Reference Sites for Web Development

These are not exciting sites as such, but they contain a lot of current information about the main technologies we use as web developers, and I highly recommend readers learn what they cover and how to get to them when you need them.

Two of the sites are rather lengthly, detailed references for working with web development issues and because they are current information they are worth knowing about. “Web browser standards support” is a lengthy listing of support for standard web technologies by popular web browsers (IE6, Firefox 1.0, & Opera 8). The technologies include: HTML, CSS, DOM, & Miscellaneous technologies (Atom, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, SOAP 1.2, XFORMS 1.0, XHTML 1.0, 1.1, etc.)
Web browser Standards Support (http://nanobox.chipx86.com/browser_support.php#otherbrowsers).

A much different type of guide with current information about web development technologies and their relation to cross browser coding tips; DHTML – DOM differences, JavaScript differences, CSS, Events; Rich Text Editing, XML, Quirks vs Standard Modes, and some additional links and reading. (A 20 page document from IBM).
Internet Explorer to Mozilla Migration Guide
(http://nexgenmedia.net/evang/iemozguide/)

And this chart covers all of CSS1 and CSS2 properties and tags with compatibility info that covers 20 different browser versions, and is from the CORECSS book series. Handy in that it allows you to select just one browser and see its complete compatability list by itself. Too bad it is not expanded to CSS2.1 and future CSS3.0 projected additions to CSS.
Full Css Property Compatibility Chart
(http://www.corecss.com/properties/full-chart.php)

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Sources for Photos: free

Robin Good has provided some excellent resources about “Where to find Great Free Photographs And Visuals for Your Own Online Articles“. I previewed about ten of the sites and found them to be mostly very well organized with a lot of categories to choose from. Most photos were very high quality.

It would be interesting to see how many of you have additional resources for imagery that you have used or discovered in this same genre – free, high quality, etc. Add the comments of this article or email me.

Ourmedia, new place for showing your works

The web gets more holistic all the time with open source software, many great online applications, and now, a place to showcase your media projects, free for life! Ourmedia’s list of project team and advisory board members is a who’s who of what is good about the web development movement. Ourmedia’s mission statement includes the following:

“Create. Share. Get noticed. That’s what Ourmedia is about.

Ourmedia is a global community and learning center where you can gain visibility for your works of personal media. We’ll host your media forever — for free.

Video blogs, photo albums, home movies, podcasting, digital art, documentary journalism, home-brew political ads, music videos, audio interviews, digital storytelling, children’s tales, Flash animations, student films, mash-ups — all kinds of digital works have begun to flourish as the Internet rises up alongside big media as a place where we’ll gather to inform, entertain and astound each other”.

Go see for yourself: http://www.ourmedia.org

The importance of blogging, rss, etc…

As a participant in several email newsletters (Listservs) I am discovering that they are not very efficient, and only sometimes provide me with anything I am truly interested in. I spend most of my time trashing entrys, waiting for something of interest. But the Weblogs I subscribe to in my aggregator have so much rich content that I always find new and interesting information that I need. Surfing the web is not an option, the aggrator does that for me. The one exception to the listserv concept is Stephen Downes OLDaily, which is primarily his review of the best of the blogs related to instructional technology with an annotated description about each. So Stephen is actually a higher level aggregator using a listserv to distribute his research!

How does this affect web development? RSS is becoming mainstream with browsers and email programs (Mozilla’s) already offering RSS as part of their fuction. Social networking applications like del.icio.us and flickr offer bookmarks and pictures respectively, shared by anyone, anywhere. With these tools available who is going to search your site for new information by using your carefully designed navigation? Why would anyone read a static page that doesn’t even say when it was last updated, when they can subscribe to exactly the type of information they need and find fresh data daily by taking advantage of RSS?

I see the integration of RSS and accompanying technologies as vital to web design. Whether you add RSS to your web sites or mix weblogs and static pages together, there will be a challenge to make web sites more current and interactive than ever before. And what of target audiences? What does RSS and social networking say about who the users are? Perhaps new types of users are now challenging our design skills.

Web design and development will always been in transition. We are used to new technologies, new standards, new browsers, and new users. So too must we confront the issues of this transition and find creative responses. Our lives as designers may depend on it!

Designing with CSS

“Designing with CSS is sometimes like barreling down a crumbling
mountain road at 90 miles per hour secure in the knowledge that
repairs are scheduled for next Tuesday”.

Al Sparber
PVII
http://www.projectseven.com