Create Awesome

web design and development for people who think the Internet shouldn't suck

“Who is the Jackass That Wrote This?”

I was performing some housekeeping work on Twixcuse last night, and I was reminded of a conversation I had with the great Jon Shea much earlier in my programming career:

Cosmo: I look back at my old code, and I’m just like, “Who is the jackass that wrote this?”
Jon: Uh—yeah. That never stops happening.

He was right.

Nobody Codes in Multiple Choice

I was recently referred to an online testing site to demonstrate my “skill” at PHP. I did well enough—any potential test-takers for the ProveIt.com PHP 5.3 test can find a good primmer here—but the test really highlighted something that I think a lot of people misunderstand about programming: it is, at its heart, a creative discipline.

No, seriously.

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Adding Order to ExpressionEngine’s Forum Subscribe Module

For developers building interactive, membership-focused sites on ExpressionEngine, the Forum Subscribe module is a great addition. It notifies users via email when discussions update, keeping the conversations frequent and involved. I’m currently working with a client to transition users from a Listserv to a forum, and Forum Subscribe makes the process super-smooth.

The module also has some nice front-end hooks to display a list of forums to a logged-in user, indicating their current subscription status on each. Unfortunately, there’s no way for site managers to alter the order for this list of forums, and worse, it doesn’t default to any particular order—not even random.

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JPGs, Compression, and Responsible Sharing

My former mayor, Tom Menino, is a fervent supporter of marriage equality. He recently wrote a letter slamming Chick-fil-A for effectively making opposition to marriage equality their corporate policy.

As this tends to be a touchy issue, the letter has “gone viral”, as the kiddies say—but this has come with a horrible dark side. BEHOLD:

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Awesome Website Redesign in Three Steps

Occasionally, someone solicits my advice for a website redesign, usually with something along the lines of “hey, Cosmo—what are some websites you like that we can imitate?”

There are good intentions here, and there’s a time and a place for this sort of casual borrowing of ideas, but generally this is a bad way to begin the redesign process.

So what should you do? Glad you asked:
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