Mary Dickson Diaz

Code, Life, Learning

Tag: jquery

how to use the wordpress rest api in rails

Folks, if you’re reading this over at www.marydickson.info, my Rails portfolio site, things are about to get real meta. Several weeks ago I RSVPed for a WordPress Developer’s meetup called Introduction to the REST API. I’ve used APIs with Rails, Angular, and in Twitterbots– an API (application program interface) is simply a way to transfer information from a server to a client, often using a format called JSON (JavaScript object notation). APIs are key to mobile apps that access the same database as a web based site. “REST” (representational state transfer) means that a system understands a set of standard verbs used to communicate over HTML, including: GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc. You can use an AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and xml) call to transmit data via the REST verbs and either fetch data, post new data, update existing data, or delete a record, and the information will be persisted in a database somewhere behind the scenes.

That’s a lot of acronyms. Here have a picture:

how APIs work, sort of

Super! MARY, BUT WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

Long story short: I’ve had this WordPress blog since I started coding, and since then I’ve coded other web sites “from scratch,” including a professional portfolio site, that are much easier for me to customize and that add legitimacy to my claim of web developer. So that is what I want to share with potential employers but I *also* want them to see my awesome technical blog posts so they will think “She sounds cool and writes good. Let’s pay her money in exchange for her time!” UNTIL NOW the way to do that was to direct people to this site, marydickson.com, and hope that they will also go check out marydickson.info, or vice versa. Awkward.

The WordPress API allows me to import blog posts from marydickson.com and render them as a tab on marydickson.info. If you have any sort of non-WordPress site and you’d like to link to or display your blog posts, you can do that with the WordPress REST API. I’ll walk you through what I did to get this working in a Rails app:

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two down, one to go

20150624_175232

View from the plane over Greenland.

Now I remember.

After I spent an intense month learning about html/css/javascript/jquery the plan was to keep working on www.marythought.com so I’d have an opportunity to keep practicing with it. Remember that? The plan? The plan to look out for Future Mary?

Right, so, that didn’t happen, and consequentially I spent a lot of time this weekend re-learning (googling) how to do stuff with jquery. But readers, *I MADE A THING.*

I made two things for you, actually.

First, my very favorite thing: books! I made you a library in Ruby. It needs a bunch of work still, but if you know what you’re doing, you can add books to your library and put them on shelves by genre (or whatever). Given more time and resources I would go ALL OUT with this assignment (alphabetizing is my favorite meditation technique), but I am trying to keep it simple. If I have more time before it needs to get submitted, I’ll add authors and ID #s to the books to increase sorting abilities and functionality. I’ll also add a “librarian” function to walk you through all the stuff you can do in the library. What’s holding me back from the latter is figuring out how to generate and keep track of new Class instances within a function when I need it to be able to do stuff before knowing what the instance variables are going to be. Clear as mud?

And second, I dredged up enough knowledge about html/css/javascript/jquery (why hasn’t anyone come up with a catchy nickname for this language crew yet. HCJJ?) to make a simple to-do list. Here you can go play with it if you’d like: simple html to-do list. It is certainly the worst to-do list I’ve ever encountered, and has all sorts of usability issues, but it does meet the stated criteria and I think it’s probably best to keep expectations low in this category. Lower. Lower. There you go.

The last mini-project I’m working on is a Rails application. I’ve yet to tackle the Rails part of Ruby on Rails, so this will be an adventure. Last week I got everything installed, so I’ll probably re-start my Treehouse subscription for a tutorial this week, and focus on getting that done and tweaking everything else.

Stuff is starting to come together in exciting ways.

Some links! Not code related, sorry!

  • #blacklivesmatter protestors go to Chicago and film the Mike Brown gallery exhibit. Must watch. Curious what my legit artsy friends think about this (what you will probably say is there are bad galleries and bad artists and this is both, and then some).
  • “F*ck that,” a guided meditation for our times. <–you need this. I need this. The world needs this.
  • I’m generally wary of “I did TFA and it sucked so TFA sucks” stories, so I wasn’t putting much stock in “Teach For America: Counter-Narratives” until the organization went and published a “response” to the alumni authors of the book before the dang thing has even been published. So now of course I want to buy 10 copies. Their response, which I will not link to, says “In particular, a small group of former corps members involved in the book have chosen to focus on past experiences that are not in line with how we operate. … It’s not productive to address in this space every critique in this book, but here’s what we have to say about some of the contributors’ bigger misconceptions.” I repeat: the book. is not. out. yet. They have not been provided an advance copy. (UPDATE: on July 27 TFA clarified that they received a copy from the publisher on July 8. Why they couldn’t just say that when first questioned…) The editor of the book doesn’t even have his copy yet. Just more PR spin and refusal to listen (read) from an org whose #1 critical feedback from alumni is that they are too focused on PR and they don’t listen.
  • Uhhh… I am probably hella guilty of this, but I’m trying (from xkcd). 

the toggle button that wasn’t

HEAR YE, HEAR YE: I made a thing in which I practice using jQuery and mix my literary metaphors: Rabbit, Run!

If anyone knows how to make the toggle button actually, you know, toggle… please share. Until then it *says* “toggle bunnicula” but what it actually does is “click here for bunnicula forever.”

Related, this exchange with Josh (my partner, a professional game designer):

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joke-query

jquery.codeacademy

Learning jQuery. That is all.

Wait!

Here’s a line graph of stuff to look forward to: why learning to code is so damn hard.

 

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