Saturday, June 23, 2007


I'd like to rave briefly about a tool called Firebug. It is absolutely astonishing, and if you are doing complicated web development, almost invaluable.

Lots of the new stuff I'm doing on CanalplanAC involves Javascript interacting with the document. Firebug lets you see the structure of the document as it is at this moment, and when it changes, what you see changes.

That, alone, would be wonderful. But what Firebug gives you is a live editor for the page - not just the HTML but the CSS as well. So you can see what happens when you change the background colour, or padding, or floatiness of a particular element.

The time saved by tweaking the page, rather than editing and reloading is astonishing.

If you are doing almost anything on web pages, you'll find it worth giving a try.

This is an entirely unsolicited testimonial.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Meanwhile, on the western front

Not much has been happening with CanalplanAC lately - and so there isn't much to say here. The broadest explanation is simply life getting in the way. For a pile of reasons to do with home life, holidays, boat and the like I don't seem to have much spare time these days. And I've taken up a new job on promotion; which is great, but leaves me with no mental energy (no energy at all sometimes) at the end of the day for programming.

There are, as ever, a pile of ideas floating around my head. Improving the interface in various ways - while adding new features - is the obvious one. I like the new gazetteer, and making more of the site like that will be nice. Also, I've got a rather neat "route planning wizard" for novice users that I'll try to integrate some time over the next few weeks