Adobe Illustrator Contact Sheet JSX Plugin

I don’t like performing tedious, time-consuming tasks, especially when those tasks are non-revenue generating, which means they take time away from things I could be doing to increase revenue. The most time-consuming and tedious task I have to perform over-and-over is creating contacts sheet previews of my icons. The problem is that every marketplace has different requirements for preview image sizes and so a new contact sheet has to be created for each marketplace.
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Ai Sessions Adobe Illustrator JSX Extension

When I’m working on my icon designs, I often have 4-5 Adobe Illustrator documents open at a time during a work session. Since icon design involves creating large collections of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of icons, I have them broken up into multiple files but find I need to copy a lot of icons between files.

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Google Spreadsheets – Auto-Assign Row ID

I was recently working on a simple Google Spreadsheet to log functional requirements for a WordPress Plugin I’m building. I wanted a simple way to assign feature IDs as I entered new rows. My feature numbering system follows the format {version-major}.{version-minor}.{feature-number}. For example “1.1.001” where 1.1 is the version major + minor number, and 001 is the feature number.
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A Password Corner Case

My bank has one of those idiotic rules forcing us to change our password for online banking every 90 days. It is my opinion that their rule increases vulnerability rather than resistance to attack, but it is a situation about which I can do nothing, and I otherwise like the bank.

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What language is that?

I spend some of my time reading liner notes of the music CDs that I buy. Like the Rosetta Stone, they are often written in three languages, although the languages are usually English, French, and German, rather than hieroglyphs, demotic script, and Ancient Greek. Once in a while, I open to the wrong language, and for a few seconds my eyes skim the German version of the text before it dawns on me that I am not looking at the English. 

Like most native speakers of a European language I can recognize a number of other European languages that I have no ability to read, write, or speak. How does this recognition work? Can it be put into a simple, not very sophisticated or difficult computer program? Continue reading

bLaTheR: Part 1

Breathes there a web designer with wallet so fed who never to himself hath said, “Cutting and pasting this Lorem Ipsum stuff is utter tedium. It doesn’t look like English, and the first word isn’t even Latin.” Technologies have come a long way since cut and paste, and the time has come to use technologies for placeholder text in web design.

This is the story of how bLaTheR, a Lorem Ipsum replacement, was born, and the computer science behind it. In part 2, we will cover the use of bLaTheR for populating web pages. Continue reading

Still no silver bullet

From the time of publication of the essay “No Silver Bullet” in 1986, we have been looking for the silver bullet ever more diligently.  Even the essay’s author, Dr. Fred Brooks, Jr., wrote a sequel called “‘No Silver Bullet’ Refired” that appeared in 1995. On a less grand scale, five years later, I gave a sad keynote address at Software Methods and Tools 2000, a part of which was a prediction that project management would become another failed silver bullet in this century.

Sadly, all of the above predictions have turned out to be true. Continue reading

Change Disqus Comment Count Text

I recently implemented the Disqus comment system on this and another of my blogs. I am really pleased with the service. It works extremely well, allows me to moderate all of the comments on my multiple blogs and my online conversations in one location, and the user interface is seriously kick-ass. My only complaint was that there is no way to change the look of the Comments and Reactions count. Or so I thought. Thanks to Ryan at Disqus, I learned there is a very simple, but admittedly unknown, way to do this. Continue reading

Problem 7: Cryptography 101

Cryptography fascinates the inner thief in almost everyone, from children who have tried to steal a cookie while their mothers were not looking, to professionals attempting to steal secrets. This interview question is a good one to discuss for a 45 minute hour to determine if a candidate understands the basic principles of cryptography as opposed to security.

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Remove an Element from an HTML String with jQuery

While working on a project for work today, I encountered a problem that I apparently have never encountered before. What I thought was a very simple function call in jQuery turned out to be a bit more complicated. I needed to removed an HTML element from a string representation of an HTML snippet. jQuery doesn’t quite behave the way I expected and I had trouble finding a solution Continue reading