All posts tagged ‘tutorial’

File Under: Multimedia

Lightroom Tutorial

If you’ve spent most of your time behind the lens shooting JPEG files, the format most casual point-and-shoot cameras capture by default, making the leap to shooting in Camera RAW is a revelation.

The uncompressed RAW image format allows unrivaled control over your finished product. With RAW, you can effectively go back to the scene of the shoot and re-adjust the exposure, change the white balance, alter the contrast and make dozens of other tweaks that JPEG files don’t allow for. That’s why the RAW format is preferred by the vast majority of digital photographers, from the professionals down to the serious hobbyists. Once you go RAW, you don’t go back.

However, Camera RAW images make for a much more complicated workflow. Gone are the days of plugging your camera into a computer and seeing your images printed on paper or posted to Flickr instantly. Given the increased complexity of Camera RAW images, it’s not surprising that whole new crop of images editors have come around to help you deal with the workflow requirements.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 ($300, or $100 upgrade) is one such image editor. It has much of the brawn and brains of Adobe’s flagship Photoshop app, but it’s been built to more specifically fulfill the unique demands of the Camera RAW workflow. The software industry calls these “digital darkroom” applications because they are set up to closely mimic the steps you’d take while making a print in a darkroom from a strip of film.

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File Under: Blog Publishing

Get Started With WordPress

Back when blogging was just catching on, a small PHP-based publishing system was quietly released and quickly took the blogging community by storm. WordPress, as the system was known, was an instant hit thanks to its simplicity and open-source license which allowed interested developers to extend and improve the system without hassle.

Today, WordPress powers everything from huge sites like CNN’s Political Tracker to thousands of personal blogs. Thanks to an easy step up process and the widespread availability of web hosts offering one-click WordPress installs, you can start blogging with WordPress in a snap.

In this tutorial, we’ll assume your web host doesn’t have a one-click installer. Maybe you’ve got a bare-bones host, you’ve decided to host your own site, or you’re simply setting up a local installation to see what WordPress can do. At any rate, fear not — getting WordPress working on your server only takes a few minutes. Of course, you’ll need a few skills in the bag first, like a knowledge of PHP and a comfortable working relationship with MySQL databases.

Once your blog is up and running, we’ll take a look at different ways you can customize and extend your blog.

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File Under: Frameworks, JavaScript

Get Started With MooTools

Programming with JavaScript can sometimes make me feel disorganized. I end up with bits of code floating around for various purposes. What was missing for a long time was some way to keep everything organized.

Now we’re being helped out by JavaScript frameworks, like MooTools, Prototype and JQuery. These frameworks sit on top of JavaScript and makes some common tasks a whole lot easier. When you use MooTools, as you will in this tutorial, you’re still writing JavaScript, but hopefully it’s a little more organized.

If you are still a beginning programmer, other frameworks might be a better choice. For example, see our jQuery tutorial. The way MooTools does things is a bit more for programmers than designers.

The MooTools way of doing things focuses on helping you not write the same thing over and over again. While the core of the library doesn’t do everything for you (as some frameworks do), MooTools gives you the structure to do it for yourself once, then use is many times.

In this tutorial I’ll introduce you to the MooTools way of writing JavaScript. Then we’ll select objects from the page in a few different ways.

Let’s get going and learn how to use the MooTools JavaScript framework.

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File Under: HTML

Put Links in Framesets

Today, we’re talking about how to specify into which frame you’d like your linked documents to load. If you’re a little fuzzy on the concept of frames, you should go back and read the first piece in this series, where we explain how to Create Simple HTML Frames in the context of a Midwestern picnic. Go ahead, we’ll wait….

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File Under: CSS

Update Your Old Site to Use Web Standards

Web standards? You can’t afford to ignore them anymore.

Just two years ago, coding your site to the emerging guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium was next to impossible. After all, many surfers were still saddled with browsers from the days when Netscape and Microsoft deliberately built incompatible products.

But now, thanks to outspoken advocates such as the Web Standards Project (aka WaSP) and developers who refused to choose sides, browser makers have stopped using HTML as a weapon. Today’s browser offerings are more and more alike in their support of standards such as CSS and XHTML. Microsoft and AOL-Time-Warner-Netscape seem to have taken their battle to lock up consumers elsewhere.

The change comes just in time:Most sites’ million-dollar boom budgets have been cut to as low as a few thousand bucks. According to the WaSP’s official estimate, supporting incompatible browsers adds an average 25 percent to site budgets. So maintaining different code for two, three, or more browsers is no longer an affordable option.

Instead of trying to support multiple versions of the same pages, it’s much more cost-effective to piggyback on the millions of dollars Microsoft, Netscape, Opera, and others have spent building standards-compliant browsers and just stick to using standards-compliant markup on your site.

If you don’t, you may be relying on bugs instead of features to deliver the goods. They won’t work forever. And by focusing on specific browsers instead of one syntax that works for all of them, you may be locking out surfers with alternative Web gadgets or special technologies, such as talking browsers for the blind.

Still, times are tough. As one developer said, “Try telling your boss about standards when she just found out her accounting firm didn’t have any.” With that in mind, here are three simple, fast, cheap things many sites can do to come up to speed on standards and make your site less costly to maintain.

The first:One line that makes all the difference in the world.

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