[webdev] Web Design Update: May 23, 2008
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri May 23 06:17:13 CDT 2008
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 48, May 23, 2008.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 48 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Mozilla Accessibility - Collecting Stories and Dreams
By Aaron Leventhal.
"I am interested to hear what impact people think Mozilla's work in
accessibility has had on users developers, organizations, or the
industry as a whole..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Tip: Calculate the Specificity of CSS Selectors
By Virginia DeBolt.
"Have you ever added a new rule to your CSS stylesheet, but seen no
change in the results on the page in the browser window? Maybe the new
selector wasn't specific enough to overrule and existing rule in your
stylesheet. Here's how to mathematically calculate the specific weight
of your CSS selectors..."
CSS: Simple Rules for Better Organization and More Efficiency
By Jens Meiert.
"'Organization is not everything, but without organization, everything
is nothing,' one of my teachers used to say, and right he is. Almost
everything benefits from organization, and so does work with CSS -
especially when working with many people..."
By James Payne.
"We left off learning about the various positions in CSS. In this
tutorial we will cover the pseudo classes and pseudo elements, which
allow us to add special effects to our selectors. An example would be
roll-over effects on hyperlinks, or making the first letter of a
sentence larger and a different color than the rest of the text. We
will begin our discussion by working with Pseudo-elements..."
Understanding CSS Positioning, Part 3
By Kilian Valkhof.
"In part one and part two we've discussed the positioning, display and
floats properties of CSS2. In the final part of this series, we'll
discuss the new options CSS3 gives us: The advanced layout module and
the grid positioning module."
Perfect Pagination Style Using CSS
By Antonio Lupetti.
"This tutorial explains how to design a pagination for search results
or more in general to split a long list of records in more pages. It's
a question I often receive, so I decided to publish a very simple post
which explains how to design a perfect pagination style using some
lines of HTML and CSS code."
Taking a Fireworks Comp to a CSS-based Layout in Dreamweaver - Part 1,
By Sheri German and Gordon Mackay.
"This three-part tutorial guides you through the complete process of
using Fireworks and Dreamweaver to produce web standards pages. In Part
1, you will work in Fireworks to create the design, organize the
layers, make the slices, and export them to a defined site. In Parts 2
and 3, you will work in Dreamweaver to build a CSS-based layout that
entirely eschews the use of tables...."
Introduction to CSS3 - Part 5, Multiple Columns
By Design Shack.
"Multiple columns are a major facet of laying out text - newspapers
have used them for decades. So important are they that it is amazing
that the current way to achieve a multi column layout is one of the
most complex techniques for a new designer to grasp. CSS3 introduces a
new module known, appropriately, as multi-column layout. It allows you
to specify how many columns text should be split down into and how they
should appear. As usual, examples can be found below..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Evaluating Design Alternatives
By Jared M. Spool.
"...Teams have to make decisions. The most successful teams make
informed decisions. While it may be counter-intuitive, focusing the
study on the current design may be the best approach for this client.
Asking each participant to somehow rank each design alternative will
take more time and produce confusing results. We felt a study that
looks primarily at the current design can give the team the most
insight into what alternatives, if any, to choose."
July 21-23, 2008.
Atlantic City New Jersey, U.S.A.
By Robert Nyman.
take automatic type conversion into account. As a result, there are
being loosely typed. Therefore, I'd like to show you an easy way to
avoid that problem..."
By Piers Cawley.
Here's some Noddy Perl that demonstrates what I'm on about..."
The Cure for Content-Delay Syndrome
By Pepi Ronalds.
"Clients love to write copy. Well, they love to plan to write it,
anyhow. On most web design projects, content is the last thing to be
considered (and almost always the last thing to be delivered). We'll
spend hours, weeks, even months, doing user scenarios, site maps,
wireframes, designs, schemas, and specifications?but content? It's a
disrespected line item in a schedule: 'final content delivered.' Pepi
Ronalds proposes a solution to this constant cause of project delays."
Andy Budd on Usability, Design, and the Death of CSS
By Matthew Magain.
"In this interview, veteran user experience designer, author and web
standards advocate Andy Budd speaks to SitePoint about blogging,
usability testing, the design process, and why he thinks that CSS is a
By Dave Shea.
"A few months back at SXSW I sat on a panel that discussed how
designers and developers play nice together on web projects. One of the
things I never got around to mentioning was the system I use for
handing off my static design work to clients and their developers for
integration into their dynamic systems. Since I've been thinking about
it a bit more in the past few weeks, I figured I ought to put this out
Fixing Appalling Intranet Search
By Gerry McGovern.
"Intranet search is appalling because people don't want their content
to get found, and the organization does not value the importance of
Multiple Select Fields
By Michal Wojciechowski.
"We humans are greedy creatures. When we're placed in front of a choice
to select one of many options, we start complaining - Hey, why can't I
pick two? Why not five? Can't I have both pineapple AND pepperoni on my
pizza? This is why multiple selection form fields had to be invented.
Let's examine a few examples of how multiple select fields can be
phpwiki - The Wiki for PHP Developers
By Ian Gilfillan.
"This month it's time to look at another of those PHP applications I
find useful on a daily basis. I like to use 'wikis' for documentation
for many of the projects I work on. [...] In this article we will look
at PhpWiki, and we'll show you how to configure and use it with your
PHP Sucks, But It Doesn't Matter
"Here's a list of every function beginning with the letter "A" in the
PHP function index..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
EduTF Report Highlights Curriculum Project
By Holly Marie Koltz.
"In the past year, the EduTF has been quieter than previous years. We
have gone through a few changes, though our mission remains the same.
'The WaSP Education Task Force was created in 2005 to work directly
with institutions of higher education to help raise awareness of Web
standards and accessibility among instructors, administrators, and Web
development teams.' Our mission is not a small one. Our work and
message needs to reach beyond our reading audience and the Web
standards community in order to get information, help, and resources to
more people. EduTF is discussing and looking at a variety of ways in
which we can help."
.net/may2008 Article Browser Version Targeting
By Patrick H. Lauke.
"here's the full original text (call it the 'director's cut', if you
will) of my little rant / opinion piece in this month's .net
Use Formats Instead of Microformats
By Emil Stenstrom.
"The Semantic Web continues to break new ground, and Web 3.0 seems to
be a term that people associate with it. In the backwaters of
semantics, microformats aims to develop standards to embed semantic
information into XHTML. I can't help to think that's strange..."
HTML5 Conformance Checking in Vim
By Mike Smith.
"Kai Hendry has written an HTML file type plugin for Vim that allows
you to use Henri Sivonen's Validator.nu conformance checking
(validation) service remotely to check the contents of any HTML
document you edit in Vim and determine if the document is
W3C 'clarifies' HTML 5 v XHTML
By Phil Manchester.
"Potential conflicts and overlap between the first update to HTML in a
decade by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and XHTML has been
addressed by the standards body. The group, meanwhile, has also
acknowledged vendors are - once again - pushing their own
Firefox Extensions Updated To Version 3
By Gez Lemon.
"The Colour Contrast Analyser, Table Inspector, and Glossary of Terms
Firefox extensions have all been updated to be compatible with Firefox
"Orbeon Forms is an open source forms solution designed to handle
complex forms typical of the enterprise or government. It includes: A
robust forms platform which implements W3C XForms..."
The Showcase Of BIG Typography - Second Edition
By Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz.
"In Web typography doesn't have to support the overall design. It can
dominate. It can be loud. It can be bold. And it can be everywhere on a
web-site. In many situations it's reasonable to give the typography the
prominent position it deserves, leaving visual cues in the background
or removing them at all. Doing that, you have to risk large font sizes
surrounded by a generous amount of white space. What comes out of it?
Elegant web sites with a unique form, style and sense of precision..."
User Assistance: Writing for a High-Context Culture
By Mike Hughes.
"While technical communicators tend to write in a low-context style,
user assistance occurs in high-context situations."
Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations
By Robin Ragle-Davis.
"This week, we take a look at how to handle the conflict between what
your users want, and what you want them to want. Robin Ragle-Davis
considers how upfront audience profiling can reap customer relationship
benefits down the line.
UX Design-Planning Not One-Man Show
By Holger Maassen.
"A lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounds the term 'user
experience.' The multitude of activities that can be labeled with these
two words span a vast spectrum of people, skills and situations. If you
ask for UX design (UXD), what exactly are you asking for? Similarly, if
someone tells you they are going to provide you with UXD for an
application, website or intranet or extranet, what exactly are you
going to get?..."
Less Is Still More
By Jens Meiert.
"How much time and money gets spent on making things worse is something
I find absolutely fascinating. Allow me to elaborate, starting with
HTML newsletters: People (let) spend hours on writing supposed content,
create and decorate mockups, work around ridiculous email client
Serving XHTML As XML
By Belus Technology.
"XHTML was created by the HTML Working Group at W3C, whose mission is
to 'fulfill the promise of XML by applying XHTML to a wide variety of
platforms.' It is therefore XML that is driving the development of
XHTML, and developers need to understand the connection between these
two technologies... When a browser opens a Web page and the media type
for the page is set to application/xhtml+xml, the browser will process
the page as XML and will enforce the rules of XML. If there are markup
errors on a Web page, the browser will not render the Web page.
Instead, most Web browsers will display an XML parsing error message
such as the one seen in the screen shot below..."
If You Don't Need XML, Then Don't Use It!
By Kurt Cagle.
"...XML is a powerful metalanguage, capable of an astonishingly large
number of uses and now become such an ubiquitous part of the
environment that it is probably permanently entrenched. However, there
are alternatives that, individually, are better optimized for specific
tasks. If you are more comfortable using them, use them..."
By Jeni Tennison.
"...Not all XML is created equal, and I think the biggest distinction
between a good markup language and a bad one comes down to whether the
XML was designed as a markup language or whether it's a serialization
of a completely different model. Practically all the XML serializations
that I've seen of object-oriented models, or relational models, or
graph models, have been dreadful as markup languages. So what are the
characteristics of XML that a good markup language should take
advantage of? Here's my list..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
Cascading Style Sheets Information.
Evaluation & Testing Information.
Information Architecture Information.
Miscellaneous Web Information.
Sites & Blogs Listing.
Standards, Guidelines & Pattern Information.
[Section two ends.]
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+ SIGN OFF.
Until next time,
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
mailto:lcarlson at d.umn.edu
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