Before we can start building anything interesting, we should have a way to jot down our thoughts. Therefore the first thing we will build is a tool to keep track of what needs to be done. The infamous To-Do app, allowing us to keep temporary notes.
So what are the requirements? The ability to add a note, read our notes, and to clear them off. We will also need a space to keep these notes in, and a web page to access them through. Let's start with the page! You can edit the code below, which will update the live preview.
... loading editor and preview ...
What does this do? HTML is how we code the layout of a web page.
We first must wrap all our code in an open and closing html tag so our computer knows it is a web page.
The body tag tells it to display the contents enclosed within.
h1 is one of many semantic tags for declaring a title, others include h2, h3 and so on of different sizes.
A form is a container for getting information from a user.
Forms have inputs which let the user type data in, it is a self-closing tag.
The button can be pressed, causing an action that we code to happen.
ul is an unordered list which we will display our thoughts inside of.
Now, try changing the h1 text in the editor from "Title" to the name of our app, "Thoughts".
Insert the following between the ending ul tag and the ending body tag, replacing the comment line:
We can then test to see if our code worked with an alert message, which pops up and forces you to press ok.
We instruct the computer to notify us with that text by calling the alert function using parenthesis ().
A function is just a fancy word for a reusable piece of code that does something when we call its name, such as alert.
Wonderful! You should have gotten the alert message, this means writing code works! Let's replace the alert line entirely with code that responds to user input.
What's going on here?
jQuery is a function like alert, its name is $ which can be called with parenthesis ().
Calling $ with 'form' as the input gives us a reference to the corresponding HTML form tag.
We then call on with two inputs. First the text name of an event we want to react to, and then a function we create.
Events are predefined ways we can interact with a user, such as 'mousemove' or a 'keypress'.
We use 'submit' because it responds to both a button 'click' and hitting enter on a form.
Our function will get called with the event every time the user does that action, allowing us to react to their input.
The default behavior of a form is to cause the browser to change pages which is annoying, we prevent that by calling preventDefault on the event.
Finally, calling $ with 'input' will reference the HTML input tag which we then call val on, giving us the text the user typed in.
Now that users can jot down their thoughts, we need a place to save them. Let's start using GUN for just that.
We call Gun to start the database, which only needs to be done once per page load.
Now we want to open up a reference to some data, so we call get with the name of the data we want.
However, no data has been saved to 'thoughts' yet! Let's fix that in the next step by using gun.
Replace the alert line in the submit function with the following:
We're telling gun to add the value of the input as an item in a set of thoughts.
Then we also want the input's value to become empty text, so we can add new thoughts later.
Fantastic! Now that we can successfully store data, we want show the data! Replace the comment line in the editor with the following:
map tells gun to get each item in the set, one at a time, to do something with it.
What we do is the same as $'s on, which reacts to events. So does gun, it responds to any update on 'thoughts'.
We get the thought value itself and a unique identifier for the item in the set.
This next line looks scary, but read it like this, "make variable li equal to X or Y".
The X part asks $ to find the id in the HTML and get it.
The Y part asks $ to create a new <li> HTML tag, set its idattribute to our id and append it to the end of the HTML ul list.
Altogether it says "Create or reuse the HTML list item and make sure it is in the HTML list, then update the text or hide the item if there is no text".
Finally we want to be able to clear off our thoughts when we are done with them. The interface for this could be done in many different ways, but for simplicity we will use a double tap as the gesture to clear it off. Replace the comment line in the editor with this code.
In order to react to any 'dblclick' event rather than a specific one, we call on on the page's 'body' as a whole.
But we want to filter the events to ones that happened only on any 'li' tag. Fortunately, we can call on with an optional second input of 'li' which does just that.
Calling path tells gun to filter its data to just the id of the thought we want to clear off.
Then calling put on that tells gun to update that thought to null, so we no longer have the thought.
And whenever an update happens, gun's on function from the previous step gets called again, which then hides the corresponding HTML list item.
Congratulations! You are all done, you have built your first GUN app!
In the next tutorial we will use GUN to synchronize data in realtime across multiple devices. We'll start by copying the app we made here and modifying it to become a chat app.