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Winter Midterm Reflection

At the start of this term, I completed a mod to add new formatting options to the tinyMCE text editor so that instead manually adding special HTML tags, students can highlight text and select a formatting option. The project I am currently working on is another mod for the TinyMCE editor. This mod adds footnotes to citations and allows students to correct the order of the footnotes. I initially found this project very challenging because using a Python approach to javascript by doing searching and modifying HTML as a string. This proved very cumbersome and thus Austin recommended that I research to manipulate the HTML DOM with Javascript. By treating, each tag as a node and the tags nested within it as child nodes, it became much easier to find footnote links and citation tags in the HTML and edit them as needed. This taught me the importance of conducting additional research and looking for easier solutions instead of using a brute force solution.

In addition, the weekly discussion on ethics and technology have helped me understand what it takes to be a good digital citizen and what the future of technology may look like. For instance, from our discussion on Facebook’s algorithm, I now understand how my user behavior affects the bubble of news I live in and what information is hidden from me. In addition, our discussion on cashless business made us question the assumption that progress is inherently good and be more aware of those who are left behind. Overall, this term has let me further develop skills as a programmer and tools to navigate the complex technological world of today.

Alec Wang ’21

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