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Comment: Directory Find and Replace in itself is good... (Score 1) 342

by brennanw (#40750729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Value of Website Design Tools vs. Hand Coding?

... but what I really loved about Dreamweaver find and replace tool was the way you could conditionally setup when to replace text and when not to... and to use wild cards to only replace certain pieces of code, all in a very user-friendly interface.

I mean, you can do all this with most S&R tools if you're very familiar with regular expressions, but I'm not, and I find them very hard to parse. Dreamweaver let me see the search visually and in comparatively plain English, which made it very easy to troubleshoot. It was fantastic.

One gig I spent most of my time using Dreamweaver to scrub HTML code in documents that were imported from MS Word into Frontpage. As soon as I figured out everything I needed to remove in one document (admittedly that took a few hours) I used Dreamweaver to create a huge search and replace action that I then pointed at a directory and let run for an hour. Problem solved. They'd given me a week to get it done. :)

Comment: Website Design Tools helped teach me to hand code. (Score 1) 342

by brennanw (#40749695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Value of Website Design Tools vs. Hand Coding?

Basically I would create something using Dreamweaver, then look at the html, then change the html to see how it changed the page.

I think at the end of the day it depends on what you're doing, though. For very simple sites, a website design tool can produce clean code, depending on how you've configured it, and it'll be faster to use a GUI for a simple site than anything else. But the more complicated your design gets, the more junk it's going to throw in to get it to look the way you want. And these days so many websites are database driven that website design tools are a lot less useful than they used to be. Most of the time I don't create websites, I modify templates... and that means moving around php fields and changing divs and then mucking about with cascading stylesheets. I've lost track of the GUI apps these days, so I don't know if they've adapted to this new world, but when I started using WordPress and Drupal, Dreamweaver got a lot less useful.

At one point in time, when I'd largely abandoned design tools altogether, I still kept Dreamweaver around because it had the hands-down best search and replace tool I'd ever encountered, and I could use it to search and make changes in entire directories of css, html and php files.

Comment: "Big" is relative. (Score 1) 660

by brennanw (#40714419) Attached to: Don't Super-Size My Smartphone!

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note because I wanted the screen size. Then I bought an extended battery because wow, does that gorgeous screen soak up power!

Compared to most smartphones, it's HUGE. But you know what? Compared to most of the "dumb" cellphones being sold in the early to mid 90s it's smaller, lighter, and does considerably more. Some people won't want it, and if it were the only kind of phone available that would suck, but there are plenty of size choices and what others consider over-the-top is perfect for me. ... actually, I wouldn't mind if it was a little larger...

Comment: If that's the case Gallileo shouldn't get credit (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by brennanw (#40208485) Attached to: When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience

for advancing heliocentrism.

Because when he did, he insisted that all orbits around the sun were perfectly circular. He rejected the idea of elliptical orbits -- an idea that had already been proposed. As a result, the mathematics involved in his model to calculate the "movement" of the stars was significantly less accurate than the then-current and accepted model using epicycles.

But he was right, generally, even if he got the specifics wrong.

Comment: Not entirely true. (Score 4, Interesting) 142

by brennanw (#39120367) Attached to: The webOS Features Other OSes Should Steal

There was a waiting list for the original phones when they first came out and they sold out quickly. And WebOS was fantastic. But...

  - the phones themselves had battery problems (if you slid the phone closed too quickly the phone would job the battery out and the phone would cut off)
  - as cool as the phone was, it was too damn small. Slab phones were becoming the preferred interface for smartphones.
  - as cool as the OS was, the user base wanted it built on, with extra features added, and Palm decided for whatever reason that it was going to focus on incremental things instead of sweeping new feature sets.
  - battery life was not good. Seriously. It was freaking horrible. Worse than your standard android phone.

All these things worked against it, plus Sprint decided it was more in love with HTC, so Palm didn't get the kind of backing it was hoping for. But Palm did fumble a few times before HP took it over, so you're right that HP can't shoulder all the blame.

Comment: Re:Dead Tree Exclusivity (Score 1) 70

by brennanw (#38961451) Attached to: History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

Exclusive to one publisher, maybe. Exclusive to one distributor? That's pretty new. You can buy the same book at Barnes and Noble and Amazon... you don't publish a "B&N Edition" and an "Amazon Edition..." With eBooks, the distributors are trying to push people in that direction, though.

Comment: Re:Why destroyed? (Score 5, Informative) 70

by brennanw (#38961421) Attached to: History Repeats Itself: KDP Select Is Amazon.com's 'Payback For Playback'

The main thing to understand about PfP was that it was a fixed pool of money that never changed. It was one million dollars a month, which is nothing to sneeze at, but in the beginning (before they required you be a premium member) there were a LOT of artists on MP3.com who were eligible, and that one million dollar pool started looking pretty shallow. So in order to increase their returns, some artists began to game the system:

  - get their fans to download PfP songs over and over again to maximize their count
  - coordinate with other artists to pool their fans, increasing downloads for both
  - a few tried to start PR campaigns against some of the more popular PfP artists in an attempt to reduce their downloads

Essentially by putting all these artists in a fixed pool, it turned a community of allies into a community of competitors, and it got pretty nasty. There wasn't much left of the original community once that started.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder

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