Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The World Acording to Facebook

Voila! No need to schmooze anymore. No need for bars, No need for 'Speed Dating'. No need for 'Personal Ads'. Just plug your self into Facebook and the world will arrive at your doorstep.

Inflict your every minutest thought on your 'adoring public' 24/7.

Heck, I don't even need a 'publisher' anymore - just create a gallery in "Photos": you are now Published. No looking for an editor to approve your work out of a stack of hundreds of envelopes on their desk. Approve yourself! Pat yourSELF on the back!

All kidding aside, I reconnected (on Facebook) with two younger daughters whom my ex (their mother), had succeeded in alienating from me. I had been at a loss as to how I'd ever connect with them again - how I would ever explain that I really wasn't as awful as I had been portrayed to be.

I responded to a photo that my oldest daughter posted - I had described the plant's botanical name, it's Latin Binomial. I was corrected my someone, a Junior College Biologist, who gave another more up to date Binomial. At that point, one of the two younger daughters posted saying that both names were actually correct. From the other side of the world I had been defended by my Yosemite Botanist daughter. Go Girl! Protect your dad.

I grew up in a world of letters and stamps and phones on the wall or on a desk or in a "Phone Booth". I now live in a world that is seeing the imminent bankruptcy of our postal system. My dad bought the first T.V. on the block: a big bulky blond wood cabinet with a five inch screen - now I spend my evenings writing code on a flat screen Mac, conversing with my children via Facebook in a browser.

No, I don't have an iPhone or an Android - I haven't fallen that far yet. My phone has a flip top and makes and answers calls. No built-in camera. No iPod either. I know it's a losing battle, though. I jumped head first into corporate web development in 1999 and my life has not been the same since. I still pull over when the phone rings, only 'tweet' every once in a while, blog when I remember that I have a blog, try not to code past 4 A.M., and definitely try not to work on more than two web languages at a time. I don't want my head to split in half because one side screams "Java!" and the other side yells "MXML!".

But gotta get back to Facebook - someone may have commented on one of my photo uploads or liked one of my posts. Gotta check - I need the validation.
It seems to me that we humans have created a world that is so complex that no one really fully understands it anymore.

The relatively simple matter of JavaScript code is a case in point. I first learned JavaScript in 1995. Soon after came the "Browser Wars": code written for one browser refused to work in another. Developers were forced to write convoluted code to properly capture events and have the correct response. JavaScripting became a chore then a burden and then an impossibility.

JavaScript went to version 1.2 then version 1.3 and then version 1.4.

Now we have "JavaScript Frameworks": code 'libraries' supposedly designed to eliminate "cross Browser" confusion or to "add functionality": MooTools, YUI, Prototype, ExtJS, Dojo and jQuery. Each one has it's own complexity and quirks and/or area of 'expertise'. On top of all that are SOAP, WSDL, JSON, XML and others all adding to the cacaphony, each crying out "Use Me!, Use Me!".

Tonight I have the pleasure of looking at a "coding test" I'm supposed to complete and turn in tomorrow or the next day. I'm supposed to convert a JPG into a slick, code-efficient (in "best coding practices") web page as proof that I no longer have a normal human brain left - that I have been fully assimilated by the Code Borg.

Lord-O-Mighty. I think I'll go wash my head out with SOAP

And then there's that Java thing. Maybe If I just study another thousand pages of manual or so I'll wake up a true Java Guru. On the other hand, maybe my head will just melt.