Maverick or McBush?

So like the 60 million other blogs created every thirty seconds I set out with the intention of being an avid poster.  I found that it is hard to keep the outpouring of my knowledge and opinions to only one site, what with all the blog commenting, iReporting, YouTubing, microblogging, and femtoblogging.  I love the technology and consider the turn toward mainstream user generated content a good thing. However, I think there is an ever increasing possibility that future historians will not reference the Maya Angelous and Carl Sagans of our time, but rather will dredge up quotes from Legolas_Dude_34 ranting about a city ordinance on his local LARPing message board.

I made a small website as a project in order to get some practice with the technologies that I don’t get to use in my day gig.  Here lies Maverick or McBuch: The McCain Voting Record in the 110th Congress.  I had settled on some of the web techniques I wanted to work with and hunted for a subject.  Since you can’t watch Maury in peace these days without election news interrupting I embraced the horror.  I consider myself an above average follower of this election cycle, and participate as an Obama campaign volunteer in the DC area.  I was interested in – and terrified by – the often repeated charge that McCain has turned in to a George Bush clone.  I sorted through many of the key votes of the 110th Congress and categorized them.

Maverick Screen

The website is mainly powered by the godly wonder that is JQuery.  For those web professionals living under non wifi enabled rocks, JQuery is a Javascript library that focuses on using standard CSS selectors to access and manipulate the DOM.  Action is preformed through selection and then repeated method chaining, giving it the feel of sleek OO programming.  Other JavaScript libraries like Prototype probably pack more programmatic punch, but for a relatively straightforward task like this site I think it is hard to top JQuery.

Maverick or McBush consists of an image map with informational AJAX popups,  a comment section,  and a listing of a complete voting record displayed through an AJAX web service.  The web service sections of the site are pretty much unnecessary as the displays are all one way and binary – the data is simply displayed.  However, it was more the JavaScript methods that I was interested in working with rather than the backend.  Additionally, the data is all sitting tucked in nice neat MySQL tables so I would be free to extend the functionality easily if I get the hankering.

Posted in Technology, Web 2.0

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