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.

If you want to send in feedback, leave a comment, send an email, or tweet @shooflydesign.

Macaw is pretty excellent software for making responsive prototypes, and even full sites when you don't need the complexity of a content management system. It lets you design your pages visually, but unlike Dreamweaver or other old-school visual web design software, it generates HTML and CSS that is quite clean and responsive. It's only been available publicly for about a year now, and is quite good for its age.

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WordCamp LA 2014 is in full swing. I gave a pep talk on version control this morning, advocating for people who are unfamiliar or otherwise resistant to it to get on board.

There aren't many slides, but if you want to see them, here they are.

Update: Video of this talk is available on WordPress.tv

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I've recently needed to work with memcached on my MAMP setup. Normally for something like this, I'd consider setting up a Vagrant box and get the whole environment mirrored, but I wanted to see how hard it would be to make it work this way. Generally, it's not very difficult, but there are a couple snags you might run into.

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Out of the box, Drupal 7 does not have autosave capabilities. The complexity of the kinds of content you can create is probably the reason for this, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a bummer. There are efforts underway to change this for Drupal 8; whether they will actually make it in is another question.

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This Wednesday, June 11, I'll be speaking at the downtown meetup of jQuery LA. I'll be showing a relatively simple jQuery filter that does something useful with images, and show how it can be converted into a plugin without a whole lot of hassle. Then you can take that plugin and reuse it on other projects more easily, and even distribute it through the jQuery plugins registry, your GitHub account, or wherever you like.

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Every year there are two huge Drupal conferences: one in North America, the other somewhere else in the world. North America's was in Austin this year, and just wrapped up. The next one will be in Amsterdam at the end of September. It's a tradition at each con to announce the location of the next one, and next year's will be here in Los Angeles. Yay! I've been to many camps, but never to a con, so this gives me absolutely no way out of finally going. I'm definitely looking forward to this.

I found out about this very shortly before Austin, and helped some of the fine folks in LA's Drupal community put together a video that played during the closing session in Austin, revealing our fair city as the next location. I worked on the music for it, sourcing some material and playing a little bit of ukulele. Check it out!

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Once or twice on most days, I'll get a notification of a comment coming through that is (to me) obviously spam, so I delete it. No big deal. When you see an email like this every day, it can lead you to think "how well is my spam blocker working?"

Well, in my case the answer is a resounding yes. I use Mollom, and I looked at its dashboard today to see just how much it's working.

Mollom has blocked 526,332 spam attempts in the last 410 days

As we say in the business, HOLY SMOKE!

Last month, SoCal WordPress and Hollywood WordPress joined forces for a meetup called "My Favorite Plugin". There were quite a few of us who gave lightning talks on a particular plugin we like. Video from the meetup was just posted. There were many plugins I wasn't familiar with, all coming recommended by folks in the LA WordPress community. Check it out below, or read the post on HollywoodWP.com.

You can also skip to my portion on WP Migrate DB and its powerful, commercial companion WP Migrate DB Pro, at 22:30 or so. As I said in the talk, I haven't quite needed to buy the paid version yet because the free one is well done and covers what I usually need, but I'll probably be buying the Pro version regardless just to say thanks to the developer.

I also hype the idea of writing your own plugin, which was something I went into in a little more depth at the Advanced WordPress meetup later that same week. Our March meetup is this coming Saturday at 11 AM. Come get your weekend WordPress on!

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When you change themes on a Drupal 7 site, you often need to reset the placement of your blocks. If you're using the core block module to place them, you may end up with a bunch of blocks in unexpected places on your new theme. If you want to reset everything and start from scratch, you could edit the {blocks} table in your database, but you can also do it with JavaScript. While viewing the blocks admin page (admin/structure/blocks), paste this line into your JavaScript console:

jQuery('#blocks').find('select').val(-1);

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