Review of the New BlueGriffon Web Editor

BlueGriffon is a free WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor powered by Gecko, the rendering engine inside Firefox. It is cross-platform with versions for Windows XP and Windows 7, Mac OS X and popular Linux distros. There is also a portable version (for Windows only).

Like its predecessor, NVU, BlueGriffon provides an easy to use interface and includes all the most common options to build web pages that comply with the W3C’s web standards (HTML 4, XHTML 1.0, HTML 5 or XHTML 5 / CSS 2.1 and parts of CSS3 already implemented by Gecko).

A handy wizard guides users to set up their canvas, starting with selecting the document type, filling in data for the property, picking the colours, adding a background image, and deciding on the page layouts.

The interface is intuitive and almost basic at first, as it closely mimics a word processor toolbar layout. Icons to the most common options are clearly laid out: adding a table, a single image or a thumbnail linking to a large image, a link, a video, an audio file or a form to a web page is easy. Switching from WYSIWYG view (where you can arrange objects visually) to the web page source code (where you can manipulate the web page by editing the HTML code) is done by clicking on the two buttons at the bottom of the page. Several web pages can remain open in multiple tabs, which makes it easy to quickly switch from one document to another, copy and paste, etc

Adjusting styles can be done through the style properties panel, which would require some coding knowledge for most functions other than the most basic ones though. For example, it is easy enough to change a font colour or adjust the style of a border but, while the style properties organises the numerous style options quite neatly, most of the style options available would probably not be understood immediately by novices: this makes BlueGriffon more adapted to intermediate coders.

Another drawback of BlueGriffon if you start building your first website layout is the lack of proper (offline or online) documentation yet. If you have previously used any decent web building tool or if you want to build a fairly basic page, this should not be too much of a problem. However, if you’re a beginner in website coding, you may find yourself stuck at some point without much help available. Let’s hope that BlueGriffon documentation will improve with time, starting by offering a few walk-throughs on creating new pages and sites and developing its forum.

On the other hand, one of BlueGriffon strengths is the add-ons: the most obvious one is the free FireFTP add-on to easily publish your page from BlueGriffon. Most of the other add-ons need to be purchased for a small fee though to support future development, according to the BlueGriffon website. The CSS Pro Editor extension for example is much more powerful than the default CSS toolbox and provides web authors with full control over their stylesheets. Some popular paid extensions are the Mobile Viewer add-on (to test your pages with a large number of mobile devices), the Eye Dropper (a colour picker which allows web authors to pick a colour from sources that are not directly viewable or editable inside the editor), the Project Manager add-on (a sync tool between a local directory on your hard disks and a remote directory reachable through FTP), the Snippets add-on (useful when manipulating the exact same chunk of HTML code or text inside the documents) and the Toolkit Manager add-on. It is possible to buy all add-ons at once at a discount price on the publisher’s website.

Clicking on the Preview button will open the web page in any browser of your choice (as long as it’s already installed on their system of course) which is useful for cross-browser testing, to check what your page looks like in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome for example. This is also useful to check your scripts since these won’t run directly in BlueGriffon.

The Markup Cleaner which can be found at Tools menu can help you with cleaning your HTML code. You can also spell-check your pages and BlueGriffon even integrates a small SVG editor (svg-edit, originally distributed as an add-on to Firefox and adapted to BlueGriffon) for quick drawing jobs.

BlueGriffon is a very promising open-source and cross-platform web editor. At only version 1.31, it can’t of course compete directly with massive and expensive web development applications such as Adobe Dreamweaver, but this is already a very nice application to create web standard compliant pages without too much effort. It also makes a great tool for educational purposes, such as teaching design students the basics of HTML and CSS. Documentation and online forums need to be improved but, once it gets traction and support from the community, it could quickly become much more popular.

Be a Killer Emcee at Any Function

The role of the emcee is simply to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This really is a two-fold role – running the show on the day, and being prepared for any eventuality. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to handle the curve-balls.

This checklist is really a guide of what may be required of you. At many weddings, there is a separate wedding arranger that will take care of a lot of these things, but you may be required to handle many unexpected situations.

Because your role is very prominent, you are the person that most people are going to approach with any questions or problems (even if it is officially not your problem), so it is best to be prepared. Remember to delegate and get assistance where possible or necessary.

Before the Event

  • Get a copy of the agenda and check the timings
    • Who is speaking?
    • How long are the speakers speaking for?
    • When are they speaking?
    • What time is dinner, dancing, etc
    • Get contact numbers for all involved (just in case)
      • Bride/groom
      • Venue
      • Photographer
      • DJ
      • Best man
      • Bridesmaid etc
  • Find out the dress code
  • What are the “taboo” topics?
  • Is there a special eating order (eg: table 1 first etc)?/li>

At the Event

  • Arrive early
  • Check out the venue
    • Toilets
    • Smoking area
    • Where are you speaking from?
    • Table for the gifts etc
  • Ask the best man to phone you a few minutes before they arrive, so you can get people where you want them for when the bridal party arrives
  • Confirm timings for the meals with the venue
  • Find out where the controls are for the sound
    • Is there a DJ?
    • Where do you switch the background sound off?
    • How do the microphones work?
    • Is there a dedicated audio-visual person to assist (hotels etc may have)?

Stagetime

  • Welcome the guests
    • Briefly go through the programme “we are going to have starters, then the groom will speak…”
    • Mention logistics
      • where to smoke
      • where the toilets are
      • please switch your phones off during the speeches etc
  • Mention Eating order
  • Speeches
    • You just need to bridge the speeches, you are not the star of the show
    • Be brief
    • Watch timing of speakers – adjust the programme if necessary
  • Let the venue know if food needs to be earlier/later
  • Humour – keep it appropriate
  • You are not the star of the show, but you are critical to the success of the show
  • Remember that you are working – watch alcohol
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Advanced French – How To Answer The Telephone In French

Using the telephone in French can be difficult because it is not always easy to understand what is being said. For speakers of advanced French, here are some useful tips and common phrases.

1. Answering the telephone.

Allô is the most way to answer a personal call. In an office or business setting, you could say something like this:

Librairie Bertrand, Christiane à l’appareil. (Bertrand Bookstore, Christiane speaking.)

Banque de Lyons, Service à la clientele, Jacques Lambert à l’appareil, Comment puis-je vous aider? (Banque de Lyons, Customer service, Jacques Lambert speaking. How can I help you?)

Clinique dentaire du Dr Schmidt, bonjour. (Dr Schmidt’s dental clinic)

Notice how French uses à l’appareil for the English “speaking”

2. Introducing oneself, “My name is…”

Bonjour, ici Johanne Ledoux de la Clinique médicale de la Cité. (Hello, this is Johanne Ledoux, calling from the La Cité medical clinic.)

Bonjour, je m’appelle…. (Hello, my name is…)

3. Asking to speak to someone.

Je voudrais parler à Monsieur, Madame…. (I wish to speak to…)

J’aimerais parler à Madame Lavigne. (I would like to speak to Madame Lavigne.)

4. Confirming yourself. “Speaking”, “This is he / she”.

C’est moi-même.

5. How to ask who is calling for someone else.

C’est de la part de qui? (Who may I ask is calling?)

Do not say Qui appelle? This sounds rather rude in French.

6. How to express the reason for calling.

C’est au sujet de votre compte en souffrance. (I’m calling about your overdue account.)

Je vous appelle de la part du docteur Gouin. (I’m calling on behalf of Dr. Gouin.)

7. Asking the caller to wait. “Hang on”, “Hold the line”.

Ne quittez pas. Une seconde.

8. How to put someone on hold.

Ne quittez pas. Je vous mets en garde.

9. Taking a message.

M. Pierre n’est pas là . Voulez-vous laisser un message? (Mr. Pierre is not in. Would you like to leave a message?)

Madame Goyer est en reunion. Je vous transfère dans sa boîte vocale. (Ms Gouin is in a meeting. I’ll transfer you to her voicemail.)

10. Transferring a call.

Ne quittez pas. Je vous transfère.

11. Voice mail messages.

Here is a typical personal voicemail or answering machine message.

Bonjour, vous avez joint la boîte vocale de Jany Pellerin. Malheureusement, je ne peux répondre à votre appel. Laissez-moi un message avec la date et l’heure de votre appel et je vais communiquer avec vous dans le plus bref délai.

(Hello, you have the voicemail for Jany Pellerin. Unfortunately, I am unable to take your call. Leave a message with the date and time of your call and I will get back to you soon.)

Here is an example of a business message:

Vous avez joint le bureau du docteur Colette Mercier. Nos heures de bureau sont de 8 heures à 16 heures du lundi au vendredi. Veuillez me laisser un message et je vous rappellerai dans le plus bref délai. (You have reached the office of Dr. Colette Mercier. Our office is open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. Please leave me a message, and I will get back to you soon.)

12. In the business world, you will often have to deal with telephone menus. Here are some typical messages:

For service in English, press 1. Pour le service en français, faites le 2. Para comunicarse en castellano, marque el 3.

Pour le département des achats, faites le 2. Pour la comptabilité, appuyez sur le 4. Pour parler avec un agent, faites le 9. Pour entendre ce message de nouveau, faites le 0. (For Purchasing, press 2. For Accounting, press 4. To speak with an agent, press 9. To hear this message again, press 0.)

Si vous connaissez le numéro du poste de la personne à qui vous voulez parler, entrez-le maintenant suivi du dièse. Sinon, restez en ligne et on vous répondra sous peu. (If you know the extension of the person you wish to speak to, enter it followed by the pound sign. Otherwise, wait and you will be answered shortly.)

Work / Life Balance – Are You in Control?

Do you have balance in your life? Do you work too much or play too hard? Is it simply a matter of choosing between the different dimensions of your life? Making that "either / or" choice and calling it balanced? When you think about the dimensions of your life, do you think of the different roles that you must play in life? More often than not, we think of ways to separate our roles, employee at work, mommy and daddy at home, community activist or Little League coach in the community. The funny part about this is that all of these roles represent who we are. Our roles grow out of our values, principles and life missions and become the channels through which we live, love, learn and leave a nationality.
So what's the answer to achieving the balance we seek? According to many of my clients and most people "time" – or lack of it – is the main culprit: "If only I had more time, I could do everything and put my life into a perfect balance." While time management can be a serious issue, it does not have to be a barrier to happiness. Not putting the effort and commitment into establishing a clear path to your mission, vision and values ​​are greater obstacles. The issue is not balance; it's establishing priorities. Priorities do not bring perfection into your life but they do help you to gain better control over life's issues.

George Bernard Shaw wrote, "If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it."

What can you do differently to begin to establish your priorities around your personal values ​​to feel satisfied at home and at work? Try these exercises to focus your career planning and life thinking – yes, you have to do the work to get to your goal!

1. Write down your ten favorite activities, the ones without which your life would feel robbed. Does your career choice allow you to do your favorite activities on a regular basis?

2. Write down the top five goals you want to accomplish in your career. (Think money, fame, impact, contribution and more.) Your selected career must enable you to reach these goals.

3. List everything you'd like to do in your lifetime. These lists can run several hundred items. Does your chosen career choice allow for the accomplishment of your dreams or are you just dreaming?

You are the steward over your time, talent and resources. Now is the time to begin to balance between your inner life and your outer desires. Synergy or balance comes when living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy grows together.