Making my webdev more pleasant

I’d really like to do more web development than I’ve been doing; influencing society for the better through pleasant user experiences and lovable browser games is a major dream of mine. But so much of it felt like a huge slog, and that was pushing me away. I recently made some changes to address the pain points.

I used to do my editing in Notepad++, but between all its various options for displaying many open files, I’ve never found any way to display more than one line of tabs’ worth of files that I didn’t find highly awkward. This led to me making fewer files, which led to monolithic files that made it hard to find the bits of code I wanted to work on. Brackets took longer to get working the way I wanted it to than Notepad++ did, but after adding the Taller Working Files extension, its Working Files pane is all I want and more for dealing with lots of open files. It feels marvelous that I can now make small files without worrying about having “too many”! Already you can see in the Deviant Love repo that I’ve started to break up core.js into easier-to-navigate pieces.

Besides a new editor, I’ve also set up gulp for’s CSS. The biggest relief this has provided me so far has been offloading all my worrying about property prefixes onto Autoprefixer; I just tell it what sort of browser version support I want, and it does all the prefixing for me, in a copy of the file I don’t do my editing in. I also get all the language extensions of Sassy CSS available for possible use, and I’m starting to learn how to use them to make better-organized files. The lovely part is that, between gulp’s ability to do stuff automatically upon file-saving and gulp-sourcemaps making modern browser dev tools aware of the files I directly work on, practically nothing has been made more complex about my save-and-reload workflow or my use of said dev tools.

I’m not where I want to be with my rate of creative output yet, but making the process much less painful was an important first step.


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