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Posts Tagged ‘Web Development

A Voice of Reason

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In the middle of Peter-Paul Koch’s self-proclaimed rant about the deficiencies and altogether failure of the App Store approval process (which I am NOT commenting on) I noticed something which explains, at least in part, what I believe to be the major reason web technologies have not matured to the extent their desktop counterparts have: Desktop programmers are scared out of their minds and are fighting to hold back applications which depend heavily on the use of these tools.

But the so-called “real” developers aren’t confronting their fear. They’re covering it up with arrogance.

They dismiss Web technologies as toys for children. JavaScript is just this little language that cannot possibly compare to real technologies such as the one they’re using. HTML is too simple. Real programmers don’t do that stuff. As to Web developers, they are just glorified pixel-pushers that should in no circumstance be taken seriously.

After ten years I am fucking tired of the “Web development is not real programming” bullshit that the arrogant bastards in “real programming” are spouting because they’re too frightened to learn something new.

OK, maybe JavaScript and CSS don’t have what it takes to replace traditional desktop programming quite yet. Still, I feel like it doesn’t get the respect it deserves.  To you sir, I say, “Bravo! Keep fighting the good fight”.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

November 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm

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My love/hate relationship with Spry

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When Adobe released CS3 back in March of 2007, designing a UI for websites and applications took a step forward.  Prior to this, applications like Dreamweaver MX 2004 had used DHTML to add interactive elements to pages.  At the time, I believed that the new Spry framework would simplify interface design and make it less time consuming, so that I could work on adding new features and content.

I was wrong.

While I welcomed the change from more complicated DHTML-based solutions, which required extra work just to create a simple menu structure, I soon realized that Spy, in its early form, was not quite ready for prime-time.

If you look at some of the Javascript generated by Spry’s widgets and effects, it’s a mess.  Trying to maintain this piece of code is at least time-consuming and at most, an exercise in frustration.  Instead of trying to deal with this, a better way to do this might be to adopt an approach similar to what CSS – or even some kinds of  desktop development – has been doing for years: Put the code in separate files (where it belongs) and link to them!

Although I haven’t used it extensively, the Javascript Extractor in CS4 at least tries to address this problem, doing so in a way that doesn’t break entire sites by inserting several .js files into a page.  This might encourage a lot of web developers to make their code more easy to update and use,  instead of having to explicitly declare what the behaviors are for each individual element.  By the time you have a site with hundreds of pages, the time savings are significant.

With this in mind, I am hopeful that by the time CS5 comes out, Spry (or the Javascript Extractor) will be capable enough to be a viable alternative to jQuery, MooTools and the various other libraries used for UI development.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

August 31, 2009 at 12:29 pm

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Adobe Opens Up (Sort of)

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Creative Suite fan and have been a dedicated user since CS2; but if it’s called the “Open-Source Media Framework” why is it based on Flash instead of something like the HTML5 video element? (Which is almost guaranteed to be on all browsers and platforms soon after the standard is finalized)  I’ll admit, it’s a good idea with a lot of potential, but just maybe Adobe could take a lesson from the Linux community and instead position the project as a way to add to the Internet, instead of relying on a platform-specific solution.  Locking web developers into a single platform is NOT the way to go.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

July 25, 2009 at 11:03 pm

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OK, OK, I get it…

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Sometimes I’m lazy, that’s just the way it is.  I keep telling myself, “Get a server to host the site”, “Switch to a strict DOCTYPE”, “Use CSS more”, all sorts of tech-related nags that I would get around to fixing if I didn’t procrastinate so much.  Well, I’m not surprised (again) that “hard-core” web devs (People who get paid to do this kind of stuff) are shocked when I tell them I’ve built most of the sites in my portfolio using tables for layout.  As I’ve said before, CSS isn’t hard, it’s just that using tables means layout is one thing I don’t have to think about and it frees me up to display content or features without worrying about where it goes on a page.  Changing the layout now becomes a pain because I have to change the basic structure instead of just moving content around.  Still, I KNOW I should do this, but just haven’t gotten around to implementing it.  No more excuses, the tables (and Transitional DOCTYPE as long as I’m here) have got to go.

(Once it’s done I might actually feel better about putting some sample projects up to show off “the skills”.)

Written by @chrisfinazzo

July 3, 2009 at 1:54 am

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Microsoft to Ignore Web Standards in Outlook 2010

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Typical Microsoft.  It’s not so much that using tables for layout is always a bad design choice – I frankly find it easier to write code without having to worry about positioning until the end – or that CSS-based layout is hard to do, it just requires a bit more concentration in order to get the job done.  Still, the company refuses to use a real browsing engine to deal with something (Email) that most people do online – I intentionally do not mention large corporate environments using only desktop-based solutions, here they are the exception.  Using Word to accomplish this task is probably the worst possible solution to the problem (i.e, MHTML is a train-wreck, and the fault lies squarely with Redmond, which developed the spec) and it’s done for the sake of user convenience and features! This is the reason why so many interactive design firms and ad agencies charge a premium when developing for Outlook 2007 (and to a lesser extent, Entourage 2008), it’s not always easy to do.  If developers and users actually talked to each other and REALLY LISTENED, maybe Microsoft wouldn’t have these kinds of problems come back to bite them later on.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

June 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

35 Absolutely Useful Firefox Plugins For Web Designers And Developers

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Good, although I would add:

  1. Web Developer by Chris Pederick – Absolutely essential for web developers.
  2. ColorZilla by Alex Sirota – Good for UI mockups instead of having to worry about remembering hexadecimal values for colors, this does the hard work for you.
  3. DOM Inspector by Shawn Wilsher – Simple, but does the job.

In addition, although not an add-on, I would replace FireFTP with Cyberduck. After only 1 summer of using it, I would gladly pay for a piece of software that is as polished and full-featured as this.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

June 21, 2009 at 4:06 am

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Correction Needed

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Regarding my earlier post about Sakson & Taylor:

I do not mean that their work isn’t high quality, only that their lack of support for WebKit-based browsers (Safari & Chrome) is an odd choice. Well, that and the fact that they still include Internet Explorer for Mac and Netscape under the “Supported Browser” section.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

June 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm

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