D4DME – Net Neutality

Net Neutrality, in a nut shell, is a network design paradigm which argues for broadband networks providers to become detached from the information thats sent over their networks. It believes in the idea that there should be no piece of information that is prioritised over another. In other words, information networks (the internet) are most efficient and useful when they are more attentive and responsive to multiple users. (Ocf.berkeley.edu) Net Neutrality is described as the Internets guideline principle – preservation of our right to communicate freely online and accessing an open internet. (Press)

In my opinion, after researching into the subject, Net Neutrality is the idea that internet providers are unable to access private information as like phone companies cannot access your private information stored in your phone or over phone calls. It frees up space where information may have been stored and allows the internet to become open and free for all to use and surf.

Some argue that Net Neutrality is needed in order to become equal with telephone and cable companies who, as providers, have to pay to use the service – whereas providers of companies online don’t incur this cost. Net Neutrality proposes to charge both the user and the provider – doubling the money made from the internet. (Wiki.openrightsgroup.org)

Contrasting this, there are many arguments against Net Neutrality. People believe that no on wants the government to regulate the internet due to it steering away from being an ‘open internet’. Also, companies such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft will benefit greatly from a rise in profits which they won’t be paying for.

FCC is a US independent agency which regulates all communications. Net Neutrality in the US meant that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon wouldn’t be able to offer a pay-to-play fast lanes due to users speaking out. The FCC originally allowed these companies to offer the service before proposing a change which gave internet users the best possible protection. (Press)

A more relevant discussion is about OFCOM – the UK government approved agency which regulates and manages communications in the UK. (Wikipedia) Ofcom stated in 2011 that due to growth in the use of the internet may require new approaches to traffic management.

I was able to have a clearer understanding about the problem Net Neutrality is aiming to fix after researching into OFCOM as it explains that due to increases in demand from users – providers/network officers find it more challenging to meet this demand and have no way of distinguishing between users – therefore bringing the idea of users paying for a prioritised service. It became even clearer when the example of eBay seller fees was given – with it being something I personally pay, and I can now understand that I pay this fee because I have used eBay as a platform for personal business and if I didn’t pay these fees then the traffic for this service would be uncontrollable.

References:

Ocf.berkeley.edu,. ‘NET NEUTRALITY: Definition’. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

Press, Free. ‘Net Neutrality: What You Need To Know Now’. Free Press. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

Wiki.openrightsgroup.org,. ‘Net Neutrality – ORG Wiki’. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

Wikipedia,. ‘Ofcom’. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

D4DME – Incorporating jQuery/Draft

In this weeks workshop we began looking at jQuery and Kyle showed us how to use the simple toggle up function and suggested that it would be useful to use it in our current projects to improve skills – especially in javascript as we have not done much work on that and will be using it in the next unit. I managed to manipulate the code we used in the workshop to make the login and signup box toggle up and down from the buttons on the nav bar. This makes the website more aesthetically pleasing for the user and there is more information for them initially displayed. It also keeps the homepage free to store more information near the top of the page instead of the login/signup boxes taking up the majority of the visible page. The thing that we couldn’t grasp was stopping the login box being able to toggle down the same time as the signup box was opened. We played around for about an hour trying to use the ‘hide’ function but we kept just hiding the box completely. We asked Phil the next day if he had any idea how to achieve what we wanted and he luckily did. Instead of using the ‘hide’ function in the html file we had to add it to the css class of the boxes. We added in ‘display: none’ and then in the Javascript we made it so that if the signup button is clicked, the signup box becomes invisible and toggles up before the login box toggles down and visa versa. display none scrn shot js scrnshot Josh brought along his name ideas, logo and banner today for us to look at and we all agreed on the name ‘sitter search’ and below are the first drafts of the logo/banner ideas. We inputted the banner images into the carousel so we can visualise what the final home page would look like.

draft

D4DME – Using Bootstrap for CSS/JS and Research into Existing Websites

Now we had now got the login and signup databases working me and amy decided to work on the css of the site and choose which buttons, shapes and layout we wanted to grab from bootstrap. We knew that we wanted the page to look clean and modern as the existing websites we found for advertising babysitters were very cluttered and looked unprofessional. Below are the 5 styles we liked from the Bootstrap file so we linked them up in our css file in brackets.

Navbar: bsnav

Buttons:bsbutton

Images:bsimg

Form:bsform

Carousel: bscaras

Me and Amy spoke with Josh and he liked everything we had done and gave us some suggestions on how we could make the website more navigational. We then decided to give him the task of selecting a colour scheme, creating a logo/banner and deciding on a font to use throughout the site.

All we had to do now regarding php was create a final database which allows users to post to the site and for their ad to appear on the homepage. I wasn’t too worried about the code for this section as we had created a very similar thing in a previous workshop which I remember clearly so should hopefully be able to understand the code from that workshop and incorporate it into our website.

I decided to research into existing websites – not just babysitting ones but various cooking, cleaning and other advertising websites to see how they had their users post what they wanted. I discovered that they all followed the same structure of having their users post go to the home page so that anyone that visits the site is immediately shown the information they want to know. There is usually information about the service being provided above the results but all the vital information appears on the home page. I decided that we should follow this same structure for our website and have each post go to the home page underneath the carousel which would display information about our babysitting services.

D4DME – Connecting to the final database

This week has been us trying to figure out how to get the user to fill out the profile form and for that information to be posted in a separate box on the home page.

As I mentioned before, we did a similar task like this a few months back but me and Amy didn’t have to files we used back then. We managed to get a basic outline of the code we needed – using youtube tutorials and other seminar members help. After we tried for a few hours to get it to work we decided to arrange to meet Kyle next week and see if he could explain to us where we were going wrong.

So that the meeting wasn’t completely unproductive. We thought we’d help Josh with the colour scheme hunt and found these few colour schemes we thought would fit in with our target audience of mothers looking for a babysitter. We wanted to have an elegant, slick design to make our website look professional as we found with other babysitting ad websites have been very childish and non-legit.

At the end of the meeting we managed to create the database and get it to post onto the homepage only if we inputted the data directly into the form on phpmyadmin but when you try to fill out the form on the profile page – the data is not reaching the database and therefore not posting.

Following our meeting with Kyle:

During our meeting with Kyle he explained to us that in order for the information to be submitted to the database table we had set up, we needed to use the “INSERT INTO ____” which meant that the information the user inputed into each field would update the database table. We again included a message which appears if the user either successfully or unsuccessfully makes a post.

insertinto

In order for this post to appear on the homepage we decided to make a separate file for the box that the post would appear in to avoid clogging up the index php file with unnecessary code. We then needed to link this box page to the index page along with a small section of code. This kept the work nice and organised which meant that we could easily edit a section of code if a particular function wasn’t working on our site.

box

box1

D4DME – Creating Sign Up Form/Meeting with Kyle

The way in which we create a sign-up form is different to how we made the login form. The login form uses the query ‘SELECT * FROM’ which means that it looks up existing users already uploaded into the database and grants them access if they exist. Below is the code which shows the back end process of connecting to the database. The ‘$_SESSION [“message”]’ and ‘$_SESSION [“username”]’ create a message which pops up when the user successfully logs in and reads “Success, welcome back {username}”. If the user fails to log in “Wrong username/password” pops up.

login request

When it came to figuring out how to manipulate the above code to allow users to sign up with a username and password was the difficult part. We created a new page called ‘signup.php’ and used the same code and just edited the various sections – however when a user tried to input their new details, they didn’t submit into the database.

We looked online for some solutions to help us but we could seem to get it to work so we decided to arrange a meeting with Kyle to see if he could help explain to us where we were going wrong. He immediately saw the problem and it was that instead of ‘SELECT * FROM’ it should be ‘INSERT INTO’ as you are adding information to the database not selecting it. Once we altered this – users were able to sign up and then login with their username and password. The code for the sign up page is below.

signup code

Whilst we were with Kyle in the meeting we asked him if it would be possible to remove the option to login and sign up once the user had logged in and instead show up the ‘New Post’ button. He managed to show us using an existing project he had worked on so we could decide how we wanted it to look. In order to do this we had to work in the index.php file and write out code which translates to “if the user is not logged in then include the login and signup button on the page” this meant that when the user is logged in, the login and signup buttons will not appear.

login:signup in user loggin

D4DME – Group Work Progress

So far as a group we have managed to make some progress on the project. Me and Amy began to work o the back end of the website as this was what was recommended by Kyle. Once we finish and achieve a working basic website you can focus on making it look nice. The main marks are coming from the functionality of the site so we wanted to ensure this was the more impressive part of our project.

This was started by opening up brackets files from previous workshops we had following up to the unit. We analysed which code we wanted to use and manipulated it into our new brackets file. We tried to incorporate as many functions as we could so we could practice what we learnt in these previous workshops and display evidence that we understood what was shown to us.

Me and Amy began the php side of things by logging onto phpmyadmin and creating the first database table we would use for the website (see below). This was where the users would be logging in and the database would have to recognise a users details and allow them access to enter the site and post onto the homepage. The way in which we connect to the database is via a server – we use dakar.bournemouth.ac.uk.

table 1We then discussed that it would be more effective and time-efficient for us to use Bootstrap to design the website as its a much simpler way to make the site look professional and aesthetically pleasing, especially as we aren’t getting marked on how nice it looks.

D4DME – Initial Ideas/Research into UGC

Before meeting and discussing with my team mates about what our idea should be I thought I would go with some rough thoughts to offer up as a suggestion. I knew that the website needs to be aimed at a specific target audience and came up with various ideas, all attached to different categories.

I particularly like the babysitting idea under the ‘Services’ category due to the fact that I can’t think of many well known babysitting/childminding websites out there and so we can input unique and different ideas without being influenced at all. The fields I was thinking we could search by would be Name, Location, Price and Availability (part/full time) these would be the columns in the database. I was also thinking once the user has signed up they could upload a photo, short description and their CV.

Below is a brainstorm of the style of websites I had in mind regarding the different categories.

brainstorm of ideas

D4DME – Individual Roles and Team Dynamics

During reading week, our group arranged to meet up to discuss the final idea and we all brought along our individual ideas which we had come to via research into different categories and target audiences. I took along my brainstorm but mostly with my babysitting idea.

We all ‘pitched’ our thoughts and suggestions to what the website could be designed for and these were all the ideas thrown in: Babysitting, Dating, Recipe site, Book reviews, Statistics site. The two top ideas were babysitting and dating. We knew that another group were planning on doing a dating site so we thought that it would be best to go with the Babysitting idea as it’s different and unique and also won’t be compared to other groups with the same idea.

After we had decided on this we discussed which role each person should do and what would maximise the quality and workflow of the project. It was decided that Josh was best at the design and layout of the website, and me and Amy were more confident on the coding so thats how we will continue to work but will aim to try and all pull an equal weight as obviously the coding is more challenging than the design – due to me and Amy not being overly confident with it.

To succeed in all working equal amounts we are going to aim to try and complete the task when we are all together as a group so that we can freely input our different ideas and make the product the best it possibly can be.

D4DME – Project from my POV

In my opinion the project should be created equally between the team members but due to different skills and strengths and weaknesses this is challenging as not everyone is confident in the same areas. I feel that our group can produce an excellent final project, especially with the uncountable amount of tutorials out there that we can use to help us if we are stuck on particular parts of the code. Also other seminar students will hopefully be willing to help us out if they are more confident in the workshops, along with Phil and Kyle. 

I have researched into our final idea of a babysitting advertisement website and have come up with some example websites that already exist which we can gather some inspiration and ideas from. Below are the websites similar to our idea that already are up and running: ex 1

https://www.childcare.co.uk/?gclid=CJbv0Ibr9sQCFa7KtAodv0EA6g

ex2

http://www.findababysitter.com

ex3 

http://www.sitters.co.uk/inmyarea.aspx?gclid=CICOtavr9sQCFQzJtAodnjoA0Q#

The main focus is not on the visuals of the website but the functionality and the core HTML and PHP code which we will create and hopefully be able to run through databases using our servers. Once the website is fully functioning with all the required content we can focus on making the site aesthetically pleasing to its specific target audience. I feel that if we aim to complete the hardest part (PHP) together as soon as possible it will be easier to overcome issues and can get help from Kyle if need be. After that we can spend the remainder of our time making the website look professional.

D4DME – Creation of the ‘Meet the Team’ Page

I took on the role of creating the Meet the Team page as I didn’t want us, as a group, to fall behind other groups and having to catch up. I looked at previous HTML documents we previously worked on in Kyle’s earlier workshops to get a basic structure for the page. Due to all three of us not being confident using HTML we decided to use bootstrap which we touched upon a couple of months ago in a workshop. I watched a few tutorials and got some refresher tips on how it works and began to create the page using this.

Why Bootstrap? You still have to challenge of writing all the HTML code and edit some bits of CSS but its give you the basic structure to a webpage and makes it appear more dynamic and stylish. We all agreed we would continue using bootstrap for the final idea and as I wasn’t super confident with it, it will still be very challenging and we will have to work together to try and figure some coding issues out I am sure.

meet the team code

plain meet the team

I created the majority of the meet the team page as I was forward in researching how to use Bootstrap and the other members were not crystal clear on how to use it. I created a plain basic design so that when we next get together and decide on a final idea we can decide as a group what colour scheme and various buttons we wanted to have. I thought of an idea to put underneath each of our bios which was to link to each of our blogs. This increases the navigation on the page and makes it more personal.

meet the team actual page basic