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web

There have been a number of tools and services to help make web development more efficient over the years, with CSS extensions such as Compass, LESS and SASS, that turn stylesheets into faux-programming languages, complete with variables. In addition to that, mobile is now the most popular way of accessing the internet, so it’s crucial to make website code and scripts as compact and efficient as possible.

CodeKit, by Incident 57, describes itself as “steroids for web developers” and, after using it for some time, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Almost every web site begins life as a specially formatted text file. Initially, the web consisted of static HTML files usually create in text editors. Soon the rise of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web editors to sought to hide this code and present an editor more like Word or other popular word processors. This would allow the creation of web pages without the need of learning HTML.

Building better development environments is one of the holy grails of computing. At heart all computing is zeros and ones, but no one programs at that level. Instead we use higher level languages to bring concepts into execution and let the computer translate those languages to code the computer understands. On the web, much of the interactivity you see that drives everything from photo galleries to web apps like Google Docs is coded in JavaScript. It’d be too complex for someone with no experience to use on day one to design their own site, but it’s not so complex as to be unapproachable. But surely there’s an easier way to make an interactive site without having to become a developer.

That’s where Lucid comes in. It’s a new tool from The Escapers that’s designed to help you code JavaScript-powered sites in a simpler graphical interface. Let’s take a look.

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If you’re a web developer or just like to use every character imaginable in your daily routine, Macs have a menu for that. Whenever you’re in a text field, you can just click “Edit” and click “Special Characters…”, or simply use the shortcut CMD + Option + T. It’s a nice, easy way to insert pictographs and the like, but what if you want a little something more, there’s a new app in town.

Being the sheriff and all, I introduced myself to him. He’s an outlaw of third-party sorts; says his name is Characters. He carries his fair share of trusty bullets and stars and even tries to hit you with a few arrows once in a while. Even though his supply of said objects isn’t as plentiful as that of Apple’s, he’s been taught some Greek and Latin to talk his way out of any predicament. This fellow don’t mess around. I happened to haul him in for questioning and found a few extra developer tools on board. Let me take you back to the Old West for a few minutes while we examine Characters. (more…)

This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on August 3th, 2011.

Remember iWeb? This former iLife member’s lofty goal was to translate the intimidating task of building a website down to the “drag and drop” simplicity of the Mac experience.

Apple’s brief foray into the world of DIY websites was impressive at first, but aged quickly and was eventually abandoned altogether. Discounting professional developer software like Dreamweaver, this leaves Mac users with three primary options for WYSIWYG website building: Sandvox, Rapidweaver and Flux. Today we’ll take a brief look at each and offer some advice on which you should use.

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If you’ve been a Mac user for a while, then you’ve probably heard of Fluid. It’s a simple tool that lets you make websites feel like actual apps, with their own webkit-powered window and dock icon. You can customize icons, save userscripts for individual sites, and more. It’s quite the useful app if you use web apps often.

I’ve been using it more frequently lately to replace the Twitter clients I used to have on my Mac. Why, you ask? Well, there are a few reasons. Join me after the break for an example of how you can use Fluid to make your experience with Twitter and other apps on the Internet more up-to-date and smooth.

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During Apple’s recent announcement of the “New iPad,” Tim Cook dropped the term “post-PC” so much that it became distracting. One thing is for sure, Apple wants to drill this concept into your brain. They know where the future of the industry is and they’re making dang sure you’re on board with their self-fulfilling prophecy.

According to some recent statistics from mobiThinking, Cook is right. They estimate that 25% of U.S. mobile web users are mobile-only, meaning their primary way of accessing the web fits nicely into their pocket.

Today we want to put some of these concepts to the test by asking which device you primarily use to access the web. Do you mostly browse on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone? After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below telling us what you use and why.

A site-specific browser allows you to have the convenience of a dedicated desktop app wrapped around a website. You’ve seen these before and might even have a few Fluid or Prism apps sitting in your dock. Even so, you’ve never seen an app quite like Raven before.

This innovative browser attempts to be an all-in-one hub that turns your favorite sites into custom apps that sit in a sidebar. So what happens when a site-specific browser allows you to browse and save multiple sites? Does it become just a regular browser or something new and amazing? Read on to find out.

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I’m a huge Starbucks junkie. About two or three times a week I’ll spin by the local Starbucks store to work in the coffee-smelling, jazz-music-playing, over-stuffed-chair-filled environment. The wonderful aspect of most coffee shops is the free Wi-Fi hotspot. However, the open wireless hotspot is a dangerous space for everyone.

Today we’ll be taking a look at Sidestep, a simple utility that aims to automatically lock down your computer whenever you’re using an open Wi-Fi network. It’s a really fantastic idea, and definitely worth reading more about!

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Everybody knows about Safari, and most people agree that it’s good. It’s fast, it’s stable, it’s sexy —  and everybody knows about other popular web browsers like Firefox and Chrome. But there are several other lesser known web browsers that offer cool features that Safari lacks.

Although you don’t need to use them all the time, unless you want to, they’re nice to have around to utilize every once in a while. Whether you’re wanting social integration or parallel sessions, it’s a good idea to have them there.

Let’s take a look at a selection of Safari alternatives!

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“The Mac is geared towards creatives.” That’s what you hear most often when a discussion turns to the benefits of operating systems. But what exactly are those fantastic apps that appeal to us creative folks?

Other than the well known giants of Adobe Creative Suite, there are many other software gems with plenty of functionality (and a far lower price tag). Today I’ll be showcasing the giants in the design software world, and a few alternatives that may actually suit you better.

Read on for a showdown of the essential Mac design software – whether it’s for the web, bitmap, or vector design (and I’ve thrown a few apps for developers in for good measure too!)

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