seyDoggy and RapidWeaver, a new approach

seyDoggy_Tagg-20080717-082312What am I up to right now? Doing what I love doing best; creating new works of wonder for a platform… erm… designing themes for RapidWeaver.

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.

To do this I started to employ javascript to do some of the dirty work for the end user; rounding corners, adding drop shadows, etc… But with this came compatibility issues with other 3rd party RapidWeaver products, namely plugins that used javascript as well. Though things were getting easier for the end user, for me? not so much. For the last year I have been enjoying great success with very little support; a stellar combination, but on the back of an aging library of themes. I needed new products, ones that I think are hot, designed the way I want them, easy to use, require little support, lightweight, cost effective to make…

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; 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.