ShooFlyBuzz

Welcome to ShooFlyBuzz, the company weblog. We use this space to talk about what’s happening with ShooFlyDesign, but more generally to talk about web design, the challenges we encounter, the tools we use, websites we like, and provide some training on the care and feeding of your own website.

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A debugger is essential for helping understand how code works. In my lynda.com course Debugging The Web: JavaScript, I go over the essential parts of learning how to use one. These concepts are the same across pretty much all debuggers in common use, but there are also different helpful options available in each one that can be helpful.

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Apache .conf files only really support single-line comments, starting with the pound sign (#). I came up with a silly hack for multi-line comments that seems to work, so I'm putting it out there either to help other people, or be brutally taken down by people who are more savvy than I am.

Basically, make up a non-existent runtime variable and use it in an <IfDefine> block. Because the variable doesn't exist, nothing between the tags should be executed. So for example:

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I haven't upgraded to El Capitan, and may not for a while, but the latest version of Safari is 9.0, and is available for OS X Mavericks, aka 10.9. I upgraded to stay current with the security fixes, and have been pleasantly surprised to see a much improved Web Inspector.

The web inspector in Safari 9

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Chrome and Firefox are probably the gold standard for friendly web developer tools, but I still use Safari all the time. It's the best option for debugging sites on iOS using the remote debugging features. You open your site in Safari running in the iOS simulator, and in the Develop menu, like this:

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This was a very busy weekend. I spoke at WordCamp Orange County on how to use a debugger, and it went well. If you were there, or if you're just interested, you can view the slides here, and fork them on GitHub.

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I often use gulp to manage web files. If you've never heard of it, it's a JavaScript-based task runner similar to Grunt. I use it for many of the same reasons I've used (and sometimes still use) GUI tools like LiveReload and CodeKit: to process my Sass into CSS, minify and check JavaScript files for errors, auto-refresh browsers when I make a change, that sort of thing.

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Drupal has a very flexible taxonomy system for tagging and categorization content (and users, and anything else). This flexibility is one of its interesting differentiating features — you can create as many dimensions of categorization and tagging as you like, which is very attractive for librarians and other enthusiasts of organization. To keep that flexibility from totally bogging down the system, Drupal maintains an index table that maps those terms onto the pieces of content to which they're attached.

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In the WordPress world, there are a lot of plugins. No really. As I write this, there are more than 36,000 free plugins available on WordPress.org. So generally speaking, almost anything you want to do with your WordPress site, you can find a plugin to help. They're not always good, but often they are, and hey, they're free!

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