Lightswitch Plugin Retired

Just a short note to say that the Lightswitch plugin is now retired. This was an interesting exercise in how to use jQuery to replace an input element with images/jQuery/CSS however over time I’ve felt it to be more gimmick than useful. It’s also been repeated ad nauseum and I look forward to developing something more unique and useful in the future.

The Pop-Up is Dead. Long Live the Pop-Up.

Many years ago, most web browser makers killed the ability for web pages to spawn annoying pop-up windows. You know, those irritating windows that just appeared out of nowhere without anyone asking you if you wanted to open a new window. Advertisers were the main cause of this obtrusive practice which they employed relentlessly to grab your attention while you were leisurely browsing the web. While this annoyance is largely dead, the 2012 equivalent of it is alive and well. Enter the equally annoying, in your face “read more”.  Continue reading

Cool Chrome Developer Tools Trick

I just stumbled across this feature by accident a few minutes ago and thought I’d share it with you. Google’s Chrome web browser has some great built-in developer tools that you can activate by pressing the F12 key, Control+Shift+I, or by going to the Settings menu >> Tools >> Developer Tools. The trick I just noticed is that when you have the developer tools open, if you hold down the reload button , you get a drop down menu with three options:

  • Normal Reload
  • Hard Reload
  • Empty Cache and Hard Reload

Sweet!

Quick Tip – Firefox’s Responsive Design View

Several months ago I transitioned from using Firefox as my primary browser to Chrome. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make the switch, or if there was any point in changing, but I did. Among the reasons for my switch was the fact that Firefox has always been, and continues to be, an enormous memory hog. No matter how many time Mozilla announces that the latest version of Firefox is less memory hungry it doesn’t seem to matter on any PC I use. Firefox routinely gobbles up anywhere from half a gig to a gig and half of memory. The nail in the coffin was when Google killed off support for their toolbar (which I used all the time) so it was then that I decided I’d have a go at using Chrome full time.

My biggest requirement was that I needed a tool similar to the excellent Firebug add-in to do development work. Being that Chrome has a developer console built-in without the need for an extension was a big plus and it was quite easy to make the jump after that. Plus, Chrome is very fast at everything it does.

My two biggest gripes with Chrome are a) no print icon (still!) and b) no basic way to get a list of the sites I most recently visited. For example, on Firefox you can click the down arrow at the end of the address bar and see a quick list of recently and frequently visited sites. On Chrome you have to either open a new tab or start typing to do this.

However, there is a new feature in Firefox that I like and hope to see in all other browsers soon: Responsive Design View. Responsive Design View (RDF) has been in Firefox since version 15 arrived a few months ago. Basically what RDF allows you to do is easily re-size your browser to see how a site looks at different sizes without having to re-size the window and messing up all your other open tabs. In Mozilla’s words, “With the Responsive Design View, you can work on your designs without constantly pulling out your mobile phone to see how it looks. And, you can try out your designs without shrinking your browser’s tools, toolbars and other tabs.” This is a great little tool for developers and designers. My only suggestion is that they allow you to edit the profiles they’ve included, instead of just listing the resolutions. For example, instead of just “960×720”, I’d like to name that “iPod Touch”. That and the ability to save specific resolutions instead of having to drag the side of the window every time I need a resolution that isn’t listed in the drop down menu. Now I have yet to do much in the way of responsive design, however I can see this being a very valuable tool to have when the time comes. Worth checking out.

A web developer's journal