, commit things and add commit messages, and just the overall process of making branches not just from a master branch but from a specific commit as well.

The next thing I'll try and work on is editing files while in the command line. I do want to use vim but may just have to resort to trying it out on a random personal project to get more familiar with it all.

There is one last thing that I do want to work on as well and that is my reading. I need to pick up a book or two on computer science because it is neat to learn about those things and maybe another book on JavaScript. I do still need to finish reading Eloquent JavaScript first though – I have like two more chapters left to read.

Week Four

Okay, week four and I’m still trying to use this new editor. One thing I have been noticing is the loading of the sidebar.

Some of the little modules load rather quick and some take a little longer. The one that does appear to take a little longer is the Categories & Tags. Not something most people would worry about but something I randomly noticed.

I’ve also been sort of recuperating from our WordCamp a few days ago. I will try and post a recap of that on my other, random blog since this site is more towards development and WordPress related code.

I did learn a few more things on how Media Element works which is pretty neat. It is sort of a wrapper for the audio and video HTML5 elements. I’m really hoping that browser support does improve a lot more in the coming year.

There are a few other things I learned but mostly about CSS specificity. Edge cases are super strange and selectors are weird. I’m getting more familiar with the React lifecycle and understanding a little more on how it works and when to use things. I will look into learning about using local and session storage in the coming days.

There are times when I feel like I need to expand on my knowledge of all the things but I’m come to understand and realize that I can only have so much time on a given day.

Week Three

Okay, again, late to posting.

This time it hasn’t been much but I am getting a little more familiar with the Gutenberg editor. One of the things I do like is the saving in the background. There is a small animation that happens when it does it and it is nice knowing that it is being saved.

I know there have been a few questions as well when it comes to editing a post after it has been published. It may not be super intuitive for many since you have to be on the posts list screen to see a link and it also makes sense not to have another list of the same posts in another location.

At the moment I’m not sure how I feel about using the shortcut /for auto-completion but that may only be because I don’t write on a daily basis. That is a feature I may only use once or twice, I guess.

Though the only thing that came to mind was, “why would I need to use that if I just wanted to add a paragraph? Is it just doubled up?”

If I needed another paragraph I would simply keep writing and I don’t need to use the slash, right?

As for things learned, I dove a little deeper into core WordPress and some of the bundled scripts. In particular the MediaElements library. Super cool little scripts but it
is just beginning to slowly make some sense so I can manipulate it a little better.

I also did manage to learn a little bit about using transformand some other CSS things. Kind of neat how a browser can render 3D things.

  • https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts
  • https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/text-size-adjust
  • https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/transform

This week a little on the history of things and get ready for WordCamp Sacramento.

Week two

Yes, I know a little late to writing this one out but at least I am doing it. This last week I did manage to read up onthe document.getElementsByClassName()function a little bit and it was pretty neat. There are also a lot of other functions that I really need to read up on and practice with so I can really up my JavaScript game.

Now, there were a few things I did learn from it and the neatest thing was that it returns an array-like object. Yes, an object – because JavaScript wasn’t confusing enough without other objects.

Okay, that is beside the point but it is cool that you can manipulate a lot of the data from it. The reason I like it is that it is a step in not having to depend on third-party scripts for things like that. Having to not load up jQuery is a very good thing because it means one less script to load and one less server request. Even more so when all you need to do is get a single element with a class. For example, just the first element.

Another thing I did learn was being able to use non-ASCII URLs in WordPress is super cool but can be a little frustrating as well. A lot of it is because of the encoding that needs to happen. What is nice is the functions esc_url()and esc_url_raw()do provide for this ability. The key thing is making sure they are used when they need to be.

As for work, I’ll be – again – focusing on bug fixes. The reason is I want to learn how things can break before taking on a feature. I am looking forward to this week even though it is a short work week.