Tag Archive: web


In this post we present a new speedy way of writing HTML code using CSS-like selector syntax — a handy set of tools for high-speed HTML and CSS coding. It was developed by our author Sergey Chikuyonok and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers.How much time do you spend writing HTML code: all of those tags, attributes, quotes, braces, etc. You have it easier if your editor of choice has code-completion capabilities, but you still do a lot of typing.We had the same problem in JavaScript world when we wanted to access a specific element on a Web page. We had to write a lot of code, which became really hard to support and reuse. And then JavaScript frameworks came along, which introduced CSS selector engines. Now, you can use simple CSS expressions to access DOM elements, which is pretty cool.

via Zen Coding: A Speedy Way To Write HTML/CSS Code – Smashing Magazine.

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http://net.tutsplus.com/videos/screencasts/the-ultimate-guide-to-creating-a-design-and-converting-it-to-html-and-css/

PLEs

Personal Learning Environment or PLE is a term that describes how people teach themselves today with access to the web.  There are so many tools at our disposal that help keep track of useful websites containing, PDFs, videos, powerpoint presentations, and plain text. http://www.microbiologybytes.com/tutorials/ple/index.html

Personally I like a program called “ANKI” it is cross platform and is at most basic flashcard program, but it packs a special feature. It uses an algorithm that puts cards in order of how well you remember them, sorting the least remembered to the front. It allows me to add audio, video, and diagrams to cards; then to add tags to each card to separate them out. I have been using it mostly for learning vocabulary in French, Japanese, Spanish, and obscure English words.

Then there is also iTunesU which is a subsection of the iTunes Music Store that aggregates podcasts and vidcasts from international universities from all fields of study, allowing anyone to take any class for free. With iTunesU its easy to download a few lectures to your iphone or ipod touch and learn about literature, programming, science, or whatever else you might find.

Another great tool that I have cabbaged onto is Evernote. I have it as an application on my computer, my iphone, and it has a web interface that I can access anywhere, any note I make in any place is instantly synced with the cloud so I never have to worry about losing my data. A cool feature is that you can take a picture or scan of a handwritten note and it will automatically run the image through OCR (Character recognition) software and index the text so that its easy to search for.

Also I found a great source for scientific data, Wolfram Alpha, its makers call it a “Computational Knowledge Engine” It is a frontend for science and math, and many other kinds of imposing datasets that would be a hassle to wade through on Google. Even better is that they just released an API so that we can plug in its power to our online applications to find populations of countries, average temperature in a national park, data from NASA probes.

Its great that you dont have to go all over the web to find quality information anymore. Its easy to file it away for immediate or later learning. You can move at your own pace and even conglomerate all your information into one place if you take just a few minutes to set up an interface where its simple to sit for a few minutes or a few hours and teach yourself a new skill or add to your knowledge of history. PLEs arent a new concept its just in the past few years the tools to supplement ourselves have become that much more powerful and user friendly. Now one persons library can be quickly molded for another person, which is great for training purposes, or to get two people on the same page of debate.

New Webmaster Tools from Google

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/10/show-me-malware.html

Google has set up an automated service that as their webspider crawls the web any website with malware in the code will have an email sent to the webmaster with a snippet of the bad code so that the webmaster can remove the offending code.

While a great history lesson about how and when social web began, but I think it doesnt go far enough in detailing the possibilities and the aftershocks. Granted the video is from 2006, but one can imagine that some things were obviously coming down the pipe. We only have to look at the digitization of libraries around the world. All that static information is being made available to anyone who cares to view it. Never before in history has such a wealth of culture and knowledge been available to so many. In history the greatest loss to the progress of mankind was the destruction of the library at Alexandria, now millions of books will never meet that fate, and even more interesting is what is already happening to these books. New readers, people finding old favorites, developers finding new methods of interacting with the texts. For the first time in thousands of years the lines between media formats are blurring. Now when one reads a book there will be links built right into the text to songs, pictures, names, videos. I see the lines blurring so much that it wont matter how you comment on something, the technology will turn everything into video, audio, and text automatically. The original meaning and intention of a statement will last so much longer. It will help citizens hold their politicians accountable for their statements and promises. Lets face it the world needs more accountability. Of course there will also be a need to update the laws to protect the sanctity of data. Democracy cannot survive without a tight hold of the truth and the independence of data from politics and intrigue. No one person is so important that they should be able to dictate what is true and false. Hopefully this generation will be able to adapt to the consequences of this revolution and create a bright future.

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/10/the-history-and-evolution-of-social-media/

This article starts in the 70s with Usenet and quickly goes into the late 90s. Its interesting to see how people have glommed onto these networks to share their ideas and creations as well as pour derision on what is shared. The conversations in these forums range from comical to abusive, creative to destructive, supportive to derisive. Social media in my opinion allows people to show more of their true selves without worrying about social morays in their immediate social group, this can be a freeing experience as so many of us seem to wear masks in our public life, hiding what we consider others to look down upon. Social media or web 2.0 brings people together and allows individuals and groups to create new cultures, share ideas and knowledge in such an incredibly easy way. What is even better is that it keeps getting better, easier to do so. Even the US government is getting in on web 2.0, Obamas digital information czar is doing an admirable job in dragging all the government data to the forefront so that taxpayers can actually view and find a use for the data that our taxes help pay to generate. What I am thankful for is that the information and services are being kept free, monetized simply by innocuous ads. One could argue that the socialized web is a huge evolutionary step for humanity, socially and developmentally. Its not amazingly easy to make new friends or mentors around the world, to have someone to confide in, to argue with, to learn from. Traditionally it has been mans fault that we fear what we do not know, now we dont have to fear the unknown because we have access and the ability to learn about other cultures, to talk with those people in their own language because the computers can automatically translate for us. Breaking down the barriers that separate people brings us all closer together, making it harder to turn a blind eye to another persons plight. And that much easier to help those in need.