Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

30 November 2004

Tools of the Trade

Or, “How I got from Version One to Version Two”; Or, “The Tools I Use”

Well, it all started with pulling out the Nikon and taking a photograph of my desk. Then, the image was manipulated using Adobe® Photoshop® software. I use Photoshop for most of my design mock-ups.

Next, I spent a significant amount of time in BBEdit turning the mock-up into actual HTML code. This is both geeky and fun. Over the past couple years I’ve developed a passion for making good clean code. This isn’t just a desire for excellence, but I’ve learned that designing good clean code that adheres to web standards is easier on your web visitor, more accessible for disabled users, and easer to develop to look the same on all modern web browsers.

So, once I had things pretty much how I wanted them in BBEdit, I had to incorporate my design into my blog software. I use a program called Textpattern to manage my blog. This software (like pretty much any blog software out there) makes it simple and easy to add new entries and takes the geek out of web publishing (yes, Mom, you too could have your own blog). I have also started using del.icio.us to manage my browsing… section. After that all I had to do was archive Version One.

It may or my not sound harder than it really was. I did the whole thing in a day (taking time off to go to work and help my wife clean the house).

Mars Edit

Now for day-to-day maintaining of this blog I use two tools. One is MarsEdit, a fantastic tool for creating and editing posts. It feels much like writing a new email and sending it. It even uses the same key combo posting an entry that Apple’s Mail program uses for sending an email. Secondly, for posting new links in the Browsing… section, I use a slick little application called Cocoa.licio.us from Sci-Fi Hi-Fi. This little program is the reason I use del.icio.us for doing my links, rather than Textpattern’s built-in system. It’s very easy and very smart. I can tell it to take whatever page I’m visiting in Safari and post it to del.icio.us. All I have to do is add the caption.

So, that’s how it goes with me. My own little system developed to fit me. I welcome input on how to improve it. And Mom, if the only part you understood was “…you too could have your own blog”, well, at least you caught the most important part.