Talk: Introduction to JavaScript & Web Development

Learn the basics of JavaScript, HTML and CSS in web development to build a simple to-do list webapp.

The second Thursday night software topic I held was another introduction to JavaScript, this time focusing on the web development side. This included a crash course in HTML and CSS, with a little bit of jQuery (a popular JavaScript library).

We had a smaller turn out this time (around a dozen), thanks to school holidays and the Easter break. But everyone there got actively involved and asked a lot of great questions. Many thanks to Anne (who helped set up) and Paul (who typed for me) who helped me get through the night with a broken wrist.

The slides I started off with are available here. They act as an introduction to the talk and to basic HTML, CSS, JavaScript and programming concepts.

The rest of the talk was learn-by-example and learn-by-doing. We built a web page that provided a simple to-do list webapp.

The code is listed below in the resources. Note that to view the code in your browser for these examples (or any webpage), right click on the page and select “View Page Source”. Or you can just save the page and open it in your favourite text editor.

As usual, there was a lot covered in this talk. And some of the code in the printed handouts (the new stuff in step 4) wasn’t covered, but leads on from what I did cover.

 

Resources from this talk:

Additional resources:

Talk: Introduction to JavaScript & Firefox Add-on Development

Learning the basics of JavaScript and Firefox add-on development by building two simple Firefox add-ons.

Last Thursday (7th April) we held the second of our Thursday Night Sessions, which was the first of my software topics: A Very Basic Introduction to JavaScript and Firefox Add-on Development.

We had ~25 people show up, from kids to IT professionals – most with a laptop in hand (and Firefox installed). For many of them, this was their first time programming; for others, it was their first time using JavaScript. By the end of the night, everyone had made their first two Firefox add-ons.

The slides I started off with are available here. They act as an introduction to the talk and to basic JavaScript and programming concepts.

The rest of the talk was learn-by-example and learn-by-doing. I walked everyone through using Mozilla’s Add-on Builder – a webapp that lets you easily code and test Firefox add-ons using the new Add-ons SDK.

Add-on Builder

We built two add-ons:

  • Wikipedia Button – An extremely simple add-on that adds a button to the bar at the bottom of your browser, with the Wikipedia logo. Clicking it will open Wikipedia in a new tab.
  • Translate Selection – A less-simple add-on that adds a “Translate Selection” item to your context menu (right-click menu). When you select some text, right click, and select “Translate Selection”, the text you selected will be translated into English (using Google’s translation service).

This was a 2 hour talk, which included me walking around to talk to and help individuals/small groups. I covered a lot in this talk – so try not to get too intimidated by it. Just keep playing around, and keep learning. In my next software talk (21st April), I’ll be sticking to the basics of JavaScript – this time, we’ll be using it in a web page. And feel free to come in to the workshop on Saturdays (1pm to 5pm) – I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Resources from this talk:

Additional resources:

Electronic Badge project

Today we sorted and bagged the components for the Electronic Badge project – 40 kits, ready for people to start building them.
The (draft) build instructions are available here: http://www.taniwha.com/~paul/dspace.badge/

Today we sorted and bagged the components for the Electronic Badge project – 40 kits, ready for people to start building them.

The (draft) build instructions are available here: http://www.taniwha.com/~paul/dspace.badge/

Assembled, they look like this:

Meeting notes: 16th January 2011

Casual get together/meeting. Discussion topics: group activities/competitions, Paul’s electronic membership badge project, internet connection, website, draft weekly schedule, equipment.

We had a casual get together/meeting on Sunday 16th January, at the makerspace.

General

Discussed group activities/makerspace competitions. Clothes line racing seems doable, fun, and had a lot of interest. Power tool drag races seems less doable and a little dangerous.

Paul has ordered the parts for the electronic membership badge project – cost is $20 each. They could potentially be included as part of a yearly membership.

No progress yet on getting an internet connection setup – waiting to hear back from WIC. As a temporary measure, we may be able to pickup a useable WiFi signal with a good antenna positioned by the window.

Getting a real website setup was also brought up – so I (Blair) volunteered to do that. This is the result, though I’m still working on it, and it could really do with more content. I’ll post my thoughts on it sometime soon.

Draft weekly schedule

We discussed starting up regular meetings/events. Current plan is to start soon with just a few select times during the week, so we’re not spread too thinly throughout the week. Here’s the draft weekly timetable we came up with:

Main scheduled open time: Saturday afternoons, 1pm onwards. This will be the main regular time the room will be open for anyone to come in and work on anything they want. Starting immediately! Saturday 22nd January.

Presentations/talks: Thursday evenings. General topic will alternate weekly: electronics/hardware/etc (organized by Paul), and software/programming/etc (organized by Blair). Probably starting sometime in March.

Remote workers coworking: Wednesday afternoons. A few of us work remotely (ie, work from home, far away from a company office or any co-workers), and want a time were we can come into the makerspace during the day to work on our day jobs, pretending we’re at an office. Starting once we have a reliable internet connection.

Equipment and things

People brought in some things for DSpace (either on loan, or donations) – computer equipment, electronics equipment, seating, toys/gadgets, 3D printer, etc. We ran out of time and didn’t get a chance to catalog anything, so we’ll do that next meeting.

Things the makerspace still needs to help get the room setup:

  • A couch (Rob thinks he can get one, but having two would be nice)
  • A coffee table
  • A fridge
  • Power cords and splitters (while one side of the room has many outlets, one of the work areas does not)
  • Curtains (hopefully that will help further reduce the echo in the room)

Next meeting

Next casual get together/meeting will be at: 1pm to 4pm Saturday 22nd January. It’ll held at the makerspace.

Meeting notes: 8th December, 2010

The initial meeting of the “Dunedin makerspace” unincorporated society was held on Dec 8th 2010 in the cellar of the Duke of Wellington – we adopted a set of rules and elected officers.

(Copied from the original Wiki page, for archival purposes.)

The initial meeting of the “Dunedin makerspace” unincorporated society was held on Dec 8th 2010 in the cellar of the Duke of Wellington – we adopted a set of rules and elected officers.

The rules, as adopted are here.

Minutes: Thanks to Luke Stewart.

Present: Michael Hamel, Alex King, Luke Stewart, Aldo Cortesi, Paul Campbell, Michael Foley, Rob Pearson, Luke Stewart, Chris Baxter, Blair McBride, Stuart Crawford, Thomi Richards.

Apologies: None

A draft set of rules where presented to the meeting.

That we adopt the rules as presented: Proposed by Paul, Seconded by Stuart. Motion was carried unanimously.

That the following are appointed as officers of the board: Paul is nominated by Stuart, seconded by Chris. Blair is nominated by Paul, seconded by Michael. Alex is nominated by Blair, seconded by Rob. Rob is nominated by Micheal, seconded by Alex. Aldo is nominated Paul, seconded by Blair. Carried by a unanimous vote.

It was agreed that: Rob is Treasurer, Paul is Chair, Blair is Secretary.

The membership fee was discussed and deferred.

Discussion of the board using the existing mailing list for business. Business of the board will be carried out in open.

Meeting adjourned.