Week 5 – Making column headers change colors in preparation for bigger and better things

This week, I focused on taking my context menu and selectable column header functions from my test files and implementing them in the project itself. The latter function took a bit of time for me to wrangle into place, but I managed with some help from one of my lab mates. The wonderful benefits of having a fresh pair of eyes take a look at code that I had been staring at for hours!

Now that these two things are working in the basic sense – such as the selected column headers changing colors with CSS to give feedback to indicate that they are selected – I can focus on using them to implement the other more complex features. The Data Environment will need to know which columns a user has selected in order to bundle those columns together, for example. Or, if the user invokes the Environment’s context menu by right-clicking in order to toggle a specialized type of RDF conversion on or off for that column, the Environment will need to know on which column index it was invoked.

Visual feedback to the user is important to the user interface, so that the user can get an idea of what they are using. The interface also needs to be visually intuitive, so that the user can hopefully figure out with relative ease how to perform their desired tasks. This is handy for me as a developer, because having things change color when performing certain actions is an easy way for me to tell if something is working or not, and then I can leave this in the final functionality.

But the functions I am writing are more than just stylesheet changes. Today, and then continuing next week, I will be writing the callbacks for all of the right-click menu choices. I was also thinking of creating a few simple pixel icons this weekend to use, too, so that the final product is not going overboard with stylesheet colors and things.

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