Harvard U. institute unveils software that helps build academic sites — from The Chronicle by Sophia Li

Last week, a team at Harvard University rolled out the latest release of a program that helps researchers create their own Web sites. The open-source software, OpenScholar, seeks to make building and customizing Web sites simple and straightforward, even for academics who aren’t tech-savvy.

There are currently two versions of the software: one for scholars to create a personal Web site and one for researchers to build a project Web site.


Open Scholar -- by Harvard U.


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The principles of cross-browser CSS coding — from SmashingMagazine.com by Louis Lazaris

Browsers-css in The Principles Of Cross-Browser CSS Coding

Also see:

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Learn Creative Suite 5 on Adobe TV

Deliver innovative ideas in print, web, interactive and mobile. Learn the new features and how to get started with all CS5 products on the How To channel on Adobe TV.   Watch now

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Where on the Web is HTML5?– from Webmonkey.com by Scott Gilbertson

…HTML5 is much more than a hopeful successor to Flash’s web-video crown. In fact, watching a video without a plug-in only scratches the surface of what HTML5 offers.

HTML5 is the next generation of HTML, the language of the web. More than just a markup syntax like its predecessors, HTML5 provides a new set of features designed to make modern web applications work more like desktop applications.

The key features in the HTML5 stack: native video and audio playback, animated graphics, geolocation, hardware acceleration for in-browser events, the ability to keep using a browser-based app even if your internet connection drops, the ability to store application data on your local machine, dragging and dropping of files from the desktop to the browser, and the addition of semantic markup on pages, making them easier for both machines and humans to understand.

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Google rolls out new developer tools — from CNN.com

Google kicked off its annual developers’ conference on Wednesday by introducing tools to help people build web-based applications, while making a strong push for HTML5, the next generation of the code on which the web is built.

In a wide-ranging keynote, Google engineers and guest speakers emphasized the potential of the web as an open-source platform for developers to build apps and reduce the dependence on plug-ins — small external programs, such as the Flash media player, that can make browsers more useful.

“The future of the web is HTML5,” Sundar Pichai, a Google vice president of project management, told the audience at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, California.

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A DIY web design education — from noupe.com

  • Web Design 101: The Basics
  • Front-End and User Interface Design
  • Grids
  • Front-End Coding
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • User Experience
  • Information Architecture
  • Typography
  • Image Editing & Digital Illustration
  • Interactive Scripting
  • PHP
  • JavaScript and AJAX
  • Flash
  • Design Process and Project Management
  • Design Business
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PHP: What you need to know to play with the web — SmashingMagazine.com by Christian Heilmann

What Is PHP?
PHP is a server-side language that has become a massive success for three reasons:

  • It is a very easy and forgiving language. Variables can be anything, and you can create them anytime you want.
  • It is part of the free LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and thus available on almost any server you can rent on the Web.
  • It does not need a special editor, environment or build process. All you do is create a file of the .php file type, mix PHP and HTML and then put it on your server for rendering.

From DSC:
Christian makes this sound so easy. However, in my experience, programmers have a different skillset that is not easily mastered or obtained.  They have a different way of thinking, and the syntax of coding languages is not something many people enjoy working with. That is why there seems to be two camps: web designers (who focus on the front-end of the web) and web developers (who focus on the back end of things such as application development/programming and database integration). Sometimes, a person can bridge those two worlds…but rare is the person who can stay up-to-date and do both sides of the house well…and consistently over time.

Dreamweaver CS5 first look: More WordPressy, more Firebuggy — from webmonkey.com by Michael Calore

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Video demos of upcoming iPad apps — from digital inspiration by Amit Agarwal


Video demos of upcoming iPad apps

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Speaking of tidal waves…

From DSC:
In an earlier post from today, I pictured higher education caught in a tidal wave of technological change. It isn’t just education that’s got tidal waves hitting it. Consider the world of web design and web development and this article from Noupe: 100 Essential Web Development Tools. Heh, all’s you have to know is these 100 web development tools (and that’s not even all of them by a long shot). What’s the big deal?  ; )

A related comment here
is that the bean-counters are always trying to get the most talent for the least amount of money. They want you to wear 10,000 hats and then they pay you for the value of wearing 2-3 hats.  For example, a quote from the above article includes this assertion:

As web technologies constantly advance, the skills a developer is expected to have are constantly increasing. Web users are beginning to expect Ajax interfaces, charts and graphs and a whole host of other tricks and features. This means web developers not only have to be skilled with HTML and a server-side programming language such as PHP or Perl, but they now also need to be JavaScript gurus, Flash experts, and skilled graphic designers (emphasis DSC).

The accounting and ledger sheets and the HR-based job descriptions simply don’t reflect reality. That is, you might want someone who can wear 10,000 hats, but rarely will you find an individual who can do it all. That’s not how we are made. We each have our own gifts, abilities, and strengths; but we also have our own limitations and our own weaknesses. Few, if any of us, can do it all.

For those who can wear 5,000 hats, they aren’t interested in the position that you’re offering anyway — as you are not offering to pay them for nearly what they’re worth. There are web designers…and then there are web developers…but rarely will you find someone who is excellent in both areas. And if you can find them, you can’t afford them. So for the bean-counters and HR departments out there, you need to get real with either one of two things:

  1. The expectations for one job description that you post/create
  2. The salaries that you are offering web designers and web developers

Common…let’s get real. We’ve had more than a decade now to figure this out. As my old telecommunications instructor at Northwestern always used to say, “There is no such thing as a $5,000 new Mercedes.” That is, you get what you pay for.

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© 2022 | Daniel Christian