Art for points

This entry is about how drawing something daily, which I realized I’d probably not be able to keep up with, lead to me creating a website for myself that would keep track of how much I’m supposed to have drawn.

This is the history of that site, and how it’s changed (pretty rapidly)

The concept at it’s most basic and non-specific is as follows

Keep track of owed “art”, add 1 owed “art” every day.

This is what it looked like in one of the earliest iterations.

It started out very simple and a bit inelegant. But it worked. Every day the server scheduler would run a script that added to the counter, increasing the “Art Owed” by 1. Clicking the amusingly labelled “I made an art I swear!” link would remove 1 from it. I’d click that after having drawn something of course.

The “Artstart” and “Stopart” links were a slightly later addition which still exists in a way. We’ll get back to that.

Stage 2

In the next step, I decide to change up how things work a bit. I inverted the counter, so instead of the number going up every day, it goes down. Drawing things makes it go up. It being above or below zero doesn’t really mean anything except that if it’s below then I’m behind on my drawing.

In this same session I enhanced how adding art works. Instead of just clicking a link that would simply add 1 to the counter, I added a dialog.

The Dialog of Excitement

The dialog in question is quite simple of course, but it allows me to enter the name of the piece. As you can also see I have a number of “types” defined. Previously anything was worth exactly 1, no matter what the drawing was, if it was colored etc. Now if I put in the effort to color something I’d be awarded extra points.

The reason I added the ability to name what piece I’ve been working on is for the log. The log has been there pretty much since the beginning. But it’s just looked like this the entire time:

[2016-12-26 23:22] Created an “Art” [+1] in 33 minutes (-6)
[2016-12-26 00:22] Created an “Art” [+1] in 20 minutes (-7)
[2016-12-26] New day! 1 New art owed! (-8)
[2016-12-25] New day! 1 New art owed! (-7)

The number in the parenthesis is the counter value, after the modification that log entry represents. After the update with the dialog the log entries look like this instead:

[2017-01-01 19:56] Created a Colored Sketch [+2] called ‘Spotted Shark’ (-7) in 1 hour, 2 minutes

This gives a much better history of what I’ve been doing, instead of just making “Art”. You’ll also notice that there are times noted in the entries.

Just a little bit more before we’re caught up!

The final dialog

In the current version of the dialog we have a bunch of changes. The addition of “Start sketch timer” and “Start coloring timer” is pretty obvious.

Like I said, we’d get back to this, and these are essentially the same as “Artstart” from the beginning. It’s the timer feature I designed. I’ll resist explaining how it works in minute detail, and instead just say that when the timer is started it notes the current time, then when it is stopped it takes the starting time and the current time and calculates the difference, which will be in seconds, and then converts that into something like “2 hours, 2 minutes”.

By design this timer does not display anything while it’s active. You can’t see how long it’s been going for while it’s counting. Once started the “Start timer” text will be replaced with “Stop timer”. Clicking this will replace that with an input field, containing the “2 hours, etc”. As of very recently there will also now be a “Resume timer” button, which allows it to keep counting even after having been stopped once or multiple times. This is of course because my work may be interrupted and I’d then need to pause the timer and resume later.

In the beginning there was only one timer though. Now there are two. One is intended to be run while drawing, and the other while coloring, because I wanted to know how long each of these take individually.

The final thing I’m going to talk about is how the most recent piece I worked on made me realize that I might want to work on something in several stages, on separate occasions. “Colored Sketch” for example would be when I draw and color a piece in a single session, but I wouldn’t want to use that if I’d just colored a drawing I’d drawn at an earlier session, thus I added the two “Worked on…” options, which also required re-wording and re-arranging the dialog in this latest update.

And that’s it for now! I don’t really have any ideas for additions right now. And the thing works fine as it is for now. It being so simple there are no bugs in it that need fixing!

And this post ended up longer than I expected… but oh well!

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