It’s nothing new but I found that this may be something useful for you. The software and web designers from Pentacom (Eiji Nishidai / Yuko Washizu) have developed a very easy but impressive pixel font tool called BitFontMaker . The web application can be run in three versions (Canvas, Director and XBM) and reminds of an icon editor: there’s a grid where you can easily paint/erase black squares which complete a character. There’s also the feature of a glyphs map where you can create every needed character for your font. Characters can be copied/pasted so that you have some basis for the other characters. You can view your font with a specified sample text (“Text Drive”) and check how it looks finally. The editor is very easy to use and it has everything you need (because it’s made for simple pixel fonts). Finally, you can save your created font as TTF-file to your local harddrive where you can use it in your graphics software. This is just an awesome feature which works very well! There’s also a great communities which has created tons of stunning pixel fonts which can be viewed and downloaded in the
BitFont Museum. The fonts which are available there are high quality so you should definitely check this site out.
In Firefox (Version 2 and 3), you may have come across a bug (it may be caused by an extension) when you’re writing/editing text in textareas (e.g. in forums, comment fields, CMS-backend-areas and so on): sometimes the copy/paste-operations won’t work (neither with keyboard-shortcuts nor via the context menu). You can select text in a textarea but you can’t copy or paste it (e.g. into the clipboard). Additionally, the arrow-keys and some other keys are also bugged so that they won’t work anymore. This is a very annoying effect because you’ll have to restart Firefox to make it work again!
I’ve figured out that there’s a better (still provisorily) solution for this small problem: When the bug appears, just open Notepad (the standard text editor under Windows 95/98/2000/
XP/Vista) and close it. After doing that, the copy/paste-operations will work again if you switch back to Firefox! If you’re using a nice shortcut-tool like Clavier+, it’s a very quick task opening/closing Notepad.
Google has just launched the beta version of their own web browser called Google Chrome. The beta can be downloaded here. Google had published a comic which showed the thoughts and work of their new browser.
Beside the fact that the most influential web company has just developed another killer product, web developers may look at this with divided opinions. Another browser has been thrown in the pot and it may become a serious alternative to Firefox. The browser war will get harder and the browser developers will fight for their cause to increase their market share. Web developers will have to spend more time in browser optimization and so, the new browser means more work.
Nevertheless, I’m very curious how the browser development will go on and which browser will be the browser in a few years. Internet Explorer 8 is also in development and the beta 2 has just been released.
You can choose between fixed and faux layouts with one or more columns. All layouts are W3C validated and have structured, minimalistic code.
Former Google workers have started their own search engine called Cuil. The service is intended to index the triple amount of sites that Google currently indexes. A new feature that comes with Cuil is the display of the search results: the entries are displayed in a magazine style so there are small text blocks (e.g. in 3 columns and 3 rows) with small thumbnails. Another great feature is the “Explore by Category”-feature which lists similar results and gives you the ability of browsing different fields of your desired topic.
So Cuil may be a serious Google alternative with fresh features that may also be integrated in Google later.
Mozilla has now released Firefox 3.0.1. There are several security fixes and stability fixes which you can check out in the release notes. I’m using version 3 since the beta release and Firefox 3 has just some awesome features. Recently, there was an update for Firefox 2 (version 184.108.40.206) which can also be downloaded on the Mozilla website. So Firefox 2 is still being updated.
For those who don’t want to uninstall Firefox 2: you could also install Firefox 3 parallely and use your Firefox 2 profiles (the default profile is used automatically. But you could also use two separate profiles for Firefox 2 and 3. Just take a look at my article in order to do this.
Recently, there was an article on SmashingMagazine which covered the topic whether links on websites should open in a new window. Personally, I almost always open links in a new tab unless I’m done with the current site. So if I’m reading an article on a website, I’m letting to open links in the background (tab) but I keep reading the main article — when I’m finished, I’ll check the opened links in order to read them carefully. But this is just a personal behavior. The main reason, why I’m having links with the ‘open in new window’-property (target="_blank") is that I’m having internal and external links on this website. Only internal links will be opened in the same window while external links are opened in a new window.
As I’m a total fan of alternating row colors that improve usability immensely, I wanted to have these in the TextPattern backend (article listing). The article listing page of TextPattern is built up using table rows (<tr>) which are predestined to be colored with alternating colors. The final HTML-output of a backend page is generated using lots of functions and libraries. But the sourcecode of TextPattern is cleaned up and well structured so it’s just a small change in one PHP-file and the general CSS-file of TextPattern.
On Blogstorm there’s an article that describes a simple method that allows you to edit any website live in your browser. You just have to type the following code in your address bar:
This helps a lot when you just want a quick preview of how the website would look with another text/without the menu and so on.
The method works in all modern browsers (Internet Explorer 6 also). The edit mode
can be disabled by typing this code in the adress bar (doesn’t work in Firefox):
Of course, modern web development tools like Firebug
also support this feature but for a quick change (you can simply bookmark the code line), this method is very nice I think.
As I’m writing on some TextPattern articles, I thought it would be useful if there was an introducing article about TextPattern. So TextPattern (short: “TXP”) is a lightweight and elegant Content Management System (CMS) that I’m using to run this site. It’s free (open source, developed by Dean Allen) and has a strong community that develops plugins, templates and themes for TextPattern.
The CMS is similar to popular blogging systems like WordPress or Movable Type but it has more customization features and an advanced template system. In the end, it’s always a matter of taste but you should definitely check out TextPattern if you’re looking for an easy-to-use but professional high-quality CMS.