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.

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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Macaw is a new application for building responsive websites and prototypes visually. “New” in this case means less than a year old, having been released to the public in March 2014. You might have heard of its Kickstarter campaign, or read about it somewhere online, but statistically speaking, you probably aren’t familiar with Macaw yet.

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WordCamp Las Vegas happened this past weekend, and while I wasn't in attendance, it caused me to find out on Twitter that a talk I gave at WordCamp Los Angeles this past fall is now available on WordPress.tv now. I called it "Be Braver, Make Better Mistakes", and it's a quick overview on why you should try using version control, even (especially!) if you're a designer.

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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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