Creating a Facebook-like Registration Form with jQuery

Facebook is a showcase of great UI design. And as it has become a major part of our lives, it has also raised the bar for web development, pushing developers to meet higher expectations.

This however has a good side – it challenges web developers and designers to better themselves and constantly improve their work.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn from the best, and create a facebook-like sign up form. So go ahead to start learning!

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How To Create Stylesheet only for IE

Sometimes it is better to create alternate css files for different browsers (esp. IE), than using hacks. It is important in big projects, when client requires the site to be fully cross-browser. The basic technique to attach an IE-Only stylesheet is using the HEAD section conditions:

CSS FILE LOADED FOR BROWSERS OTHER THAN Internet Explorer:

<![if !IE]>
<link rel=“stylesheet” type=“text/css” href=“NOT-IE.css” />
<![endif]>


 IE 6 ONLY CSS FILE:
<!??[if IE 6]>
<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”IE-6-SPECIFIC.css” />
<![endif]??>

IE 5 ONLY:

<!??[if IE 5]>

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”IE-5-SPECIFIC.css” />
<![endif]??>

IE 5.5 ONLY:

<!??[if IE 5.5000]>

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”IE-55-SPECIFIC.css” />
<![endif]??>

VERSION OF IE VERSION 6 OR LOWER: (I find this one pretty handy)

<!??[if lt IE 7]>

<link rel=“stylesheet” type=“text/css” href=“IE-6-OR-LOWER-SPECIFIC.css” />
<![endif]??>

IE 7 ONLY:

<!??[if IE 7]>
<link rel=“stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=“ie7.css” />
<![endif]??>

The biggest advantage of using this methos is that it passess W3C validation and you don’t have a mess of different hacks in your css code.

Some freeware for your web development

GIMP – versatile graphics manipulation package

GIMP – versatile graphics manipulation package

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

Digital artwork

Each task requires a different environment and GIMP allows you to customize the view and behavior the way you like it. Starting from the widget theme, allowing you to change colors, widget spacings and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox. The interface is modulized into so called docks, allowing you to stack them into tabs or keep them open in their own window.

HTML Kit for more than editing HTML

HTML Kit for more than editing HTML

HTML Kit is a full-featured free editor for HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other text file types. Over 400 plugins are also available, including HTML Tidy for creating standards-compliant HTML/XHTML pages. HTML-Kit has received 95% thumbs up out of 2900+ Download.com user reviews and over 4 million overall downloads.

Inkscape – Vector Drawing Graphics SVG PNG

Inkscape – Vector Drawing Graphics SVG PNG:

“Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more.

It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.”

This software has solved my SVG view and Convert to PNG Problem. I got some icons from GNOME Art – Artwork & Themes which were SVG and was stuck. Then i found more SVG here Open Clip Art Library .

VIM – Advanced text editor VI

VIM – Advanced text editor VI

Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor ‘Vi’, with a more complete feature set. It’s useful whether you’re already using vi or using a different editor.

Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems. Vim is distributed free as charityware.

Thingamablog blogging application

Thingamablog blogging application

Thingamablog is a cross-platform, standalone blogging application that makes authoring and publishing your weblogs almost effortless. Unlike most blogging solutions, Thingamablog does NOT require a third-party blogging host, a cgi/php enabled web host, or a MySQL database. In fact, all you need to setup, and manage, a blog with Thingamablog is FTP, SFTP, or network access to a web server.

Thingamablog allows you to:

  • Set up a blog in minutes via an intuitive wizard
  • Maintain multiple blogs
  • Effortlessly manage thousands of entries
  • Dynamically update blog content
  • Write entries offline (Dialup users)
  • Publish your blog with a single click
  • Create a unique layout with customizable templates
  • Import entries from RSS/Atom feeds
  • Set up flexible archiving options
  • Organize your entries by category or date
  • Save entries as drafts
  • Define your own custom template tags
  • Syndicate your blog via an RSS or Atom feed
  • Ping services like weblogs.com, BlogRolling, and Blo.gs

You have to install Java to run Thingamablog. Java. Java Technology is required to run applications, hese are usable in multiple operating Systems and use a JVM or Java Virtual Machine. – Java Software from Sun

Zoundry Raven – Portable WYSIWYG Publisher

Zoundry Raven – Portable WYSIWYG Publisher

“Multiple Blogs Made Easy – Do you have multiple blogs for different audiences? We make it easy to write and publish to separate blogs all with one editor.” Zoundry Raven Tabbed Blog Editor

Tabbed true WYSIWYG Editing – True WYSIWYG writing and XHTML source editing. Drag and drop images, video, and text from the Web. Unicode (UTF-8) support. Preview posts in your blog’s template.

WordPress 2.2+ Page & Tag support – Use Raven to create and modify your WordPress Pages just like any other blog post. Set WordPress tags as well as import tags from all of your posts.

Raven2Go: Portable Application support – Install Raven as a Portable Application on your flash/thumb drive. We’ll stay out of your Windows registry and let you take your Blogging on the road.

BlogDesk – Offline Weblog Client

As an offline weblog client, BlogDesk lets you comfortably write and effortlessly publish new entries to your blog.

No need to use those annoying HTML Tags in the WYSIWYG editor. Images can be directly inserted and are automatically uploaded. Even publishing simultaneously to multiple blogs is a matter of a click.

With the ImageWizard you can not only insert images to your posts – it’s possible to edit them as well (crop, resize, rotate, shadow etc., see Examples). Even Thumbnails can be created – the preview will be shown in the blog and a click on the image will open it in its original size (just like here in the right column). Linking and uploading those images is automatically done by BlogDesk.

BlogDesk is totaly free of charge and optimized for the blog systems

10 Needful Steps to Help Cut Costs in the Slow Economy

There’s no escaping the slowing economy. Layoffs are being announced and companies are in cost cutting mode. Whether you are a tech at a big company or a small one man operation it’s time to cut the fat before you get cut out of work. Unnecessary expenses have to go and inefficient ways of working need to be analyzed and improved.

If done right, the use of some technologies can greatly reduce costs and make us more efficient.

Here are ten technologies every techie should consider to help cut costs in this slow economy:

1) Open Source
Dump the high cost proprietary systems for equivalent open source systems where you can. There are many operating systems, databases, content management systems, communications tools, networking and administration tools that are open source and free to use. Choose mature products with a strong community following and plenty of available support options either via developers or third party support offerings.

2) Software as a Service
Instead of spending money on time on developing complex in-house solutions to CRM, support and project management use SaaS providers such as Sales Force, Google, 37Signals and Right Now . Not only do you save money by using these third party tools by cutting development costs, but you also reduce costs on specialized hardware to run similar in-house solutions. Many SaaS solutions can also be integrated via the providers API’s.

3) Virtualization
Do you have multiple servers and workstations handling different tasks? Combine them into one machine. With virtualization suites such as ones offered by VMware you can take one machine and turn into multiple virtual machines. One machine can act as your web server, your network share and your exchange server. Each virtual machine will work independent of the other and optimize utilization of hardware resources.

4) Thin Clients
Employees no longer need to use expensive machines for light computing work such as emailing and using basic office work. Low powered thin-clients connected to a single multi-core system with x64 architecture and virtualization can power the work of multiple employees. Besides better utilization of hardware and energy, you also introduce efficiency for IT managers by reducing the # of systems they have to manage.

5) Enterprise 2.0
Get your organization connected and sharing information. Use intranet systems with built in messaging, voice messages, wikis, profiles and contact information. Keeping your employees connected and sharing information about your business can keep the organization from making costly decisions.

6) Digital Documents
Move as much of your company’s paper usage to digital as you can. Not only do you save money with printing you also save money on office space to store all that paperwork. Other ways to save more on printed costs is move to email for memos and letters. Also consider e-fax services as an alternative to fax machines.

7) Fast Efficient Networks
Using all these cost savings technologies will require a fast internal network and fast bandwidth coming in. These days companies and individuals can subscribe to fiber-optic bandwidth providers. With higher bandwidth network such as fiber lines, you can also server voice and video through the same connection. Internally make sure you’ve upgraded as much of your hardware to gigabit speeds. Newer networking gear tends to be more energy efficient and capable of handling faster network speeds. A fast network means less waiting for employees and more working.

8 ) Data Storage
Storing as much of your company’s data and information on the network keeps it accessible for employees and staff to use at any time from any location. This saves employees from physically having to search for the required data or information. The time savings will make your staff more efficient. Saving data on cheap mass storage hard drives saves you office space for storing documents and paper work.

9) Wireless
With wireless connectivity employees can work from anywhere. They are no longer stuck to their desk and their mobile systems such as laptops can move with them from meetings to conference areas. An added benefit of wireless systems are the savings in running wire for hard networking.

10) Virtual Office
Cut the overhead costs of keeping employees on site by allowing them to work from home. Virtual offices reduce the amount of resources required for equipment and office space. Many companies have already instituted virtual office policies and have realized great results from doing so. With virtual offices upfront investments in secure networking will be required. Setting up VPNs and access to other network resources for employees will be a must.

Copied from bytes.com

15 must have web developer tools for beginners

Here are 15 handy web developer tools.  Some are very well known others not so, however, one thing they all share is they are very useful when developing websites.

1. Adobe Photoshop

The Adobe Photoshop family of products is the ultimate playground for bringing out the best in your digital images and transforming them into anything you can imagine.

More about Adobe Photoshop…

2. GIMP

Very much a Photoshop esc application but free. GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

More about GIMP…

3. Adobe Dreamweaver

Quickly and easily design, develop, and maintain websites and web applications – from start to finish – with Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 software. Built for both designers and developers, Dreamweaver CS3 offers the choice of working in an intuitive visual layout interface or a streamlined coding environment.

More about Adobe Dreamweaver…

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HTML vs. XHTML – How to Convert HTML to XHTML

XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4.0. What this really means is that learning XHTML is basically the same as learning HTML. The main difference is a few simple rules – as XHTML is more strict than standard HTML.
The reality is that HTML is not going away. While there are many advantages to having a very flexible system where tags can be easily added and changed in the DTD, but most Web Developers won’t need or want their own tags. Why rewrite the way the <p> tag works, when it’s already in the document definition?

Converting an HTML Document

There are a few basic rules you need to apply to convert an HTML 4 document to XHTML.

  1. Stricter adherence to the HTML specification.

    Many browsers are very lax in how they interpret HTML. This leads to incongruities in how the pages are displayed, and XHTML doesn’t allow that. The best way to correct this is to use an XHTML validator.

  2. Write well formed documents.

    What this generally means is avoiding overlapping elements. The following nested code is acceptable:

    <p>Paragraph <em>emphasized</em></p>

    because the <em> tag is opened and closed within the <p> tag. However, this is not allowed:

    <p>Paragraph <em>emphasized</p></em>

    because the <em> tag overlaps the <p> tag.

  3. Write tags and attributes in lowercase.

    XHTML is a case-sensitive markup language, so

    <LI> and <li>

    are potentially two different tags.

  4. End tags are required.

    In HTML, some tags which actually contain elements do not require the end tag. The most common of these is the

    <p>

    tag. XHTML requires that the

    </p>

    tag be used. For singleton tags, such as

    <br>

    you should include a trailing slash in the tag itself, e.g.

    <br />

    to get a line break.

  5. Attributes must be quoted and include values.

    What this means is that non-quoted attributes such as

    <table border=3>

    are invalid. And attributes which used to stand alone, must now be written as name=”value” pairs. For example

    <hr noshade=”noshade” />

    adds the noshade attribute to the <hr/> tag.

  6. Do a second validation.

    The last step is to validate your XHTML again. This will tell you of any additional problems or issues with your code.

Copy from About.com. Published by Jennifer Kyrnin
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