Recently I’ve been practicing JavaScript by writing useful little snippets for Canvas. Small, simple tools or changes that solve a specific problem, and which have a scope just at the edge of my comfort zone (where the learning happens!)

I had a new “how hard could it be” idea and when I cracked open the Inspector in Chrome I was met with a ton of DOM elements I was not expecting plus a bizarrely specific class name on almost all of them. Parsing and extracting the data I needed was going to be harder than I thought. Even with jQuery wizardry.

When I went into Slack to complain about my hopes of a quick fix being dashed the response I got was a link to the Github documentation for the library being used on that page. It’s obvious in hindsight that the class name I was seeing was generated by a library. The person who sent me the documentation wasn’t already familiar with the library, they just noticed an anomaly and a pattern, and turned to Google to quickly confirm their suspicions.

The experience was a good reminder to watch for external libraries in a code base. After all, it won’t always be vanilla JavaScript.