It Done Broke.

Sat-Nav Use Ushers In Endtimes

This “article” on the BBC Magazine site wrings its hands and cries:

Sat-nav clearly suits an era which has given up on understanding the roads as a coherent, logical system – an era in which map-reading may be going the way of obsolete skills like calligraphy and roof-thatching.

I honestly wish I knew more about how the editorial process in the mainstream media works.  I can’t fathom the genesis of this story and I can’t understand the fear-mongering behind it or why its acceptable to crank out a fluff-piece that does nothing but weep about the loss of our humanity (which isn’t happening, in case you were wondering).  And yes, I am aware that this is quite a common pattern, particularly on slow news days.

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What Exactly Is Openfire?

Slashdot has recently had a few posts involving Openfire and I just have one question: what the heck is Openfire, exactly?  The Openfire website doesn’t tell us anything other than it “is a real time collaboration (RTC) server”.  In the Openfire Support forum, somebody asks this question point-blank and the only useful answers tell the person that they don’t need Openfire.  Can anybody shed any light on this?  Is it just an instant messaging/chat server?  Does it burn coal or use nuclear energy?  Will your attractiveness to the opposite sex increase exponentially?  Come on, how hard can it be to have a Features page?

This isn’t so much about Openfire specifically, but just poor website representation of a product.   This actually happens more often than I find believable.

Dreamweaver And Drupal Are Not In Competition

A little discussion over at Slashdot about this daft blog posting which claims that Dreamweaver is dying.  While the claims of the changing nature of the web (2.0, AJAX, RSS) are valid, they don’t negate the usefulness of a tool like Dreamweaver.

I haven’t used Dreamweaver in years which is testament to absolutely nothing.  But the claim that a CMS like Drupal or CMS-cum-blogware, WordPress, are killing Dreamweaver ignores the fact that if you’re not a coder or simply want to hack a page together quickly Dreamweaver is quite a decent WYSIWYG tool.  It’s clunky at times but it has made improvements over the years.  Will it be able to keep up to the web?  Well…does it have to in order to be useful?  In fact, both Drupal and WordPress have been designed to allow their front ends to be templated/skinned/themed – whatever you want to call it – and the basis of that is initially going to be HTML & CSS.  If you’re a bona fide designer, layout and typography are going to be on top of your list.  Even if you’re not a designer, you’ll just want to see how things will look.  I’m not saying Dreamweaver is the perfect or only tool for this, but it’s one of them.

In my experience, designers will typically fire up Photoshop or Illustrator and start their mock-ups in the graphics program they’re most comfortable with instead of Dreamweaver.  However, the integration that Adobe has been building in over the years with Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and (shudder) Flash has been getting tighter and more and more useful.  You can do a good 80% of a page in Photoshop and export it in slices to HTML in a format that Dreamweaver can handily import and start adding bells & whistles if you want (or if you prefer, just clean up code and add a bit of CSS).  Of course, one hilarious commenter at Slashdot jokingly (or not) says that Gimp, Vim and Firebug are a great combo and then, “How do Dreamweaver compare to Vim? Is it advanced enough to not fool users to use css styled text for strong expressions?”

Well, at least one person on Slashdot gets it:

“…Dreamweaver is a website design tool, Drupal is a website management tool. A smart person would use both…”

Twitter: crankietech

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