SitePoint has launched a new blog called Design Festival. SitePoint describes it as “A blog about web design, with a focus on typography, logo design and UX [user experience]. We’ve also thrown in a few techie bits just to keep you interested.”
If you're a Dreamweaver user you're probably familiar with Project VII, a company that offers Widgets, CSS Menus, and CSS Templates for DW. Project VII has just released a new CSS Page Pack for DW, but I think you'll find the single page design concept interesting even if you're not a DW user. Take a look at the Luna examples.
Every time I did a full disk backup to a USB 2.0 external hard drive I longed for USB 3.0 which offers a theoretical top transfer speed of 5Gbit/sec. versus USB 2.0's 480Mbit/sec. The other day I was looking at external hard drives on Amazon.com and a Western Digital My Book 1TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive with PCIe Adapter Cardfor $100.96 caught my attention. That was just what I needed — a 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive AND an adapter card. I read the reviews and they were all positive, with a few exceptions so I ordered the package. It arrived this morning and I installed the adapter card and drivers and hooked up the drive. My immediate perception was that it was amazingly fast but, to test my perception, I ran an unscientific test. I copied a 375MB folder to a 1.5TB Seagate FreeAgent USB 2.0 external hard drive and to the new Western Digital My Book 1TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive with PCIe Adapter Card. The transfer took 1 minute to the USB 2.0 drive and 7 seconds to the USB 3.0 drive! If my math is correct the USB 3.0 drive is about 8.6 times faster than the USB 2.0. I realize that the two drives are from different manufacturers and have different capacities but the fact remains that USB 3.0 is much faster.
Here's a site where you can compare "Web Safe" fonts in a variety of sizes and line spacing: http://charlesmoir.com/fonts/index.htm.
I know the target audience for most of my sites so I don't worry too much about different screen resolutions. I doubt that many clients would want to pay for different versions of a site, but I just read about a tool that makes it relatively easy to develop a site that will work with different screen resolutions. The tool, called Less Framework 3, creates a framework that recognizes the visitor's screen resolution and sizes the web page accordingly. The framework is based on four different layouts to accommodate the majority of screen resolutions:
3-column–For all iPhones, iPod Touches, and other 320 px mobile devices
5-column–For 480 px mobiles, narrow browsers, and landscape iPhones
8-column–For tablets at 768 px, netbooks, and old browsers
13-column–For laptops, desktops, and HDTVs at 1280 px and beyond
You can read more about Less Framework 3 and see it in action at http://lessframework.com/.
We usually develop sites using XHTML and CSS, sometimes with an integrated WordPress blog. We just finished a redesign of our business site, pittsites.com, using WordPress 3.1. The theme we selected for this project, Stealth Premium WordPress Theme – 6 in 1, is feature-laden for a blog or a complete website, and the documentation is extensive, including 23 video tutorials. Your comments, questions, and constructive crticism will be appreciated but, please, no spam.
For the real scoop on HTML 5 read this.
Artisteer 3.0 Beta for Windows has been released. Here is the summary of the new features:
- Website creation features with support for editing pages and blog posts
- Web design and website samples
- Support for fluid layouts (resizable sheet width)
- Interactive web design preview area (clicking a web design element navigates to corresponding tab in Artisteer)
- Ability to specify design styles for the "Suggest" feature, generating thematic web designs (corporate, simple, retro, etc.)
- Custom CSS options in Export Options
- WordPress theme code based on the default WP 3.0 TwentyTen theme
- Additional header and background graphics
- Additional color themes
- Website hosting service at www.artisteer.net
- Header and footer can now be page-wide (in addition to sheet-wide)
- Added transparency areas for various graphical effects
- Support for Joomla 1.6 Release Candidate
- Support for additional Joomla positions within the menu area
- Support for Drupal 7 Release Candidate
- Added masked header textures (transparency areas in the texture graphics)
The Beta release can be downloaded from the following locations:
I've had a chance to play with the preview version of Artisteer 3 and I'm impressed. For those who aren't familiar with Artisteer, it's a program that generates templates/themes for websites (XHTML and CSS), blogs (Blogger and WordPress), and content management systems such as Drupal and Joomla. Artisteer does not include a set of templates/themes; instead, it offers a "Suggest Design" feature that automatically creates templates/themes from random elements and options. Each time you click the "Suggest Design" button, you will receive a different and unique template/theme. You can then adjust a variety of elements and properties (colors, fonts, layout, background, header, menu) to meet your specific needs and design goals.
In Artisteer 3 the user interface has been redesigned and improved. There are a number of minor and major improvements to the program. One of the most requested features is the ability to generate fluid width pages and Artisteer 3 generates both fixed and fluid widths. Artisteer 3 is scheduled for release in late December, 2010.
HotScripts has published a list of 25 emerging free web scripts to watch at http://www.hotscripts.com/blog/emerging-scripts/.