Just stumbled across this nifty free (and open source!) tool: The Pencil Project. Pencil lets you sketch out your applications quickly and export them as PNG images. It offers, among other things, the standard operating systems widgets (currently WinXP and GTK, collection expandable) and is built upon XUL and SVG. Pencil runs as a lightweight 400k Firefox 3 extension, but can also be run as a stand-alone application.
Archive for the 'Browsers' Category
Well, after a painful 6 year wait between IE6 and IE7, it’s refreshing to see a first version of IE8 already available for download. Developers can go crazy testing the new and improved CSS 2.1 compatibility, and a bunch of other things most people probably won’t need (but they’re probably nice to have none-the-less). As expected, SVG support is still missing, but at least the browser may finally be catching up on the basic standards. For one thing, they are dropping the hasLayout issues according to this article.
Let us all rejoice: Microsoft has changed their mind on a earlier issue, and IE8 will use Standards mode by default instead of requiring a meta tag. At debate was their idea that we should add a special meta tag to our HTML to activate their new “really, really real” standards mode, in order to preserve backwards-compatibility with broken websites based on their old, buggy browsers. Of course, this sent a storm through the standards-loving blogosphere.
Microsoft’s new enlightenment is very, very significant news for web developers and the future of web standards and it’s amazing that they actually listened to developers. Get more info straight from the lion’s mouth.
Today is a good day. :)
Test how your website will appear on the iPhone, in the (supposedly) pixel-perfect iPhone emulator, iPhoney. The iPhoney features the original iPhone-Safari browser interface, and can be rotated to view in landscape mode. So you can go ahead and test a few of those iPhone applications that are already springing up. Mac-only, for now.
I guess it’s no longer news that Safari 3.0 will run on Windows as well as the Mac, as Steve Jobs announced on this year’s WWDC Keynote. The bit that’s really going to be interesting for web developers, however, is that Safari will come along with a new version of Web Inspector, which is basically the Safari counterpart to Firefox’s excellent Web Developer and Firebug extensions. This is great, as Windows users will now have a reliable tool to bugfix CSS/XHTML for Safari. Going by the screenshot, it looks dead sexy, too. Now if someone would come up with something comparable for IE, that would be great (sorry, neither this nor this comes close).
Looking to spice up your RSS reader a bit? Akzente is a custom stylesheet for those of you using the Sage Firefox extension. I created Akzente with optimized readability in mind, with a touch of typographic goodness and simplistic aesthetics. Let me know if you like it!
Sage is a nice little Firefox sidebar extension that offers you a customizable RSS reader right in your browser. You can use your own stylesheets and make your feeds look exactly as you like them, without having to use an external app for reading.
Read on for installation instructions (simple stuff).
Ten years ago, on 17 December 2006, W3C published the first standard for style on the Web: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), level 1.
CSS Web designers have enjoyed fine-grain control of page appearance (fonts, colors, layout, margins, etc.) and easier page design and maintenance. CSS can also help make pages more adaptable to more users, including users with mobile devices and some users with disabilities.
To celebrate this tenth anniversary, W3C invites developers to propose their favorite CSS designs for the CSS10 Gallery.
If you need to test your sites on a mobile phone but you don’t have the possibility (mobile online fees are expensive!), then how about giving Opera’s very own Mini Simulator a try? Naturally, this one only supports Opera Mini, but it renders the page exactly as the real thing does. I’m surprised at what a good job this browser does. Opera Mini renders only the most necessary CSS while leaving the page very readable and easily navigatable. Larger images can be downloaded in their original size or resized exactly to what you would need on your mobile, if, say, you wanted to use it as a background. I’ve tested position: absolute on it and while it reduces it to pure text and links, it does leave the general feel of the site intact, in a “mini” version. A nice addition is the built-in RSS reader. I’m definitely putting this browser on my next phone. Now if someone could please come up with sane mobile online fees…
Update 2009-11-06: new URL
About time someone came up with this. If you are working with Flash and need to test your products in various Flash versions, the new Flash Switcher extension offers a very easy way to do that. Just select the version you need from the icon in the status bar, and the extension will quickly auto-install the appropriate Flash version and reload the page. Tried it out, works like a charm for me. (mac version here.)
In light of last week’s release of Internet Explorer 7, Slashdot is offering us the chance to interview the general manager of the IE7 team. All those questions you’ve been burning to ask over the years of frustration can be asked, and the best ones will be passed on to Dean Hachamovitch for answering. My favorite question so far:
If you adopt FireFox 2.0 as IE8, your boss would be impressed with how much you improved the product in a very short time. My question is: would you take the extra time to remove CSS features from IE8? Thank you and God Bless.