Archive of: 2007
Wrap text with CSS Text Wrapper
20 December 2007 by
CSS Text Wrapper is a new tool that helps you create the CSS required to wrap text into unusual shapes.
Podcasts for web designers and developers
04 December 2007 by
I recently bought myself an iPod and, apart from the general all-round goodness of the iTunes experience, have discovered some entertaining and informative podcasts.
CSS attribute selectors
14 November 2007 by
There are some relatively under-used CSS techniques and one of these is the use of attribute selectors.
Blog software comparison, WordPress v Textpattern
07 November 2007 by
I have been using Textpattern as blog software and as a website content management system (CMS) for a few years now but my colleague (who shall remain nameless) is a bit of a WordPress fan. We each argued the case for our favourite but both systems seemed to have advantages and disadvantages depending on the website scenario. In actual fact, neither of us has used the other software ‘in anger’ so-to-speak. Until now that is.
Creating specific page styles with CSS
31 October 2007 by
Yesterday, I was asked if it was possible to create individual page styles using CSS. In this case, the same style sheet would be used but there would be a specific style rule for page x compared with page y. For example, you may want to have a different background image for your home page compared to your ‘product’ pages. Perhaps the home page has a ‘blue theme’ and the product pages are ‘color coded’ with a different colour…
Jeremy Keith knows a lot about Irish traditional music
11 October 2007 by
The last £5 App meeting in Brighton featured web developer Jeremy Keith talking about his website The Session. At least, that’s what I thought…
Websites for freelancers
10 October 2007 by
I try and keep up with quite a few websites by subscribing to their RSS feeds. Recently, I have discovered a couple of websites that are aimed primarily at freelancers/web workers.
SEO copywriting techniques
02 October 2007 by
David Rosam from Web Positioning Centre gave an interesting presentation about SEO copywriting at last night’s Skillswap in Brighton. Key points from the presentation…
CSS sprite generator
28 September 2007 by
CSS background image position properties allow the use of one 'master' image that contains multiple component images instead of separate images. The technique is known as CSS Sprites.
How to optimise your CSS code
14 September 2007 by
Code Beautifier is a useful website that optimises and formats CSS files. The website will take your style sheet file, remove whitespace, clean up style rules by removing unnecessary characters.
dConstruct 07 reviewed
11 September 2007 by
Last week, I attended dConstruct 2007 which was a web conference in Brighton. I meant to write a review of the day immediately afterwards but regular work took over. Anyway, here are a few quick thoughts on this year’s dConstruct which had the theme of ‘Designing the User Experience’.
Safari for Windows so far
05 September 2007 by
I downloaded Safari 3 beta for Windows when it first came out because I wanted to use it as part of my browser testing suite for website development. I have used it on and off since then and here are my impressions.
Wireframing with CSS
28 August 2007 by
Wireframe prototyping is a useful method for illustrating the elements that comprise a website layout before the actual design is created. A website wireframe can provide a basis for discussion with clients and enable the web developer to confirm ideas about the placement of page elements, such as navigation, functionality, and content. It can be very useful as a starting point for your thinking process.
Web standards in the bedroom?
21 August 2007 by
I came across the Noise to Signal website recently. The blog has some funny cartoons drawn by Rob Cottingham.
15 August 2007 by
Tom Hume from Future Platforms described 'The Gritty Realities of Founding a Software Company' at last night's £5App meeting in Brighton
Mashing up RSS feeds with Textpattern
09 August 2007 by
Over the past few days, I have been investigating methods for combining RSS feeds from different sources and displaying the results.
Find unused CSS selectors with a Firefox add-on
02 August 2007 by
If you work on several websites at once (it sometime seems like I am doing this all the time) and/or if you inherit a website’s CSS development, it can be tricky to keep a track of your style sheet selectors. Which selectors are used and which have become redundant?
How to get started in podcasting
26 July 2007 by
I don’t know much about podcasting but Andy White from Summit Solutions gave an excellent presentation at the Sussex Geek Dinner (on Upcoming) last night. Andy covered the podcasting basics including what podcasting is (a series of audio broadcasts delivered via RSS or similar), what microphone to buy, how not to speak into the wrong side of the microphone (always useful to know), and how to use the free sound editor, Audacity.
Upcoming event planning
16 July 2007 by
I visit quite a few websites on a regular basis (or subscribe to their RSS feeds) but a website I am using more and more is Upcoming.
Quick link - pseudo elements in CSS
10 July 2007 by
Enhance your website text with pseudo element CSS selectors. Jonathan Snook has written a short article about pseudo elements that explains all.
Building a tabbed menu with Adobe Spry in Dreamweaver
03 July 2007 by
What's happening with CSS3?
28 June 2007 by
CSS3.info provides a wealth of information about CSS3 which is the next specification for cascading style sheets (CSS).
22 June 2007 by
I know we are not building websites using tables for layout any more (ahem) but tables are still the best way of displaying related data.
Tails you win....
13 June 2007 by
Dan Glegg gave a great presentation at the third £5 App meeting where he described the process of developing Tails, which is a collaborative bug tracking web application for teams of web developers, web designers, cooks (yes, really) and…. in fact, any group that collaborates on a project could use this application.
Safari browser for Windows
11 June 2007 by
One of the problems that any Windows-based web designer faces is how to test any newly created website on an Apple Mac and, in particular, with Apple's browser Safari.
Web design and CSS books
11 June 2007 by
I am reading two excellent books at the moment. Firstly, The Principles of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird and secondly The Art and Science of CSS by Cameron Adams, Jina Bolton et al. I have only completed a few chapters so far but both books have nice layouts and seem easy to read.
All about APIs, mashups, and microformats
06 June 2007 by
There's a great article on Digital Web Magazine called APIs and Mashups For The Rest Of Us by Gareth Rushgrove. The article explains what an API is and how websites uses these extensively nowadays.
31 May 2007 by
Last year, I attended d.Construct 2006 in Brighton. It was a great conference and particularly convenient for me because I live in the same county. This year, d.Construct 2007 has expanded into a multi-day event with pre-conference workshops and a larger venue.
The main theme this year is user experience design which will be interesting. It's an area…
CSS layout builder tool
29 May 2007 by
When working with cascading style sheets (CSS), it’s useful to have a variety of solid CSS-based layouts that you can call on at short notice. After all, ‘two column with header and footer’ can get kinda boring if you work with it all the time.
CSS layouts for forms - tips and tricks
24 May 2007 by
About a year ago, we replaced some webpage forms that used tables for layout with CSS-based layouts. Here's the blog post about it, CSS layouts for forms. To cut a long story short, we had some problems but eventually adapted this method to give this form.
Here's why microformats are useful
20 May 2007 by
Here's a cool use of microformats. Jeremy Keith has posted a video demo that shows how you can transfer microformatted event information from a webpage to a mobile phone with one click.
Top three newspaper websites
14 May 2007 by
Once upon a time, there were rumours that the web would kill off traditional newspaper editions. This has not happened but, over recent years, broadsheet newspaper websites in the UK have started to take the web more and more seriously. This is reflected in their websites which are usually fine examples of how to organise and display a wealth of information and change it on a regular basis. Here's my top three UK newspaper websites.
What makes a successful web application?
09 May 2007 by
I was thinking about the criteria for website success recently. With web applications, it may depend on your objectives. Perhaps you want to establish an active community or even make some money from your lovingly-crafted ‘web app’. However, one possible measure of success is whether the application has been sold to another company. That’s certainly the case with two web applications that were described last night at the second £5 Apps meeting in Brighton.
CSS floats made easy (well, almost)
02 May 2007 by
After working with cascading style sheets for a while, you soon get to realise that floating elements can achieve many things, but the use of the float property also comes with its own problems.
Web design survey
26 April 2007 by
If you are a web designer, why not take the A List Apart Web Design Survey. It only took me a few minutes and your contribution will help provide a snapshot of the web design industry.
POSHify your website
23 April 2007 by
I came across the term POSH recently and discovered the POSH home page. This seems to be a 'subgroup' of the 'web standards movement' and is the basis from which microformats are built.
The future of web design?
19 April 2007 by
The Future of Web Design Conference yesterday attempted to answer the question ‘What is the future of web design’? I am not sure that the event produced a definitive answer but it certainly covered a wide range of web design activities that are happening now. In fact, at the end of the day, I was left feeling that ‘web design’ is in itself an inaccurate description these days. That’s mainly because the conference included presentations on such diverse topics as web applications, online branding and identity, Flash, applications for the desktop, XHTML/CSS prototyping, and identifying creative ideas. These all impact on ‘web design’ in one way or another but the terms itself is rather misleading.
12 April 2007 by
Bulletproof Ajax is Jeremy Keith's follow-up book to DOM Scripting and it has a similar style. It is easy to read with clear step-by-step explanations. The book demonstrates a strong commitment to high quality Ajax implementations but it also ask the question whether you should use Ajax in the first place. If you decide 'Yes', the book espouses progressive enhancement with bulletproof methods as the only way to do it. The use of Hijax to intercept a user action, such as an onclick event, is a core technique.
CSS3 - the next generation
10 April 2007 by
Andy Budd has published slides from what looks like an interesting presentation on the status of CSS3.
05 April 2007 by
Glenn Jones gave a lucid explanation of microformats and their usage at last night's Sussex Geek Dinner.
How to develop your own web application
28 March 2007 by
I went to the inaugural £5 App Meeting in Brighton yesterday to hear John Montgomery and Ian Oszvald talk about two web applications that they have developed in their spare time.
Glossy Blue - fantastic blog theme
22 March 2007 by
I was perusing my Flickr website inspiration photoset and I came across a screenshot of a blog theme that I saved. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say 'Wow! That's a great design'.
What am I - web designer or web developer?
19 March 2007 by
I signed up for the Future of Web Design Conference recently and the name badge registration asked whether I was a web designer or web developer. Hmmm. Tricky question.
CSS overflow property
13 March 2007 by
CSS properties you may not have heard of – 2
There may be times when your web design layout dictates that the height of all your pages should be the same or very similar. On these occasions, it can be a ‘problem’ if the client presents you with ‘too much’ text or image content so that the page height is larger than desired. What to do? Change the layout or come up with some clever DOM scripting to show page content?
Twitter - what's it all about?
06 March 2007 by
Twitter is a website that has received quite a buzz. However, I must admit that it is not something that immediately says to me 'I must join'.
Expression Engine presented
01 March 2007 by
Last night at the 9th Sussex Geek Dinner, Geoff Adams enthused about Expression Engine as a content management system (CMS).
Free fonts from Urban Fonts
28 February 2007 by
Urban Fonts is a fonts showcase website that offers free fonts, commercial fonts, and dingbats in an attractive, modern, blue and green website design. There’s a slightly Web 2.0 look to the site with a familiar tag cloud of popular searches – and there are over 8000 fonts that you can browse, search, and preview.
CSS properties you may not have heard of - 1
23 February 2007 by
Every so often (well, actually, quite often), I ‘discover’ a new CSS property that I have not used before. Here’s one. The first-line pseudo-element may be used to add a different style to the first line of text of an element.
CSS is easier than tables for web page layout
20 February 2007 by
I have reached the conclusion1 that using CSS for web page layout is easier than using tables.
Sussex geeks clash with London Web Standards Group
14 February 2007 by
I am planning to attend the 9th Sussex Geek Dinner (where Geoff Adams will talk abut Expression Engine) on 28th February but now find that it clashes with the London WSG meeting
Email campaigns made easy
12 February 2007 by
In recent weeks, I have been using Campaign Monitor to manage a small email newsletter for one of my own websites. I have to say I’m impressed. Campaign Monitor provides an easy-to-use interface which makes it a snap to set-up subscriber sign-ups from your website, import subscribers, design and import HTML and/or text content for the emails, and send campaigns. Best of all, it provides detailed statistics for each and every campaign you send.
Google provides more link data
07 February 2007 by
Google is providing much more link data if you are signed up with Google Webmaster Tools. The amount of information is much greater than using the link:operator in normal Google searches
hReview in Textpattern
24 January 2007 by
Jon Hicks has published a neat article describing one way of implementing the hreview microformat in Textpattern. Good idea.
How to make double borders with CSS
22 January 2007 by
When you have a website deadline, it’s quite easy to fall into the ‘trap’ of sticking with tried and tested cascading style sheet (CSS) methods that you know and love. However, it can also be useful to try out CSS properties that you are not so familiar with. For me, this used to be the case with the border property. I used solid borders almost exclusively until I discovered that there were other possibilities including double borders [Ed: you need to get out more].
OpenStreetMap meets Sussex geeks
18 January 2007 by
Last night, I attended the 8th Sussex Geek Dinner in Brighton where Mikel Maron described the OpenStreetMap project to about 20 or so geeks from Sussex.
How to use microformats to export your contact details
16 January 2007 by
Shape Shed has written a nice article explaining how to use the hCard microformat and how to exploit the microformat data with a one-click 'add my details to your address book' link.
Time your work with SlimTimer
11 January 2007 by
Working as a freelancer, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of how much time you spend on each client/project/job. SlimTimer makes it easy. Here's a short review of this great, free, web application.
The future of Google?
05 January 2007 by
Searchmash is a low-profile site by Google. It’s a search engine with some different features and I’d speculate that some of these may make it into Google itself in the future You might call it Google’s test area, perhaps?
Google music search
03 January 2007 by
Like me, you may have heard a song and searched for the song lyric and artist on Google. What was the name of that song and who sung it?! Well, here's something I didn't know.