FOSS Threads, Header

For those that may have remembered my prior post, “New Linux Threads!“, we finally launched the web site September 17th and  renamed the product line to “FOSS Threads.”  It’s been quite a ride to get the site going and quite the adventure getting the t-shirt designs from concept to production.  Again; I can’t thank Kay Ferguson Apparel enough for all the hard work.  I’m pretty proud of the startup designs we’ve put together, but I’d give up my first born really like to know what you all think of them.

Launch Weekend

We wanted to make sure the site was launched before the Atlanta Linux Fest, September 19th.  We made the deadline and now we trying to figure out a marketing strategy to help get the word out.  “We did build it, but how do we get them to come!?” We’ve got a couple ideas, but if there’s a marketing specialist that wants in on this, let us know and we’ll talk (@FergatROn [twitter] [identica], mferguson at digitalalias dot net).

The thing I love most about this site is it’s ability to function on any mobile device. I didn’t use any JavaScript or fancy-dancy DHTML tricks. Well maybe one trick, but it was done using JQuery. With it being XHTML strict and applying the proper CSS it’s working like a dream. The tough part was getting the right CSS combination in order to make it function on multiple platforms.

Developing the Site

Ogg Vorbis T-shirt designBesides the fact that we’ve created a solution to my initial need of having a designer FOSS shirt. I was able to finally create a web site from the ground up using FOSS. How incredible is that!? I’ve been a Dreamweaver/Photoshop developer for many years even when I started using Fedora (distro of champions!) I originally tried to get those programs working through Wine. I didn’t have much fun with them so I decided that I should use native programs.

What I’ve come up with through my research is Bluefish for coding, Gimp for graphics work and Inkscape for vectors (I haven’t worked with vectors though). Interesting enough, I heard of a plug-in for Gimp to make the interface look like Photoshop, and at first I wasn’t for it.  After using it for this project I’m almost considering it. I’m a keyboard shortcut kind-of-guy (watch out gals) and the shortcuts in Gimp make absolutely NO sense to me.  How am I to remember that the erase tool is SHIFT+E instead of a simple “E” key!? At least that one has an “E”. There are other tools that don’t match their name. Very confusing.

The Aftermath

Before completing this project I was a big-time “I’ll code it in gedit if I have to”. Now that I’ve used Bluefish (a full-text editor) for this project I am really considering a WYSIWYG editor. It’s very time consuming doing the code by hand.  Especially when coding  XHTML Strict! I need shortcuts.  I miss Dreamweaver. :)

Now our main focus is to start marketing this web site and eventually move it into a Magento environment.  I hope you all enjoy the shirts as I have. We’re looking for some serious feedback.  Good and bad, we need it all.  I want to stress the community aspect to this project. True, I made these shirts out of my own need, but I know there are more folks out there that had the same problem. Now that I’ve created a platform, I want us all to benefit from it. Give us your feedback and design ideas (no images, just ideas) and we’ll start making more Free and Open Source Software apparel.