Language of the Future II

Cathy Zhang, Girls Innovate! Teen Committee
Technovation (Part 6)

At our Technovation meeting on March 16, we had a small session with our mentor about how to do Google APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) with JavaScript. JavaScript is a dynamic computer programming language most frequently used for interactive web and browser-based programs. Google APIs are for connecting your product with a Google product such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google+, etc. For example, if you wanted to include a feature in a news app that allowed users to share a news story on Google+, you would utilize a Google API to create that feature. This was quite complicated.

In the beginning of the session, our team experimented with JavaScript on a program called w3schools. There, we practiced inputting text and creating alert functions, the little pages that pop up prompting you or notifying you of something. One new-to-programming teammate found this very exciting and it was fun to watch her excitement.

After familiarizing ourselves a little with the program we would be using, we started trying to register ourselves onto a Google Authorization. This allows users to share specific data with you (for example, contact lists) while keeping their usernames, passwords, and other information private. Since our app requires signing in with a Google Account, we have to register for a OAuth 2.0 and create a Client ID. This was very troubling, because it required retrieving a Digital Certificate, which you have to trace from your Directory Bin of your computer. This requires you to input in your computer’s Terminal. Fortunately, there was a tutorial online for students elsewhere who were trying to do the same thing with AppInventor.

We have not completed this step yet, and it really required some help from our mentor and the software parents! Despite the complex work, we have all learned a lot so far. Our team is progressing well, but hopefully we will have enough time to completely everything we are aiming to. Only five more weeks!

Thanks to Ann Saponara, Writing Mentor.