Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: August, 2005

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during August, 2005.





Helping Those Impacted by Hurricane Katrina

Like many of us, I’ve been glued to the TV watching the latest news on Hurricane Katrina. The devastation is heart-wrenching. There’s news all over the Web, of course, about what’s going on, including weblogs popping up. Today’s post includes a selection of helpful links of how to help and how to follow the coverage of this horrendous disaster. (314 words, 12 links)

01:02 pm, pdt30 August, 2005

Categories: Internet, Personal





Back to the Opening New Windows Issue?

Open New Windows for PDF and other Non-Web Documents is Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox article, dated August 29, 2005. Although he’d previously stated not to force links to open new windows, he now feels that you should indeed set links to open in new windows for PDF and other non-Web documents. Even after reading this new article, I still feel strongly about considering the website’s target audience, letting the user choose, and avoiding accessibility problems. Today’s post goes into why I feel that way and even includes an informal test to check out Nielsen’s latest recommendation for yourself. (1195 words, 9 links)

09:18 pm, pdt29 August, 2005

Categories: Usability





Favicon Plugin for Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro

Looking around for a Photoshop plugin to create several favorites/shortcut/bookmark icons as favicon.ico files, I found a great plugin that works beautifully, and it’s even free: Free Photoshop ICO Format plugin via They state that it works with all versions of Photoshop, including CS and CS2, and that it also works with Paint Shop Pro. Actually, you’ll find quite a few interesting plugins there for Windows and Mac. The complete post has a few resources on creating them yourself and the art of creating icons, along with links to icons that you can admire for inspiration. (233 words, 6 links)

09:06 pm, pdt22 August, 2005





My Upcoming Book on Essentials for Web Sites

I’ve posted information about my upcoming book at my business site’s new section, New Book on Web Site Essentials. I’ll update information there, especially when I can finally discuss it further, including referencing the title (hopefully soon!).[1] You can also sign up to be notified about when it will be available. It’s currently in production via the publisher, SitePoint Books. You’ll find more details and links in the complete post. (209 words, 12 links, 1 image)

03:08 pm, pdt18 August, 2005





Website Testing: Conquering Cross-browser, Cross-platform Woes

As I was doing final cross-browser testing for a redesign of SKDesigns, my website design business, the design implementation was working quite well in nearly every mainstream browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and even the Lynx text-only browser. Unfortunately, though, I found problems with three old or little used browsers, such as Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac that destroyed the CSS-positioned layout. I toiled over how to best handle these browser bugs, especially since my upcoming Web design book—currently in production at my publisher—stresses the importance of usability, readability, and degrading gracefully for older browsers. Today’s post covers part of my decision-making journey and choices of approaches for dealing with these CSS bug-riddled old and little-used browsers. (2731 words, 53 links, 5 images)

09:08 pm, pdt14 August, 2005





Successful Weblog Server Change!

We’re live on the new server! In a nutshell, I’m thrilled. Moving this website to the new server has been frustrating at times and certainly time-consuming for both my ISP and for myself, but it’s definitely been a worthwhile adventure. Preliminary good planning and organization helped us tremendously and made all the difference. Today’s post relays some of the details about making the move. I’ve definitely learned a lot through this process, too. (2212 words, 35 links, 1 image)

10:55 pm, pdt 7 August, 2005

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I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books,, (Canada), (UK), (France), (Germany), (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

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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