“As you’ll soon be able to tell, I am annoyed with Adobe Update Manager, and thankfully I found a way to disable it completely. In case you didn’t know, Adobe Update Manager starts itself automatically on system launch and takes over your Mac while it sorts out whatever it does that I don’t want it to do, it’s the very definition of annoying.Unfortunately, Adobe doesn’t make this easy for the novice user, but bear with me and follow the steps exactly and you’ll disable the update manager from launching on it’s own.” — via Stop Adobe Update Manager from launching.
The postman just delivered my fresh copy of Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MYSQL, 4th Edition. It’s not that there was anything wrong with my previous copy, but it was getting a little dated. Plus I am a little nostalgic for this particular publication.
With a quick glance I can already see that the book has been restructured quite a bit moving chapters around. I am really looking forward to reading this book again with renewed purpose and updated perspectives.
[tags]php, sitepoint, mysql,book[/tags]
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a professional RapidWeaver theme developer is like? Wonder no more because I am about to tell you.
**02-18-09 07:22** – started writing this which will end up being a blog post on seyDoggy.com
**02-18-09 07:23** – opening up [Mailplane.app](http://mailplaneapp.com/ “Mailplane brings Gmail to your Mac desktop”) to have a gander at what support has crawled in overnight.
**02-18-09 07:28** – popping in the the Realmac Software forum to respond to a thread I was notified about… nothing for me to add.
**02-18-09 07:40** – helped potting training daughter go to the potty.
**02-18-09 07:52** – responded to an email from the [seyDesign Member Group](http://www.seydesign.com/support/membership/ “membership | support | seyDesign Professional RapidWeaver themes”).
**02-18-09 07:53** – reacted to a [Twitter](http://twitter.com/ “Twitter: What are you doing?”) follow request… followed.
**02-18-09 07:56** – Twittering.
**02-18-09 08:02** – responding to another Realmac Software forum thread.
**02-18-09 08:04** – sifting through a bunch of press releases that I subscribe to.
**02-18-09 08:18** – responded to a comment on seyDoggy.com blog.
**02-18-09 08:19** – moving over to the support email account now. Checking the spam box since Google seems to deem all of my real support requests as Spam.
**02-18-09 08:21** – yup, 7 messages caught in the spam box.
**02-18-09 08:22** – opening up [Parallels](http://www.parallels.com/ “Mac Virtual Machines and Virtual PC. Automation and Virtualization Software for Desktops, Servers, Hosting, SaaS – Parallels”) to confirm one users report of an IE bug with one of my themes.
**02-18-09 08:24** – realizing that their complaint has more to do with screen size than anything else. It’s not a bug, me thinks. Keep testing.
**02-18-09 08:28** – just got a wrong number on the support line. “seyDoggy who? I’m trying to call my sister.”
**02-18-09 08:38** – yup, IE6 issue was just the end users window size. I like that kind of support.
**02-18-09 08:50** – support taking longer then I hoped. Need some tunes.
**02-18-09 08:59** – support is done.
**02-18-09 09:00** – opening my calendar (a [Fluid.app SSB](http://fluidapp.com/ “Fluid – Free Site Specific Browser for Mac OS X Leopard”) of Google Calendar) to see what’s on the plate. My calendar is my mental mapping tool.
**02-18-09 09:19** – more forum posting.
**02-18-09 09:20** – back to calendar, deciding how long it’s been since I invoiced this one client before deciding to do more work for them. Have to be extra cautious in todays economy, not to get into too deep with any one client.
**02-18-09 09:21** – going to do some site updates (in [TextMate](http://macromates.com/ “TextMate — The Missing Editor for Mac OS X”)) for said client.
**02-18-09 10:27** – just answered someones questions about [M Cubed Softwares](http://www.mcubedsw.com/ “M Cubed Software – Yummy software for the Mac”) [Code Collector Pro](http://www.mcubedsw.com/software/codecollectorpro “M Cubed Software – Code Collector Pro”).
**02-18-09 10:48** – syncing client changes via [Panics Transmit](http://www.panic.com/transmit/ “Panic – Transmit 3 – The next-generation Mac OS X FTP client!”).
**02-18-09 10:57** – hmm… forgot to update the sitemap… and all the french `
**02-18-09 11:06** – sitemap updated, french `
**02-18-09 11:26** – fresh coffee, looking at my calendar… what next…
**02-18-09 11:28** – checking my @bugs tags in [TaskPaper](http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/taskpaper “TaskPaper — Simple to-do list software”) to see if there are any pressing bugs I should tackle… one in [seyDoggy bloop!](http://www.seydesign.com/themes/bloop/ “bloop | themes | seyDesign Professional RapidWeaver themes”) but it’s going to have to wait until I have the time for some extensive rewriting. It’s only an issue with one plugin so it’s not really a bug as much as it’s a compatibility issue. Moving on…
**02-18-09 11:33** – continuing with Med Designs Bubblegum.rwtheme update. Adding some really cool new features to it. Checking my todo list within the theme to pick up where I left off on Monday.
**02-18-09 11:54** – force quitting [RapidWeaver](http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/ “RapidWeaver 4 – Powerful Web Design Software for Mac OS X”) after I jammed it up with a tricky Theme.plist move.
**02-18-09 12:22** – commit current set of changes to the rwtheme package go make lunch.
**02-18-09 12:54** – exercise… it’s important to get away from the office chair for a bit so you don’t develop [deep vein thrombosis](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_vein_thrombosis “Deep vein thrombosis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”), but getting and walking about is boring. So I exercise; 50 pushups, 25 crunches, 20 lying-on-my-back-leg-lift-thingies, 20 of the same, but lying on my side, and then again, but on my tummy. Not only is it good for preventing DVT, but it helps my core compensate for slouching at my desk for hours at a time.
**02-18-09 13:17** – back to Bubblegum.rwtheme update.
**02-18-09 16:04** – committed a whole whack of changes to the Bubblegum.rwtheme. Time to wonder about the house for a stretch and maybe splash some cold water on my face.
**02-18-09 16:08** – scheduled in two custom jobs, one for Friday and one for Monday… *sigh*.
**02-18-09 16:23** – feeling refreshed. Time to get back at it. But it’s time for 10 minutes of fun; time to read a chapter of [*jQuery in Action*](http://www.manning.com/bibeault/ “Manning: jQuery in Action”).
**02-18-09 16:45** – Well it’s time to call it a day and go embrace the inner chef in me. I hope you’ve enjoyed peering into a day in the life of a professional RapidWeaver theme developer.
We are back from or little vacay, and back on the horse, if you will, working through a pile of emails and such. On our agenda this week is to address a few bug issues in some of our RapidWeaver themes, namely a footer issue in wideNas, and a couple of mystery bugs that occasionally rear their head in cataLog and Acumen. We should have all of these addressed this week with their respective update installers ready for download.
And as always we are ever moving forward and onward with the theme developments and ideas. We have quite a list of them to get through over the next year or so so you can be sure to see one or two new themes from us every month. Yes that is an ambitious plan, but this is what we do after all, we might very well be the only full time RapidWeaver theme developers now who do nothing else.
And speaking of RapidWeaver, did you notice that RapidWeaver 4.2 has been released? Yes indeed. I have not yet tried it myself, but I have downloaded it and will be getting into it shortly. Learn more about it’s release here.
I am about to install the latest Mac OS X update, the long awaited version 10.5.5. What I am hoping for most is an a fix for the Dock.app crashing all the time. I was able to more or less fix this in 10.5.4 on my own, but I had to take drastic measures a pull out [OnyX.app](http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs2/french/onyx_leopard.html “Titanium Software”) and totally rebuild the LaunchServices, scrub all the deep dark corners, clean caches, kill the odd plist… It was a messy process.
Since having done all that my Dock.app stopped crashing, but I can’t help but feel that there is something inherently wrong with it still. I am hoping that installing Mac OS X 10.5.5 will give me warm fuzzies and restore my faith and elation in Mac updates.
I’ll keep you posted.
At long last I have finally updated this old beast of a website. It started out as more of a personal thing, wanting to keep all my themes and plugins up to date without having to search everyones blog for them. It’s become a fairly popular resource from what I can tell and I know quite a few people rely on it.
So it was about time I got around to redesigning it to be more inline with todays RapidWeaver 4 (as opposed to the now stale RapidWeaver 3.6 look it had been carrying for a while now). Refreshing the design wasn’t the only thing I did though, I have also cleaned up the code as best I could, removed all of the iframe elements in favor of objects and tweaked a big chunk of the css to make things a little prettier all around.
I hope you like it.
I know I am only speaking to 5-8% of the general population when I say this, but if you are one of the lucky ones who owns a mac, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out RapidWeaver. It’s a great, do-it-yourself web authoring app that is insanely extensible by virtue of its proud and dedicated 3rd party development community (of which I am a long standing member).
I have been developing RapidWeaver themes on a professional level for nearly three years. In that time themes have gotten more and more advanced with each new version of the platform. Cric from Rapid-Ideas was the first theme developer to really take themes to that new level of versatility years back when he introduced the first theme boasting some 500,000 variations. Pretty soon we all followed suit.
Before long though (myself included), we all had products that would take a month or more to complete, nearly as long to update, would upload dozens of css files, a multitude of images and scripts, complex themes mean more support… themes and the site they make were getting slow and fat! The mental taxation on the end user swimming in a sea of variation to make a site that only uses 10% of a themes ability is immeasurable. And it goes without saying that this method of theme development is getting costly, especially if a new theme is a dud.
For the last few years I have been looking at ways and approaches to trim the fat. #1 priority was to eliminate support. While developing themes for THEME WEAVER I really looked at streamlining their approach so that support would be nearly non existent. I found that fewer options in a RapidWeaver theme were the key. This was hard to adopt in my own, already established theme library, so I looked at ways of simplifying the user experience.
That’s when the lightbulb went off. I want to make themes for me, a designer… I want to make designer themes! And so a new line was born at seyDesign.com; Designer themes, a new line of RapidWeaver themes that are just good looking and nothing else. Not ground breaking, not revolutionary, not stuffed with feature over feature… just hot themes!
Yesterday saw the release of the first RapidWeaver theme born of my new approach; Tagg.
Sometimes it’s not the big things that make all the difference in how a company is perceived as either professional or amateur. Sometimes it’s the littlest, nearly overlooked details. A perfect example of this is how a DMG is put together, or how an installer is skinned. This is how I came to find myself killing a few hours today by rebuilding all of the most recent update installers for seyDesign theme updates.
Some time ago, seyDesign.com became the first RapidWeaver theme developer to use update installers to deliver their theme updates in the form of an application that installs only the changed components as opposed to distributing the entire patched theme to end users. seyDesign.com recognized that many users, having had made many modifications to their themes, or having added bits and bobs to their themes innards, did not appreciate all of the work involved in returning their theme to their custom state. Update installers avoids many of these troubles, most of the time.
Being an early pioneer of these practices I hadn’t taken a whole lot of time to learn how to make this process my own, instead, treating it as a utility, not another opportunity to spread corporate identity. Since the seyDesign 2008 relaunch, however, I knew that the time was now to make things pretty, to follow suit with the look of the site.
Next up I’ll be rebuilding all of the theme DMG’s to look just as good.
Given that it has been a month and a half since I’ve written to this blog, I feel compelled to tell you why it has been so long. I, Adam Merrifield, mild mannered web designer by day, and… er… mild manned web designer by night, have been [so swamped with work](http://www.seydoggy.com/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic design”) that contributing to this little blog has been all but impossible. I could have jumped all over a dozen new apps that I had been given for beta testing, but sadly I had no time to test them.
There are two however, that are worth mentioning, as I really do want to try and work them into my daily flow. The one is [Dropbox](http://getdropbox.com/ “Dropbox – Home – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.”), which is a remote syncing type app that will “push” all updates and changes made from one computer to all other computers linked to the same account. Now from what I can tell the intent is that it be more of a storage/portal device that takes what you are working on here and sends it there so you can keep working on it when there become here… er.. or there… anyhow, you get the point. You’re working on a project at work and the boss tells you it need to be done by tomorrow so you send it through the pipes to home, work on it there, send it through the pipes back to work in time for the big presentation the next day, landing your company the BIG account and your boss loves you and gives you a raise and the keys to his Cadillac and owe it all to drop box…
But that’s not what intrigues me about [Dropbox](http://getdropbox.com/ “Dropbox – Home – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.”), no, what really has me interested in [Dropbox](http://getdropbox.com/ “Dropbox – Home – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.”) is to see if it can be used as a remote backup device and what capacity is available to the user. As soon as I get the chance I will put this one to the test to see whether it’s worth getting my clients excited about a beta.
The other app for which I have been waiting to get my hands on for more than a year is [Versions](http://www.versionsapp.com/ “Versions – Mac Subversion Client”), a subversion client for the Mac. If you don’t know what [subversion](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversion_(software) “Subversion (software) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”), I am not going to explain it here, but in short it eliminates the problem of multiple developers working on a single project at the same time. You don’t need an app to take advantage of the power of subversion (command-line in Terminal or TextMate will do just fine), but it does make it a tad sexier when you put a GUI to the process.
I did try [Versions.app](http://www.versionsapp.com/ “Versions – Mac Subversion Client”) just briefly, signing up with a free [beanstalk](http://beanstalkapp.com/ “Beanstalk — Version Control with a Human Face”) account for testing purposes, but I failed to get the connection. I will have to come back to this one in a few days.
So if you have any experience with either of these apps, feel free to leave your comments and let me know what you think.
Just barely cooled off from the initial site launch a little over 24 hours ago, I am greeted this morning by the news from Michael Sanford of FlipSide5, Inc. that Tic-Tac-Touch and 4InARow touch, two games I designed all of the artwork for, have just hit the top of the charts over at Apple.
These two games not only take the #1 and #2 spots in the web apps games category (*update), but Tic-Tac-Touch is the one and only featured game! In addition, Tic-Tac-Touch again is #1 across all web app categories. But the insanity doesn’t stop there; this is the only time I have ever seen an app (Tic-Tac-Touch in this case) ever sit in the featured position in “Most Recent“, “Most Popular“, “Alphabetical“, and “Staff Picks“!
Batten down the hatches maties! Thar be a rogue wave coming!