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A great feature that Dreamweaver lacks

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After browsing this page, I got thinking about the current workflow I have.

I have and use the best (and worst) of both worlds in Mac and Windows. Mac at home, and Windows at work. At home I use Dreamweaver CS5.5 and Notepad++ at work. I use a MAMP setup at home and upload everything to a local intranet at work, but preview everything in FF/Chrome/IE/Opera and every other browser.

I have the tag/syntax autocompletes off as it gets frustrating when you are going back to edit things with copy and paste in multiple places and using code like:

echo $var . “<b>bla</b>”; //etc, and it just gets a little lost…

I never use the built-in preview thing in Dreamweaver. Why? Even with dual screens, it’s not efficient. People don’t browse the net in a Dreamweaver preview window…

Editing pure HTML is fine, but using the Live view is useless when using dynamic PHP on a local server(or remote for that matter), which require lots of data from other files and mysql databases. Last time I tried, it unfortunately just didn’t work.

The biggest thing I want to see in Dreamweaver is where you double click on a variable (as can be done in NP++) and all of them in the document highlight. It is such a great feature and I use it constantly.

Why use it constantly? Well, because I highlight the variable and then scroll up and down the page, and I can see straight away where that highlighted text is. There is less need to use “find” and have the cursor ‘jump’ to somewhere in the document, where you then have to try and locate your spot again.

Have a look at these two screen shots, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The above is Dreamweaver CS5.5

This is Notepad++.

Notice the same code, yet in Dreamweaver, it doesn’t automatically highlight the selected text.

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The best file management utility for Mac OSX

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Having grown up with a computer in the house, I become very proficient with command based systems, from using the old Point and Shoot menu system to writing DOS batch files and other various things, in not only qbasic, but yes, even gw-basic, I was kind of nerdy.

Why tell you this? Well, these DOS based systems were fantastic and very powerful in their ability to batch process things, find and locate things – all with the use of the keyboard. One such product I highly miss on the GUI platforms we all use today is that of XTreeGold, and products like it.

There is a program written by an Australian called ZTree, which is almost identical in it’s use, look and feel, but with modern day architectures for handling larger files, and massive directory structures, utf8 files etc. All this is great if you are using a Windows platform of some sort. You could and can run it in an emulated environment, but it’s not entirely optimal at times.

However, if you are using Apple platforms, there aren’t too many options available like this that I’ve found with the same power and ability as Ztree. There is one which is similar, but no-where near. That program is muCommander.

Update: May 30th 2015
The muCommander project is basically dead now. However, the project has been picked up again and forked: http://trolsoft.ru/en/soft/trolcommander/
It looks worth checking out!

Just this week I made a purchase of a Lacie 5Big 2¬†on special at $369 to start using it as a permanent backup device. With a few teething issues to sort through from it, I found that my biggest problems have been keeping the connection to the device alive. It seems that because it’s a network device, it just likes to drop out every 10 hours or something – something I’m going to investigate and look at to fix.

So, now on to our main point of the article.

With so much data to back up, of videos, photos and audio, the Lacie drive is something I basically needed to prevent data failure. When you have lots of data to copy and transfer, you will find it’s going to take a long time.

One of the biggest problems with the OSX Finder program is that it can’t handle file errors very well when copying files. If it finds an error, it basically stops. No options to continue or anything. This is useless if you are copying terrabytes of data, and you don’t know where the files stop, what was copied, and what had the error, or why… It’s painful and is not the tool for the job.

The main reason I like muCommander, is that it gives you options of what to do when things stop working. The most common error I got when copying the data, was “Error, can’t copy file X” or something to that affect. What the? As it turns out, the connection to the Lacie drive had been dropped. By what? Not sure. I’m suspecting the computer was at fault. But, either way, once I re-established the connection, I was able to hit retry in muCommander and the process continued.

You can’t do that in Finder!

Another problem associated with these kinds of large copying is associated to when things go wrong. In Finder, when you copy a file, the folder becomes greyed out and unavailable for browsing until the copying has finished. So, what happens when it breaks and the files are still there, but you can’t view the contents? You have to get nerdy… I had it happen to a few directories.

You can easily solve this problem when it gets broken. I found the solution here. For the executive summary and easy fix, just do this:

Open Terminal:

type in something to this affect and you should be right:

$ SetFile -d 06/13/2011 /PATH/

As it turns out, when Finder is copying files, to let the GUI know that it’s being used, it changes the date to 06/13/1946. So, basically, you just change the date, and the folder will come back to normal.

As a little side note. I found this brilliant little program called FinderPath. Load it, and the path at the top of the Finder bar becomes editable – just like Windows Explorer. A tool for the power user! Highly recommended.

Stop & turning in to & – solution

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Recently I had to solve a painful problem using PHP and Javascript.

I discovered that trying to pass, or create a URL with &val=val was becoming &amp;=val and couldn’t find a way to fix it.
As I was implementing the script in to a Joomla site, it was becoming automatic. Without the Joomla integration, it worked ok. It was very strange, but I have now found the solution.

This was how I solved the problem, using substring(0,1).
Here’s an example of how to maybe use this code.
function callAJAX()
    {      
        var var_Date = document.getElementById('DateAJAX').value;    
        var l2 = '&type=' + <?php echo $type; ?>; 
        var l2=l2.substring(0,1) + '<?php echo "type="  . $type; ?>';  // stupid js fix 
        jsfunction('ajaxdiv', 'phpfilename.php?date=' +var_Date + l2,'<? echo $num; ?>'); 
    }

The URL will result in something like this:

phpfilename.php?date=2012-10-31&type=2

 

I hope this helps all the other geeky boffins out there .

 

My solution to the jquery mobile back button problem

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As I’m new to this new jquery mobile, I’m bound to run in to troubles and find unique ways of accommodating solutions.
So, the my first problem I’ve encountered has been trying to implement a back button. After playing with codes and a few options, I got frustrated and have decided to do it my own way.

By default the back button shows, which is great, if your entire site is on one page. It stays self contained and works really well. But, if you are like me and need to use a CMS or implement a site on to multiple pages, you are going to find it a little harder. I could be wrong, and welcome comments on this, but It seems that when you move to an external page from where you just were, the jquery looses it’s history and can’t do a back to the previous page.

So, I just did this:

<body>

<div data-role="page" id="MainPage" data-theme="a" >
<div data-role="header">
<span style="font-size: 9px; text-align: center;">Header</span>
<!-- Copy this 'a' code -->

<a class="ui-btn-left ui-btn ui-btn-icon-left ui-btn-corner-all ui-shadow ui-btn-up-a" data-icon="arrow-l" data-rel="back" href="javascript:history.back(1) " data-theme="a">
<span class="ui-btn-inner ui-btn-corner-all">
<span class="ui-btn-text">Back</span>
<span class="ui-icon ui-icon-arrow-l ui-icon-shadow"></span>
</span>
</a>

</div>
<div data-role="content">
<p>Please select a job type</p>
<ul data-role="listview">
<li><a href="#page1">Page 1</a></li>
</ul>
<ul data-role="listview">
<li><a href="#page2">Page 2</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
<div data-role="footer">
<h4>Page Footer</h4>
</div>
</div>

<div data-role="page" id="page1">
<div data-role="header">
<h1>Page 1</h1>
</div>
<div data-role="content" data-add-back-btn="true">

<ul data-role="listview">
<li><a href="Page1.html" rel="external">External Link 1</a></li>
<li><a href="Page2.html" rel="external">External Link 3</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
<div data-role="footer">
<h4>Page Footer</h4>
</div>
</div>
etc...

I used the cs5.5 dreamweaver code base originally, with it only needing these slight mods. Let me know how you go.