As you may be aware, I’ve been doing a fair bit of work with baseline grids this past couple of weeks. As part of that work, I’ve created two tools to help with displaying the grid.
There are a few reasons why I’ve published these, the most important being that I enjoy creating things. That aside, I believe it’s important to continue learning new skills and to hone current ones. So when creating these works I tried to do achieve it with some technologies that I hadn’t used before.
base64 encoded images, again a first for me. That led an investigation into browser support and the inevitability that it wouldn’t work in IE6 and IE7.
Another aspect I dived into was how to deliver the latest version of Baseliner for the bookmarklet. I had to host it somewhere, so I decided to use CloudFront, not because it was necessary, but because it was something else that I hadn’t used before.
Then I decided to drop the PNGlib dependency and setup a web app to serve the PNGs. My first stab at this was a simple PHP script. That was to prove the concept, then I thought this would be a great opportunity to try a Django deployment on Heroku. This was something that I’d wanted to try for a while, so the timing couldn’t have been better. The app is now running at baselinebg.keyes.ie.
The two apps are MIT licensed so feel free to have a look around. Even with a simple problem, you can learn something while implementing it’s resolution.
Maybe the next time you have a smallish problem, you’ll use a new tool to resolve it. It’s just another reason why I love the web, it provides great opportunities for continuous learning.