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. .
There are tools that make our lives much easier. However, finding those obscure time-savers which would save time in every single project isn't easy and requires a lot of time. At Smashing Magazine, we are regularly looking for such useful tools, gather them, review them and eventually prepare for a truly smashing round-up. Such posts are quite lengthy and extensive, but they are always worth checking out.
In this post, you'll find an overview of useful and handy tools that can help you increase your productivity and improve your workflow. Some tools are more general, the others are more technical, yet we hope that this round-up has something to offer to every one of our readers. Please feel free to leave your comments and share with us which one of the tools you've found most useful and interesting.
Web application developers today need to be skilled in a multitude of disciplines. It's necessary to build an application that is user friendly, highly performant, accessible and secure, all while executing partially in an untrusted environment that you, the developer, have no control over. I speak, of course, about the User Agent. Most commonly seen in the form of a web browser, but in reality, one never really knows what's on the other end of the HTTP connection.
There are many things to worry about when it comes to security on the Web. Is your site protected against denial of service attacks? Is your user data safe? Can your users be tricked into doing things they would not normally do? Is it possible for an attacker to pollute your database with fake data? Is it possible for an attacker to gain unauthorized access to restricted parts of your site? Unfortunately, unless we're careful with the code we write, the answer to these questions can often be one we'd rather not hear.
These are great times for front-end developers. After months of exaggerated excitement about HTML5 and CSS3, the web design community now starts coming up with CSS techniques that actually put newly available technologies to practical use instead of abusing them for pure aesthetic purposes. We see fewer "pure CSS images" and more advanced, clever CSS techniques that can actually improve the Web browsing experience of users. And that's a good thing!
Our job is to promote good, high-quality content and resources. If you wrote or developed something useful, contact us — we will do our best to spread the word and help you out.
Storing information locally on a user's computer is a powerful strategy for a developer who is creating something for the Web. In this article, we'll look at how easy it is to store information on a computer to read later and explain what you can use that for.
The main problem with HTTP as the main transport layer of the Web is that it is stateless. This means that when you use an application and then close it, its state will be reset the next time you open it. If you close an application on your desktop and re-open it, its most recent state is restored.
This is why, as a developer, you need to store the state of your interface somewhere. Normally, this is done server-side, and you would check the user name to know which state to revert to. But what if you don't want to force people to sign up? This is where local storage comes in. You would keep a key on the user's computer and read it out when the user returns.
As designers, we have to create an intuitive user experience, solve design problems and provide a beautiful and functional user interfaces. Unlike print design, we don't have the luxury of designing in a static area; rather, our canvas is ever-changing in its content, browser width, page length and more. We do need to be able to code to some extent and be able to build a design around a structure of code. Yet, with these complications comes an opportunity for unique functionality, interactive effects and better user experience.
In this article, we'll look at five useful coding solutions that we've stumble upon recently. All of these solutions enhance a website's design, not just the code. These solutions affect the user interface and the user's interaction with the design, and they can make for a more usable and interactive website.
Once upon a time, there was a lovely language called HTML, which was so simple that writing websites with it was very easy. So, everyone did, and the Web transformed from a linked collection of physics papers to what we know and love today. Most pages didn't conform to the simple rules of the language (because their authors were rightly concerned more with the message than the medium), so every browser had to be forgiving with bad code and do its best to work out what its author wanted to display.
Interactivity can transform a dull static website into a dynamic tool that not only delights users but conveys information more effectively. In this post, we'll walk through five different coding techniques that can be easily implemented on any website to provide a richer user experience. These techniques will allow you to better display difficult content, help users find information more effectively and provide meaningful UI cues without overwhelming the user: on-page text search, drag controls for oversized content, subtle hover effects, comment count bars and a full-page slider.
Websites often have search boxes to allow users to find content from their archives. But what if you want to find content on the given page? Information Architects
has had on-page text search that provides a great user experience. Let's recreate this using jQuery.
One of the great advantages of creating interactive websites is being able to dynamically hide and reveal parts of your content. Not only does it make for a more interesting user experience, but it allows you to stuff more onto a single page than would otherwise be possible, but in a very elegant, non-obtrusive way, and without overwhelming the user with too much information at once.
In this tutorial, we'll create a sliding menu using the jQuery framework. You will find the downloadable source files at the end of the tutorial if you wish to use them on your website. But the main goal of this article is to show you some basic techniques for creating these kinds of effects and to provide you with the tools you need to realize your own creative ideas. This tutorial is aimed at beginner jQuery developers and those just getting into client-side scripting. You'll learn how to progressively build this simple effect from scratch.