I have been looking into some static site generators as WP new editing approach with the block editor is just a pain. It is taking over control of the page layout and flexibility of the single page view that I would prefer. I am also finding it to be slower to initially load pages and content. Then there is also the increasingly frequent updates needed to keep things secure. I’m sure part of the problem is the code is becoming so much more complicated. I run no plugins at all on my site, because they open up too many doors.
At first I was looking for an alternative CMS built on PHP. However, looking at that landscape there are no real alternatives. I want something simple that keeps the number of DB tables small as why should there be 50 tables for a simple website. Yet, everything I looked at has been ridiculously complicated if not on the front end then also the back end. I’ve custom built PHP CMSs myself and have thought about doing it again, but honestly I am no longer interested in maintaining that either.
So now I am looking at Static Site generators and finding that, there too I feel there is just so much unnecessary complication. Most are targeted towards developers and involve running multiple underlying frameworks and libraries. I have spent some time playing around with various ones that use node and find it still to be overly complicated. Another problem I am realizing is that I will no longer be able to update my site from my tablet/phone as I am doing right now. At this point I am almost thinking about going with straight html and manually updating pages.
In one animation I wanted an svg to rotate in the background and in another I wanted an element to slowly glow on and off. In both cases it helped to have a tool to do the basic animation. I have been using Figma for the last year and there are some plugins that will generate css animation code. Figmotion seems to be the most popular, but I liked Motion a bit better as it made it easier to select items in the hierarchy of your frame in its left side panel.
Unfortunately, Figma itself does not support viewing animations in the editor although you can save them in the GIF format that can then be played in the prototype player. Using Motion you can export it as an animated gif and then drag that file back into your Figma file. If you are using the animation else where as I was there are several other export options including CSS, which is what I needed.
I then took that css and played around with it more in codepen.io. You can find lots of other folks css animation experiments there as well.
Yet, every time I start in on Xcode it is just a hodgepodge of UI and code. Sure there are starter bundles, code look-up, and contextual help, but there is nothing intuitive about building an app in Xcode. Compare this to visual studio from Microsoft and it is completely different. Sure Visual Studio (the full app not the VS Code) is also very complex, but I was surprised at how easy it was to add a button to the UI and then the write code for that button.
The day started out with not being able to print something to my networked printer. I had upgraded my cable internet last week and had also upgraded my wifi router. I was previously using two wifi routers to provide coverage for my small house as my neighbors wifi signals were interfering. At any rate, I updated the wifi connection for the printer as well as also have it hard wired. Everything seemed to be working fine at the time, but I did not actually try to print anything. So of course it does not work now when I need to print.
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So I upgraded to Apple’s Mac OS Big Sur. I have to start out by saying that I feel Apple has been slipping in recent years with basic usability. The whole flat UI thing sucks not just in my opinion, but also in usability testing I have done with designs that were “flat”. Also I am not sure who started it, but between Apple, Google, and Microsoft all hiding scroll bars, it’s really a annoying trying to notice when there may be more on the screen. The first thing I look for now when updating OS is the option to force scroll bars to be visible.
Having said all that, I have to say that I generally like the look and feel of Big Sur and also liking some of the new features. The finder windows do feel cleaner and more refined. The new control center is interesting, but I have yet to really use it. There are new privacy and security measures which is good to know that they are improved. Overall though it seems just OK. I am not wowed by anything just yet, but also there have been no major glitches as well. I do really appreciate that Mac OS upgrades are free now. If there is anything else that pops out over the next week, I’ll be sure to make note here.
So my company just recently issued iPhones (or Android if preferred) to all employees. The devices were sent direct to our home (or office if preferred), with no IT involved. As part of the setup the devices will be automatically registered with the company and a special company app installed. The only problem is it did not activate with the cellular plan. So now I have a phone with no number that can only connect to wifi and I have no way to activate the cellular because it asks for a SM-DP+Address code which I do not have. It refers to a QR code, but there was no QR code included. I am stuck until I can call in to the company help desk to get this straightened out some how.
[update] So finally got the work phone activated. Took a week for them to send the information to the service provider. The company app is also now installed and has been updated several times now as it is rather unstable. The app is quite poorly designed, which makes me sad as a digital product designer myself. Ah, well things are working and that is enough for now.
Recently, I was given the updated UI for the web version of Facebook. I have long stopped using the mobile version. One nice thing is the new dark mode now. Honestly, that is all that really appealed to me so far. However, one big pain is the comment box is almost completely unusable. There is a noticeable delay typing and there is some strange issue where it adds a double space after every word. I am writing this post just to check that this is not a problem in other web apps and I am not having any of the problems writing this in the WP editor. So this is a FB problem and it is a horrible experience.