Thursday, May 31, 2012

Occupy Javascript

Whats does this have to do with the house? Nothing. Well, there is a bit of a connection.

I have always secretly dreamed of codifying all my building calculators that I have made to help me as a carpenter.  Specifically, I have an irregular hip/valley calculator and a few things to help with sizing beams/joists, appropriate spans and spacing, etc.

Most of these things I have created from excel spreadsheets, notebooks from past jobs, and a library of wood engineering books.  Javascript will get my foot in the door, but I will need a decent SQL back end in order to database some of these large tables of wood species. The cool thing about Javascript is that its down and dirty, and can be dumped into any html body tag.  If you are reading this post, you probably know that this thing called the internet, and the language that is displaying this text, probably isn't going away.

The cool thing about computer programming is that once a script is stable, it just works. For eternity.  I figure the only way to make some of this knowledge timeless, is to code it and make it available.

Will I ever really have time to do these things? Probably not. But I really like the idea.  Mostly, I like to help my peers who have come to me for this type of advice.

Below is my first attempt with Javascript. The calculator below attempts to convert some units for HVAC efficiency.  You can read about the definitions of some of these terms here.  It converts between EER, COP, and kW/Ton.  Its crude, I know.

Units Converter



Please copy this code pass it along.  Knowledge is not proprietary.

I deal with this stuff at work.  Its not really that complicated, but I took this pet project on to force myself to learn a new skill.  Stay tuned as I build some new calculators sometime before I turn 50.

Please give me feedback if you can't get it to work!