Frank Succardi
programmer * web developer * digital artist * game designer * audio/video producer

JavaScript Frameworks

Why reinvent the wheel?

I was recently asked, “What is your favorite JavaScript framework and why?” I drew a complete blank.

I’ve been using JQuery as a standard library, not because it was “my favorite”, necessarily, but because it was pretty much standard. However, since I originally decided on JQuery, a lot has changed in the Web World. For instance, CSS has come a long way. Since it’s been a while since I checked out what frameworks were available (I admit I became complacent using JQuery), I decided to see what there was in the marketplace and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

When evaluating JavaScript Frameworks, it was important to me to find products that supported the MVC (Model-View- Controller) programming paradigm, as the programming industry considers it a “best practice”. That’s what brought me to Angular.

Angular is a really great framework. It allows you to do data binding with simple notation inside the HTML such as:

<html ng-app >

      <head >

            <script src=”scripts/angular.min.js“></script>




            10 +20 + 30 = {{10+20+30}}



That’s just the simplest form of putting the {{data-binding}} wherever you want dynamic content in your HTML. You can also call functions, and perform other tasks through the data binding.

The other thing I like about Angular is that the DOM (Document Object Model) programming seems a lot cleaner and more lightweight that JQuery. Separating function from display is enforced more easily using Angular. Rather than writing an OnClick event for a button and polluting the HTML with programming code, you can create your own events using Angular script and pass values to the functions through HTML usually in the <div>. This helps keep the display of the data more segregated from the manipulation of the data

Two-way data binding is a great feature of Angular. This allows you to keep your model and view in sync. Update the model, the view changes, change a value in a field in the view and the model updates automatically.

All-in-all this is a great framework for javaScript and now that I've beenusing it and testing it I'm not sure how I got along without it.

playing the pennwhistle

Gaming Your Life: Achievements

How tracking your progress can be a rewarding part of reaching your goals.

You have decided on some long term goals for your life (let’s call these, “Quests”). So how do you measure progress towards your ultimate Quest goals? One way is using milestones to track your progress along the way. Think of these milestones as, “Achievements”. Whittling down large projects or goals into smaller, more manageable chunks, helps make progress more manageable and easier to track.

For instance, let’s say my Quest is to increase my mastery of the pennywhistle. I may track my progress towards that goal by setting small achievements, such as “learn to play 2 songs”, “learn to play 4 songs”, “learn to play 8 songs”, “learn to read sheet music”, etc.

I hope this helps clarify some of the notions of Gaming Your Life, at least with regards to tracking progress towards your goals. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing more about how YOU manage the Quests and Achievements in YOUR life.


Gaming Your Life: Achievements

How gaming can bring meaning to your life.

What can I say? I like gaming. Gaming has brought me hours of fun with friends and family over the years. From simple card games to elaborate and complex computer games, RPG’s and more, games are an enjoyable way to give your brain a workout.

Games can also be a path towards self-improvement, a way of plotting your course through life and rewarding yourself for accomplishments along the way.

Gaming Deathbed Regrets

When people are on their deathbeds, looking back upon their lives, the top five regrets were:

They wish they hadn’t made decisions based on what other people think

They wish they hadn’t worked so hard

They wish they had expressed their feelings

They wish they had stayed in touch with friends

They wish they had let themselves be happy

How Gaming Your Life Can Help

Gaming your life can be a way to address these common regrets so when that inevitable day comes, you can look back and say, “Well, at least I minimized my regrets”.

When you are gaming, you use the creativity of your own mind to solve the problems presented before you. You draw your own conclusions based on your understanding of the rules and the resources you have at hand. You have to improvise and make the best of the situation. This leads to an attitude of “who cares” because the only person you are really competing against is yourself. Gaming gives you the ability to make decisions without regard to what other people think.

When you are gaming, you aren’t working. Go to the beach and play volleyball: gaming. Take a ride through the countryside looking for wildlife: gaming. Spend time playing with your kids: gaming. Fly a kite, trying to keep it aloft: gaming. When we spend time gaming, we build interpersonal relationships, strengthen bonds with others, and build mental and even physical endurance, response, and agility.

The thrill of a well-played, close game can be reward in itself. To struggle against a goal and finally reach it can be extremely gratifying, especially if you failed to achieve the goal easily or had to struggle for it in some way. They payoff is all that much sweeter. Expressing your happiness, frustration, pride, or feelings of accomplishment through gaming is another way to overcome a deathbed regret.

Playing games is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Regular get-togethers for gaming night are a fun way to stay in contact and build relationships with friends and family doing something fun. At my house, we have a tradition of “gaming night” usually on a weekend night we will get together for dinner or appetizers and a few hours of playing whatever everybody is interested in playing. If your friends are far away, you can still game with them using online games like Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Words with Friends, and you can connect with friends and make new friends using playing matching services such as Steam.

Finally, games can help increase your mood simply by playing them. You relax, have casual or competitive play with people whose company you enjoy and you spend time being happy.

So What's the Point of Gaming Your Life?

Considering all of this, I have decided to create a new section on my website detailing some of my life Quests. These will be long-term goals, somewhat like a bucket list, but with loftier, more meaningful goals.  I hope you are interested enough to follow along on my journey as I undertake a Quest to Game My Life.

I will be posting some goals, along with achievments along the way.  I will figure out what types of real-world "power ups" I will need in order to accomplish the different Quests I set for myself.

My hope is that I will be able to spend less time working so hard for people who don't appreciate what I do for them, spend more time with friends and family, more time expressing myself and my feelings, make decisions based on my own value judgements without concern for what others think, and lead a happy life for whatever time I have left on this planet.

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