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.
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.
Google is hosting its famous coding challenge called Google Code Jam which asks professional and student programmers to solve complex algorithmic challenges in a limited amount of time. It’s up to you what coding language/IDE to use.
The challenge starts in July and continues in August — you’ll have to compete in online rounds against contestants from around the world in this period. The Top 500 participants will advance to onsite competitions at a local Google office to compete against those in their region (Asia Pacific / Europe, Middle East and Africa / Americas). The Top 100 will participate in the final round at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California on Friday, November 14.
So if you’re good at programming, go register between June 17 and July 17 and participate.
For those who don’t know what Processing is: it’s an open source programming language designed to let people program images, animation, and interactions. Processing is used by artists, designers, students, researchers and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. Just take a look at the basic examples on the official Processing website in order to get a better impression.
So Obsessing.org is being improved from time to time and I think it’s going to get a wonderful platform for creating stunning animations with ease.
I’ve just crawled the web and found something interesting that is already online for some months but maybe you haven’t heard of it yet. It’s a free webservice which offers you the possibility of publishing your documents online in a nice flash-player. The service is called Issuu and is similar to other existing document services like Scribd or Doktus. But Issuu is an improved tool because it publishes your magazine with a neat tool and makes it findable by archiving it in categories like illustration, photography, arts, design and so on. That’s why Issuu is an innovation for everybody who wants to get started with online publishing. The published flash-document reminds of a “real” magazine so it’s a great fun to browse in Issuu-documents.
The service allows you to upload your publication as PDF-file and after uploading your publication can be watched online. The generated flash-presentation is very well done (browse all pages, overview) and fits to the current window-size of your browser-window.
Just take a look at the publications and you’ll see that Issuu is quite impressing.
DevKick has released a list of 70+ High-End Components for webdesigners and developers. The list contains a nice collection of hand-picked, quality components sorted in framework/programming categories. So you’ll find wonderful scripts using libraries like jQuery, Prototype, MooTools and YUI but there are also some well done CSS-, PHP- and ActionScript-components.
All components have been selected and tested by the DevKick-team so this components may be very helpful for your next project. The full list can be checkd out here.
Cameron Moll has posted 25 links to resources for ornaments, fleurons, and “frilly bits” in his blog. The resources consist of vector forms and typefaces you can use in order to beautify and enhance your designs. Ornaments and vignettes work as eyecatching elements which give a design more detail and interesting forms. Cameron Moll’s collection is well sorted and should give you some inspirational support.
There’s also a reference section which conains a library of test cases for checking cross-browser compatibility. The tests can be run individually or in groups, using the JSUnit automated testing framework.
Sun has demonstrated their upcoming JavaFX-platform on the JavaOne. JavaFX is a Rich Internet Application (RIA)-Framework which shall be an alternative to Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. The framework will be released in autumn 2008 – the Software Development Kit (SDK) will be available for download in July. JavaFX comes with an own scripting language called JavaFX Script which is the core of the framework. With JavaFX Script, platform independent applications can be developed. So JavaFX may be an interesting alternative for creating complex web applications and services. The official website is JavaFX.com.
If you are a web developer you may be interested in some Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-hints in order to improve the ranking of your website. SEOmoz has just published a very helpful document called 'The Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet' which contains the most important hints for search engine-optimizations. So take a look at it.
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