Despite the recent announcement that John J. Barton is leaving the FireBug team,the little bug that could is still owning the DOM.
I've been on a short hiatus from web development. Spending a lot of time upgrading some .Net applications and super charging aging MS SQL entities.
This was a blessing really. While the latest FireFox upgrade schedule is a vast improvement in terms of stability and features, it also meant the FireBug addon kept breaking!
Issues like this are what make developers switch in my opinion.
Google Chrome has decent built in debugging tools but not enough to make me change over from FireFox as my main development browser. You know what it's like when you get used to a tool that works. Changing without major improvements is just time you could be spending developing awesome apps.
Back to the point. Despite Barton's departure, I was really happy to find a new release of FireBug when I found myself needing to tweak some CSS this week. FireBug 1.8 is compatible with:
- Firefox 5.0
- Firefox 6.0
- Firefox 7.0 (Aurora)
- Firefox 8.0 (Nightly)
Also, belaying my initial fears, the rest of the FireBug team seems committed to maintaining the code base with the additional help of the FireFox developer tools team. We can only hope that they can keep up with the aggressive new release schedule FireFox announced. Time will tell which browser will reign for development but for now at least I'm staying foxy.
If you are on FireFox and you haven't tried FireBug, it will change your life, or at the least your dev style.
Are you already a FireBug fan? Will you stick with FireFox for dev? Or do you have an alternative that can finally break my dependence on this cycle of catch-up and release?
This one is pretty tech specific. Ignore if you don't know or care what SQL, SSMS, or Intellisense are.
When working with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, you will often find yourself making changes to table structures in one window and writing queries in another. Very useful ability but schema changes are not automatically reflected by Intellisense in all open query windows.
You create table myTable with 2 columns:
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[myTable](
[Zone] [int] NULL,
[Item] [nchar](6) NULL
) ON [PRIMARY]
And then in another window you have this simple select:
select zone, item from myTable
Then you decide to add a new column to myTable, [iName] nchar(8) NULL
Not a big deal in this context. YOU know the column is there. But in more complex queries Intellisense will do all sorts of nasty things to you as you bang out your queries. Like autocompleting your table names or columns with crazy replacements.
How to fix this without closing the query window and opening a new one? Easy!
CTRL + SHIFT + R
Edit -> Intellisense -> Refresh
Handy shortcut I thought. Thanks to @scottstonehouse for bringing this problem to mind.
Just saw this stat from Did You Know 3.0 on YouTube:
"It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century"
With this content and billions of other pages on the Internet individuals have more information available than they could ever hope to process. Financial tickers, how to guides, webinars, and tutorials on any conceivable subject, it's not hard to see how Google went from a noun to a verb in such a short time. Then add the social media phenomenon to the mix - Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plurk, Ning, LinkedIn, Bebo, DeviantArt,.... ok this isn't a contest, I'll stop. Big list here.
What Do You Do With It?
In short, there is no shortage of information available. The question becomes, "What do we do with it"?
- You're hungry, Google for restaurant picks.
- Want to pick a movie, IMDB.com for reviews.
- Want an opinion, toss out a TwitPoll.
- Have a report to write?
- You get the idea.
How much information do you need to actually make a decision? Is it easier now with 50,000 articles, 2000 Facebook friends, and 2 Wikipedia articles giving you expert insight? Is it faster?
Don't misunderstand me. I love the great array of choices I have when I want to know something. It's even fun to kick back and get a good overview of a subject from someone like Ethan Bloch at WSYK .
New sources are invented every minute! Plus mobile devices like the iPhone give us ubiquitous access. But what's the next step?
IMHO ("in my humble opinion" for newbies), filters are the inevitable and very much needed next breakthrough. Aggregate and rate the data for me Internet, please! Put all these sources together and tell me what actually makes the most sense. NOT what's the most popular, but what's the most relevant and hopefully TRUE.
A fun step in the right direction: TweetNews: "this service boosts Yahoo’s freshest news search results (which typically don’t have much relevance since they are ordered by timestamp and that’s it) based on how similar they are to the emerging topics found on Twitter for the same query". Thanks Vik Singh
A development I foresee is a news reader that searches for all my favorite topics, weighs in some factors determined by my habits or predefined rules, and gives me the most relevant data. The best version wouldn't need a lot of setup by me, instead it would save my most popular search topics. Even better it would have a work/productivity mode and a browse mode for fun topics.
Any fabulous innovators or startups want to chime in? Show me the product that addresses this and I'm first in line, cash in hand.
Warning: Don't wait too long, some of my closest friends "code quick"
Having migrated from a PC to a MacBook over the summer, things have been progressing smoothly. Despite the relative ease of the transition, now and then I still discover utilities from my PC toolkit that I don't have an immediate alternate for on my Mac.
One PC tool I always had running in my toolbar was Instant Eyedropper. Click the icon, and an info box shows the hex value for any pixel your mouse hovers over. Simple concept, but for a consultant jumping from system to system, a terrific timesaver.
So, a new day and a new client. Creating some quick content for them but I don't have access to their systems yet, just a screenshot of a mockup. In the old days, I could gather the HTML colors I need in seconds and move on. Am I going to fire up my VM just to find out a couple of colors? I think not.
A quick Google search cleared this up. Turns out there's a utility built into the Mac that does this exact thing, DigitalColor Meter. You can find it in Applications/Utilities. Try it out!
It's capable of retrieving colors in 13 different formats, making it useful for more than just web development.
Now I'm wondering what other clever apps are hiding away in Mac OS Leopard.
What's your favorite Native Mac App?
Here are my latest picks for the top iPhone accessories. There are several options in each category depending on your primary usage. My primary considerations in accessories are:
- Experience enhancement
- The chargers that came with the iPhone 3G were recalled. See the article here for info on what to do about that.
- Car Charger - under $10
- Solar Charger - You can also opt for this Solar Charger case.
- My top pick for a non-solar charger: Incase 2-in-1 wall and car charger. Cut the number of cords cluttering up your laptop bag and grab this one. The 5 ft cable is nice.
- Case with close up lens - for the productivity junkie. Clarifi excites the productive side of my personality. I see me happily scanning barcodes, business cards, and other evernotes.
- Telescope - for the photog. Telescopic 6X zoom looks good. ThinkGeek has a version of this for the non-3G iPhone.
- Case with Battery - lets face it, this is for everyone. Most especially the truly mobile workforce. Mophie probably had the best battery case on the market but check out the newest contender from Incase.
- Conference Call Commando - Jawbone is the way to go. Warning - there have been reports of pairing issues with 3G. My top pick at the moment but the next option has a huge cool factor.
- Frequent Flyer - Holy video glasses batman! Or just a batman video. Widescreen movies in a narrow seat = awesome flight, or at least more tolerable!
- Music Lover - Bose kicks some ear and you know it! A few other good options for audiophiles but I'll leave that argument for another time.
Do you just need power or are you sans stereo?
- Stereo / Alarm Dock - I liked the look of this one from TunePro until I saw it had no speaker shielding for GSM interference.
- Better Stereo / Alarm Dock options to be found here, including another Bose reference (I should get a commission from them).
- Multiple Docking - great if you have a family of iGear. Top pick for now because it keeps counter top clutter to a minimum.
Audio Visual Cable
- Apple Component Cable
- HDMI to DVI This is for your MAC but you have your videos on both devices, right?