‘tools’

For over fifteen years, my blog and Unfinished Business podcast have been popular with website designers and developers.


Some early thoughts on Sketch 3

I’m a Fireworks man.

Ghostlab for Windows

I know I’ve talked about Ghostlab a lot on Unfinished Business and mentioned it a fair few times on Twitter. This isn’t just because its makers Vanamco have sponsored the show. No, I use Ghostlab almost everyday and it’s really made my designing responsive websites much more convenient.

As Ghostlab is an app for the Mac, often when I tweet about it I see people complaining that it’s not available for Windows. Well quit your whining Windows users, because today Vanamco have launched Ghostlab for Windows!

Ghostlab for Windows has a new interface and is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions. There’s even a free seven day trial and a licence costs just $49 US.

Ghostlab for Windows may be just what you were ho, ho, hoping for.

Bugshot

I’m not a one man QA department so I sometimes miss minor implementation issues, even on my own sites. Just this week, despite having looked at the Stuff and Nonsense redesign for countless hours, I still kept finding small alignment and padding problems, especially on my iPhone and iPad where those issues are magnified.

Ghostlab

Last month I moved off Adobe’s Creative Cloud and back to a ‘boxed’ version of Creative Suite – laughably just in time for Creative Cloud to be the only way to use Adobe applications in the future. One of the casualties of the move was Adobe Edge Inspect, a tool that I have used and liked for testing designs across multiple devices. So today I downloaded Ghostlab and so far it looks promising.

Talking about Rock Hammer

People seem to like Rock Hammer, our little “curated project library for Hammer For Mac” We designed Rock Hammer to help us here at Stuff and Nonsense design faster using HTML and CSS and we use it every day to do just that. Talking about Rock Hammer, some news:

Tip: Renaming or moving a shared Dropbox folder

On this week’s Unfinished Business, I mentioned how I ask our clients to name our projects’ shared Dropbox folder so that we don’t end up with dozens of folders called ‘redesign’ or ‘stuff-and-nonsense.’ It turns out I needn’t worry as Dropbox lets you move or rename any folder without breaking sharing.

You can rename or move your shared folders just like you would any other folder on your hard drive or via the website. Even if you rename it, the folder will still remain shared. However, changing the name of the shared folder or its location will not change its name or location in the Dropbox of other members.

I did not know that. Thanks to listener Steven for writing to let me know.

Rock Hammer, a curated, responsive project library

If you listen to Unfinished Business, you’ll know that I’m a big, big fan of Hammer For Mac, the app its developers say lets you create HTML builds & templates quicker, more efficiently & more conveniently. Hammer works for us because these days we mostly deliver static HTML and CSS templates, instead of static visuals, and we rarely develop complete sites.

CodeKit and The Kit Language

You should know by now that I’m a huge fan of Hammer For Mac. I couldn’t and wouldn’t start a project without it as I’d miss its variables and partials and includes too much. I like Hammer so much I moved from LESS to Sass because of it.

If you’re a CodeKit user — and many are — you can get some of Hammer’s functionality in that too. I haven’t had the need to try CodeKit and The Kit Language myself yet, so I’d be keen to know if you have and what you think? Let me know on Twitter @malarkey.

modern.IE

Testing on all versions of Internet Explorer will be much easier from now on thanks to their new suite of testing tools, modern.ie.

The included tools look impressive on their own, but the website is also full of helpful information. Scanning this site revealed not only that I’m running an outdated version of jQuery but that I can help Windows 8 touch users simply by adding canvas { -ms-touch-action: double-tap-zoom;}. Handy.

If you don’t develop on Windows (I don’t) Microsoft are offering three months BrowserStack virtual testing free. I’m baffled by the fact that to get the free offer I have to login using a Facebook account (that I don’t have,) but BrowserStack have their own (shorter, I think) free trial.

Hats off to Microsoft. modern.IE may just let me ditch the 63Gb of virtual machines I use just to test Internet Explorer.

Missing the bloody point

After I posted my review of Hammer – the simple to use, GUI app that helps me design with HTML – this week, several people tweeted a few alternatives. Oooh, oooh, let’s go look!