Monday, January 24, 2011

Realized the importance of tools

I was sad after spending three days on mocking up one of the simplest web pages possible. But, in retrospective, I am happy that I could learn some new things and understood the importance of a few widely used tools. Tools like Photoshop, firebug, jsfiddle are popular for a reason. They are designed to save you a lot of time and effort. Using them to do what they are best at doing can boost productivity greatly.

For a while, I was coding up a web page the very old way - going back and forth between vim and Firefox/Chrome. Vim is a great text editor, but not designed keeping front-end web development in mind. The words mockup, psd2html, photoshop appear all over web design blogs. Having a visual goal documented as a psd, before coding HTML and CSS, definitely helps. After the initial structure is decided upon, an in-place editor like firebug can save you a lot of window and context switches. Jsfiddle, some online css3 tools for gradients, border-radius etc. were helpful as well.

Monospace is good for programming, but it strains my eyes for some reason. After searching for a better alternative, I liked Droid Sans Mono. Its 0 and O look very similar, but the increased line-height improves readability. I haven't found a vim color scheme as likeable and currently switch between a lot of them. My hand has been hurting very badly and I code for longer periods. Learning to touch-type is very important, I understand now.

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