Where are we now?

I’ve learned a fair bit about how to put a website together. I may not have finished my original project but on the way I’ve learned a lot. Interestingly, my toolset has changed dramatically – gone is Dreamweaver as my development environment and in is Coda 2 from Panic. Dreamweaver is just too cumbersome for rapidly knocking together layouts. Coda on the other hand is amazing.

Coda 2

Coda 2 – it looks beautiful and it feels so lightweight. For the finest part it is  what they call the Golden View – this means that you have the following all in one window: your html file, a preview of the page, and the css file – (admittedly easy for me with a 27 inch screen).

I use this in conjunction with Versions (a front end to Subversion) for source control. More about Versions and using Versions with Coda in the next post.

Coda also has a nifty “Preview As” feature so that you can see what you site will look like in a variety of browsers and devices – how about older versions of IE, Firefox, Opera or Safari? Also how about checking out what it will look like on an iPod Touch, or an iPhone or an iPad. Well, with Coda 2 you can, all in  click. Now talking of previewing on iPad lets discuss Diet Coda…!

Diet Coda

They also have an amazing tool called Diet Coda – this allows you to preview your site on your IPAD (in real time as you make changes on your main machine) AND it allows you to CODE on your iPad – how cool is that? Fix defects while waiting at the dentists!!! Surely this is what we have all been waiting for.

So to summarise, if you are looking for a simple and beautiful tool in which to develop your websites, I would definitely recommend Coda 2 and if you have an iPad why not add Diet Coda.

P.S. I do not work for Panic and am not affiliated with them in any way what so ever.
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Dreamweaver

Well, in the end I decided to give Dreamweaver a whirl as my IDE, the thought of using text editors and having to manipulate everything manually was just to much. I think that if I watch the adobe tutorials and then just go for it I will probably learn the basics of getting a site which uses a database quite quickly…ok, I’ll only learn what I need, but at least I’ll have a basis to build on and have achieved something. Anyway, learning has to be easier having the code side by side with a design view.

So far I’ve learned the purpose of a style sheet; I’m still not sure what XHTML is; I’ve used

tags and now I’m trying to work out how to install/ configure a mySql database (thankfully SQL is a skill that I already have).

I’m really looking forward to the point where I have written some values from my form to my database.

I hope to get some time on Tuesday night to get the db set up, hopefully i’ learn a few useful tips that I can record here for posterity!

Which Development Environment?

I’ve been trying to find out which IDE I should use to start on my journey.

(Why does this wordpress do double line spacing?)

In my google search for IDE’s on a Mac I came across the blog of a guy called Sean Barton (http://www.sean-barton.co.uk/2009/02/setting-up-a-phpmysql-local-development-environment-on-a-mac-doing-it-properly/) and thought, that looks good, I’ll learn how to set up a php and mysql development environment on my mac. So, I followed his instructions and downloaded and installed mysql then configured apache to load the php module (I think this is the right terminology!).

The big question is, was it simple? The answer is, not as simple as I thought it would be. Below are the things that I learned along the way…they might be useful for another complete newbie.

Tip1: It’s the MySQL Community Server edition that you want to download ( I hope)

Tip 2: Make sure you use a mirror from the mysql site to get a .dmg file and not a .tar file.

Tip 3: To a copy a previous command in a Terminal window use crtl+P. For a full list of commands see this helpful bash cheat sheet

Tip 4:  How do you edit a file using vi? Answer: I”ve no idea – I used nano [to do this I substitued the word pico for the word vi when I executed this command ]

sudo vi /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Tip 5: How to edit a file using nano? Answer : Wherever you see the ^ sign means hold the crtl key! – This site contains a neat crib sheet.

Tip 6: apachectl is not the same as apachrct1 – be careful of 1s and ls when looking at text which uses a terminal style font

Tip 7:  The command sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl restart doesn’t work. It errors with:

usr/sbin/apachectl:
line 82: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Invalid argument

The guy at this deversus page explain a way around it, but to be honest I just ignored it and continued.

Anyway, after removing the index.html page from the /Library/WebServer/Documents folder and navigating to 127.0.0.1 in my browser and pressing refresh a few times,  I finally saw a page come up containing a question mark on it…so I guess my environment is now working!!

So, lots of new things learned today. Roll on tomorrow when I’ll be working out what I should do next!