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TIMO ZIMMERMANN

balancing software engineering & infosec

Even If You Hate Adobe – Go, Get Adobe Shadow

posted on Wednesday 14th of March 2012 in ,

For some hardcore Apple fans, sane people that hate Flash and the rest
of humanity that also hates Flash Adobe is more evil than Microsoft ever
was. Only surviving on some tools media artists, web developers and
other creative people need. And you know what? It is justified that they
managed to survive with those. The newest tool from Adobe Labs, Adobe
Shadow
, proves this again and is a welcome addition to my toolchain.

I recently talked about responsive web design and other stuff. No matter
if your approach is a more classic one or if you declare everything new
and shiny as the best thing since sliced bread – there is one thing you will
likely do: Design a site for mobile devices.

Depending on your workflow and tools you use there is one thing that you
do really often. Hit refresh. On every device. Many times a day on
different devices to test all those resolutions and browser
incompatibilities and how to fix them. Adobe came up with a solution.

Entrance: Adobe Shadow

If you do not want to watch the promotion video, then here is a short
explanation. You
install Adobe Shadow on your workstation, on your mobile devices and
a Chrome plugin. After pairing your devices with your browser they
refresh the content of your page every time you hit your refresh button
or press Command-R or whatever you use.

But this is not everything. Adobe Shadow has a lot more features. Far more
interesting and a lot more useful: Firebug. Or something that is pretty
similar to Firebug. You can modify and change your HTML and CSS code that is
rendered on your devices.

A huge improvement compared to editing your Sass file, compiling it, maybe
uploading it to your server, hitting refresh just to notice that you
screwed up the z-index and your site looks broken. Easy and fast testing
without consequences, even on live sites.

Currently Firebug is the best reason for me to use Adobe Shadow. Running
quick tests how to fix a design problem I found on a site that is already
live without complicated setups or anything else that could get in my way.

Pair the devices, open Chrome, I believe some of us even have them open
already, visit the site, open Firebug, change code and preview
it on your iPad or iPhone.

No matter if you hate Adobe and believe they use their labs to
give cancer to puppies, try Shadow if you ware working on designs that are
likely to be shown on various devices. I believe you will not
regret it.