Category Archive: Technology

  1. Typekit – Real fonts on the web

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    typekit

    You may have noticed a small grey box saying “Fonts from” in the bottom right of your browser window, which links to a page describing the fonts which are used on this site. This is part of the new Typekit service, which is able to implement a wide range of fonts into a website, giving designers more varied options when picking an appropriate font. (more…)

  2. Google Chrome Frame

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    chromeYesterday Google announced a new weapon in the fight against Internet Explorer, when they released the Google Chrome Frame. This is an Internet Explorer plugin which renders web pages using the Chrome/Webkit engine meaning technologies such as HTML 5 and a faster Javascript engine can work within Internet Explorer. It is compatible with the three main versions of Internet Explorer, and is currently in open beta. (more…)

  3. Designer accused of stealing his own work

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    After noticing a post on Daniel Oliver’s blog, and this tweet I was alerted to a story about how designer Jon Engle is facing a lawsuit after being accused of stealing his own work.

    The full story can be read over on his site and much better than I could explain it but it certainly something that needs highlighting in the hope that he can find a solution to his predicament.There’s also a defence fund being set up for him over at savejon.net

    It just highlights that in this day and age people still think that if it’s on the internet it is free and can be copied whenever they want.

  4. Twitter Overkill?

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    Twitter Overkill!

    As can be seen in my sidebar, I have a twitter account and usually send several “tweets” each day. When I first started using Twitter I had much less followers and wasn’t following as many people as I am now, and I was happy with that as I was still working out what the service was and it’s uses. These days however, I’m following more people and having more conversations and it has proven useful in the past when asking questions and receiving advice both from people I follow and from others. However, I’ve noticed that some people I’ve had to stop following because of the sheer volume of their tweets has made all the other ones get lost in the crowd.

    (more…)

  5. Software Freedom Day

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    Yesterday I visited the local Software Freedom Day event here in Dundee, and I was impressed with what was available. I think that the whole web industry is moving towards open source software, and went along to see what things were on offer. We all know that the biggest and most common instance of open source software within the internet industry is Mozilla Firefox, but there is so much other items of software available.

    It was interesting to see the wide range of software packages available, which ranged from graphics packages to office software and everything in between. The most interesting outcome of the day for me was when I received a Linux Ubuntu disk, as I’ve very little experience of that particular operating system. I’ve seen people use it and have obviously read about it over the years but I’ve little personal experience. One technique I picked up was to install it using a Virtual Box, which enables the new system to be installed on a machine virtually so that it doesn’t affect the original operating system. This seems like a good way of trying out Linux knowing that I can always revert back without too much risk.

    What do the current Linux users think? Should I jump over from Windows?

  6. Internet Explorer 6

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    Internet Browsers
    It is now over seven years since the 6th version of Microsoft’s Web Browser was launched, and it is still popular today for some reason, although this is mainly with large organisations and some education centres. With the recent release of Firefox 3 it is plain to see how far browsers have progressed in the past seven years, and with Google now joining the party with their Chrome release there is much to be said for the browser business today.

    As any web developer will know, trying to create aesthetically pleasing sites which fit into all these browsers is a challenge, with Internet Explorer 6 being the worst of the lot due to the way that it handles code and styles. As a beginner, I’ve had little experience of altering a site specifically in order to suit Internet Explorer 6 (lucky me!). Large organisations are often the last to change software due to perceived security issues but I feel that the time has come for us to help them along by refusing to cater for IE 6 users anymore, and if the majority of developers do likewise then slowly but surely Internet Explorer 6’s market share will begin to drop completely.

    Do you support Internet Explorer 6?

  7. Open Coffee

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    Well I attended only my second ever Open Coffee event on Tuesday at Old Broadcasting House in Leeds, it was something that I enjoyed actually. For people who don’t know, Open Coffee is an informal meeting of geeks from the local area who get together regularly to chat and hang out for a couple of hours. One thing I didn’t know was that it is a global event with Open Coffee Meetings taking place in 82 different cities from San Francisco to Sydney, although I only thought it was a Yorkshire thing until someone told me! (No Scottish ones though, may have to start the Dundee version later in the year!)

    I was a little daunted before I get there as I can be shy in new situations and these events are all about meeting new people and generating conversation so I wasn’t sure how it would go. As it turned out everyone was friendly and I met a range of interesting people who spoke to me about subjects ranging from mobile web development to producing TV adverts. A few of the people that I spoke to were also there for the first time and it was good to speak to other “newbies” as I felt like less of an invader to the event.

    Overall I enjoyed going along to Old Broadcasting House and will be going back again next month.

  8. Learning PHP

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    In a follow up to my previous post about reference materials, I’m on the lookout for a PHP reference that will teach me the basics of this server side language. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular languages today and as such I feel it is important to swot up a bit this summer.

    It will be a topic that is covered when I go to University in Dundee this summer, but I’d be interested in using some PHP in a personal project this summer before I go. Nothing fancy, but just so I’m able to understand the principles. I already have this book which I’m slowly working through, and I’ve recently discovered this tutorial site which I will take a look at, but wondered if there were any other recommendations that people have?

  9. Top 5 Firefox Plugins

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    With the recent release of Firefox 3, and in response to Sharon’s post I thought it would be a good idea to include a list of what I feel are the best plugins available for Firefox, well according to me anyway.

    1. Web Developer Toolbar

    I couldn’t live without this toolbar in Firefox as it can literally analyse every part of a website from the image details, CSS styling and div order. It has come in immensely handy when developing sites as it clearly outlies the different areas of the site whilst still displaying the site.

    2. FireFTP

    What I consider to be one of the best FTP clients available at the moment, it couldn’t be simpler to use. Local files are displayed on the left and the server files displayed on the right, with transfers executed at the click of a button. Connections are created by entering a few simple details provided by your web host and each time that connection is required it requires only a single click. I use this plugin on a daily basis to manage a number of sites and can’t find fault with it.

    3. Autofill Forms

    This is a great timesaver when registering on new forums or websites, as all your personal details are stored within this plugin and entered into the relevant fields at the touch of a button. It saves on having to re-enter the same details time and again on each new website that we register for.

    4. Firebug

    Quite similar to the web development toolbar in that this allows for the display of the web pages structure such as HTML code and style attributes whilst looking at the site. One advantage that it has over the toolbar is that HTML and CSS are displayed simultaneously giving more of an overview of the page as a whole. However, I feel that it contains less features such as image manipulation and outlining capabilities of the web development toolbar.

    5. Themes

    OK, so not technically a plugin but if you’re like me and like to have your web apps all shiny and nice looking then themes are the best place to go for that! Almost any style can be applied from Mac styles to your favourite sports to retro styles. Easily downloaded and switches you could have hours of fun browsing the different themes available

  10. Firefox 3 released

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    Well Firefox 3 has been released for download and although I’ve only had it installed for a few minutes, it seems faster than previous browsers. I’ve been using the Beta version and RC-1 versions and was impressed so I was always going to download the final release when available.

    With the release of Internet Explorer 8 recently could we see the start of a browser war between the two? I doubt it as Firefox appears more popular amongst the development community and individuals within the industry, but IE will always have a huge say due to it being packaged with the Windows Operating Systems and the majority of Internet users happy browsing with Internet Explorer.

    I can’t see myself changing from Firefox though now that I am used to it and love the plug-ins which are available, such as FireFTP.