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.

I gave a presentation on child themes in WordPress tonight at the SoCal WordPress meetup, and it seemed to go well. Except for one thing: I left Screenflow in pause the whole time.

sad trombone

I promised to record this presentation, and I'm not going to let my incompetence get in the way of a promise. So here it is, re-recorded at home.

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Introducing the JavaScript Language cover If my training library were a treasure chest, it would be splitting its sides and busting its lock. Two courses on JavaScript are now available: Introducting the JavaScript Language and Getting Started with JavaScript Programming. If you've ever wondered what the deal is with JavaScript, these siblings will get you on the path to understanding.

The goal of these courses is to allow designers and other beginning programmers to understand the syntax of JavaScript, and how to start using it in real web projects. I treat it kind of like learning a foreign language, giving you to tools to read and write the language at a basic level (to start you off), and then getting into things like interacting with third-party jQuery plugins to add fun interactivity to a website. Becoming a competent programmer takes a fair amount of effort and time, as does becoming fluent in a foreign language (even if you're Tim Ferriss), but these courses should allow you to become, as the subtitle says, "a dangerous front end designer".

Try one, try both, just try them and let me know what you think! They're on sale at 20% off through late January and early February respectively.

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I upgraded to Mountain Lion (10.8) straight from Snow Leopard (10.6). I didn't much want to; 10.6.8 was very stable and speedy for me, but it seemed like 10.8 was stable enough, and I got used to it while recording in Graz. Generally it's been fine, maybe a little more RAM-hungry, but good.

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Drupal Power Workshop cover I'm happy to announce that Drupal Power Workshop, my latest video training course for Drupal, is now available. It's just under five hours long, and is the first of these courses to be recorded at the video2brain offices in Graz, Austria.

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I recently worked on the WordPress website of a friend who was having issues with jPlayer not playing the music. We had recently moved her gigs calendar over to GigPress from some other, lesser event manager, and she thought maybe that migration had broken the music player. I didn't build her site initially, but I was pretty sure GigPress didn't have anything to do with it. It seems to be a plugin of pretty high quality, and a good citizen in the WordPress ecosystem.

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I traveled to the video2brain home office in Graz in late September to record some more training videos (more on that in a day or so), and prior to that, I had a very intense couple of months preparing the courses and working on other projects for clients. I didn't get out much.

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I'm currently working on a new Drupal site with a lot of media: slideshows, movies, and audio. I'm taking the opportunity to use the much-in-development Media module. Because this site needs to go up soon, I'm using the more stable 7.x-1.2. It's a much more robust way of working with rich media than anything Drupal has had previously, but there are some things that need some extra work, like display of uploaded MP3s and movie files (as opposed to embedded media from other sites).

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Getting Started with Drupal cover My second training course from video2brain is now available. It's a wicked humdinger, clocking in at nearly five and a half hours, and it's called Getting Started with Drupal.

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Or: how to avoid hours of banging your head against the wall.

This past weekend, I attended DrupalCamp LA 2012. It was great. I gave just one talk this year, running down modules and what they do like the Micro Machines Man, but it seemed to go well. More on the camp in a future post.

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If you use Drupal on any kind of regular basis, Drush is your friend. It's a command-line utility available for all platforms (including Windows as of version 5!) that can do sometimes-seemingly innumerable tasks for you. I've been using it for installing, enabling, and disabling modules and themes; clearing the Drupal cache; and running code and database updates for years now, but that's just scratching the surface.

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