All posts tagged ‘tutorial’

File Under: HTML, Multimedia

Web Graphics for Beginners

As an autistic, purebred Himalayan runt, my cat Rufo poses a triple threat of cuteness the whole world can enjoy. Sound like the everyday delusions of an average cat owner? Perhaps. But if Rufo is indeed a superstar dying to be born, then it’s my responsibility to help him, via the Internet. After all, what better use of the Web than as cat promotion?

At first, Rufo’s site was nothing more than a few paragraphs describing his unique kitty allure. Although a good start, mere words failed to convey the complete Rufo experience. For that, I needed graphics. Not just photographs – if Rufo was to be taken seriously as a cat celebrity, his Web presence had to look fun and professional. So I needed other collateral as well, like a logo, page banners, and graphic navigation.

My initial attempts were less than flattering. Pictures had blurry fur, the colors were pale and washed out, and the images took forever to download. So I taught myself how to create the kind of fast, sleek, and professional images that Rufo deserves. And now I’m going to share that hard-won knowledge with you. In the pages that follow, you’ll find tips, hints, and links to off-site resources or more advanced Webmonkey tutorials – everything an aspiring graphics designer needs to transform a texty site into a graphic sensation.

We begin at the very beginning: Getting images into the computer. For Rufo’s site, this meant importing photographs and finding usable graphics.

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File Under: Ajax, JavaScript, Programming

Building With Ajax and Rails


So, since the last time you brushed your teeth, Ruby on Rails has only grown in popularity. The list of web applications using the exciting new web framework has grown to such an enormous size, it has exceeded the 50K per page limit of the wiki used to host it. Lesser languages like Java and PHP are copying the stylish efficiency of Rails with their own frameworks like Trails, Trax and Cake.

In the tutorial Ruby on Rails for Beginners, we went over the very basic basics of Ruby and Rails:what it is, why it’s so mindblowingly cool, which celebrities are using it, and so forth. As soon as the article went live, letters flooded in, offering me book contracts, movie deals and exotic snacks — I haven’t gotten so much attention since my Ajax for Beginners article. In fact, this poll from the redoubtable Lifehacker.com says that Ruby on Rails and Ajax are among the two most popular things in the world, and plainly it pays to follow the trends, so what if we combined the two of them? No, that would be excessive. You don’t want to read about that. You do? Hmmmm, OK, I suppose we can take a quick look.

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File Under: APIs

Using the Twitter API

The microblogging site with the funny name is one of the hottest web services around.

Twitter is one of those websites with very little room for functional nuance. Its limit of 140 characters per post forces users to be succinct, something that makes many people feel over-constrained and leads them to view the service as too simple to actually be useful. Others see unbridled freedom inside such a unique limitation and embrace it like a poetic device. The lesson: You either get Twitter or you don’t.

Regardless of how you feel about it, if you’re looking to try out an API for the first time, Twitter is a great place to start.


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File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

Embed Audio and Video in HTML 5 Pages

In Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 of our HTML 5 tutorial, we looked at some new structural tags you can use to help eliminate the “div-soup” of HTML 4.x layouts, as well as some other semantic tags to help give your pages easy-to-parse dates, metadata and captioned images.

Now it’s time to take a look at what might be the most-hyped part of the HTML 5 specification — the audio and video tags.
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File Under: Programming

Regular Expressions Tutorial

So, you want to drag your archaically coded website kicking and screaming into the CSS world of today? Been doing a bit of find and replace lately, have you? Across multiple files, you say?

Major headache! Days wasted plugging dull cut and paste sequences from one document to another, then closing the old file and opening another new one. Is the monotony giving you Leland Palmer-style overnight white? Suppose for a moment you could make those changes across multiple files in a matter of seconds.

In fact, you can make complex changes across multiple documents with ease. The solution goes by the banal name “regular expressions.” How is this possible? Maybe a conceptual example of how regular expressions work is in order.

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