April 19, 2008

April 19 Meeting Report:
CSS Tools

At the April session, we looked at a number of resources and utilities for improving our ability to make effective websites and do so efficiently.

First were two websites that publish up to date information on web design and development:
In Smashing Magazine, we looked at article on The Best of March 2008 and articles on creative ways to style forms and footers.

This topic lead us to a discussion about RSS feeds with emphasis on the feed reader called FeedDemon.

Next we looked at two tools for creating color palettes based on colors used in a graphic:
We then discussed what are known as "browser resets," that is, a set of CSS declarations that on might use to start a style sheet in order to have certain styles predetermined on all pages. Eric Meyer has published his browser reset on his blog.

We finished with some discussion about Adobe Contribute and how it can be used to assign editing tasks to members of a web development team, particularly when used in conjunction with Dreamweaver templates.

April 17, 2008

April 19 Meeting Announcement

The next session of the PACS CSS Workshop will be this Saturday, April 19, at our usual 9-10 am hour. This month will be review a number of tools for web design.

I will review a couple of websites that I have found to be useful and show examples from those sites of creative ways to style forms and footers (really).

We will then talk about the concept of the “browser reset” and how that might get you started on the right foot at the very beginning of your site editing.

Finally, I will demo Adobe's application called Contribute. Contribute is an easy to use HTML editor that is also an effective site management utility. It lets a website manager can give individuals the right to edit certain portions of a site and thus off-load some of the mundane maintenance tasks required to keep a site updated.

I am still learning how to use these tools, so our meeting will be a work-in-progress kind of thing. It should be fun.

The rest of the day at PACS is going to be great. We do not have JavaScript this month, but Don Arrowsmith will be starting a PHP workshop in that 10-11 hour. We have done PHP in different groups at PACS, but this workshop will be specifically devoted to the subject.

Flash will take place at 11-12. And in the afternoon, Web Design will have a special guest from Microsoft talking about that company's Expression suite of design programs. FrontPage was a breakthrough program in its time, and Expression Web is its powerful successor.

O'Reilly Webcast: Even Faster Web Sites

From O'Reilly Media comes this news about a webcast featuring author Steve Souders:
Under his tenure as Chief Performance Yahoo!, Steve released YSlow and wrote High Performance Web Sites (at one point the #1 selling computer book on Amazon). Now at Google, Steve is working on a new set of best practices for making web sites even faster. In this webcast Steve explains the Performance Golden Rule, reviews his performance best practices, and uses YSlow to analyze the top web sites in the world.
More information is at the O'Reilly Media website.