In Search of a Better Editor

I have used Windows for my work system (it is required) for over 8 years now. I have migrated through a number of code editors as my abilities and needs have changed over time. I have used WebEdit, HomeSite/ColdFusion, and now UltraEdit. On the Mac it has been BBEdit all the way. Yet, especially in the last year or so, I have been looking for something on the Mac that would work more like UltraEdit on windows. Specifically, something that would allow opening more than 1 file via FTP at a time. And didn’t require pallettes to access common code snippets (I like keyboard shortcuts). Simply, the macro features of BBEdit just don’t cut it for me. I should mention the version of BBEdit I have is v6.0… and it is a great editor. So perhaps if I weren’t too cheap to upgrade, I may find some of these features added in the most current version.

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Why, Oh Why, IE

[Edit: Life is getting much better these days with IE 9 beginning to support standards and be consistent as Firefox and Safari (and now Chrome and there is always someone on Opera)]

Usually, I start out creating my designs for this site by testing them in Safari (yes, I am a Mac user… so consider this my first contribution to the holy war of mac vs pc). I also test Mozilla on the Mac/Windows and feel that if it looks good in those two I am generally on track. Eventually, I get around to checking in IE on Windows and then IE on the Mac (although, I don’t know why anyone would still use IE on a Mac). Here, I typically find some fatal flaw that IE just craps on. If it were not for the fact that Windows forces users to use IE (software update with Moz, I don’t think so), most everybody would have chucked it a long time ago. Now, only due to the security lapses in IE, has Firefox (Mozilla’s light and fast version) begun to claim some users back from IE… but you still have to use IE. And most users still do…

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The Power of CSS

Since wordpress layout is based on css, I wanted to do something similar to the CSS Zen Garden. I hope to create a new designs every now and then… None of the code in the theme file is changed when switching between designs (although I did modify the code from the original WP install). I was going to write my own feature to handle allowing visitors to switch the theme for themselves. Instead, I used a plug-in to provide this feature… There are so many plugins for wordpress, which is one of the strengths of the platform. So why reinvent the wheel, well except when you don’t like the options that exist. I added a facebook like plugin and really do not care for how it is working so I may bake my own shortly here. Besides the CSSzengarden, there are hundreds of designs/themes for wordpress, so the challenge is for me, to try and do something fresh (or personal, which should be fresh).

Japan 1
This is the default that loads when you first visit the site. It features a rotating head image using jQuery. The photos and image are all taken by me in my travels.

Plain
This is a plain layout stripped of most images. Great starting point for new designs as well as for anyone visiting on a slow connection.

These are old designs that have been retired due to the upgrades. I may bring them back sometime when I can convert and test them fully;

Standard
This was the old default. It uses a picture I took of Mt Fuji covered with snow for the banner.

Bluejean
This one uses a Macromedia Fireworks pattern with a shot of the Pacific ocean. I took the picture of the Pacific from the hotel in Ito city Japan. Sorry you can’t see much more, the full image has a little island that is offshore about 1500 meters.

NueType
Ok, so it took a couple weeks to get this one up… having a couple of kids, a full time job and going to grad school takes some time. Well this one is not finished, but I wanted to get something out. It is kind of inspired by early 20th century typography… but it doesn’t do justice to what I was thinking of… Jan Tschichold, El Lissitzky… et al.

Splok
Splotch or blocks, something bright and colorful. This was created using some filters in Fireworks. I wanted to create something that looked a little like water color painted blocks.

ItoBay
Used a photo taken from inside the Denny’s in the city of Ito, Japan for the head (taken in 2003). The concept basically was to have the water fade into the page content.

HCI 511: Designing for disabilities

I am taking a class on the issues of designing software/websites for the disabled. It is very informative so far. It seems that many businesses are ignoring this at their peril. While one case was dismissed two years ago (Southwest Airlines), another went against the organization (Marta), and several more were settled out of court for nominal sums. Well nominal in the sense that they could have spent that money upfront on accessibility and avoided the negative publicity.
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