Zeke Franco

Digital stalking made easy.

Here you can find most of my what I’m doing around the Web. All of my series of tubes point here—at least the tubes with feeds.

I posted to quasarkitten.net

24 Ways: Web Design Tips and Tricks

Every year (since 2005) 24ways.org brings you a web design/dev article each day for twenty-four days leading up to X-Mas. The articles are written by "thought leaders" in the web design/dev community. Some of last year's article were written by Jeremy Keith, Dan Cederholm, Andy Budd, Shaun Inman and others. Today (Dec. 1) was the launch of 24ways 2007 so check it out.read more | digg storyquasarkitten.net | twitter.com/quasarkitten

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I posted to quasarkitten.net

MarsEdit 2 Review

MarsEdit 2 was released about two months ago. So I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not going to go over every feature, just the experience I’ve gained in the last month while using the trial period. I’m going to cover: Creating & Editing PostsUsing an External EditorMedia Panel’s Flickr Integration Draft Preview Overall Pros ConsMy Blog's ConfigurationI have sort of strange configuration… I started blogging in 2004 and at this time I didn't know anything about HTML or blog engines, so I started my blog on blogger. Since then I have throughly learned HTML and CSS. I'm planning on moving to a self-hosted WordPress site by February of next year, but as of now using my hand-coded template with blogger. Blogger pushes all of the content on to my own server. This is bit unconventional since most blogger blogs are usually hosted on blogspot. This may explain some of the “bugs” described later.Creating and Editing PostsCreating and editing blog posts is the main feature of MarsEdit. Starting a post is as simple as clicking on New Post (Screenshot 1 Item 1). Once you’ve set up MarsEdit to access your blog, you can start editing a post by first selecting the desired post then click on Edit Post. (Screenshot 1 Item 2) At this point, whether you selected Edit Post or New Post the editor window will popup. (See Screenshot 2) In this window you can write up or edit your posts. After you’ve written you can start adding the related tags or labels for you post. To do this select Options (Screenshot 2 Item 1) and started adding label/tags to your post. Finally when your done you can select Send to Weblog (Screenshot 2 Item 2) to post to your site, or just select Save as Draft (Screenshot 2 Item 3) which will save the document locally if you haven't quite finished it yet. Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2Using an External Editor Screenshot 3 Screenshot 4I prefer to do my markup stuff in Textmate, so if you go to the MarsEdit preferences, (See Screenshot 3) select the Edit tab then towards the bottom there is a drop-down list labeled Edit With external editor:. This list it will show the well know editors: BBEdit, SubEthaEdit, TextMate, TextWrangler, WriteRoom. (see screenshot 4) If you use something different such as Taco HTML editor, or Coda, you can just select Other… and then browse to your desired application. MarsEdit has assigned the keyboard shortcut CMD + j as a way to open your draft in your desired external editor. When shortcut activated MarsEdit will open a new document in your chosen application. The document is usually named something like: ODBEditor-com.red-sweater.marseit-0000001. In a sense this is a temp file. MarsEdit automatically takes the text you had in the New Post window and put this in the new document, when you close this new document all the text you had in the external editor will now appear in the New Post dialog.Media Panel Screenshot 5The media panel is part of the editing window. See Screenshot 5 for the media panel and Screenshot 2 Item 5 show you how to open the media panel. It allows you to insert images from from you website, hard drive or flickr. I'm just going to cover the Flickr portion. The integration with flickr is very seamless. From this panel you can browse and search all of your flickr photos. You can choose to search by either the image's name or by tags. The strange thing I've found is that you can't search by multiple tags or by multiple words that are in the name unless they are in order. Here is an example. Let's say you have a image named Cheese Ball from the Moon and it is tagged as cheese, food, dairy. If you do a search for “from moon” you won't get a result, but had you type “from the moon” the image will show up. Also you can only search using one tag at a time. Search for “dairy” will bring up the image but search for “food dairy” will not. Despite the searching quirks it is still very easy to find the image you are looking for.Once you've found the image you are looking for it is very easy to add it to your post. All you have to do is click on the image you want, then if needed select the photo size and alignment position and then press insert. You can also just drag the image from the panel on to the place you'd like the image to be. The sizing options you have are square, thumbnail, small, medium, large, and original—same sizes flickr gives you. I don't recommend using the align feature, just leave it on unaligned. This is because code used to align the image is the align attribute which is deprecated presentational markup.Draft PreviewOne of my favorite features of MarsEdit is the ability to preview your drafts before you post them. It's easy to set up if you know HTML and CSS, but not so easy if you don't. I hope to do a post in the future that will go in depth on how to setup a preview. Once you’ve setup you preview template view you preview your draft can be done by clicking on preview. (Screenshot 2 Item 4)Overall Pros Editing and posting a blog entry is extremely easy and a pleasure to use. Flickr integration is simple to setup up and and use.The Preview Drafts feature is extremely useful.I really like the Options sidebar that allow an easy way to add tags to you posts.ConsView on Web feature doesn’t work for me. This may be due to my strange configuration. I haven’t been checking this feature often, but today (03/14/08) I did and it works. I’m;using version 2.1.2. If you don’t know HTML or CSS then setting up the Draft Preview may be difficult.Flickr searching needs to be improved.quasarkitten.net | twitter.com/quasarkitten

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