Archive for February, 2009

Function Premium Icon Set: A Set of 148 Great New Icons & GraphicRiver Giveaway

We’ve been working hard to create these beautiful icons exclusively for GraphicRiver. They are a great addition if you already have our free icon set, they are done in a similar style and could be used together. The new icons are a lot more refined and clean, with a lot more new icons that may have been missing from the first set. Check them out and let us know what you think.

We’re also quite excited to announce that the latest marketplace from the wonderful Envato team is now up and running. It’s called Graphic River, and it is where we have put out latest icon set up for sale. Also, if you have a read through this post you will see that they will be giving away 10 free copies of our icon set… scroll down for details.

View The Complete Set

Icon Set Details

There are 148 icons in total, and they are ideal for use in your website, blog or application. We’ve seen or last set used in everything from top 25 iPhone applications, to web blogs and some really neat websites. We hope that this new set will be just as successful and useful to all of you out there.

Download Function Premium Icon Set | .zip Format | 2.5mb | 48×48px Icons

Win 1 of 10 Free Copies of the Icon Set

As part of their launch Graphic River have agreed to allow us to give away 10 free copies of the icon set. They launched their new marketplace today, and I really suggest you check it out. The Graphic River website allows you to buy & sell all sorts of graphic resourecs. Everything from icons and Vector illustrations, to Brushes and Shapes for various softwares.

How to Win a copy?

1. Sign up to Graphic River, if you haven’t already.
2. Leave a Comment Here telling us what you would use the icons for.
3. With your comment include your Graphic River username.
4. Make sure you fill out your email address on the comment form, so we can contact you if you win.

Winners will be chosen & announced on March 2nd. The winners are the people we judge to have some good solutions for how to use their icon set.

Good luck to everyone, we hope you all enjoy the new icon set. Leave us some feedback and let us know what you think, and possibly give us some ideas for a few set. I think the next set will be free so it would be great for us to see what icons everyone would like to see.

Free Theme: Magazeen. Style & Functionality in one Theme, now on Smashing Magazine

We’ve been working hard on a few things lately, and this latest theme is one that we’ve made just for you guys! We’ve been working with Smashing Magazine for a while, and we’re happy to finally be able to release the theme. We’ve worked hard on making something that had the clean and sleek style that you’d expect, but we’ve put some extra focus on extending the capabilities of WordPress and it’s standard features, giving you a few extra features to improve the user’s browsing experience.

Download & Demo

Download & Details |  Demo

More details and information is available on the link above, also you can check out the live demo to see the theme fully working. We’ve included the PSD files for you to have a play with and make your own customizations to the theme, or just to have a look around. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think of our latest free theme.

The Neat New Features

jQuery Latest Image Showcase

All of the latest posts are automatically added to the top of the homepage in a neat and interactive showcase of recent posts. A thumbnail is automatically created, and when you scroll over the image the title appears, it’s a cool little way to encourage your visitors to explore and enjoy your posts.

Related Posts Drop Down

To further encourage exploration on your blog, we’ve included a cool little drop down, which you can use by simply clicking the category name with a + next to them on the homepage. Clicking the name will bring a drop down, revealing some posts from that category.

Latest Posts & Featured Posts

We’ve built in some custom widgets that you can control from the WordPress admin panel to easily change the settings for the latest and features posts in the sidebar. We’ve also made them look beautiful, even if we do say so ourselves.

Thanks to You Guys & Smashing Magazine

We’d just like to say thanks to Smashing Magazine for working with us on this brilliant theme, and for (in our honest opinion) running one of the best sites on the net. They really do provide a huge amount of quality and informative content, serving thousands of designers of all levels, so if you haven’t already Subscribe to Smashing Magazine RRS feed.

Also, we’ve not had much chance to blog recently, so thanks to anyone who’s still with us, and I promise you we’ve got a few posts to come in the coming weeks and some interesting and cool new announcements. Thanks guys, let me know your thoughts on the theme.

Xcode window management sucks

Hi, did you come here to tell me that Xcode offers "all-in-one" editing? Please, don't send me an email. This is addressed in this article if you take time to read it.

I posted some thoughts to twitter last night about how much the Xcode window management drives me insane. What I got back was a huge reaction of “it’s perfect” and “this is how OSX works” Suddenly I was wondering, am I just insane for thinking the window management is absolutely horrible?

No, no. I’m not. It’s horrible. Just because Apple built it, does not make it perfect.

Tabs are the future (actually it’s been the standard for years)

Tabs have clearly proven themselves to be a superior method for editing multiple code files. Why? Because the most recognizable thing about code file is it’s filename. Not the look of the text. Let’s look at this through some examples.

Case #1: Window-based management FTW, Photoshop

Example of window management in Photoshop

Window management in OSX defaults to a new window for each document. This works wonderfully for most applications when you can see the differences visually. Photoshop is a great example. Using Exposé, I can see which document I mean to be working on at a glance The visual representation of the document is the unique identifier.

Some more points on why this works so well:

  • Image documents are the only windows you will ever see in Photoshop. Everything else is a panel. This functionality is the same for all five-star document-based apps. iWork, iLife, etc. There is a really good reason Apple chose to hide panels when activating Exposé.
  • Photoshop is a document immersive program. It’s unlikely you’ll be working on more than one PSD at a time. The document is all that matters. Conversely with code, the project is all that matters (not one code file).

Case #2: Tab-based management FTW, Texmtate

Example of window management in Texmate

Window management for Textmate is handled via tabs and a persistent sidebar. At a glance, you can see all files you’re currently working on. In the case of Cocoa, you are often switching between interface & implementation files, but this is easily handled via cmd-opt-up, so long as you have the name of the class right, you’ve got the right file.

Some points on why this works so well:

  • Windows provide a way to group files in a meaningful manner. Each window is a unique project. Remember, the project is the important thing — when coding in Cocoa, you’ll need to edit multiple files at once to make them work with one another.
  • I can quickly move between individual files via the keyboard. Considering coding is almost purely typing, keeping my hands on the keyboard is killer.

Case #3: WTF-based management FTL, Xcode

Example of window management in Xcode

Window management for Xcode is handled via a combination of this thing called a Project window, which morphs depending on it’s toolbar state, windows for each document, and windows for ancillary programs (like the model editor). Please note I have the same number of windows open in this screenshot as I did in Textmate (7). It’s actually a pretty small program, but completely overwhelming.

Some points on why this doesn’t work so well:

  • Windows mean different things. Some mean code documents, some mean visual aid, some mean a kind of “project” that groups all things.
  • The project window continually morphs it’s state as you enter and exit debugging. It’s appearance is different, not upon your application’s state, but rather the toolbar button in the upper left, that automatically changes (one-way).
  • All the code looks the same. There is no unique identifier in Exposé mode. I must selectively hover over each file and read it’s filename. Or, I can exposé to try and find the project window (which can look much like a code window too), and then open a new document.
  • If I accidentally Cmd-W the Project window, I have to start from scratch, opening the whole project and each document again. This often happens as you accidentally open windows and want to immediately close them.

Some may counter, telling me that Xcode offers editing inside the project window. Sure, this works, but offers just as many frustrations.

  • You must single click on files to open them. Double-clicking them still opens them in a new document.
  • Because of the above, and the last bullet on the previous list, I constantly find myself accidentally closing the project because I was trying to close an accidentally opened window.
  • Unless I choose not to run my program, I constantly have to switch out of debug mode and back into editing mode via the toolbar.
  • Every single time I open Xcode I have to force it into editor mode.
  • There is a delay in single clicking a document. You click the file on the sidebar, the sidebar highlights, but the new document doesn’t open in the editing window for a second or two. When trying to scan documents for some code, this results in endless confusion.
  • There’s no idea of “open files” in this mode. No context for which I’m working. I can’t say, work on the View Controllers by opening each of them. Each time I must select the unique view controller in the sidebar, ordered alphabetically.

It’s a shame

It’s a shame, because other than the window management, Xcode is really an awesome IDE. The actual text editing is great as is debugging, scriptability, and file management. It really helps solve all the problems that Cocoa apps force upon mere text editors (long method names, class names, files being in one directory, different types of files in the same directory, etc).

It’s the program’s fatal flaw in my mind. It isn’t that it’s sub-par, or not good enough — it’s downright infuriating to use. I want to do mean things to cute kittens whenever I use it. So I don’t. I use TextMate. Which actually is very good at Cocoa & Objective-C. But it means much more typing (especially with the shift key) since TextMate favors tab-triggers rather than tab-completion.

At the end of the day, this is the kind of stuff I hope Mac developers care about. It’s about making the user experience the #1 priority in software development. And it’s something that I’m confident Apple knows about and intends to fix in future versions of Xcode. Because they care about the user experience.

How to Become a Celebrity

After spending nine months in Hollywood, I’ve learned that pretty much all of the fame-seeking prima donnas out here need a clue. Fortunately, that’s where I come in. Enjoy, and Max—earmuffs!1

Want more Pearsonified? Follow me on Twitter!

1 That’s an Old School reference, didn’t ya know?

Colorsplash Wallpaper

Those of you following me on Twitter or Flickr might have already seen a preview of "Colorsplash". Now it's available as a free download. Happy Valentines Day and enjoy your new wallpaper!

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