'Website Design' Category Results

Web Developer Crossword Puzzle

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

A crossword puzzle for Web developers!

crossword puzzle

This crossword puzzle’s questions cover such topics as: search engines, CSS, C#, JavaScript, Browsers, Programming and just about anything else Web-related, just like Search-This does.

So get yourself a cup of coffee and download the PDF file or view the image and print it out. Good luck geeks!

There are 25 questions. The answers will be posted next week.

pdf_icon.gifDownload Web Developer Crossword Puzzle

You can also click here to view an image of the crossword puzzle and print it should you want to.

Simple Round Corners in CSS (revisited)

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Oh No! Not more round corners!

In a previous article we learned how to apply some nice shadowed corners and sides to a fluid width box and I thought it would be good to show a similar method that allows for transparent corners. This will allow the element to sit on any colored background without having to paint the transparent part of the corner with the background color.

I know you might think “Oh no – not another round corner tutorial” but stick with it and I’m sure you’ll find some of this info useful. Round corners are always a bit of a pain to do in CSS so I present here an easy to follow way to make round corners that can be used everywhere. We aren’t going to do anything clever or overly complicated and we aren’t going to bother with shadowed corners/sides because as I mentioned above we have already been there.

Before we begin here is a finished example for you to look at.


Code is Money: Code Debt

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Treat your code like it's your bank account. What do I

mean by that? Money isn't everything. I'll be the first person to admit that. But everyone needs at least some money in this modern world of ours just to survive. We all have to pay the re

nt and eat somehow. On the flipside, having a shaky financial situation or biting off more than you can chew can be a disaster. The same can be said about your application or website's code base. We all have what is called “code debt” somewhere at work. Maybe you have a part of your site that didn't get updated in the last redesign and looks out of place now compared to everything else. Maybe you have a piece of code that could be written using some other library that would make it 50% faster. Maybe your site launched with one

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or two CSS validation errors that you couldn't figure out, but didn't mess up the layout in any browsers. Anything like this should be looked upon in the same way you look at debt in your financial life. In the short term, code debt, like real debt, is manageable and in some cases even an acceptable or preferable tradeoff. Odds are you didn't want to launch your website with those errors or release that app using the old version of that library, but a hard deadline probably forced your hand. Like a small impulse purchase on your credit card, this is all well and good as long as you can pay it off quickly. If you fix the problem on your site a day or two after launch, just like if you paid your credit card bill right when the statement came in, you'll be okay and you didn't

incur too much cost. On the other hand, if you let this debt rack up, it will compound on you. Let's say you're working on version 2 of your application, and it builds on previous features that require the slow-performing library that has a new faster version out. If you keep using the old library, your problems could very well bubble up again, or they could be even worse. Now some people might read this article and take it as encouragement to over-engineer their websites or programs. That's not the case at all, and a design that's too complex for its purpose will most certainly fail faster than one with a little problem here or there. Over-engineering is like buying a million dollar house

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when you're working part-time at a gas station; you'll fail before you even try to make the first payment. Taking on a little debt here and there is an acceptable short-term tradeoff in order to get something you need just a little faster; it is not meant to be used as a long-term strategy.

I hope this struck a chord with some of you out there, and hopefully it reminds you of some little code debts that you haven't paid off yet. As for me, I'm off to fix a few problems since I'm looking to get into a mortgage in the future 🙂


Hip to Be Square

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Have you looked at other people’s style sheets lately? Were you baffled to find square brackets in the CSS code? If so, this article might be of interest to you.

What Does It Mean?

Curly braces should feel comfortable to any CSS author, since you cannot write any useful CSS without them. Regular parentheses should be fairly familiar, too, at least if you’ve used functional notations like background-image:url("/images/bg.png") or color:rgb(128, 128, 255). But square brackets?

The square brackets denote an attribute selector – a concept that was introduced in 1998 in CSS Level 2. An attribute selector modifies a simple selector by imposing an additional constraint on it. Does that sound like Greek to you? (Or like something other than Greek, for those of you who are, in fact, Greek?) Don’t worry, we’ll look at some examples in a short while.

Why Should You Even Bother?

But first, let’s address another question: If attribute selectors really are useful, why didn’t you already know about them? Or, to turn it around, since you’ve managed to get by without them, what’s the point of using them?

The reason you may not have heard about them is quite simple: Internet Explorer for Windows up to and including version 6 don’t support attribute selectors. Since the market share for those browser versions has been well above 80% until very recently, there hasn’t been much incentive for using attribute selectors in public-facing websites.

Version 7 of IE does support attribute selectors, though, and as more and more users upgrade from IE6, attribute selectors gain more interest.

What can those newfangled attribute selectors do then, that’s so useful that you should take some of your precious time to learn about them? The answer is that they allow you to do a lot of things that you hitherto have had no other way to achieve than to pollute your markup with class attributes.


When to Fire a Client

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I’ve been working with clients for almost five years and have had varied experiences with my clients; some good, some average and some I hope to never work with again. All that said, all of my clients have been satisfied with my work. But last month I did something that I haven’t ever had to do before, I fired a client.


Developer’s Toolbox: Web Developer Firefox Extension

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

This is the first article in a new monthly series entitled the “Developer’s Toolbox”. Each month we’ll introduce you to a new application or set of tools or plugin or some type of gizmo that will make your life as a developer a little easier.

First up in this series is a tool that I find indispensable and use almost daily: the Web Developer Firefox extension.


Are You a Code Ninja?

Friday, September 21st, 2007


Ninjutsu is a discipline within the Bujinkan martial arts and is a collection of survivalist techniques. Ninja clans used these techniques in Japan to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. These techniques included methods of gathering information, non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu can also involve training in disguise, escape, concealment, archery, medicine, explosives, and poisons. The literal translation of Bujinkan is “Hall of the Divine Warrior.”

According to Bujinkan members, the eighteen disciplines were first stated in the scrolls of Togakure Ryu, and according to the Bujinkan, they became definitive for all Ninjutsu schools, providing a complete training of the warrior in various fighting arts and complementary disciplines.

Today the modern code ninja also studies many different disciplines to ensure their survival. There are many different paths that you can choose to follow; below are the disciplines that I have chosen to learn and my level of mastery of each. See the legend below for a breakdown of the different colors:

Flash / ActionScript / Flex / AIR
HTML / CSS / JavaScript / Ajax


Of course there are many more skills/languages/disciplines that one can chose to learn: C, Python, Java, Ruby, Databases, Photoshop/Graphic Design, Blogging/Copywriting, Silverlight and much MUCH more.

What are your chosen disciplines and where are you at in your level of mastery?

I could tag a few people, but instead I want to tag EVERYONE that reads this! Please do us all a favor and go back to your own blog and let us know your code ninja skills. You can steal my legend as it’s just an image. Also feel free to steal my source code with the colored skills and modify it for your skill set. Then return here and let us know. Also encourage your own blog viewers to take the code ninja challenge. Thanks and have fun!

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