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Web Dev

Tables in web design were an anchor I clung to for far too long. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) were a mad mojo that I could not wrap my head around for the longest time. Until I finally just told myself “no” to tables. Using Dreamweaver to develop sites with CSS has always proved frustrating, as pages never looked right in the preview pane and were difficult to manage.

When I first started using CSSEdit from MacRabbit it was as though someone lifted the blinds and made CSS easy to understand. It offers an elegant, easy-to-use system for crafting a CSS file and takes away all the headache of doing it manually.

This review will run through my experience with CSSEdit, highlight the major features, and explain how it may really help your web design workflow.

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Various applications exist for helping programmers maintain a list of commonly used code samples – some are stand alone, others integrated into popular software such as Coda. Today I will be exploring Snippet – a great looking Mac application that allows you to store notes and snippets of code and search through them quickly.

Snippet covers all the basics, coupled with a range of advanced functionality: searching, syncing, and a remarkably pleasant user interface. This review will walk you through how to add and search snippets, explain the drawbacks, and offer a few more details about our forthcoming competition to win a copy.

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A wide array of different web design software is available for the Mac, offering a range of choice when deciding which app to use for designing, coding and publishing. A market seems to be gradually expanding for software which can “do it all”, integrating your web design workflow from start to finish.

Today I’ll be taking a look at Flux 2, an all-in-one web design app which handles CSS, WYSIWYG, coding, debugging, publishing, and even basic image editing! The review will outline the main features available, along with drawing comparisons to other applications such as Coda, Espresso, and RapidWeaver.

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With the availability of all-in-one development apps such as Coda and Espresso, a dedicated FTP program is beginning to seem like a fairly archaic way to access remote data. ExpanDrive offers a modern solution to FTP access by integrating seamlessly with the OS X Finder. Once connected, you can modify files from any application as if using a local USB drive.

After using ExpanDrive for a few weeks I can safely say that I won’t be returning to any other system. It works completely as advertised and performance is impressive. This review will take a look at how ExpanDrive works, and suggest a few changes you may need to make before migrating to it fully.

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The rise of blogging online has lead to a number of new desktop applications which assist with the process. Often it can be useful to benefit from integration with other desktop apps, whether for posting RSS links, or adding media to an entry. MarsEdit is arguably the most popular blog tool for OS X, and is able to integrate with a range of different blog platforms.

This review will outline the main features of MarsEdit and how the software works, it will explore a few limitations currently present, and suggest a few other alternatives for those looking for a free solution.

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There are countless different ways to design a website, and a variety of different tools to make the job easier. These range from writing the raw code in an app such as TextWrangler to using an integrated environment such as Coda. There is a more visual route available as well, commonly called “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG), which aims to make designing a website a remarkably simple process.

An application called iWeb, part of the iLife suite, is probably already sitting on your Mac. If it doesn’t meet your needs, another popular tool is RapidWeaver – a long standing visual web editor with a decent range of features. This review will showcase the main capabilities of RapidWeaver and explain how easy it can be to have a website up and running in no time.

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Web design, traditionally, is a task which requires many different applications. You’ll need some sort of text editor, an FTP client, software for navigating documents (generally Finder), a web browser for previewing your site and often another tool for storing code snippets. This has worked well for several years, and any attempt to re-invent such a traditional workflow is commendably risky.

Coda came on the scene just under two years ago as a piece of software capable of integrating each of these different tools into one monolithic application. It received a great deal of acclaim and has come a long way since its conception. This review is far from an “exclusive” – Coda has been covered many times elsewhere over the past few years – but it will go some way towards outlining the features which make it stand out from using several independent applications. I’ll explain the main workflow process, and give my opinion on what works brilliantly and what I miss from dedicated tools.

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There are a number of different web development tools available for Mac, ranging from mainstream juggernauts like Dreamweaver through to smaller apps such as Coda. Over the past few months, a new contender has gradually emerged on the scene – Espresso – developed by the minds behind the acclaimed CSSEdit.

Espresso aims to simplify the workflow of web designers, providing a streamlined set of tools and techniques which allow you to focus on designing. I found the feature set to include a great package of tools. Broken down into ‘Edit, Organize, Preview, Find, and Publish’, they cover the entire development process of a new site.

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