Over the past week or so i’ve been busy settling in to the role of CSS & HTML’er. This is for a big project so everything has to be done right and like anything you want done right, you have to do it yourself…
In doubt? Use a framework…
Custom building anything these days is, in most cases, a huge waste of time. Ironically though on this new project i’m involved in, we’re building everything from the ground up… there’s not really any hackable open source solutions which would do the job.
The design & CSS is my baby and i’m using Blueprint CSS as a CSS framework. I spent several hours just playing with it and seeing how it all fitted together and although it may seem incredibly complex or ‘overkill’, it’s invaluable to someone like me who can write CSS all day long but who’ll unknowingly snooker themselves with stupid shots. For example i’ll often just custom code stuff and test it in Chrome / Firefox and if it works i’ll call it a success and move on. After all, it’s the customer’s fault if they don’t have an up to date browser, no?
If you use Blueprint wisely, all angles will be covered and there’ll be no snookering. Browser bugs and variations will be non existent. So it’s a wise solution even though admittedly it takes a bit of getting used to and figuring out. It’ll probably slow you down initially but the frustration will be worth it.
There’s a cheatsheet available for Blueprint CSS (kindly created by this guy) which makes life that bit easier. Be sure to check out the placeholder images too which is the ‘lorum ipsum’ of the image world.
Cloud, Apple, Hip Stuff
I don’t like working on laptops which is why i don’t own one. I own a netbook but i don’t like working on it either. It doesn’t have enough juice to run photoshop for starters. What i do these days is take my mac mini in to our startup office. I bought a new monitor last week with my penguin money so that is now housed in the office too. Pictures tomorrow perhaps… i’m only just after realising i have no pictures of it and have never mentioned it before.
Another addition to my Mac family is this new wireless keyboard i just picked up today. It’s small, light and totally overpriced but the penguin fund just about paid for that too. Although not the cheapest rectangular packet on the shelves, i really do love apple keyboards. I’m a fast typer anyway, but the low profile keys are so much more comfortable and effortless to press than traditional keyboard keys. Does that make a difference? Does it matter? Yes. Speed savings no matter how little or how great, are always welcomed.
Because i use the Mac exclusively now during the day whilst i’m away from home, i’ve also been forced to find code editors. I’ve found Coda and love it. Only problem is it’s $99 which is typical, but i’ve another week or more to find an alternative before the trial runs out.
I have Coda hooked up to Dropbox and edit files on Dropbox which means they’re not only edited locally but in the cloud also. So when i go home, all of my day’s work is automatically updated on my windows PC. The stuff of science fiction not so long ago.
My last 3 or 4 posts have been about nothing but my penguin video so i may as well keep these updates going… the video now has over 71,000 views (up from 45,000 two days ago on my last post). Fota Wildlife themselves (place where it was shot) have posted it to their facebook & twitter today, ensuring the view count keeps on rising… the next big obvious milestone is 100,000 views. Hit that and anything is possible…