Background: Zen Coding is a Python script that can run in various extensible editors, my favorite being TextMate. It turns strings like
div#branding>h1#header+ul#nav>li*5>a into a fully marked up HTML branding div with a single shortcut. It’s immensely useful, and if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. Skip it, though, and jump straight to Sparkup.
I use Zen Coding constantly in TextMate. It’s replaced 75% of my HTML snippets with one shortcut. What Sparkup adds is the ability to move back up levels using the “<” symbol, as well as the ability to add attributes (like an href for a link) and content to elements from within the shortcut string. See the Sparkup readme for examples. Awesome stuff.