A bad workman always blames his tools [tools tools]

Well Fiona. It’s been a case of scouring the ‘net for any learning sources ( in between my daily trips to the gym and cycling around the New Forest to help preserve my sanity !) I think I’ve hit upon a real Gem though; It’s  a series of video tutorials on Web Designing using CSS, by Andy Clark. I’ve read about the ‘Web developer Tool Bar’ in the Dummies book.Using WDTB you can inspect and dynamically alter the CSS of web pages as they are displayed in the Firefox browser. I never actually got around to trying this particular feature though… I was reading the book sat in a car park in the New Forest most of the time LOL! ( this is a good old fashioned paper book of course !) Anyway Andy Clark shows how you really can go from a plain HTML file ( just black and blue text displayed in the browser ) and add the CSS styles to it.. Despite  a few Blue Peter style “And here’s one we made earlier” moments , it’s really quite amazing to watch him at work !


Ok so Firebug is cool and designing in the browser is the way to go. So then what about CSS editors and IDE’s to enable all this hand coding in a more friendly and efficient way ? Well I’ve been using Aptana and Komodo edit ( free downloads) and have just installed try  outs of Espresso and Coda today. I quite like Notepad++ ( only for Windows but can be run in my virtual host 😉 ) Actually good old vi isn’t bad come to think of it.. I find the syntax completion in Aptana can actually be pretty annoying some times !

Having played with WDTB/Firebug ( which lets you save out your changed CSS style sheet once you are done fiddling ) I am not convinced that I need to spend money on an IDE for web development LOL ! FileZilla rocks too, it’s a fantastic free FTP client.. better than the command line any way !


I also had a look at the Web developer menu in Safari today.. this is pretty cool too, it adds a few features not in Firebug and misses a few , kind of complimentary ( based on my initial findings that is ! ) I particularly like the Network profiling tab.. which shows HTTP requests in real time and lets you drill down to infinite detail.. even to see the raw source of the HTTP transfer.. Amazing !


Other news, I’ve signed up for a few mailing lists on Usenet and the like… ahhh remember Usenet ? I’ve been finding all my old Usenet posts going back 10 years or so in Google, they’re now spread all over the Internet. It seems a cottage industry in trying to start forum web pages from Usenet archives has really got going !


Finally I am in the process of downgrading one of my iMacs to Snow Leopard. I have had it with Mission Control in Lion. For laptops I do think MC is an improvement on spaces, however sat in front of two 27″ monitors I get the distinct feeling that it’s not quite up to scratch ! The problem is that I have never before had to downgrade my Mac OS so I’ve had to figure out how to do it… 3 back ups ( currently in progress ) I don’t want to loose my 250Gb of photos that’s for sure ! Finally Finally.. I’m also going to order a 120Gb SSD drive to rejuvenate my 2006 Mac book. I am convinced that I /need/ to be able to boot it in 30 seconds, make it so !


OK so I think that about wraps things up, back to the studio Fiona 😉




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