Hacking Media Manager at an SDL Hackathon

This year, SDL decided to host a hackathon that launched at SDL Innovate. And I, having a full time job, school, and a side project, needed something to keep me busy. So I decided to participate. I had some ideas for Media Manager, so I figured this was a good excuse to start experimenting with them.

Then I found out that there was money involved in the Hackathon. So I had an excuse to actually submit something.
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Lessons from Carpentry in Web Development

I come from a family of builders. My father’s father was a master carpenter. And though my father was a business man by career, he was an excellent carpenter by trade. My grandfather built a dresser for my father that I still use today. I have boxes that my father built, a pump organ that he restored, as well as desks and benches. My mother has a hutch that her grandfather build and my father restored. We have furniture, and the tools used to build it, that go back five generations.

Unfortunately, my grandfather died before I was born, and my father died when I was twelve. I missed out on the chance to acquire much of the wisdom that’s accumulated over the years. Now, as a man in my 30’s, I’m learning how to build things with trial and a lot more error than I’d like. And I’ve learned a lot of lessons in carpentry that have parallels in web development. Read More

Some Guiding Principles For Front-End Development

I’ve recently had a bout of philosophy that I can’t quite shake. I like philosophy a lot, and I think we’re all philosophers. I think I picked up that idea in my Ayn Rand phase, where she said,

As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define a philosophy by a subconsious… thought

What I’ve realized is that I have had some subconscious thoughts about Front-end Development. And once I really bring them to the foreground, I realize that there are some core principles that guide why I do what I do, and how I choose to do it. So, I’d like to share some of my philosophies of front-end development. Read More

Front-end Best Practices for Tridion’s Experience Manager

Tridion’s Experience Manager (XPM) has been a hot topic at Tahzoo recently. Piti Itharat, Shawn Webber, and I have all been talking about some of the “gotchas” we’ve experienced in the front-end of XPM implementations. Especially after a few front-end folks started asking for tips on how to be XPM-minded when writing HTML and CSS, the three of us put together a short list of best-practices and pitfalls for doing the front-end in XPM.

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A Tiny Tool for HTML5’s localStorage and sessionStorage

I was talking to a colleague recently about the release of McSandy, and he mentioned that he had a project coming up that would require manipulation of HTML5’s LocalStorage API. I pointed him to a small gist that I’d put up on Github. And then I thought, “hey, maybe I should mention this to other folks, too.”

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Four Features of McSandy you might appreciate

After I announced that McSandy was in beta mode, I created a Reddit post for McSandy, and asked for feedback. What I noticed is that a lot of folks don’t really get why I made McSandy — because there’s tons of other options out there. So I’m going to show you why, with a few lovely animated gifs.

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Introducing McSandy: An Offline Code Editor

About two and a half years ago, I lived in Colorado, and had to fly out to Columbus Ohio pretty regularly. On one such flight, I wanted to test out some CSS and HTML. But I didn’t have any Wifi on the plane.  When you don’t have internet, and you want to do a quick code-and-preview, it can be  annoying when you have to fire up a local server and set up your files. I figured that there should be a code editor that could work regardless of whether you had an internet connection.

So I made one. Read More

Grunt.js: Minify, rename, and put it in another folder

Grunt Logo copyrighted, all rights reserved by Bocoup

Grunt Logo copyrighted, all rights reserved by Bocoup


If you know Grunt.js, this post is for you. Grunt is a super awesome node.js-based task runner. It makes development easier, your productivity faster, and your attractiveness… attractiver.

I don’t want to go through all 3,000+ reasons that Grunt is fantastic, so I’ll just give you one: You’re writing some JavaScript files. You’d like them to be minified, renamed, and placed in another directory… Every time you save a file. But, the Uglify task doesn’t do that!

Oh, but it does…

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Front-end Architecture Options in Tridion

I had a discussion recently about whether to put CSS into Tridion as multimedia components or code components, and it triggered a really fun discussion. We talked about all of our different strategies and use-cases for managing the CSS in SDL Tridion, and it seems like something that other folks may ask about in the future. So what I’d like to do here is summarize my thoughts and experiences on front-end architecture, and what implementation options you have in Tridion.
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