The end of the beginning

As I'm writing this, I'm still in the process of coding this page. I intend this blog to provide regular updates not only while the campaign runs but also while I attend code camp.

Right now, I'm doing okay, but I'm struggling. Most of what I've learned to get this site up and running came from the Mayday.US team - while this site is nowhere near that complex, most of the base technologies are there.

Hosting? I'm on Github Pages - just like Mayday.

Payment processing? Stripe. Just like Mayday.

Site design? Well, I've been using Jekyll. Jekyll's a -- I don't know what you'd call it. HTML preprocessor? Site builder? Half the times I know what I'm talking about but I don't know the words that tell you what I'm talking about. The other half I may know the words, but have no idea what they mean. Because of that, it's difficult for me to teach myself.

There's a whole lot out there for a person who is able to teach themselves - a process known as "Google & Hack." The problem with the Google and Hack method is that if you don't know what you're looking for is called, you can't google it.

Already I'm learning some new tricks - Sass is brilliant, and that's something I didn't have a whole lot of chance to play around with before. (Mayday primarily used static CSS files.)

The trickiest bit, of course, seems to be integration with Stripe. Stripe Checkout works okay, but that's primarily for single transactions of a single type. I'm going to have to delve into the javascript a bit in order to create a truly dynamic site. Hmm, maybe there's some old Mayday code I can reuse - though that was running on Google App Engine.

It also means that I'm going to have to put Shuffler on hold while I develop this site. Shuffler is a cool program that I hope will show people what I'm capable of doing in Javascript, but the problem is that I've reached an "I'm stuck" point. I think I need to clear my head and go back to it. Plus I want to get this crowdfunding up as soon as possible - the sooner I get this page done, the sooner I can join a cohort of students.

For all I know, this is a longshot. But at least it's worth a try.

Brian Boyko

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Austin, Texas

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