GeekLikeMe.net

GeekLikeMe

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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Thursday: June 18, 2009

Ten ways to make your site accessible using web standards.Ten ways to make your site accessible using web standards.

Another quality post from Smashing Magazine that covers everything from doctypes to validation. This post is a great read for all of my fellow web development nerds.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 2:37 PM | Tags (7) | css | development | smashing | standards | validation | w3c | web |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 13 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: June 17, 2009

A list of twenty-four JavaScript best practices for beginners.

After reading this article I have discovered that my current practices kind of suck.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 7:45 AM | Tags (4) | javascript | programming | practices | tips |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 6 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: June 15, 2009

A handy tutorial on how to syndicate content without utilizing a news feed.A handy tutorial on how to syndicate content without utilizing a news feed.

Wish I had read this tutorial prior to this latest redesign, would have saved me some time - and some headaches.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 5:56 PM | Tags (4) | xml | rss | syndication | feeds |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 6 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Use the almighty power of CSS3 to take your designs to the next level.

Selectors, combinators, psuedo-classes, oh my.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 7:35 AM | Tags (2) | design | css |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: August 2, 2006

Lightbox makes a great addition to your photoblog.

Just as the title suggests, I decided to take a crack at installing Lightbox to my beloved yet randomly updated photoblog here at GeekLikeMe.net.

Lightbox can be integrated into a given site in about five or six steps (give or take your level of programming experience). The documentation on the Lightbox site regarding integration is also very easy to understand even for the novice web developer.

I have to say that this was by far the easiest integration of new code I've worked with in a long time. Kudos to the developer Lokesh Dhakar for making such a clean script that is easy to understand. Inside the script itself resides a table of contents (which I have rarely seen lately) with explanations as to what piece of code does what. It really makes for a refreshing coding experience. The amount of inline commenting that Lokesh took the time out to write is helpful especially if you are looking to mess around with the core functionality. I can't begin to describe the number of times I have had to wade through miles of code without any type of documentation.

lightbox

I really like the way Lightbox works with displaying photos in the active web browser window rather than having to use a (seemingly deprecated) pop-up window. I've had some problems in the past with pop-ups getting blocked by a browser's security setting. Anyone remember when pop-ups were the 'in-thing' to do on web site? On second thought, I take that back.

As far as customization goes, if you know your way around CSS you can tweak the look and feel of Lightbox as you please. But as it stands, the design configuration right out of the box is very pleasing and laid out very well.

Click on any photo in the GeekLikeMe photoblog to see thie script in action.

Posted to Verbose filed in Programming @ 11:24 PM | Tags (2) | lightbox | photography |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: July 18, 2006

My own personal tag cloud.

So if you are an avid reader of del.icio.us or a user of flickr you probably already know what a tag cloud is. If you have no idea what I am talking about here is Wikipedia's brief but accurate description:

'A tag cloud (more traditionally known as a weighted list in the field of visual design) is a visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Often, more frequently used tags are depicted in a larger font or otherwise emphasized, while the displayed order is generally alphabetical.'

I decided to try something slightly different with this definition and apply the tag cloud method to something other than just... well tags. For this experiment, lets take a look my daily grind section, specifically the 'how Vin feels today' field. To those who don't regularly read this section of GeekLikeMe (I don't blame you, I wouldn't read me either), basically, I just jot down how I feel and what I'm up to albeit briefly every week day morning. Not really sure why I do it, but now I can't seem to shake off the habit.

tagcloud

I have this tendency to repeat myself a lot in that section. To find out just how much I repeat myself new features were introduced. If a particular sentiment came up previously in the database I would link back to it. It was fun to see the similarities between the two days and what else was going on that day. The same concept was applied for 'music stuck in head', not particularly useful on any level but who cares.

Back to the tag cloud, so I was curious to see what specific sentiments I have used the most since I started. The result set (shown below) seems to be a wacky road map of emotions that I have gone through since inception (first daily grind post was on September 8th, 2004).

... About to get snowed on Absent-minded Accomplished Adventurous Aggravated Aloof Alright Ambitious Ambivalent Angry Annoyed Antsy Anxious Apprehensive Approaching normality Asleep Autopilot Awake Awsome Back to work Barely awake Beat up Been better Behind on work Better Better than usual Beyond exhaustion Blah Bland Blue Blugh. Business as usual Busy Caffeinated Carefree Case of the Mondays Change Charged Clumsy Coded out Cold Collected Comedic Comfortable Comical Content Coughing Cranky Crazed Creative Cynical Deaf Decent Depressed Determined Diligent Disconnected Disregardance Doing OK Dorky Down Dumb Edgy Eh Eh. Energetic Energized Excited Exhausted Extreme anxiety Extremely Happy Extremely productive Extremely tired Eyestrained Fairly good Fairly rested Falling asleep Festive Fidgety Fine. Great. Grand. Foggy Forgetful Freezing Frikken cold Frustrated Full of energy Fully sick Geeky Getting sick Giddy Gluttonous Good Good to be home Goof ball Great Groggy Grouch Grump Grumpy Habitual Half awake Hangin in there Hanging in there Happy Hasty Headache Healthy Hell bent Home Sweet Home Humorous Hungry Hyper Immensely tired In coding hell Inattentive Inconclusive Indifferent Influenza Interested Internetless Irritable Irritated Italian! It's Friday Jetlagged Jittery Just fine Kinda tired Laborious Lackadaisical Laid back Laughing fits Lazy Less busy Like I have a cold, dammit Limey Loose Mad Meh Mellow Merry Migraine More influenza More or less awake Motivated Musical Naucious Nausea Nearly depleted Nearly sick Neat-freak Neato Negative Nerdly Nervous Never better Normal Nostalgic Not bad Not pleasant Not rushing Not so good Not too shabby OK Out of gas Out of it Out of shape Overly humid Overly warm Overtired Overworked Pissed off Pleasant Prepared Prepped Pretty good Pretty good thanks for asking Productive Quite good, thanks Quite nervous Rained on Ready to pass out Ready to Travel Refreshed Regretful Relaxed Relieved Remedial Resourceful Rested Running Rushing Satisfied Sick Sickly Silly Slacker Sleep deprived Sleep please. Sleepwalking Sleepy Slight Headache Slightly annoyed Slightly athletic Slightly better Slightly less humorous Slightly medicated and very sleepy Slightly nervous Slightly recharged Slightly tired and more or less dry Sluggish Slushed Smartass Sniffly Snowed on Snowy So so Somewhat awake Sort of fine Spent Splitting headache Spongelike Spunky Standard Still anxious Still asleep Stressed Stressful Stubborn Studious Stuffed Subservient Suprisingly awake Techie Thankful Tired Tired as all hell Twitchy Ughhhhhh Uncomfortable Uncomfortably warm Undercaffeinated Underslept Unenthused Unenthusiastic Unfocused Unintelligible Unmotivated Unpleasant Unpunctual Unrested Unslept Unthrilled Uppity Utterly Relieved Uuuurrrghn Very good Very sleepy Warm Well caffeinated Well rested Well slept Wired Work mode Worn out Yawn Yawning Zombie Zoning out Zzzzz ...

Apparently I get a lot of headaches, but they get countered with days in which I am relaxed. I shall have to look into that. Then again we all have our good days and bad days, I guess.

Posted to Verbose filed in Programming @ 2:58 PM | Tags (2) | tags | cloud |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 14, 2006

The benefits of webrooting.

Ever wanted to ensure a smoother transition when uploading your newly designed website to your newly purchased web server space? Rolling up your sleeves and setting up a webroot in your code may save you some time and some unnecessary headaches.

webrooting

Setting up a webroot is simple if your code is structured in a semantic way already. My general practice in designing websites is to give myself virtual include files for the header and footer of the site in question. This way, making global changes is far more easier than having to make individual changes to your website page by page. For those of you advanced web designers this is probably second nature. For those just starting out, this method will save you lots of time. The main content of the page generally lives between the two calls to the header and footer includes (see above example for diagram, if confused).

The next step is to set up the actual webroot variable in your code. You may preferably want to do this in your header include file so that each time a page is loaded, this variable carries over to the rest of your content. In this tutorial, I am going to show how to set up a webroot using ASP (my programming language of choice). The same concept can be applied to those of you who use PHP; you just need to use the proper syntax (which escapes me at the moment).

webrooting

So lets begin by declaring a variable intuitively called 'WebRoot' for this example. Set this variable equal to whatever folder you are currently coding your website in. In my case, I had been working locally in a folder called 'glm_06' so my webroot becomes '/glm_06/' (the beginning and end slashes are important, we'll get to that later).

Then in the content of your pages start adding this variable to your image tags, anchor tags, and basically any part of your site that has a path pointing to something in your local work folder where your site lives.

webrooting

You may be asking, why not just avoid this method and just point paths to where they are supposed to go without using this variable? One advantage right off the bat is working with subfolders. If you happen to have a portion of your site that you want to encapsulate into a folder underneath your main work folder, webrooting makes things a whole lot easier. By using a webroot your paths will line up automatically to the root of your server (hence the term webrooting) rather than you having to adjust every single image and href path to work in said subfolder (rather than having to make image paths line up by changing the source path to '../img/' for example).

Finally, this method comes in handy when you need to push your website to a live environment. If your web host demands that all of your HTML documents must live within a designated part of the server, all you would need to do is change the webroot variable in your top include file to sync things up.

While there is nothing groundbreaking here in terms of coding, I felt like explaining the benefits of this methodology because it has helped me out in the past. It may be of more use to those who are just starting out with web programming and don't use this kind of structure. It could possibly save some frustration and be a time saver in the long run.

Posted to Verbose filed in Programming @ 2:36 PM | Tags (2) | webroot | asp |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


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