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Detecting compiled CSS changes with Coda 2

I’m a staunch Coda 2 user, but I also like to write CSS in Less (and occasionally SASS), with LiveReload compiling the CSS file for me. The problem here is that Coda doesn’t detect the new file, so doesn’t automatically mark it for publishing. It would be nice to just hit ‘Publish All’ and be done with it.

Simple workaround: Right-click your CSS file choose “Open with…” and then “Coda 2.app”. From now on, Coda will detect the compiled CSS and mark it for publishing. Huzzah!

Using files for page templates in Textpattern

One of Textpattern’s drawbacks has always been that page templates are saved in the database. Editing them means using the textarea in the TXP admin interface, but I’m sure most people would prefer to use their favourite text editor.

Here’s a workaround that works in TXP 4.2.0 (I haven’t tried other versions).

  1. Enable ‘Allow PHP in pages?’ in Advanced Preferences if you haven’t already
  2. Set up your sections and corresponding page templates as you want them
  3. Copy and paste everything in your page template into a php file (such as ‘template.php’)
  4. Create a ‘pages’ folder in your textpattern directory and save the file there
  5. Replace the content of your page template in TXP admin with:
<txp:php>echo parse(file_get_contents(txpath.'/pages/template.php'));</txp:php>

From there on in, you can edit the php file. There may be a performance hit doing this, but all TXP tags work. Much easier!

My Evernote Workflow

evernoteShared notebooks are one of the many selling points of Evernote. Being able to automatically share content easily (no manual upload), with additional benefit of an RSS feed is genius – it almost becomes a blogging platform. As well notebooks shared with individuals (such as moodboards for clients) I have two public notebooks:

Design Scrapbook – where I keep any inspiration, be they images, PDFs or type samples. When clippings have come from webpages. the original URL is saved too.
Cheese Diaries) – where I take snaps of cheese labels to remember what I ate.

Some notebooks are private, but synced, (such Opera work) and I’ve got used to a system to help ensure confidential information doesn’t appear where it shouldn’t.

Simply, I have a default notebook called ‘Inbox’ where all clippings arrive. Every 3-5 days I go through and tag the content (type, * rating out of 5, colour palette etc) and then drag the clipping into it’s proper notebook.

Often, I’ll combine various images and text by copying and pasting into a single note, to create a kind of simplistic moodboard. To do this, I often have to resize and crop images, but that can be done by right clicking the image, opening it in a graphics editor (Preview does the job quickly) and saving it. When I get back to the note, the image is altered.

Quickly add movies to Wii Transfer

wii transfer icon One of the things that finally swung it for me to get a Wii was the Mac App Wii Transfer. It’s not quite as slick as the Apple TV, but fits nicely with my fetish for using things for other things. The music application works really well, but movies need to be converted before they can be streamed, which can take a while.

Only recently did I have a poke around and realise that movies are converted to Flash Video (.flv) and stored in /Library/Caches/Wii Transfer/Converted Movies/ folder. Using a handy bookmarklet I can now save YouTube videos directly to this folder and have them immediately available in Wii Transfer.

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The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

Upcoming Talks

I sometimes pop up at conferences and waffle about design, icon creation in particular. Here's where I'll be next:

Web Expo Guildford- "Icon Design Process" - 26th September 2014

Beyond Tellerrand Berlin – 3rd-5th November 2014

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