Mar. 20th, 2014

liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)
[personal profile] liv
So this patch has a really unfortunate history; I started working on it last summer, I was all gung-ho enthusiastic about DW dev, felt comfortable with all the tools including GitHub, and was ready to have a go at delving into the actual code rather than what I've been doing up to now, which is just patching styles and themes. I struggled a bit with the learning curve, but I really felt like I was making progress. I had to redo the logic because it turned out that I'd misunderstood the spec of what I was supposed to be implementing, but that was fine, and helped me to improve my understanding of how DW works.

And then I got some review comments asking me to improve the appearance of the eventual HTML to be printed, but unfortunately that happened just at the beginning a few months of being really busy at work and abroad for a couple of weeks, which meant I lost momentum for actually fixing the cosmetic bits of the bug. Anyway I eventually managed to complete the required CSS fiddling, right in the middle of typhoon Haiyan, meaning that [personal profile] fu was understandably rather distracted from reviewing the tail end of low-priority patches, and I didn't exactly want to nag her about it, so my final version kind of languished until this week. During that time I didn't quite find the motivation to start a new bug, so by now I've forgotten most of the skills and knowledge I was starting to pick up last summer.

Anyway, the good news is that [personal profile] kareila did a Current Contributors post, where I saw that I hadn't committed anything since June last year. That prompted me to ask [personal profile] fu if she'd forgotten about the last bits of my patch, and she very kindly checked it over and merged it. The less good news is that I have picked just the moment to get back into dev when our bug tracker has died, making it hard to remember what was on my to-do list or search for bugs that will usefully stretch my meagre coding abilities. I don't want to let that block me, so maybe I'll go back to doing styles bugs for a bit, because at least they're documented in [site community profile] dreamscapes.

I'm a bit worried about this, really. Without a shadow of a doubt this is partly my fault; I could have prodded more, I could have got started on a different bug while I was waiting for code review, I could have documented stuff better rather than just waiting until final version was merged, which I kept hoping would be "soon". But I think it's also likely to be a problem for a lot of newbie devs, as evidenced in the Contributors list; only 5 people have committed code in 2014, and only 20 or so since I got derailed from dev work last summer.

let me see what I can reconstruct of what I learned from this bug )

Anyway, here's what actually got committed: Bug 5041 Include comments search in S2 search module, which is the above plus creating a bunch of spans in the search form so that I could style it with CSS, and then some fairly crude CSS to make the search form reasonably non-ugly whether or not the tickybox is present and whether the form is displayed horizontally or vertically and how much space it has. For someone who spends a lot of time working on the pretty on DW I am a really bad web designer. But anyway, that bit was just fiddly, I pretty much already knew how to make each element its own CSS class or ID and then use trial and error until I get CSS that makes it look how I want it. But I am so very glad of the time we spent early in 2009 rationalizing the CSS for all the journal styles so that when I introduce a new feature I don't have to do this bit separately for every possible journal style on the site. And deeply grateful to [personal profile] ninetydegrees and [personal profile] momijizukamori for all their ongoing hard work in keeping that rational, consistent system in order in the five years since.

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