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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Learn how to use the command line toolkit Terminus to make deployments of Drupal, WordPress, and Backdrop sites on Pantheon faster and easier.

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I've recently needed to run a Node.js service alongside a Drupal 7 site to allow for a live-chat style of commenting. None of the current ecosystem of Drupal-integrated chat modules looked good for this particular website, but by greatly simplifying the comments UI and displaying it alongside a live video broadcast, we got something pretty good.

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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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