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Design Link Roundup

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» Okay, I admit this first one isn't directly related to web design other than its potential to integrate hand-written design drawings and notes and thoughts with notes on online material in whatever form which would be a boon to any designer. If I'm really honest, it's just pure geek gadget appeal. Go check out the video on the new still-semi-secret Microsoft Courier tablet gadget. Two geek thumbs up here.

» There is a new online design collaboration tool that offers a lot, www.creately.com.


It's very well put together. You can use it for free for up to 3 private projects and unlimited public projects. Or for unlimited private projects you can switch to their monthly subscription format which for right now is on a unique kind of sale: you pay what you choose to pay for a monthly fee via Paypal.

» In checking some info for someone else, I looked at some of Apache's documentation on htaccess and was surprised to note that the documentation appears to have been re-written and re-organized since I last referenced it which was at least 3 years ago, perhaps more. (A quick check of Wayback Machine reveals it must have been sometime in 2005 since it was redone as of Feb. 2006 which sounds about right.) Guess I should check back a little more often.

» If the Apache documentation doesn't meet your needs, Joseph Pecoraro has provided a terrific alternative in these two very clearly written tutorials on htaccess and one of its most powerful aspects, mod_rewrite. These tutorials are both available on Nettuts but Joseph has added some additional material at his website, try out here and created a zip file of the examples so that you can download them and see just how he did them.

» One of my WiseWomen colleagues also recommended this tutorial on URL Rewriting for Beginners with accompanying downloadable cheat sheets by Dave Child on mod_rewrite and regular expressions.

» Tim Brown at Nice Web Type has a tutorial on how to create text with a gradient via CSS and typekit and without using any images. It's pretty straightforward and another great tool to add to the CSS toolkit.

» Elliot Jay Stock penned a little rant on the misuse of its versus it's and it brought a tide of comments in agreement including my own.

It always amazes me when I arrive on a web designer/developer's website and find such misspellings, particularly on the landing page. A recent one which shall go unnamed had 5 such misspellings including the classic it's when it should have been its. I broke down and sent that web developer an email using their contact form mentioning the misspellings.

I know that not all web developers profess to be expert copy writers as well but for heaven's sake, use a spell checker. Or get someone you know to be a "bit of a pedant" to proofread your website.

I think web designers and developers need to understand that their site is, in a very real way, their resume that they're sending to a potential employer. And as someone who worked in executive recruiting for some time, I can tell you that resumes with misspellings and basic grammar errors get discarded.

I'm sure websites do too for just the same reasons. Pay attention to detail including the spelling and grammar on your website.

Design Link Roundup

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» From Ross Johnson's 3.7 Design blog comes a dissection of web typography technique in "10 Examples of Beautiful CSS Typography and how they did it...". If you choose only one link to check out, choose this one. He does a great job exploring how subtle CSS changes produce very effective headlines and copy.

» Nathan at Unit Interactive has compiled a list of web font stacks that any web designer serious about typography will appreciate. What's a web font stack? Why is this list so good? Well, check out his explanation of stacks and how he organizes them. The value add on his list of suggested font stack combinations is his identification whether they're better for "paragraphs and body copy" or "headlines and titles".

» Megan McDermott at A Padded Cell put together a "Complete Guide to Pre-Installed Fonts in Linux, Mac, and Windows". It's useful if you want to vary the fonts used in your design but need to pay attention to the variety of fonts available to viewers of your site. One note: the list was published in late 2007 and does not include the fonts which come along with a standard install of Vista. Safalra.com has a list of the Vista fonts.

» Carrying on with the typography theme, there's this 5-part tutorial from Mark Boulton, "Five simple steps to better typography". It's not new but his integration of typography with basic web design points is a good intro for those who aren't at all familiar with print typography basics. This is another blog where some of the commenters are as well-known as the writer and the comments educational as well.

» If you found yourself wondering what some of the terms meant, the glossary from the award-winning The Evolution of Type site by design group mediumbold will be useful.

» For those seriously interested in learning more about accessible web design, here's a comprehensive introduction to the craft: Dive Into Accessibility It's a 30-day education plan with a tutorial each day which introduces a new accessibility point or concept. Well worth the time.

» Here's two more tips on improving typography appearance on Win XP systems:

- Turn on Cleartype on Win XP with following steps: Right-click Desktop > select Properties > select Appearance > select Effects > click the second Check Box > select Clear Type from the drop down

- Download the new Vista fonts by installing the free PowerPoint Viewer 2007 which includes the new fonts. [via Lifehacker]


The Twitterverse v0.9

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For those who like to see complex relationships in a visual, graphic form, check out this map of the Twitterverse as of May 2009.

The Twitterverse v0.9
by @BrianSolis & @Jess3



Click on image to enlarge

Design Link Roundup

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» This app, MyFontbook, has just rated its own link on my bookmarklets lineup. It's something every web designer will appreciate. Definitely worth taking the time to do the free registration. Interface is very intuitive. Do check out the video on using it.


» Jon Raasch has a great summary of the current methods of embedding custom fonts and the pro's and con's of each.


» Alexandra at Design Notes has uncovered some interesting new jquery scripts. [via @andysowards]


» From time to time, issues with caching come up on our wisewomen list. After doing some searching the last time around, I ran across this backgrounder on caching that is the best thing I've seen for an all-around intro.

Check out the Table of Contents

  1. What's a Web Cache? Why do people use them?
  2. Kinds of Web Caches
    1. Browser Caches
    2. Proxy Caches
  3. Aren't Web Caches bad for me? Why should I help them?
  4. How Web Caches Work
  5. How (and how not) to Control Caches
    1. HTML Meta Tags vs. HTTP Headers
    2. Pragma HTTP Headers (and why they don't work)
    3. Controlling Freshness with theExpires HTTP Header
    4. Cache-Control HTTP Headers
    5. Validators and Validation
  6. Tips for Building a Cache-Aware Site
  7. Writing Cache-Aware Scripts
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Implementation Notes -- Web Servers
  10. Implementation Notes -- Server-Side Scripting
  11. References and Further Information
  12. About This Document


» Just for Fridays, do stop by "There, I Fixed It: Epic Kludges + Jury Rigs" and have a good laugh. Page back through the older entries if you've never visited before. There's some real "brainiacs" out there... just the ones for which the Darwin awards were created.

Web Design Geek Humor

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I tweeted about this video a month or so ago. And since then I've run across mention of it 5 or 6 times including another one today.


Scofield Editorial did a clever job scripting the dilemma of a creative services vendor confronted with clients who want cadillac websites for bicycle prices.

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Design Link Roundup
» Okay, I admit this first one isn't directly related to web design other than its potential to integrate hand-written…
Design Link Roundup
» From Ross Johnson's 3.7 Design blog comes a dissection of web typography technique in "10 Examples of Beautiful CSS…
The Twitterverse v0.9
For those who like to see complex relationships in a visual, graphic form, check out this map of the Twitterverse…
Design Link Roundup
» This app, MyFontbook, has just rated its own link on my bookmarklets lineup. It's something every web designer will…
Web Design Geek Humor
I tweeted about this video a month or so ago. And since then I've run across mention of it 5…