Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hours and Item Types (and Lines, Oh My!)

Today's progress was remarkably slow (or at least is so visibly), despite putting in many, many hours. There are some changes worth mentioning though. I've made simple icons for the different types of items, so that from a zoomed out view, one can tell more easily what each item will be. These may change in the future (they are based on the Google pushpins, which are cute and all, but take up a lot more room than is necessary, I think), but this should demonstrate the idea, anyway.

And I've also added a new item type Hours_of_Operation, which administrators can use to attach the hours each building is open to that building. Going through this process also let me write up documentation (still on paper or I would link to it here) on how to add a new item type -- I'm hoping that future developers (me or any others) will want to do this a lot, because I think there are lots of distinctions worth making and lots of media worth adding (just off the top of my head: audio, video, links to forum threads, announcements, plans/blogs), and hopefully this documentation, and the effort I've put into making the code very generalized, will ease this process considerably.

As I'm rapidly running out of time, I think it may be worth modifying the goals for this project for the end of the week (that is, all the stuff I can't finish tomorrow). So I think I'll set aside the issue of handling lots of items (whether it be done by grouping, or on-the-fly spacing of icons to prevent overlap, or by showing only new or popular content) which looks to be complex, unsatisfying and perhaps even unrelated to the questions of media, and instead try to obtain at least conceptual versions of other features. For example, I'd really like to add Connections between items, so that I can refer to a certain location in my plan file, and then users can see a line from my dorm room to that location when they're looking through the map, or reading my text. I think that would have more serious implications for our discussions of media and the like.

Take a look at the most recent version (the link remains the same):
Amherst Geographic Meta-Medium
(Yep, still looking for names. Why is this so hard?)

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