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Top 5 CSS Shorthand Properties

An excellent way to simplify and streamline your Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is to take advantage of the many different shorthand properties available to you. Working with a lot of CSS, you eventually memorize these different shortcuts, but every now and then, I find myself needing a quick, straightforward reference for some of the more elaborate property combinations. In this post, I’ll show you the shorthand rules for the following properties: Font Properties List Properties Background Properties Border and Outline Properties Transition Properties (CSS3) These are the top 5 on my list of most complicated and frequently used shorthand properties. […] Read more »

Associate Any File with Notepad in Five Seconds

In my article, Associate Extensionless Files with Notepad, I explain how to navigate the labyrinthine maze of Windows dialogue menus to assign Microsoft’s Notepad text editor as the opening application for files without extensions. In this post, I’ll show you how to associate any file type with any program (including Notepad) in less than five seconds. Ready? Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.. ;) Modify any file extension association in five seconds Open the Windows command prompt and enter the following command: assoc .extension=fileType It’s that easy. What is happening here? Let’s break it down, just for fun: assoc — Windows file-association […] Read more »

The Halving Method of Identifying Problematic Code

Working a great deal with blacklists, I am frequently trying to isolate and identify problematic code. For example, a blacklist implementation may suddenly prevent a certain type of page from loading. In order to resolve the issue, the blacklist is immediately removed and tested for the offending directive(s). This situation is common to other coding languages as well, especially when dealing with CSS. Identifying problem code is more of an art form than a science, but fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your overall code-sleuthing strategy. Read more »

Save Bandwidth by Serving jQuery, MooTools, Prototype via Google’s AJAX Libraries API

A great way to save bandwidth is to take advantage of Google’s AJAX Libraries API to serve your favorite open-source JavaScript libraries. Here is how Google explains it in their official documentation: The AJAX Libraries API is a content distribution network and loading architecture for the most popular open source JavaScript libraries. By using the google.load() method, your application has high speed, globally available access to a growing list of the most popular JavaScript open source libraries. Read more »

85 Firefox Shortcuts for Mac and PC

As my browser of choice, Firefox provides all the functionality I need for web design, application development, everyday surfing, and much more. With a handful of choice extensions installed, Firefox is a lean, mean “get-it-done” machine. Plus, I am always looking for new ways to boost productivity and increase efficiency. Of course, an excellent way to do this involves learning and using as many mouse and keyboard shortcuts as possible. Over the past few years, I have collected oodles of shortcut snippets for Firefox. Thus, in an effort to purge my constantly growing stash of notes, I decided to round […] Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Organization, Comments, and Signatures

One of my favorite aspects of producing clean, well-formatted CSS code is “meta-organizing” the document using comments. In CSS, comments are included in the stylesheet like so: /* i am the walrus */ When used constructively, CSS comments serve to break down documents into distinct regions, provide key information about specific declarations, and bring order to even the most complex stylesheets. In my experience, a well-commented stylesheet improves efficiency and optimizes comprehension. Working with CSS, you can add comments any way you want. There are many different ways to use CSS comments, and endless ways to get there. Let’s check […] Read more »

Perishable Press HTAccess Spring Cleaning, Part 2

Before Summer arrives, I need to post the conclusion to my seasonal article, Perishable Press HTAccess Spring Cleaning, Part 1. As explained in the first post, I recently spent some time to consolidate and optimize the Perishable Press site-root and blog-root HTAccess files. Since the makeover, I have enjoyed better performance, fewer errors, and cleaner code. In this article, I share some of the changes made to the blog-root HTAccess file and provide a brief explanation as to their intended purpose. Granted, most of the blog-root directives affected by the renovation involve redirecting broken/missing URLs, but there are some other […] Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Indentation and Spacing

In the intriguing discussion following the first obsessive CSS formatting article, Jordan Gray brought up the age-old question regarding spacing: tabs or single spaces? I smugly responded that the issue has long-since been resolved, with tabbed spacing as the obvious winner. Let’s take a look at some serious CSS spacing examples.. 1) Strictly Single Spacing Here we have several code blocks showing consistent spacing via single blank space. Three key areas where single spacing is seen in this example: after the selector, and before each property and its corresponding value: Read more »

Perishable Press HTAccess Spring Cleaning, Part 1

While developing the 3G Blacklist, I completely renovated the Perishable Press site-root and blog-root HTAccess files. Since the makeover, I have enjoyed better performance, fewer errors, and cleaner code. In this article, I share some of the changes made to the root HTAccess file and provide a brief explanation as to their intended purpose and potential benefit. In sharing this information, I hope to inspire others to improve their own HTAccess and/or configuration files. In the next article, I will cover some of the changes made to the blog-root HTAccess file. As always, suggestions and questions are always welcome — […] Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Opening and Closing Brackets

Following my recent post on CSS code formatting, I was delightfully surprised to have received such insightful, enthusiastic feedback. Apparently, I am not the only person passionate about the subtle nuances involved with the formatting of CSS code. So, to continue the conversation, let’s explore several techniques for writing the opening and closing brackets of CSS declaration blocks. Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Patterns and Trends

Call me strange, but I format each of my CSS rules according to the following pattern: div#example element { margin: 5px 15px 5px 0; border: 1px solid #444; line-height: 1.5em; text-align: center; background: #222; font-size: 10px; display: block; padding: 5px; color: #888; float: left; } div#another div.example element { border: 1px solid #444; margin: 7px 0 17px 0; letter-spacing: 1px; font-weight: bold; background: #222; font-size: 1.1em; cursor: pointer; display: block; padding: 3px; width: 308px; color: #888; clear: left; float: left; } div#another div.example element { text-indent: -9999px; overflow: hidden; position: fixed; display: block; z-index: 9999; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; bottom: […] Read more »

Laser-Focused Feeds and Smarter Feed Management

My current adventure into the fascinating realms of site redesign and optimization has yielded several chunks of fruit related to managing and delivering feed content. One of my primary concerns regarding the overhaul of Perishable Press is streamlined content delivery and rights management. An important area of convergence for these two factors involves the management and delivery of a site’s syndicated content. In this article, I explain the shortcomings of many default feed configurations and present an effective overall strategy for better feed management. When it comes to managing syndicated content, most blogging platforms enable bloggers to provide a multitude […] Read more »

First 30 Days without Bad Behavior

Approximately 30 days ago, I completely uninstalled the Bad Behavior plugin from Perishable Press. As you may recall, many Bad Behavior users were unexpectedly locked out of their own sites and forced to either uninstall or upgrade in order to fix the problem. Of course, in my perpetual battle to optimize and streamline everything, I decided to drop Bad Behavior from the otherwise obligatory WordPress anti-spam trinity. 30 days later.. I am happy to report that Perishable Press has not seen a noticeable increase in comment spam since the removal of the Bad Behavior plugin. Of course, during the past […] Read more »

Do You Have a Year-End Maintenance Ritual?

Over the past several years working online, my year-end maintenance routine has evolved from simple website backups to a robust strategy involving many important and useful tasks. Some of the items on the list have indeed been performed multiple times throughout the year, but are included here to emphasize their importance. Additionally, many of these tasks are great for helping bloggers gain a clearer picture of their overall online empire, while attaining a sense of annual “closure” concerning the work of the previous year. So, let’s dig into my personal year-end strategy for cleaning things up and preparing for the […] Read more »

Perishable Press Site Renovation Strategy

Now that my recent site overhaul project is nearly complete, I thought it would be useful to share my carefully developed “plan of attack.” The following seven-step strategy is designed to facilitate the entire renovation by logically ordering events and breaking down complex tasks. Upon execution, the following plan is designed to improve overall site functionality, presentation and structure, while factoring in several critical parameters: Modular time organization — due to my hectic schedule, it is necessary to break large projects down into manageable chunks. Separation of main site from test site — I need a clear distinction between Perishable […] Read more »

Rethinking Site Functionality, Presentation, and Structure

Two weeks ago, I decided to completely overhaul Perishable Press. The decision came after several months of smooth sailing with excellent site performance, an optimized theme, plenty of visitors, and even a comfortable posting schedule. All things considered, everything was peachy keen — until I began reflecting on the “big picture,” meditating upon certain aspects that are frequently taken for granted or simply overlooked during periods of hectic operation and maintenance. For example, while troubleshooting htaccess and PHP errors, webmasters generally don’t take the time to meditate on the structural and functional integrity of their overall site configuration. Fortunately, I […] Read more »

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