CSSVista, you done me wrong!
So, I'm working on this page. I've spent about four or five hours on it. Lots of fun layout hurdles. I start getting close to the end and I'm just about to fix a couple things in Internet Explorer. I remember hearing about CSSVista and it's fantastic capabilities to live edit CSS and preview it in IE and Firefox. "Perfect," I thought. It'll save me the time of fixing it in IE only for it to break in Firefox.
I download the application. Oh, it requires the .NET 2.0 framework. No biggie. Just another 22MB download. (Remember when a 22MB download was a big deal?) I install everything and I crank up CSSVista. I point it to my local file and voila, there's the page. I hit the Edit CSS button and it just hangs there. Hmmmm, okay. Seems kind of buggy. I point it to my live site just to see if it works and it does. Ahwell, I didn't feel like spending too much time on it but I point it back to my local file one more time. Odd, now there's no style to my page. Whatever. Close application.
I switch back to Firefox and refresh the page. No styles. WTF. Okay, let's take a look at the folder. Uh oh. Where are my CSS files? They're all gone. This isn't good. What's even worse is that I've closed the file in my editor. A search of my hard drive finds no trace of them. I don't feel so good... Looks like CSSVista has deleted my CSS files.
My saving grace of all things was ... (wait for it) ... Internet Explorer. I still had it in the browser and hadn't hit refresh. I also have the web developer toolbar installed. With toolbar in hand, I was able to click through the DOM and see what properties were being used. I used that information to rebuild my CSS from scratch.
I suppose the lesson in all of this is that I should have a system in place for this sort of thing. A versioning and backup system would probably be best. Lesson learned.
After a little research, it seems CSSVista only deleted CSS files that were in the same folder as my HTML file. I suspect the software was trying to create a backup of the original files but in the same folder and ended up deleting the files instead. Chances are, if you're using it and your CSS files are in a subfolder, you'll be okay. I've sent an email to the company and hopefully they can resolve this issue quickly.