Web Development

Trends, tools and development tips and tricks.

Web Development UI: Managing Complexity with jQuery

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UI Paradox Creating a “Good” User Interface is a matter of balancing competing needs. It’s part art, part science and all work. Users expect a lot of functionality, yet also demand simplicity. A familiar UI is one where the key features are already well-understood. However if it’s too familiar, the UI could be seen as boring. Users want a UI that is intuitively obvious, to them. For the developer, the problem is that intuition is very much a matter of… continue…

Here’s How to Create Scorchingly Fast JavaScript

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The race continues to produce the fastest JavaScript engines in browsers. With the recent release of Firefox 22, Mozilla’s jumped past Chrome. Its not-so-secret sauce is called asm.js, and is a subset of full JavaScript. When correctly optimized, JavaScript code can run at about half the speed of native machine code. Don’t believe me? Then run up Firefox and make sure it’s the latest version (22). If you haven’t got Firefox installed, go to GetFirefox.com. You don’t want to miss… continue…

Digital Rights Management in HTML5

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In a recent blog “Implementing Video and Audio in HTML5,” I said that while HTML5 was a great step forward in terms of audio and video tags, different audio and video formats were required on a website in order to support all browsers. The heart of the issue is that no single audio and video format comes free from copyright, usage and patent restrictions. The result is that each browser vendor picks the format for which they have ownership or… continue…

Developing Cloud-Based SaaS Web Applications

Cloud computing
The demand for Web development skills needed to design, build and deploy Software as a Service applications should continue to increase over the next several years as more companies seek solutions tailored to the capabilities of the cloud. According to SaaS blogger Dave Key, designing software for SaaS is fundamentally different from designing software for the more traditional client/server model in terms of architecture, user interface design and the exposure and use of APIs. Key points to consider: Design for… continue…

Dropbox Plans Developer Conference to Push API

Dropbox
By Jennifer Goforth Gregory Most likely, you’ve uploaded one of the more than 1 billion files shared through Dropbox each day.  Despite those kinds of numbers, Dropbox isn’t content to just be the most used files sharing program around. It wants IT professionals to use Dropbox in a different way – to build applications on top of its data layer platform. As part of the development of the Dropbox API, the company is holding its first developer conference to educate… continue…

Adding Custom Fonts to Your Web Pages

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The Need for Custom Web Fonts On the Web, fonts have traditionally been limited to those regarded as “Web safe,” which in turn leads to something of a generic look to most company pages. Fonts — that is, the style in which letters, numbers, punctuation and special characters are visually presented — have long been a way in which brands and businesses  distinguish themselves in the marketplace. For example, the distinctive Coca Cola font has been nearly unchanged for over… continue…

Drilling Into JBoss AS’s Successor – WildFly 8

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Say hello to WildFly 8, the successor to the JBoss application server and a new JBoss community project. Well, it will be when it becomes available, as currently it’s at Alpha. While change for change’s sake isn’t always a good thing, the reason given for creating WildFly 8 is simple: JBoss the name is overloaded. It refers not only to to the application server, but also the JBoss Community and line of products by Red Hat. To a newcomer to… continue…

Should You Build Your Product on a Proprietary Platform?

Oil Drilling Platform
A potential client of mine had a great idea: They were going to build the next great product (let’s call it WidgetFoo), and it was going to be social for enterprise. So, we sat down to have a high level architecture discussion. How were we going to build this thing? Before I go further, let me say for the record: No, the product’s not a widget, but since they’re in the middle of building it right now, I can’t actually… continue…

Implementing Video and Audio in HTML5

HTML5
Since Tim Berners-Lee first published it in 1991, HTML has been the one and only way that clients and servers on the Web could communicate. Initially just handling text was sufficient, but over time Web pages became more complex and required new functions. Among the changes implemented were the tags that allow scripting languages to create dynamic pages, reduce interactions between clients and servers, and provide the kind of media-heavy websites that have become all-but ubiquitous. As the Web’s functionality… continue…

The Security Implications of Fake Twitter Followers

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A recent New York Times story about the fake Twitter follower community got me thinking. The newspaper claims that this is a $1 million industry, with followers being purchased in bulk for about a penny a head. Why does Twitter tolerate this? Certainly, the company could easily fix this problem with some clever software engineering. Instead, they’re turning a blind eye. But on further reflection, it’s not something that’s easy to fix. I have a Twitter account that I set… continue…