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Building Great Nav Bars With display:table

In my opinion, website nav & toolbars should have somewhat of a native feel to them. Not necessarily native to your OS of choice, but built in such a way the user can hardly tell the app is a web app. A great example of this is Google Drive's text editor nav, and really most of Google's controls. Each time I use it there's a sense of solidity & responsive power that you just don't get from a lot of web apps.

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Organizing CSS & Sass in Rails

Rails comes equipped with Sass by default. When you build a new app, an application.css stylesheet is created for you. This isn't just a normal stylesheet -- rather, it stands as a master stylesheet in the Rails Asset Pipeline.

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Stuff I Might Do In 2014

I don't usually make new years resolutions like "join a gym" or "go to Iceland and find where Björk lives" but I figured I could set some simple goals and maybe have a list to mark out as the year continues.

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Heroku Staging & Production Environments

Heroku is super powerful and I suggest if you're new to Rails, or any other framework they support (which is a lot), to give them a try. Manual setup for a lot of these languages and frameworks can be really tedious, but Heroku gets it all done for you. This is especially helpful when you first learn [Insert bleeding edge technology here] and it's either not supported by your web host, or a pain in the ass to set up. Of course, down the road, learning how to do it all manually is also helpful.

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Rails 4, ActiveAdmin, and acts_as_taggable_on

Rails 4 has done away with using attr_accessible and others like it. The new standard is to use strong parameters, and it definitely seems like a more secure system. But, for legacy apps upgrading to Rails 4, there is a gem called "protected_attributes" that gives you back what Rails 3 and before let you do -- which is the ability to use attr_accessible :attr1, :attr2, etc to mass assign attributes in your model. This, however, does not come without issues.

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Using 100% Height in CSS

A cool effect I've been seeing on sites lately involves the use of percentage based heights & absolute positioning. Puzzled by how it worked, I set out to break the code down and do it myself.

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Your Work Sucks

Let me rephrase; what I meant to say is that nothing is perfect right away. Obvious statement, right? In hindsight, yeah. But not so much after you've sunk hours into a project only to step back and judge what you've got done.

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Stifled Creativity

Nearly everything's been done already. And everything that requires doing has thousands of people who do it very, very well. They specialize in that thing they do. They went to school, or spent hours teaching themselves how to do what they do. Who am I to step in and think I can just try to learn and apply a skill while so many have already done so?

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Semantic Buttons

An obvious common trait of any web app landing page, download page, or any other website offering a product, are the large call-to-action buttons. I usually prefer beginning with a vague idea of a button style, and then code it all (or most) in CSS from the get-go. Button styles will always be subjective, and will need to be custom per website, color scheme, etc. One thing that doesn't change much is the markup and structure used...

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Essential Sublime Text Plugins

Sublime Text is awesome.

Nearly every day I find something amazing about Sublime Text that completely changes the way I work. At first I was wowed by the find-and-replace alternative: selecting a block of code and pressing ⌘ + D to select each subsequent occurrence. To this day I love watching 20+ lines of code all change at once while I type in the proper code edits.

Recently, I came across some Sublime Text plugins that left me speechless. Here are a few...

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Using Git for Websites

Let me start off by saying Git is awesome. I'm not a native app developer, nor am I part of a large dev team. I'm a web developer, who builds both dynamic and static websites, usually on my own. When I was first introduced to Git, it was in mostly in the context of app development for iOS, Mac, Windows, etc. Upon digging deeper, I found that the use of a version control system benefits just about every other kind of development / content creation project.

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iPhone 5 in CSS and One HTML Tag

A while back, I published a CSS3 experiment of mine on my website, as well as on Codepen. It was an iPhone 5, rendered entirely in CSS, and using only one HTML element.

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Who Am I

I'm Matt Boldt

A web developer & designer from Texas. I enjoy building things from scratch, writing pretty code, black coffee, and the oxford comma. Learn more about me.