Apple/Mac

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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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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I want to mention a couple small pieces of Mac software I use often, but think are very good: Dash and Pester.

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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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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We get a lot of email here at ShooFlyDesign HQ. A lot. We also write a lot of email. And we prefer our email without the HTML -- which is what allows people to make text bold, colorful, add images and whatnot. We're just plain text folk here.

One of the weird things about HTML messages, and how Apple Mail deals with them, is that they can mess up replies. Specifically, the leading (line spacing) is broken, resulting in lines that are spaced just far enough apart to look funny, but not as far apart as separate paragraphs should be.

Most email messages that come as HTML also feature an alternative, plain text, encoding. It's possible to switch between these using the View > Message > Plain Text Alternative command. Switch to plain text, hit reply, and everything is jolly.

Apple Mail will display HTML mail encodings by default, on the assumption that users prefer that. And these days, it's possible most do -- the kids like the colorful text and stuff. However, if you have a taste in email similar to ours, you may want to force Apple Mail to display the plain text version if it's available. There's a hidden preference available for it. Quit Mail, open a Terminal window, and paste in this line:

defaults write com.apple.mail PreferPlainText -bool TRUE

Restart Mail, and you will always see a plain text version of a message first. For more information on this topic, including ways to force plain text in other email applications, see Why HTML in E-Mail is a Bad Idea, where I found this solution. The page's filename is amusing: evilmail.html -- calling HTML mail evil might be taking it a little far, but we certainly prefer to avoid it.

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