Installing and Getting Started with DocPad on Windows

Javascript , Static Site Generation 2 Comments »

This blogpost is written in the context of using DocPad with No Skeleton and the ECO (Embedded CoffeeScript Templates) templating engine.

Whilst contributing to the Adobe open source project I had the chance to get up close and personal with DocPad.

DocPad is a next generation web architecture; allowing for

  • Content management via the file system
  • Rendering via plugins, and
  • Static site generation for deployment anywhere.

It's built with Node.js and Express.js, making it naturally fast and easily extendable.

During my time using DocPad I had some issues which I was able to easily overcome so I thought I would document these here so that other in the same position can hopefully find my blog and save themselves some time by trying out these possible workarounds and get to know and use DocPad as it truely is a great toolkit for any web developer looking to get their hands dirty with static site generation.


Semantic Icon Font using Topcoat Icons

Topcoat No Comments »

Just a note to say that you can get my latest blog post over on the Adobe Topcoat website blog.

Also note, as per Kristofers comment that the contents of the Topcoat icons repository are now also available on CDNJS here:


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Adobe LifeCycle Designer and Tab Order A.K.A. Tab Index

Adobe LifeCycle , Gotchas , IDEs , Tips and Tricks No Comments »

I was creating a PDF form using Adobe LifeCycle Designer to collect some data from external users to be sent back for processing via ColdFusion.

Whilst doing so I came across a task that I thought would have been quite trivial / easy but I found it not to be that obvious so again in leiu of my last post I hope this saves someone from digging around to get the answer!

Firstly, I did what any other user would do in my situation and hit the F1 key to access the help.  My search results for "Tab Index" were proving unsuccessful until I discovered that LifeCycle refers to it as "Tab Order".  This made a huge difference and I was able to hone straight into the material I was after and was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, in a nutshell here's what to do:

From the menu, select "View > Tab Order" - obvious I know but not really when you're looking through the object properties trying to find the damn thing!

The follow these steps:

  1. Hold Shift then click the object you want to be 1st with the left mouse button
  2. Click the remaining fields in order.  There is a number in the top left which represents the current order.  This should change as you click.
  3. When complete, select "View > Tab Order" again from the menu to return to edit mode.

And that's that.

On the upside, I found the Tab Order functionality above quite easy and intuitive to use and also saved me from having to manually update some property of each and every object in the form, of which I had approx. 60.

Here's a link to a video from Adobe TV which also shows the same process for Adobe Acrobat Pro.



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MS Windows cmd.exe window and Fullscreen

Misc , Tips and Tricks , Windows 7 Comments »

Today I was faced with an interesting dilema...

I was writing some windows batch  scripts to automate some Subversion tasks and I wanted to re-configure the display of the windows cmd.exe window.  I know Console2 and DOSBox are out there but cmd.exe is the default so I'm running with that for now.

So, in the cmd.exe properties dialog (right-click the title bar and select defaults) I configured the command window / dialog display options to be "Full Screen".

Once I ran my batch file, cmd.exe turned my laptop into a dumb terminal / DOS interface while running the sequence of events I had configured.  It's okay, once complete it return back to Windows normally but that wasn't the effect I was after!!  I simply wanted a larger command window within windows...


The problem now though was - How the hell do I get back to "Window" mode?  Everything I ran with cme.exe was switching to this mode!!


Quite simply using the key combination Alt+Enter, I was able to toggle between "Window" and "Full Screen" mode.


So hopefully someone else looking for this Gem will find it here!!

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GitHub, SSH and Windows

GitHub , Windows 3 Comments »

As part of scratching my itch to learn Ruby I decided to create a GitHub repository for storing my code, downloaded samples and koans.  Being mainly a Subversion user I decided to use GitHub for this, simply to extend my knowledge of this popular version control system.

When setting up GitHub using the detailed instructions here I ran into an issue when testing my SSH Connection, which GitHub uses to enable secure communications between your computer and the server.  Using GitBash I entered the following command:

$ ssh -T

$ Permission denied (publickey).

I resorted to the documentation and found the following command:

$ ssh -vT

Using the switch -vT instructs the terminal to show debug details.  Upon reviewing this debug I noticed that the session connected successfully but when trying to authenticate with my generated public key, the files being searched for where not the same as the name I created for mines.

OpenSSH was searching the .ssh folder for one of the following public key file names:

  • identity
  • id_rsa
  • id_dsa

To resolve this issue - I renamed the key files to id_rsa which resolved this issue for me.  There were two in the .ssh directory ( and id_rsa).

So when creating an ssh key, when asked to enter a file in which to save the key - simply hit "Enter" and it will use the default settings.


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