I’ve Framed! my hosts

And it feels great!

For a couple of days I’ve been poking around with a small tool to ease the burdens of keeping track of different web development environments.

The problem

Nowadays a lot of developers have a number of different environments set up to improve the way they work. It’s often safe to tinker around and break things in a development environment, a little less so in a stage environment and absolutely potential high risk disaster to do anything at all in live/production!

In order to try and fix this, I, in the early days, went the way of directly editing files server side on the different hosts. This had an added benefit of making it clear to anyone that visited that host, that it was a special type of environment. But, there was a downside. And that was that it was visible to everyone and not just to me, when surfing around on the different hosts. Plus, editing files like this is a nightmare to keep track of when deploying.

The solution: a multi browser extension

So, I thought that it would be nice to have these visual cues available on the client side, in the browsers, instead. I started looking around in the different browser addon stores and sure, I found one or two tools, but they were all either low on features or tied to only one browser.
To fix this, I started developing an extension for Chrome that could take of this. Said and done, I’ve now created an extension, Framed!, that works on three browsers so far; Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Soon, there will be Microsoft Edge and Safari versions but they are super quirky to work with, so don’t expect it to be available for a little while.

What it does

Anyways, what the extension does is allowing you to paint a frame around your choice of host(s), customisable to what color, thickness, placement (top, right, bottom, left), opacity and Z-index. As an added bonus, you can import/export your frames by copying and pasting a human readable and editable JSON format between the browsers you use.

I hope you find this tool useful, and I’ll spend some more time working on it to make it even more useful and polished.

How to get it

Here are the links to the extension on all browsers:

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