Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Fri

7

JUN

2002

Friday Feast #12: Blog Tools, Creativity, CSS, Design, Graphics, and Fun

Today’s Friday Feast has links to more exceptional CSS information, a fascinating interview about creativity and inspiration, new software releases, and more fun and assorted topics. And check out the Friday Feast archives for even more.

Blog Tools

  • BlogAmp
    Automatically list your most recent WinAmp songs at your site with this free WinAmp plug-in.
    [hat tip: Sian Evans]
  • Blogrolling
    Automatically index your blog links with this easy-to-use link management tool that works with many blog publishing tools.
    [hat tip: Sian Evans]

Creativity and Inspiration

CSS

  • Text Sizing: The Ground Will Not Be Friends With You
    Owen Briggs, well known for his CSS box lessons and co-author of the terrific new CSS book, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, has been working on font sizing issues, and now he’s provided the rest of us with 264 screenshots rendering fonts in the most popular browsers. Owen’s screenshots can help provide amazing insight about what all the browsers do (or don’t do) to fonts. Absolutely incredible resource.

    Owen follows up with posting Matt Round’s JavaScript solution and explanation, A JavaScript Fix For Text That’s Too Tiny.

    Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, by Owen Briggs and other exceptional authors, published by Glasshaus.So should you use pixels or ems or JavaScript sniffers or something else? While it can be a hot topic of debate at many CSS and design discussion lists, I suggest basing that decision on educating yourself about the pros and cons of various approaches and choose the best solution for your particular project. See WebsiteTips.com’s CSS section for more resources to online tutorials, information, and book recommendations.
  • TopStyle Pro 3 Beta ReleasedTopStyle Pro
    The popular TopStyle CSS editor is in the midst of beta testing its upcoming Pro 3 CSS/HTML/XHTML Editor for Windows. Read the details about this substantially improved and expanded new version, download the latest beta to check it out and provide feedback and ask questions at their beta newsgroup.

    I spent about 90 minutes trying it out last night and was blown away with the new features. In addition to being an exceptional CSS editing tool, TopStyle’s new beta version fully integrates the ability to write and validate HTML and XHTML within TopStyle and convert existing HTML to XHTML with the integrated HTML Tidy. Trying several of the new features brought impressive results.

    TopStyle’s creator, Nick Bradbury, also created HomeSite and continued its development for Allaire until 1999. (Allaire is now merged with Macromedia.) Nick really listens and responds to community feedback, in addition to being an extremely gifted and forward-thinking developer. Somehow I’m not surprised to see this latest major expansion of TopStyle, and I look forward to the Pro 3.0 final version coming soon.
    [hat tip: wise-women discussion list]
  • JavaScript + CSS + DOM Magic coverWDVL: JavaScript + CSS + DOM Magic
    At WDVL read a chapter excerpt from this new book by Makiko Itoh, published by New Riders. Exceptionally easy to understand information to learn to create sophisticated designs. This chapter excerpt covers creating tabbed interfaces with CSS, JavaScript and minimal graphics. Also check out the book’s online companion site.

Design and Development

  • CSE HTML Validator Online Check
    Now you can validate your HTML, XHTML and CSS at the CSE HTML Validator site.

    CSE HTML ValidatorI’ve also used the Pro version for several years now, which integrates seamlessly with HomeSite and other programs. I use CSE HTML Validator as I create or make changes to a site, and once I’ve finished the markup for a page I validate via W3C’s validator as a final check.
  • Real-World Browser Size Stats, Part II
    By Adrian Roselli (aka aardvark at evolt.org). Although written almost two years ago now, this is an article that I continue to revisit for its excellent information and insight about the open browser window space and not the actual window size in determining design needs.
    [hat tip: evolt’s thelist discussion list]

Graphics

  • Xara Webstyle 3 Released
    Xara Webstyle 3 logoMay 30th Xara announced their new Xara Webstyle 3, a vector graphics template based program that allows you to create navigation bars with rollover effects and DHTML menus, animated banner ads, headings and many other graphic types - or even do basic photo processing, all with the click of a button.

Reference

Distractions

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Friday Feast archives

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Recommended Books

Cover - Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points, by 37Signals. New Riders Press (March 2, 2004). 

Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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