Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tools of the Trade

I have several web sites.  Different ones for different purposes.  For my latest effort, the company website, I am experimenting with the Google Apps on-line web composer.  It's not my favorite, but it is a quick way to produce a simple website.  I do have to pop over into Firefox to run their composer, but that's easy enough.  I suspect they'll have Safari support before too long.

In contrast, the website is composed using iWeb on my mac and then uploaded to the hosting site.  iWeb gives me a graphically richer set of options, and many more styles to choose from.  However, even with that, there are a few things I need that you can only get by hand-coding.  For example, my Library page has a bookself gadget that is run from an xml data file.  I wrote that snippet before using iWeb and carried it over by adding a post-processing step.

In iWeb's version of the Library.html page, there's a simple marker that is swapped out by a perl program right before I upload the site.  My workflow goes:  edit in iWeb, save to folder, run patchiWeb, run push2site.    The last two programs are custom scripts that edit the composed html files and then use rsync to push the changes to the final location.

The one big advantage of using these two different tools is that the resulting websites look very different.  It helps me keep the two different roles straight in my head.  

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