Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Getting Better

I started to feel more enthusiastic when the team began to have new people. We started to build Apps and I've got the chance to learn new things again!

A year 2 junior, Zijian decided to learn iOS and joined the team for internship. He is smart and quick in learning the materials. I suggested him to take CS3217 concurrently with the internship and thankfully he got the course admission. Another year 3 junior, Weiran also joined the team for internship on Android development. However, he is a bit weak in programming. Fortunately, I helped motivate him by introduce an online Android lesson on Treehouse. He now became interested in Android development. I've got some design books for him as well since he is interested in design and we've got to push him to be a tech designer. Last two weeks, I've built two simple beginner level android app running on my nexus 7. I also helped Zijian solved an important bug in his pageviewcontroller in IOS. That was a pretty good progress.

However, my real coding skills didn't really get improved in the past few months. My codes still look pretty dirty and full of bugs. Thankfully I started to learn from better programmers on maintaining high code quality. In the web project, a postdoc I worked with is an" Obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD) patient". Well, she is not a really patient, but she is quite a perfectionist. That's actually pretty helpful for maintaining the code quality. Most of the time, my codes cannot meet her standard. Besides her, I also worked with a professional designer in Beijing and a physics PHD in Chinese Academy of Sciences who is so good in front-end programming. Their self standards are so high that I became more confident in delivering an industrial standard product.

In the web annotation project, I solved two tech problems: 1. text range selection and highlighting 2. pdf to html support. The first problem is crucial for consistent annotation data storage between different devices. That's not an easy task. I've tried a lot of ways to solve the problem. Only the current approach is considered as quite elegant. The solution relies heavily on an open-sourced javascript dom library. The second problem is also very important for academic readings. We've tried pdf.js at the beginning. However, rendering a whole document in the front end would be two expensive. Thus we changed to process the pdf doc in the backend. There was a very elegant open-sourced pdf to html project named pdf2htmlEX which will reserve every detail of the pdf document. However, it turns out to be even heavier for rendering. Thus we shifted to a lighter converter. These two major problems were solved primarily due to the help of open-sourced projects. 

Honestly, I personally don't agree with Prof.Tung in some product design ideas. I would like to eliminate unnecessary features and keep the features as less as possible, while Prof seems to overvalue the technical difficulties and would like to add too many features. I worked with the Beijing PHD on the rails version. I'm in charge of the backend and he the front end. That's a fairly good partnership. 

It was my 5th year in Singapore last December. I wrote two blogposts on Douban where no audiences read. http://www.douban.com/note/322980285/, http://www.douban.com/note/324381741/. I started to think about the past and the future. Things are quite unpredictable. It's useless to worry about future. I've got to move forward.


One problem on faith. I've always wondering about who Jesus is. In another word, "Is Jesus God?". I know from most Christians that they think Jesus is God(100% sure). And it is a fundamental basis for Christianity to recognise Jesus as the Son of God, the God and the Holy Spirit. To be a Christian/Catholics, that should not be doubtful question. There is no percentage of faith. It's either 100% or 0%. However, when I firstly read the Bible, I see Jesus as a holy man. He himself didn't explicitly claim himself as God. Words which can possibly infer his godly nature would be 1."Words become flesh".2. "I and father are one". However, these are also not strong enough to support the claim that Jesus is God. Indeed, Judaism and Islamism don't recognise Jesus as the Lord. Even some miner branches of Christianity like Jehovah's Witnesses consider Jesus's status lower than the Lord. This group of people are called Cults while their understandings are not so wrong from their own interpretation. Unfortunately, one of my friends who come from Church of Hope pitched me about his understanding. He believes that Jesus is just an instance of a so-called Son of God's class. He said his church members all believe that Jesus is not God, even not Son of God. I heard him pray in the name of the Holy Son instead of Jesus(He said Jesus is a flesh of the Holy Son, but not really God. If he is 100% God after raising from the death, his hand should not have scars). Well, I never think in his way, but I started to doubt about the credibility of the so called true believers. If they themselves cannot agree on the key beliefs, how can  they consider themselves as true Christians and others as Cults? What if they are Cults?!

Good Night!




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