Axure, Fireworks, LESS and IFTTT

This week I claim Axure is overpriced, @leigh explains why we should all be using Fireworks and we delve into pre-processors.

Play

On this week’s show:

Marcus starts without telling me

Paul Boag:
I think we’re going to start.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s just I don’t know what you’re going to say, ever.

Paul Boag:
Well I don’t know what I am going to say ever.

Marcus Lillington:
But I don’t know what the topics are.

Leigh Howells:
Is this the beginning of the show now?

Paul Boag:
Do you want to know what the apps are we’re going to discuss. We are going to discuss Axure, is that how you say it. How do you say it?

Leigh Howells:
Axure. I don’t actually know. We all say different things.

Paul Boag:
Fireworks, LESS, if that then this, no If This, Then That.

Leigh Howells:
Oh. I’d forgotten that existed I was… I’ll say it on the show.

Marcus Lillington:
This is the show.

Paul Boag:
Are we seriously starting this show like this?

Marcus Lillington:
Why not?

Leigh Howells:
We might as well.

Paul Boag:
So hello if you’ve been listening to our wind up waffle.

Marcus Lillington:
Wind up, no, warm up.

Paul Boag:
Warm up.

Leigh Howells:
Actually it was winding people up.

Paul Boag:
So shall I bother saying welcome to baogworld.com or is that – I am going to…

Marcus Lillington:
You just did.

Paul Boag:
Is that it?

Marcus Lillington:
You just said welcome to baogworld.com.

Paul Boag:
That’s it. So as you must have gathered by now, we are joined this week by Marcus Lillington and Leigh Howells.

Leigh Howells:
You are joined by, Marcus, isn’t he always here?

Paul Boag:
I just think it’s polite to introduce people.

Marcus Lillington:
I think that’s quite nice as well.

Paul Boag:
And I normally say my name but you just completely messed up the entire beginning of the show.

Marcus Lillington:
Everyone knows you.

Paul Boag:
They are coming in part way through what has been quite a long waffle really. We’ve already been talking about sparrow and what was it you said, you uninstalled sparrow.

Leigh Howells:
I uninstalled sparrow this morning, yes. I don’t know why.

Paul Boag:
Is that from iOS or from your Mac?

Leigh Howells:
I uninstalled it from the Mac ages ago.

Paul Boag:
Oh, really?

Leigh Howells:
Even though I really liked it but then I fiddled around the default, Mac mail and just kind of made it almost as nice.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
In fact the only thing I liked was the little icons of people which were turned off by default.

Paul Boag:
But you can turn those on with mail.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, that’s what I mean so I turned those on in mail then I was completely happy with mail. Although if they just shaded the left bar dark grey…

Paul Boag:
You’d be happier.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I’d like it even more.

Marcus Lillington:
So, I’ve never bothered to even download it and now you’re uninstalling it.

Paul Boag:
The problem is what’s happened…

Marcus Lillington:
What’s wrong with it?

Leigh Howells:
Explain the story, Paul.

Paul Boag:
It is the best app in the world ever sparrow.

Marcus Lillington:
Obviously it isn’t.

Paul Boag:
No, it is frank. It’s a really, really good mail client. Very, very simple. It’s great on the iPhone, great on the Mac. The problem is that they’ve just been bought by Google and they said we’re not doing any more development on it. Screw you lot. So which is fair enough, I mean they were offered a big chunk of money to go and work at Google and I would have done the same thing. I would quite happy sell out all of my… yes.

Leigh Howells:
So basically they will be building stuff for Google now?

Paul Boag:
Yes. One hopes.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, Google mail might become.

Paul Boag:
The Google mail will become like this because what happened, you see, if you go back to who is it who got bought by Twitter and worked on the Twitter app. I forgot what it was, there was an app before Tweety, the guy from Tweety got bought by… well not him as an individual didn’t get bought

Leigh Howells:
He is now owned by.

Paul Boag:
He is now owned, he is the property of – but yes, he got bought by Twitter and then so he then went to work there and produced a really cool Twitter app.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So I am hopeful that’s what will happen but I am not that hopeful truth be told. But yes, anyway so I haven’t – I uninstalled it from iOS because I really like the iOS mail client. I think it’s really good does a job.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But I can’t bring myself to uninstall it from the Mac operating system.

Leigh Howells:
No, I found that easier.

Paul Boag:
Did you?

Leigh Howells:
Yes, because it’s prettier, it’s much prettier than the default iOS one but because of.

Paul Boag:
My problem with the mail, well this is nothing to – are we really including this in the show – you’re just refusing to stop talking – stop recording. I don’t like all this, it’s all just so fiddly and tiny text.

Leigh Howells:
But you can change it all, you can have as many lines as you want or not you can include the icons.

Paul Boag:
Can you?

Leigh Howells:
People’s avatars before the messages.

Paul Boag:
I can’t do any of that. You’ll have to show me how to do it. You’ll have to show me.

Leigh Howells:
Yes you can you just have to fiddle around.

Paul Boag:
Where’s he – he’s just walking out of the room.

Leigh Howells:
He’s getting coffee.

Paul Boag:
Is this seriously what we’re doing now on the podcast. It just degraded into this. I was listening to podcast coming down here thinking, we need to be more professional and this is what happens.

Leigh Howells:
I know professional is boring, nobody wants that.

Paul Boag:
They do. I am sure. So you uninstalled sparrow.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I’m purist again I’ve got the same.

Paul Boag:
Well if you manage to get me working on mail, what you’ve got? Why have you brought your iPhone in? You can’t speak without being at the mic, why have you brought your iPhone in?

Leigh Howells:
Because I needs to look at old jokes.

Paul Boag:
This is what he’s thinking now.

Leigh Howells:
Right.

Paul Boag:
Instead of coming up with new jokes, he is using the Baogworld app that we released.

Leigh Howells:
To recycle it.

Paul Boag:
To recycle the old ones. How cheeky is that.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not that cheeky bearing in mind this is how Paul has made his career.

Paul Boag:
So have you seen the Baogworld app?

Leigh Howells:
It’s looking really, really nice.

Paul Boag:
It is, I can’t wait.

Leigh Howells:
I’m a bit annoyed you took the video of, the only bit I did.

Paul Boag:
You didn’t create the video.

Leigh Howells:
I recreated the video. Somebody else made it. And then I remade it.

Paul Boag:
Alright…

Leigh Howells:
I can’t remember why. I spent a whole day when we had our app day remaking the video and I made the cow’s tail kind of swish.

Paul Boag:
Oh right.

Leigh Howells:
It was obviously too small or something so – and it had to be in portrait for the iPhone.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Leigh Howells:
It’s not been used.

Paul Boag:
That’s fine, I’ve rejected it. So, shall we start the show?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, show, what show is that?

Paul Boag:
Okay. Hello and welcome to baogworld.com, podcast for all those who are involved in designing, developing and running websites on daily basis. My name is Paul Boag: joining me today is Marcus Lillington: and Leigh Howells:.

Leigh Howells:
Hello.

Paul Boag:
And we have got a load of really cool stuff which completely changed the lineup for this week show to accommodate Leigh’s rants about certain software. So this week, we are going to cover two things for designers this week, two exciting products. First of all we’re going to look at Axure, is that how you…

Leigh Howells:
Axure.

Paul Boag:
Axure.

Leigh Howells:
That’s how I say.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Leigh Howells:
You might be right not me.

Marcus Lillington:
Axure. Sounds like an insurance company.

Leigh Howells:
It does.

Paul Boag:
It does. Is there any insurance company called Axure.

Leigh Howells:
Is that why it sounds like an insurance company.

Paul Boag:
We’re going to look at Fireworks mainly because just before we started recording Dan walked into the room and shouted a lot at Leigh for using Fireworks.

Leigh Howells:
No that’s sounds Firefolks, I always get them confused.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so they [indiscernible] just like randomly confuse things.

Marcus Lillington:
Fire things.

Leigh Howells:
Because it’s shortcut things where you type fire and then…

Paul Boag:
Yes, that’s true. What launcher do you see these days?

Leigh Howells:
Default Mac.

Paul Boag:
You just use Spotlight.

Leigh Howells:
Spotlight, that’s what it is called.

Paul Boag:
Yes. I use Alfred, insert link here.

Marcus Lillington:
Install it and then it stays there and does nothing. What’s wrong with this command space bar?

Paul Boag:
I don’t even know where to begin.

Marcus Lillington:
No seriously what’s wrong with it.

Leigh Howells:
No, I’ve installed Albert.

Paul Boag:
Are we seriously going to talk this? We already got – look I pulled the show back on to track, I am not starting talking about other stuff yet. We’re going to look at LESS which is…

Leigh Howells:
Is more.

Paul Boag:
Which I said, I’ll talk about last week and then finally we’re going to look at If This, Then That which you got excited about before.

Leigh Howells:
Because I’d forgotten it existed and I think I set things up in it. And now magical things happen and I forgot how they actually happen but now I remember how they happen. It’s using LESS.

Marcus Lillington:
I know I’ve done that before.

Leigh Howells:
How it is actually appearing on my blog. How that appears that from Instagram.

Paul Boag:
Now you know why.

Leigh Howells:
That’s right.

Paul Boag:
So, should we kick off and start off talking about Axure.

Marcus Lillington:
Axure.

Axure

The Axure website

Paul Boag:
Alright, so I am looking at the Axure website right now, double, I am guessing every time, what do you say?

Leigh Howells:
Axure.

Paul Boag:
Axure, got it right. I am looking at the website right now. It seems to be a tool for doing children’s cartoons as far as I can see. See look.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s exactly what.

Paul Boag:
It doesn’t look very professional. I am worried that you’re recommending us on that.

Leigh Howells:
Unless those be recommended.

Paul Boag:
For babies. Well you’re the one that use it.

Leigh Howells:
I use it.

Paul Boag:
Look.

Leigh Howells:
I use it, Chris Thomson uses it.

Paul Boag:
Right. First of all let’s explain what it is. It is, now is it a wire framing tool or a prototyping tool?

Leigh Howells:
It’s both.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s both.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
How exciting.

Leight Howells
It’s as little or as much you want it to be.

Paul Boag:
Now okay, second question, Leigh. It costs a friggin lot of money, how come we’re paying this massive amount, there is Balsamiq, there is Flairbuilder, there is all these other things, he is sitting there saying I don’t know. So why are we paying all this money for this app?

Leigh Howells:
Because it’s worth it.

Paul Boag:
Why is it worth it, Leigh, justify it; justify the flipping cost.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not buggy that’s what it is. It works.

Leigh Howells:
It’s got people working on it full time.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
There are others and I am not going to mention, there are really annoyingly buggy.

Paul Boag:
Right. So you’ve used this?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, yes, yes.

Paul Boag:
Because I haven’t used this, so am I the only person that hasn’t used it.

Leigh Howells:
Because you use Keynote.

Paul Boag:
Well most of the time…

Leigh Howells:
Or your latest app that you found.

Paul Boag:
You could talk, you are just as bad as I am.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I did go through every single wire framing app.

Paul Boag:
Yes and then you…

Leigh Howells:
Probably on the same project.

Paul Boag:
But you seem to have settled on this one.

Marcus Lillington:
Because it’s so expensive.

Paul Boag:
So you’re afraid that if you move on to something else you’re going to get told off.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, can’t be as good.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
Too cheap.

Paul Boag:
So, I mean I used Keynote for wire framing because wire framing doesn’t require interactions, so I am guessing that’s the real strength of this thing is the – it doesn’t just do wire framing it can do lots of types of interactions.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. You can simulate mail and menus and carousels, interactive bits and bobs.

Marcus Lillington:
Tether things.

Leigh Howells:
Tether things, it does tethering.

Paul Boag:
It does tethering.

Leigh Howells:
So that’s good to demonstrate.

Paul Boag:
Yes, even if the client eventually rejects it as has been your current experience.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, so I mean little touches like that hopefully more things will be add on and prototype things even more accurately without having to build in HTML.

Paul Boag:
So how much is this? They don’t show the price very prominently on their site. You always know it’s going to be – gee whiz! We paid $589 per license for that. Why are you saying no? We use one license.

Leigh Howells:
No we’ve got an evaluation license basically; it’s a press license because…

Paul Boag:
So it’s good job we’re talking about it on the show then.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. Now it sounds like we were only saying good things about it because they’ve given it to us for nothing.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s not true because we continue to use it.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, we continue to use it.

Paul Boag:
You continue to use it. Would you – okay, let’s be honest, right, I’ll ask Marcus because you don’t care about spending our money.

Leigh Howells:
No.

Paul Boag:
Would you pay $589 for this?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
You would?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
It’s that good?

Marcus Lillington:
There is nothing, there are no alternatives that I know that work properly.

Paul Boag:
That’s a very strong statement.

Marcus Lillington:
That I’ve seen and used myself. I do this stuff as well. And as I said, this one I am not going to mention because I said bad things about it, that’s just too buggy, just right. And all the others, I mean you can obviously you can make wire frames in Keynote and things like that, but you can’t join them together, you can’t do interactions.

Paul Boag:
You can join them together but only very basically.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. So I am yet to see something else that works. There was another one that did work but only worked in certain browsers, again, therefore you can’t show it to a client. So it was like it’s the only one that seems to be stable.

Paul Boag:
Right, fair enough.

Leigh Howells:
The prototypes are built in HTML so they are not Flash, not relying on…

Paul Boag:
Okay. So let’s talk about some of these…

Marcus Lillington:
So, yes is the simple answer.

Paul Boag:
Right. Let’s talk about some of the stuff that it does then. So looking at their features site, they talk about kind of sketching and design where they’ve got kind of different feel because you can do that hand drawn feel or whatever else but loads of things can do that. You can group elements together, you can – looks like you couldn’t have masters.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I mean that’s a huge thing for me; having a master that goes across all the pages and you want to header or footer.

Paul Boag:
Yes that saves loads of time.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, you don’t want to be doing that manually, rippling across every page, changing some link to another link.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
So that’s massive.

Paul Boag:
Well it talks about widget library, have you tried anything like that?

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I tend to build my own using their dynamic panels.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
Because it’s really simple to create an object that does something from scratch really quickly. There are libraries as well but quite often what I want isn’t in them.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, you can’t be bothered to look all the way through.

Paul Boag:
Okay, so well give me an example of what a widget library would be, if you make your own what kind of widgets.

Leigh Howells:
Just like a tab that has two panels.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
You just create two states of the different panels and put a few interactions on them.

Paul Boag:
And then you can keep that and use it across multiple projects?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Okay. I kind of get that.

Leigh Howells:
You can, I don’t, but you can.

Paul Boag:
And then – there are loads online that you can download if you so wish.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So you can do more than just clicks which you’ve already talked about, drag and drop…

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I’ve never used that, just all drag and drop.

Paul Boag:
Just happens to be drag and drop example they are showing here. And then it generates this is the key one isn’t it. Click to generate HTML, no player required. And it seems to work across all major browsers, which is pretty impressive really.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. And what I’m really hoping is at some point more will be possible responsively so you can – because it’s HTML you might be able to use media queries and do things.

Paul Boag:
That’d be awesome, wouldn’t it.

Leigh Howells:
That’s what I was kind of hoping for.

Paul Boag:
Yes. But they don’t do that at the moment.

Leigh Howells:
No. There is some kind of viewport stuff which I’ve never really fiddled with.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
I think that’s just for viewing if you actually wire-framing specifically for mobile.

Paul Boag:
Okay. So in effect, at the moment, you’re creating separate prototypes for different screen sizes…

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
…which is a little bit annoying but yes, but that’s the good thing about when you know that there is a reasonable size company behind something that it is – because there’s a lot of the other examples are done by one or two individuals which obviously limits the amount that they could produce. Yes, I mean it’s got everything you’d expect really, isn’t it? You could collaborate. I didn’t know that.

Leigh Howells:
In fact you can actually document the whole project so every little component you could be writing a little thing on there is a panel for notes, and page notes. I mean I actually put markers…

Paul Boag:
So can the clients see that?

Leigh Howells:
You can publish it if you want to.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
There is a – when it’s published there is a separate tab for all the notes so you can – yeah, you can annotate the whole thing.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Marcus Lillington:
You can get a site map as well, so you don’t actually – you can get the

Paul Boag:
Skip between pages without navigating all the way down.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, something like that is really useful. Because I’ve had to build site maps myself in other apps just to navigate quickly around but that’s a default feature.

Paul Boag:
So I am looking at that 10 reasons why we should get that and pay $539 although we’ve got it for free. Your requirements never looked so good, don’t know what that means, that’s crap. Your project managers will love you. Well no, there is no way our project managers are ever going to love us.

Leigh Howells:
No, they’ll always hate us.

Paul Boag:
Your happy team will get to use Windows, OX or both – that’s quite nice, it is platform independent.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah, use it on both yeah.

Paul Boag:
And from the sounds of it, you can kind of move files between Windows and Mac. So that’s good, we’ve got one good reason so far for $539.

Marcus Lillington:
There is one reason I’ve already given, it works.

Paul Boag:
It works, it’s reliable.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
You know in advance if customers will rave or rant. Don’t understand that one. You don’t spend days copying and pasting from Visio or copying and pasting full stop because you can do those masters which is nice so I like that. Your distributed team feels a lot less distributed. Have you actually have shared stuff between the two of you?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, we have but we didn’t do it properly.

Leigh Howells:
No, we didn’t do it properly.

Marcus Lillington:
No, I made some changes then gave you the file.

Leigh Howells:
We didn’t really go into collaboration properly did we?

Marcus Lillington:
And then you went on holiday and I can’t make any changes.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, we didn’t do that well.

Marcus Lillington:
Super professional. Leigh and I.

Paul Boag:
Apparently, if we use this tool, your clients won’t be able to wait to buy our ideas, so that’s exciting. Developers finally know what you want and love it. Well, judging by the way Dan was shouting at you earlier, I don’t think that’s the case. I think developers finally know what you want and hate you for it because it’s really complicated to build.

Leigh Howells:
I takes time, takes time, yeah. It will grow on him

Paul Boag:
Your clients really get it and you get real feedback, well, I think that applies to any prototyping tool, doesn’t it?

Leigh Howells:
But the more realistic it is like being able to tether things to the browser…

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Window, the more realistic that it will be to their final.

Paul Boag:
And the number one reason is you look good doing it. I am really disappointed with this y-axis.

Marcus Lillington:
This is hilarious. Who wrote this? I look good doing it. Look at me there’s a box moving on it.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I can move a box. So I’m, not overly impressed with that.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, but you should be overly impressed with it as an app not as the silly reasons.

Paul Boag:
Yes, no that sounds really good. I think you’ve kind of covered that.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
You can download a trial of it so go and have a play because that’s what you did.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
And then at the end of the trial, you were too tight or we were too tight to let you buy it so you went and got press license so pretend you’re a really famous blogger and they might give you a free copy.

Leigh Howells:
Well, I reviewed it quite, you know.

Paul Boag:
Extensively.

Leigh Howells:
Well, not extensively, honestly.

Paul Boag:
Right, and that’s on Boagworld, is it?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Alright. Insert link to show notes here. You can read Leigh’s comprehensive and detailed review.

[Editors note: I couldn’t find Leigh’s review anywhere. I think he was making that part up.]

Leigh Howells:
Now I’m thinking did I review it or did I just mention it? I can’t remember.

Paul Boag:
No, I think you did. Alright, let’s move on.

LESS

The LESS website

Okay, so next up we’re going to look at LESS. Now, don’t you immediately…

Leigh Howells:
I am bit like that because I have – no, I have used it. Yeah, I have used it.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, you should know about that.

Leigh Howells:
I used it years ago.

Paul Boag:
Did you really?

Leigh Howells:
I used on Blue Cross which was… or was is SASS? It was one of them. It was LESS. It was certainly LESS.

Paul Boag:
The only reason I am talking about LESS rather than SASS is because I’ve never used SASS but I hear – right, step back, step back so that people got a vague idea. In case you don’t know, LESS and something called SASS are CSS pre-processors, Marcus, I am speaking to you, pay attention.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay. I know what they are.

Paul Boag:
So LESS and SASS are pre-processors essentially that you can use to write – to make writing CSS easier and we talked last week about CodeKit.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
It was the processor for these things, so people should know what LESS and SASS is. I haven’t used SASS although if you talk to Jina Bolton I heard her speaking on it and she swears blind that SASS is better but I’ve only used LESS, so I’m going to talk about LESS.

So what did you think about it, when you used it. You used it quite a long time ago. So I expect it’s moved on.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I don’t think it finally got into the final kind of project build. I started using it and then can’t remember when I stopped.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
It was very good.

Paul Boag:
Yes. There is still some really cool stuff about it. I think preprocessors are a great idea because essentially it’s going to make – it strikes that perfect balance and I did say this last week so I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but you end up with much more readable CSS – no, to you is the developer. The LESS file you’re working with could be stuffed with comments, it’s much easier to edit. It’s much simpler and easily maintainable yet it comes out the other end super compressed, minimized CSS.

Now, it is more verbose the final CSS than it would be if you hand coded absolutely everything but I think generally speaking, it just makes life so much easier that it’s worth the payoff personally. So shall we talk through some of the things that LESS can do.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, because I can’t remember.

Paul Boag:
Could you not remember, right.

Leigh Howells:
I know the variables.

Paul Boag:
It’s really worth doing, serious. I mean you don’t do a lot of CSS testing anymore, do you?

Leigh Howells:
No, which is why I don’t really know anything about it anymore.

Paul Boag:
But it’s fairly cool. We need Dan here really is what we need.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Because I am sure he’ll tell me this is crap because he is a purist. He likes to write his CSS in binary. It’s true, not really. So it can do variables which is great. So you can say, for example, I have a certain orange that I always use on Headscape because it’s our corporate orange and our corporate brown and corporate green. So I just – I define those at the beginning with @orange and then I put in the eight, hex value and then whenever I am writing the code instead of having to go back and check have I got exactly the right orange or going in with a little sampler to get the color off because I never used to end up with the same color twice, do you?

Leigh Howells:
You moved to a slight shadow which you didn’t realize.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, yeah. So you end up with all slightly different oranges, right? You just type in @orange and you pull in that variable so that’s very cool. But everybody uses very – color as an example of variables but you can do loads of other cool stuff as well. So the other thing that I do a lot is set my base font size. So I go base font colon, I don’t know, 12 points, 14 points whatever, or pixels should I say. And then what you can do is you can do a really cool thing where when you reference that, if you want to say have a heading you put in @base font times 1.5 or whatever, so you can gradiate them up which is really nice.

Leigh Howells:
So is the math.

Paul Boag:
You could do maths in this.

Leigh Howells:
This was great.

Paul Boag:
Yes. And you could do all kinds of really complicated maths stuff.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, for laying out grids, creating grids on the fly.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely, and for vertical alignment. Again, didn’t we talk about this last week?

Marcus Lillington:
Vertical alignment works great. We did it.

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know what you talked about last week?

Paul Boag:
That’s because it hasn’t been published.

Leigh Howells:
That would be why.

Paul Boag:
Yes, there we go. Mix-ins is the other great thing that LESS does so that’s where you can define like whole chunks. So for example, you can go, if you create a class, you go say dot rounded corners or whatever and then you put in border radius and all of that. What you could do then is you can just if you say creating a header and you wanted to have rounded corners, you could just put hash header open brackets dot rounded corners and it pulls everything else from that dot rounded corners in. Does that make sense?

Leigh Howells:
Right, yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
So I mean rounded corners aren’t such a big thing now because everybody universally supports border radius but if you take something like gradients, then you can start getting really interesting because your mixing as well could include variables, you can pull in different variables into mixing as well which is really cool. You can also do nested rules which is quite interesting. So for example, if you want to define any P tag within a header, you can write – instead of going hash header space P, you could in your previous header CSS, you can include the P within the header. So it all kind of cascades down.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Where that’s really interesting, where it’s really useful is when you’re doing – what’s the word, a media query stuff. So you can – instead of having – it always frustrates me, right. If you want to do like object oriented CSS where everything is nice and neatly grouped together, what’s really annoying is once you end up with – you define your header, this is what your header is going to look like on mobile and then in a separate style sheet you have here is what the header is going to look like at this width and that width and the other. With this you can just put it altogether in one declaration, in one call in CSS which is so useful. You can also do cool things like functions and operations and all kinds of – there’s loads.

Leigh Howells:
Marcus looks really bored.

Paul Boag:
It’s just really interesting stuff, Marcus. You need to care about this stuff. You need to be selling this stuff, I am teaching you now.

Leigh Howells:
I’ve got folder in my desktop called LESS, it’s full of stuff which I have yet to look at properly. I need to kind of catch up with it all. That’s all you can do.

Paul Boag:
To be honest, just start using it.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, that’s the thing.

Paul Boag:
Because when I first started using it, all I – when I first – I mean in a sense what you’re doing is you creating a file instead of .CSS on the end, it’s got .LESS, you write CSS as normal in there and I started just with variables, that’s all I did to begin with. So I said – defined a color at the beginning and that was all I did. And then I gradually added more and more stuff in the end.

Leigh Howells:
Hasn’t the whole thing changed, isn’t it, it now gets processed client side, doesn’t it?

Paul Boag:
Well…

Leigh Howells:
That’s why I stopped using it because it was server side, I couldn’t do it from home. I could only do it here.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, there is lots of – because obviously a browser doesn’t understand a LESS file, so it needs to be processed, turned into CSS. There’s lots of ways you can do that. Yes, there are server side solutions, there are server side solutions for PHP, for .NET, for well whatever you fancy really. There is also client side options now, so you can download from lesscss.org, you can download a Java script file that you include, right?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Now obviously you don’t want to rely on Java script on the final site but you can do at least for your development, but last week we were talking about a tool called CodeKit which is a Mac application, it just runs in the background and that’s what I use and that does the process.

Leigh Howells:
That does the processing, right. I didn’t realize that.

Marcus Lillington:
So it’s quite – LESS and SASS both of them are definitely worth checking out. I think it’s very much up to personal opinion, what you prefer. SASS has certainly got some interesting things in that now escape me, now I am sitting here, but I remember Jina when she was talking to me about it. Let’s have a look, Jina Bolton SASS. See what she has written on it, I bet there is some really good post. Here we go.

Style guide driven UI design with SASS. So if you just do a Google on it there is loads of different stuff that Jina has written about SASS that you might want to check out. I am sure let’s do another – let’s do a comparison. SASS versus LESS.

Leigh Howells:
I presume eventually one or a mixture of these will still be kind of integrated into CSS itself somehow.

Paul Boag:
There is already – yes, they’re already working on it, yeah.

Leigh Howells:
So you don’t actually have to know and get confused what’s pure CSS and what is kind of add on.

Paul Boag:
Yes, absolutely. So CSS-Tricks, Chris Coyier does as normal a brilliant – I will insert in show notes here – a brilliant comparison between SASS and LESS. So you can check that out and that will talk you through the niceties of it. Yes, that’s interesting, different things, he has got different categories and he says which is the winner in each of these different categories is nice.

Leigh Howells:
Over winner?

Paul Boag:
Overall winner, see if he does an overall winner. I bet…

Leigh Howells:
Jump straight to the conclusion. That’s me

Paul Boag:
Yes. Now he doesn’t provide an overall winner. SASS apparently wins narrowly on maths and SASS is also the winner on working with media queries. Yes, it did some cool stuff with media queries. I remember that. Variable handling is either way, SASS also wins on the extend – yeah see SASS is winning on most of them.

Leigh Howells:
Perhaps we should look at SASS more.

Paul Boag:
I think I need to have a look at SASS. Perhaps we can use SASS for the stuff I am doing on Boagworld at the minute. Interesting. Okay, so that is LESS. Check it out. Check out preprocessors generally, absolutely brilliant, makes a world of difference.

Fireworks

Screen capture of Fireworks

Alright, let’s go back to design tools. So this interesting thing happened, Leigh, before we just started this podcast.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, what was that?

Paul Boag:
Where Dan came bursting into the room throwing the toys out of his pram.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So because in Headscape, Leigh, you are the only person that uses Fireworks.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I know I am a trailblazer.

Paul Boag:
And you then pass Fireworks files across to Dan who then has to build what you build.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
He seems slightly distressed.

Leigh Howells:
But he just needs to get used to it really.

Paul Boag:
So your basic message to Dan is suck it up.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Right. So you have been a big proponent of Fireworks, why, why Fireworks? And you – again you’ve written – it’s on Boagworld. Insert in show notes here.

Leigh Howells:
I think I’ve done some little videos on The Barn site as well.

Paul Boag:
Have you?

Leigh Howells:
Yes. One minute video.

Paul Boag:
Alright, well, insert another link to Barn this time.

Leigh Howells:
Why I love Fireworks, there are just so many reasons.

Paul Boag:
Go on then. I put you on the spot then.

Leigh Howells:
Unprepared. Okay. Well, like we were mentioning about Axure the idea of master elements.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
Even more fundamental than that multiple pages in a document. So if you’re designing a home page and landing page, they are not separate files, it’s one file.

Paul Boag:
I like that.

Leigh Howells:
And they share the same header component, so you don’t have to keep open, because I am terrible for getting – I’ve got separate Photoshop files and then somebody changes the header, so you have to open them all up, move the layers around, some clever people might have a Photoshop file with all king of layer sets, all – but I get messed up.

Paul Boag:
And you can also – there are – you can do smart objects across multiple documents in Photoshop. Do I mean smart objects, I mean something like that, I can’t remember, it’s been a while since I’ve…

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know because I use Fireworks now.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. So is…

Leigh Howells:
There are clever ways in Photoshop, but I never quite…

Paul Boag:
But it sounds less intuitive Fireworks.

Leigh Howells:
I never got on with them.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Just having multiple pages and having objects which could be a header or a footer or a panel which might be a multiple pages, that I quite often define like half the page in an object which then goes across multiple pages, so if I change it, it changes in all of them.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
But it just – for me it’s a big time saver.

Paul Boag:
Right, okay. So you have given me one reason to change. After using Photoshop from Version 1; being completely comfortable with Photoshop you’ve given me one reason to change, come on Leigh you can do better.

Leigh Howells:
I can, I can go on.

Paul Boag:
Pressure.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s got a better name?

Leigh Howells:
No, it hasn’t. No, it hasn’t, no, no. Just simple things like drawing a rounded object. In Photoshop you might have to – that you tend to use bitmaps.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
I like the vector approach of Fireworks. I tend to use a lot more vector objects. So if you draw a rectangle you can just round off one corner by dragging the drag handles.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
And then you can copy and paste that. I think copying and pasting generally feels more natural. And you can group things by just selecting them like in other vector packages.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Rather than lot of right clicking on this and moving them around and cutting bits out of them.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
I just like the fact I kind of feel more at home with the vector tools. Even though it’s got bitmap tools as well, it’s got the same bitmap tools as the Photoshop generally.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
So you can still do things that way.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Does it do all that kind of – see the things that I have become so used to in Photoshop, things like layer masks you know…

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
…effects, all of that kind of stuff.

Leigh Howells:
It’s got all the same effects and in fact they have ported in the Photoshop effects as well.

Paul Boag:
Really?

Leigh Howells:
Yes. All the kind of default Photoshop effects. It does do layer masks; they’re not quite as good. That is fine, okay, I’ll be balanced. One of the downsides is the vector masks, and masks generally are a bit kind of clumsy, but they’ve got better from five to six.

Paul Boag:
Okay. The other things you’ve got in your original article is symbols.

Leigh Howells:
Symbols.

Paul Boag:
Do you use symbols a lot? Almost looking totally blank.

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know what they’re called.

Paul Boag:
He’s just got used to fireworks now and can’t justify it.

Leigh Howells:
Well there is lots of ways of sharing objects across pages as master pages and the shared layers is another one which shares different layers across – it has multiple states in pages as well which is another powerful feature which I use now in…

Paul Boag:
So you can do like rollover states.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, so you can have a state of all the rollovers, or fly-out menus.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
Rather than having another Photoshop file or layer groups; they’re all kind of hidden away, which is something that annoyed Dan, because he couldn’t find them. Well, yeah, let’s go into a state panel, go to state three, there you go, it’s obvious.

Paul Boag:
I mean to be fair to Dan he did actually say, well, I’ve just have got to learn it.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
It’s just a matter of learning and you have – that’s always the thing that puts me off with this kind of stuff, is the learning curve. Did you have to force yourself through a kind…

Leigh Howells:
Well, yeah, it’s all the same conventions that we’ve used on other packages and I tend to dip around between I was using Freehand and…

Paul Boag:
Right.

Leigh Howells:
Illustrator, don’t remember the name of it. So, you’re used to all the conventions.

Paul Boag:
What about, you talked about styles in your original.

Leigh Howells:
Oh, yes, the fact that there is a bit like CSS, you can define the style, which might be a font size or the color and a drop shadow, you can just define that at the start and you can apply it to objects.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
And then if you change your mind, you don’t want to drop shadows you just click, turn off the drop shadow it’ll turn off everywhere wherever you have used that style.

Paul Boag:
If you edit the style, you can ripple through everywhere.

Leigh Howells:
Ripple through everywhere that you’ve applied that.

Paul Boag:
So, it’s a bit like creating styles and say Pages or Word or stuff like that, I don’t suppose you do that very much, so you wouldn’t know…

Leigh Howells:
Rather than having to go around the whole document and changing it.

Paul Boag:
That’s nice. That’s really nice. So, you can be consistent for example on the direction light hits a page.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah. That kind of thing. But I mean like I was saying about the header or footer, you can use objects or whatever they’re called.

Paul Boag:
Symbols.

Leigh Howells:
Symbols, they could be as small as like a bullet.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
You could change the design of a bullet and rather than having to go around the entire document. Or a little arrow…

Paul Boag:
Right. See that’s – there are – you can do that in Photoshop. I wish I could remember the name of it but, yeah, everything’s a bit more – sounds a bit more buried maybe and a bit…

Leigh Howells:
Perhaps it’s because I use Flash a lot. There’s a lot of similarities in Fireworks to the way Flash worked.

Paul Boag:
Right. Oh, okay.

Leigh Howells:
It felt like more of a natural progression probably because of that.

Paul Boag:
Another example of that from looking at this would be libraries, having libraries with different objects and stuff like that, which is kind of cool. Grouping, I like the idea of grouping. But, again, you can do that through Photoshop.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, it just seems quicker and more natural in Fireworks.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
So, just drag around stuff, group it, copy and paste.

Paul Boag:
Fireworks seems much more orientated around a vector-based approach to things.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Not that it is just vector, but you can kind of…

Leigh Howells:
A way of working.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
A work flow.

Paul Boag:
Interactive gradients, what the hell is that?

Leigh Howells:
Oh, I don’t even know if Photoshop 6 does this. The fact that you can drag a gradient around and see it changing.

Paul Boag:
I don’t know whether you can do that actually or not.

Leigh Howells:
Rather than just doing it in a kind of gradient panel.

Paul Boag:
What is Web Layers? Web Layers allow you to quickly add hot spot areas and links between pages in your file.

Leigh Howells:
Ah the fact that you can, a bit like with Axure, you can link your pages…

Paul Boag:
Link multiple pages together.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah. Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Oh, okay.

Leigh Howells:
So, you can navigate it quickly, to create a kind of high fidelity prototype.

Paul Boag:
Oh that’s useful. Slice scaling. Now this scaling technique…

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, you can cut. Say if you had a button with two ends of different styles, you can cut up that button so when you stretch it…

Paul Boag:
Like just take the aware out of the scaling.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, the middle bit is the only bit that stretches or whichever bit you define to be the stretchy bit.

Paul Boag:
Right. So, that’s very similar to content aware scaling. So Photoshop does that. Shit.

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know if it does it in the same way.

Paul Boag:
And then you said some things, you don’t like masks, you talked about.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Text anti-aliasing. Is that important?

Leigh Howells:
I think it has got a bit better. It’s still a bit weird, it’s still not quite right.

Paul Boag:
Performance?

Leigh Howells:
It’s got a lot better in 6.

Paul Boag:
Good. Snobbery? That’s just I’m using Photoshop, I’m not changing.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
Very interesting. I’m still not going to make the move. No, I mean, basically – maybe if I was designing stuff every day. The thing with something like this, you need to find – my attitude with something like this is if you’re going to make a major swap away from a piece of software that you’ve always used, you’ve got to – you’ve got to find a project which has got ample time.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
And force yourself to work with the new tool.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, you don’t want to be struggling under a deadline and then you don’t know how to do stuff.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely.

Leigh Howells:
Which is a nightmare.

Paul Boag:
But equally you can’t just open it up and have a tinker and go oh no I don’t like that. You’ve got to kind of force through on one project, I think.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
I mean there is a point. This is really interesting. I was listening to a podcast which had Merlin Mann in about – they were talking about this kind of concept of kicking and screaming, of knowing when to give up on something and when to make the move on something.

So, a great example is sparrow where we were talking about earlier. I really want to carry on using sparrow but I know there is no future in it, so, why – really I’ve got to let go of that and kind of go in this new direction. And Fireworks versus Photoshop is almost, almost the same thing that there is this tool Photoshop which is a very kind of all-encompassing tool that’s designed for web designers, print designers, professional photographers all these different people. It’s a kind of jack of all trades and master of none, and then you’ve got Fireworks that has been designed to really work for the web. And yet we’re kicking and screaming to move across because it’s something different.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. But I think – my attitude towards software is if you try a different piece of software it can break those kind of rigid conventions you’ve built for yourself.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
You tend to use a piece of software the same way every time. I’ve always liked swapping around because they’ve got different tools and they make you kind of try different things.

Paul Boag:
And even design in different ways.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, I mean I’ve looked at Pixelmator because it’s got loads of cool, different effects, which I haven’t seen.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Insert link to Pixelmator.

Leigh Howells:
And that kind of creates – it inspires you to have creative – new ideas and perhaps based around some of those effects and things or the way of doing things.

Marcus Lillington:
Pixelmator would drive you mad though, surely?

Paul Boag:
You couldn’t do full design.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s perfect for me.

Leigh Howells:
I haven’t tried using it enough, I’ve just fiddled around with all the cool things.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, it does have some cool things.

Paul Boag:
Really, it’s like, why doesn’t it do that?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
I mean Pixelmator is a great – it’s probably something we ought to feature in the future for website owners. Yes, because it’s great for just cropping images, applying some basic effects, that kind of stuff. And it’s cheap which is always good.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Although it’s getting more and more powerful actually, I’ve got to say.

Marcus Lillington:
I think it’s cool. It just doesn’t do – text and stuff is very limited.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
I always want bits from all the apps.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
I want a kind of super app that combines them all. And they never exist.

Paul Boag:
Yes, that would be totally unusable because you would have 3,000 dropdown menus.

Leigh Howells:
I like the way Pixelmator looks and the speed and everything else.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
I like the way Photoshop does various things and I like the way Fireworks does various things but…

Paul Boag:
Such is life. Talking of website owners and tools that are useful for website owners, let’s go to our last pick of the week.

If This, Then That

Explanation of IFTTT from their website

Paul Boag:
Okay, so we come then to our final application of the day, which is the perfectly and easy to remember name of If This, Then That.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
That’s right, isn’t it? Have I got that right?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s kind of a coding thing, isn’t it? Logic.

Paul Boag:
If, this, then, that. Yes, that’s right. So, this is available at IFTTT.com. How annoyingly complicated is that, but it is a perfect name for what the application does and it’s a great – this is a great tool for website owners, right? Well, to be honest, it’s a great tool for anybody, but I can imagine website owners using it and I can’t remember whether it was before the show started or not.

Marcus Lillington:
No I don’t remember when the start of this show was really.

Leigh Howells:
Was it today?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah well I think it was today.

Paul Boag:
So, you’ve been playing with this.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, it was one of those things I saw, set up an account quickly start doing things and then you forget all about it.

Paul Boag:
Yes. And then you get really confused as to why all these random things happen.

Leigh Howells:
How is this working? How is this appearing?

Paul Boag:
So, should we explain what it is? It might be a good start in case you haven’t heard of this one. So, the idea is you can create like essentially…

Marcus Lillington:
Rules.

Paul Boag:
Rules, yes, rules are a good way of putting it. So, it’s got in it, a whole load of what it calls channels which are essentially different services out there. So, just to give you an idea, you’ve got Twitter, you’ve got Facebook, you’ve got foursquare, Instagram, pocket, text messaging, sound, cloud, LinkedIn, Buffer app, email, Flicker, it just goes on and on and on and on and on and on.

Marcus Lillington:
Well it would be a bit rubbish if it didn’t have lots of things, wouldn’t it?

Paul Boag:
Yes. Well, that’s the whole principle of it. Then what you can do is you can create what it calls recipes, which I think is a rubbish name for what it does, but essentially, as you said, rules. So you can say, for example, if something happens in Twitter, then make something happen in Evernote or Facebook or whatever else. So, a really – a classic example of one that I’ve got running is, if I post something new to Instagram, then update Facebook – my Facebook timeline to show that Instagram post.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Another thing that I do is because I like to archive everything in case I say some profound thing on Twitter that I might want to access in five years’ time, I back up all of my social network updates to Evernote.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah you put it all in Evernote.

Paul Boag:
So, it all goes into Evernote. So, I’ve got a rule that says: if I post something on Twitter then update Evernote. But some of these, depending on the service, you get different kind of extra settings. So, for example, I’ve also got one that if I favorite something in Twitter it updates in Evernote. So, if I see something I think is really cool, I favorite it and then it’s saved forever directly to Evernote.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s actually quite useful.

Leigh Howells:
That’s all very cool. I had forgotten what it does, actually it does.

Marcus Lillington:
I never favorite anything in Twitter though, that’s the problem. I hate everyone.

Paul Boag:
But I mean the obvious – the obvious…

Marcus Lillington:
Although, I’d read, well, I didn’t read the whole post but it was basically – it just got me thinking because I had thought about this in the past but the tweet was what – who owns your iTunes library when you die. Which I thought was quite an interesting thing because, you know, all the books on my bookshelf or all my music I can give to people. But I can’t do that with stuff I’ve digitally downloaded.

Paul Boag:
No. Now, this is something that…

Leigh Howells:
Or can you?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, exactly, or you can you?

Leigh Howells:
It’s only a matter of a password, isn’t it? You need to put your passwords in your will.

Marcus Lillington:
But you can only have…

Leigh Howells:
You want to merge accounts though don’t you.

Paul Boag:
But this doesn’t just apply to iTunes, it applies to loads.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, tons of stuff.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, but I guess music is a really good example. It’s because people can get their head round it. It used to be records, used to be CDs and not it’s just stuff.

Leigh Howells:
Non-tangible, yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
So, yeah, I am quite interested – and Caroline, I was talking to her about it and she said, well, you know that’s just that the world changes.

Paul Boag:
Yes, she is right.

Marcus Lillington:
So therefore, you can’t pass on all the stuff you’ve paid money for. I’m like, what?!

Leigh Howells:
Back to hoarding everything.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s like saying you have to give everything back when you die. Well maybe you should, I don’t know.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but there is also – I mean there’s all these social accounts as well. So you’ve got Twitter and Facebook and all of these kinds of things. So if I die, do they just stay on the internet forever or does my wife get control over them in some way, how does she do that? I mean for example.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s a slightly different thing. I view that it’s important but you haven’t paid money for it.

Paul Boag:
No, no. I agree.

Marcus Lillington:
These are goods, aren’t they?

Paul Boag:
But I mean you could have a really horrible situation. We know that a large number, a large percentage of people die from an aneurism whilst sitting on the toilet. So my last tweet might be going to take a dump. And I don’t want that as my last kind of – my last online words; that would be bad. So I need somebody to be able to go and edit this kind of stuff.

Marcus Lillington:
Well if they’ve – as Leigh says, if they’ve got your password, then they can. Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Exactly. But that would be the same with iTunes as well because if they’ve got your password you can download it all.

Marcus Lillington:
You can but you can only have it in so many places, can’t you?

Paul Boag:
Anyway, what has this got to do with If This, Then That?

Leigh Howells:
Well, if you die then that.

Paul Boag:
There needs to be a rule for it.

Marcus Lillington:
Nothing particularly, just interesting tweets.

Paul Boag:
You were just kind of cutting across. Oh, I see, stuff that you were thinking about favoriting.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But I mean when this gets really useful for website owners, of course, is in particular would be – as a website owner I’m a big Facebook user but I am not really a big Twitter user or a LinkedIn user, so I can make all my updates to Facebook and they’ll automatically go to Twitter or whatever else.

You could also do things like you could have stuff you favorited in Twitter then go to an RSS feed that you can then pull into your website. So there is all kinds of cool stuff. Another thing that I do is with my reading. If I see a cool link on Twitter I could set it up to.

Leigh Howells:
Hello dustbinmen.

Paul Boag:
Hello…

Leigh Howells:
Goodbye dustbin men.

Marcus Lillington:
I love that it’s every – it doesn’t matter which day of the week we do this, no matter what time of the day, something goes …

Leigh Howells:
It’s a bank holiday so it has screwed up your schedule.

Paul Boag:
I’ve just taken to ignoring it except you all both drew attention to it. So there we go. So yeah, there’s loads and loads of stuff. Things like – if I see in YouTube, you’ve got the ability to say watch later on something and if you do that I have it automatically sent into Pocket which I then watch it on Pocket later. There is endless.

Leigh Howells:
I am really glad you remind me it existed because it does these magicie things, I don’t know how – I have no idea how this can possibly work.

Paul Boag:
Ah it just does my head in.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, it is amazing if you actually think about all the possibilities and varations.

Paul Boag:
Yes. It is. I mean it really is limitless. And what’s really great is when you kind of you start doing this, you feel kind of absolutely overwhelmed by all the possibilities but – and you almost can’t get your head around that way thinking but they provide a great browser recipes feature where you can look at what’s hot, what’s the most popular. So at the moment, one of the most popular is basically a notification from Twitter, Twitter does an iTunes feed which has got Free App of the Week, right? You might miss that but you can get it emailed to you. So that would be really cool.

Leigh Howells:
So you can spam yourself. Email it to yourself. It’s perfect.

Marcus Lillington:
It was what we were talking about with the guys in Geneva last week, about this idea of what it gives you…

Paul Boag:
Oh, by the way sorry about the quality of the audio last week.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, it wasn’t great, sorry about that.

Paul Boag:
It was Marcus’ fault.

Marcus Lillington:
It was Paul’s fault, it was Paul’s iPad. He thought it would be acceptable and it wasn’t.

Paul Boag:
We did a test, we did a test before we went and you said it was fine.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, it did sound okay but just lots of hiss.

Leigh Howells:
Come on ladies, come on.

Marcus Lillington:
Anyway, yeah. What was he talking about, oh yeah, yeah…

Paul Boag:
Apparently, he was going to solve it with some magical thingy…

Leigh Howells:
Well, Marcus has tried another magical thingy.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
No, that one has gone. It’s gone.

Paul Boag:
It’s gone, it’s done.

Marcus Lillington:
But if we do it again just try using the other mic, I reckon, that’s the way to go.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah but that idea of getting the content you want through the application that you like using which might be email or text…

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Is brilliant and therefore you don’t have to learn how to use new stuff which is kind of relevant to what you were talking about at Photoshop and Fireworks.

Paul Boag:
But I think we should be learning new stuff and accept that the world moves forward.

Marcus Lillington:
Maybe.

Paul Boag:
It has to be said that this can be used for evil as well as good because I got…

Marcus Lillington:
Evil.

Paul Boag:
…because I got a bit overexcited when I first got this, okay? And I set up rules like…

Leigh Howells:
Did you do evil, Paul?

Paul Boag:
I did do evil. I didn’t realize it was evil, it seemed like a nice thing to do when I did it and then in hindsight I realized very quickly it wasn’t a nice thing. So I did a couple of things. For example, I set up an automatic tweet to go out thanking people when they follow Friday me, right?

Leigh Howells:
Oh dear. The same tweet.

Paul Boag:
Which became very – and I did another thing when people follow me for the first time I sent them a DM saying thanks for following me. And it just is spammy. It sounded like a good idea but…

Leigh Howells:
You become a robot.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s very, very impersonal and evil.

Paul Boag:
Yes, yeah. So I’m just trying to look at what other ones they’ve got here.

Leigh Howells:
The thing I did was make every Instagram post appear on my website.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
That’s the thing I couldn’t work out how they were appearing on my website.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Right. Because you set up and you’d just completely forgotten about it.

Leigh Howells:
I was amazed. How did I get that?

Paul Boag:
But just to kind of emphasize, this requires no programming ability whatsoever. You literally go in. You pick the service, you pick what you want to do with that service and where you want it to go and your job is done really.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah and the magic happens somehow.

Paul Boag:
So it is all magic and it is one of – kind of the one disclaimer that you have to put over things like this is this could disappear tomorrow. So just bear in mind that if you’re integrating it with your website, there might be a sudden scramble to fix it.

Leigh Howells:
Or it might last forever and you could – you die and you’ve got the same again. There’s all these rules happening but nobody knows anything about this service.

Paul Boag:
And it’s like a ghost.

Leigh Howells:
How is he emailing me all the time?

Marcus Lillington:
You know what, that’s – the relevant thing there is that you really should keep your – all your usernames and passwords for everything in a secure place.

Leigh Howells:
Absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
On paper, in the safe or whatever.

Leigh Howells:
You could traumatize someone for years.

Marcus Lillington:
Because nobody is going to do this, this is what’s going to happen.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And it will turn into an AI, one day. All of these things just running.

Paul Boag:
I’m reading a great book about that at the moment.

Marcus Lillington:
You told me and I’ve downloaded it.

Paul Boag:
Have you read it?

Leigh Howells:
I am reading it too.

Paul Boag:
What do you think of it?

Leigh Howells:
So far very good. I am near the end.

Paul Boag:
So by the way insert link in show notes here. But you know that’s just the first one out of three?

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen that.

Paul Boag:
I am on the last one.

Marcus Lillington:
What’s the last one called?

Paul Boag:
So it’s Wake…

Leigh Howells:
They’re all one word, aren’t they?

Paul Boag:
Wake something. They’re all w’s as well.

Marcus Lillington:
Are they?

Paul Boag:
Let me just – I’ve got to have a look, sorry.

Marcus Lillington:
Because I couldn’t find the third one, I downloaded the first one.

Paul Boag:
The third one is called Wonder. Oh, second one is called Watch.

Marcus Lillington:
Watch, Wonder.

Paul Boag:
So Wake, Watch and Wonder.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
And they’re just brilliant.

Marcus Lillington:
By somebody Sawyer.

Paul Boag:
They are essentially a book about an emerging AI on the internet.

Leigh Howells:
Consciousness

Paul Boag:
But it’s just fascinating, isn’t it, the way that he’s done it and about how that consciousness evolved…

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
… using the example of Helen Keller who was deaf and blind and about how she came to consciousness almost.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, yes, it’s really interesting.

Paul Boag:
So lots of stuff about psychology and about the mind and I like the fact that he’s even got – what made it – why I thought this was going to be a good book was within about the first page where there’s a blind girl in the book, isn’t there, and he talked about JAWS, didn’t he? The screen reading technology.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh, yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
And I thought if he knows JAWS is the screen reader, this is going to be a well-researched book.

Leigh Howells:
Written by a geek for geeks.

Paul Boag:
Yes, it’s really a good book. I can highly recommend it.

Marcus Lillington:
But we all like the same books. Is this because we’re all 40-plus males and live in England?

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know. May be.

Paul Boag:
No, I don’t think it is. I don’t think it is.

Leigh Howells:
Well, I just see what Paul’s been reading and I know he’s liked some books that I’ve read and vice versa so I just…

Paul Boag:
Well, that’s, we all discuss books, yeah. Try that one, that one.

Leigh Howells:
We’re just copying each other now.

Paul Boag:
So there we go. So we’ve now done a – perhaps you ought to do a Book of the Week as well.

Leigh Howells:
We just did, we just did.

Paul Boag:
Just throw that in. We have done this week. So there we are. I think that about wraps up the show except for Marcus’ regurgitated joke. I think regurgitated sounds much better than recycled, much more appropriate.

Marcus Lillington:
This is from Derek Burgess. There was a man who entered the local papers’ pun contest. He sent in 10 different puns in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in 10 did [intended].

Paul Boag:
Okay. So that wraps up this weeks’ show. Thank you very much everybody for…

Marcus Lillington:
Thank you, Derek. That was marvelous.

Paul Boag:
Very much. Oh gosh. So I want to know is this show going to end like it did at the beginning, it just kind of fade out kind of endless waffle. I think we should just fade out really about now…

These amazing show notes have been transcribed by our friends at Pods in Print. If you need transcription done, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

  • http://twitter.com/fred_beecher Fred Beecher

    It’s AKSH-err. I’ve heard the developers themselves pronounce it. : ) Also, there are now two versions. Pro, which is what you reviewed, and Standard. Standard is exactly the same, minus documentation and sharing functions. It’s aimed at individuals. I think it’s like $289 or something. Good write up!

  • Brett Holcomb

    I too use the launcher Alfred all the time. I think that’s what you meant instead of Albert. Can’t seem to find Albert.

  • http://twitter.com/danielvanc Dan Van Cuylenburg

    Leigh,

    Master pages in Fireworks.

    That’s is the tool for spreading things across multiple pages.

  • http://twitter.com/sbmorrissey Stephen Morrissey

    The company I work for uses Axure, and although it is not as good as HTML prototypes, it does a great job of creating basic designs, simple interactions, and overall rich wireframes. It does handle annotations, and our BA’s have added requirements that greatly help developers. However from a traditional BA perspective, there is no traceability or unique identifiers. But when trying to crank out a wireframe with a few interactions; nothing does it better!

  • Percy

    I love fireworks! I have been teaching adobe fireworks for past 8 years. Is the easiest program to create web graphics.. is fun, quick and easy to learn for everybody. I teach web design in a miami fl public school and fireworks is my student favor course.

    Percy Ordonez
    miami fl
    http://www.adobetec.com

  • Andy

    Hi guys, I really liked this episode. Fireworks is excellent
    for exporting web files. It is almost always way smaller than Photoshop.

  • http://twitter.com/andy__marshall Andy Marshall

    Have to say, Paul’s lack of knowledge of Axure and Fireworks is frightening…

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