This extended category features articles on client-side and server-side programming languages, tools, frameworks and libraries, as well as back-end issues. Experts and professionals reveal their coding tips, tricks and ideas. .
A few concerns keep bobbing up now and then for Web developers, one of which relates to how to lay out a given design. Developers have made numerous attempts to do so with existing solutions. Several articles have been written on finding the holy grail of CSS layouts, but to date, not a single solution works without major caveats.
At the W3Conf, I gave a talk on how the CSS Working Group is attempting to solve the concerns of Web developers with multiple proposals. There are six layout proposals that are relevant to us, all of which I described in the talk. Here is a little more about these proposals and how they will help you in developing websites in the future.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Content is King”? Being a Web developer, and therefore having a job that’s often linked to content creation, it’s likely you have. It’s a fairly overused but true statement about what draws visitors to a site. From a Web developer’s perspective, however, some may argue that speed is king. More and more, I’m starting to favour that stance. In recent years many experienced front-end engineers have offered their suggestions on how we can improve the user experience by means of some performance best practices.
Editor’s note: This article is the third in our new series that introduces new, useful and freely available tools and techniques, developed and released by active members of the Web design community. The first article covered PrefixFree; the second introduced Foundation, a responsive framework that helps you build prototypes and production code. This time, we’re presenting Sisyphus.js, a library developed by Alexander Kaupanin to provide Gmail-like client-side drafts and a bit more.
Have you ever been filling out a long form online or writing an eloquent and spirited comment when suddenly the browser crashes? Or perhaps you closed the browser tab accidentally, or your Internet connection cuts off, or the electricity goes down (and, being ever obedient to Murphy’s Law, you had no backup power supply). If not, then you’re lucky. But no one is protected from such minor catastrophes.
Imagine the storm of emotions felt by a user who had to add just a bit more information before submitting a form and then loses all data. Horrible, huh? Now, if only there was a way to recover that data, rather than undertake a Sisyphean pursuit.
PHP is widely available with inexpensive hosting plans, which makes it a popular choice for developers who write software for the Web. From big platforms, such as WordPress, down to small scripts, such as ones to display image galleries or to send forms to email, thousands of script and products are out there written in PHP that can be installed and used even if you don’t know much about PHP yourself.
I have been a PHP developer for 10 years, and my company has developed a content management system, written in PHP, that is intended to be very simple to install and get started with. So, I spend a lot of time working with designers who are installing a PHP script for the first time. If you are installing a script and something goes wrong, PHP can be incredibly infuriating.
In a time when everyone seems to have a tablet, which makes it possible to consume everything digitally, and the only real paper we use is bathroom tissue, it might seem odd to write about the long-forgotten habit of printing a Web page. Nevertheless, as odd as it might seem to visionaries and tablet manufacturers, we’re still far from the reality of a paperless world.
In fact, tons of paper float out of printers worldwide every day, because not everyone has a tablet yet and a computer isn’t always in reach. Moreover, many of us feel that written text is just better consumed offline. Because I love to cook, sometimes I print recipes at home, or emails and screenshots at work, even though I do so as rarely as possible out of consideration for the environment.
The Web is just starting to use animation well. For years, animated GIFs and Flash ruled. Text moved and flashed, but it was never seamless. Animations had boxes around them like YouTube videos. HTML5 canvas changes everything about Web animation.
The canvas element makes it possible to integrate drawings and animations with the rest of your page. You can combine them with text and make animations interactive. This drawing mechanism is powerful, but very low-level. Animations get more power and need less coding when you combine the canvas tag with higher-level libraries such as Paper.js. This article introduces HTML5 animation and walks you through creating an animation of dandelion seeds blowing in the wind.
To keep this article from turning into a book, we won’t look at each in depth. Instead, this is a taster menu: you can see what’s available, and there are links that I’ve vetted for when you want to learn more. Along the way, we’ll see that HTML5 semantics are carefully designed to extend the current capabilities of HTML, while always enabling users of older browsers to access the content. We’ll also see that semantic markup is not “nice to have,” but is rather a cornerstone of Web development, because it is what enhances accessibility, searchability, internationalization and interoperability.
Disclaimer: This post by Jeremy Keith is one of the many reactions to our recent article on the pursuit of semantic value by Divya Manian. Both articles are published in the Opinion column section in which we provide active members of the community with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas publicly.
Divya Manian, one of the super-smart web warriors behind HTML5 Boilerplate, has published an article called Our Pointless Pursuit Of Semantic Value. I’m afraid I have to agree with Patrick’s comment when he says that the abrasive title, the confrontational tone and strawman arguments at the start of the article make it hard to get to the real message.