Archive for May, 2008

Efficiency Scores in Dreamweaver CS4 Beta

Adobe released the Dreamweaver (DW) CS4 beta on last week (along with betas for Fireworks and Soundbooth). The beta is available until final release for anyone with a CS3 serial number. If you use DW regularly, go get the beta! You can run the beta while still running CS3. This is a huge release, especially in terms of workflow efficiencies, with strong attention to standards.
My workflow to date generally involves efficiency-garbling tool-switching. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Dreamweaver (Find/Replace, FTP, Split View—seeing Design View while working in Code View, working on sites with DW templates/Contribute)
  2. Eclipse (JSEclipse, CFEclipse, PHP, synching with CVS)
  3. Firefox/ Firebug/ WebDev Toolbar (debugging & tweaking styles, testing standards & accessibility, debugging javascript)

Find-and-replace and ftp are hardly the main things for which DW is designed. That these are primary tasks for me in DW perhaps reflects the software’s (previous) focus on designers. CS4 represents strong attention to developer needs and workflow. It will be some time before I know if I can be as fast/effective with the new built-in tools for my tasks. I think it is likely that new features will reduce but not eliminate the need for round-tripping to more robust debugging tools. Nevertheless, it feels like someone was watching us work when they decided on a lot of the new functionality: hooray! Read the entire post: Efficiency Scores in Dreamweaver CS4 Beta

Kuler: Extract Colors from Photo

kuler screenshotI use a variety of color picker sites for inspiration, but I most frequently use Adobe’s Kuler (pronounced ‘cooler’). Like others, it has a variety of displays from which you can pick and adjust colors, a social aspect providing a means to benefit from the more artistic eyes of others, and the ability to export a set of swatches. I especially like the recently added ability to upload photos and have Kuler extract colors from the photo. You can influence which colors get extracted, selecting a ‘mood:’ colorful, bright, muted, deep, or dark. Of course, you can adjust which colors are picked as you wish. Watch a screencast of using the kuler image uploader/extracter.
Read the entire post: Kuler: Extract Colors from Photo

OpenID: Control, Security, User Experience

OpenID logoAfter first reading about OpenID, I started looking for WordPress plugins to get it working on my site. There were ux issues with each of the plugins I tried. I planned to compare them here, but after some investigation I’m reluctant to recommend OpenID because of control, privacy, and especially security concerns. There is much work already in progress to address these issues. Below I’ll describe OpenID, discuss some of the down sides, and offer a few recommendations if you want to try it out. Read the entire post: OpenID: Control, Security, User Experience