All posts tagged ‘tutorial’

File Under: APIs

Get Started With REST

For a long time, I read about “RESTful APIs” and had no idea what that term meant. The API part means Application Programmer Interface, a way for coders to get data from a website within their own programs. That much I knew. But as for the REST part, that was less familiar to me.

As a programmer, being clueless doesn’t stop me from playing around. What I observed when I tested some APIs that use REST is that there wasn’t much to it at all.

REST isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s all around us! When you go to a web page, you’re sending a REST request. When you search the web, yeah, that’s using REST, too.

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File Under: CSS, Programming

Make CSS Rounded Corners

While you’d be hard-pressed to come up with any single design tic that defines that coveted Web 2.0 aesthetic, nothing screams “I’m a hip blogger” quite like rounded corners. We’re not sure how the trend started, but even now as rounded corners have largely jumped the shark, clients still clamor for them.

Not surprisingly, there are literally dozens of ways to create the rounded corner look. Your options range from the very primitive (just create static backgrounds in Photoshop and apply them on a per-element basis) to the very progressive — CSS 3 can do rounded corners with just one line of code.

Unfortunately, not all browsers support CSS 3. So, unless you’re doing a fun site for your own experimentation, you’re going to have to resort to one of the more traditional workarounds.

We decided to dig through the many options for creating rounded corner elements and came up with a few winners that stand out from the bunch. These methods offer the best balance between simplicity and valid, semantic markup (for the most part) while keeping the images to a minimum. Not only do these methods adhere to proper web standards, but they’ll keep page load times down, too.

The options here range from pure CSS to JavaScript-based solutions, hopefully offering something for everyone.

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File Under: Backend

Set Up a Debian or Ubuntu Machine as a Maildrop

The setup described here enables you to store all your email (and email for other people) on a single machine, which might be a home server, a remotely hosted server, or even a desktop, and then access it from anywhere.

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File Under: HTML

Make a Mailto Link

To create a link that sends an e-mail to somebody, use the HTML mailto: tag.

Your code will look like this:

<a href=">Send an e-mail to Webmonkey</a>

and tell us how much you love cats.

When the reader clicks on that link, their default e-mail application will launch and a blank e-mail addressed to (or whatever address you put in the link) will open up.

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File Under: CSS

Update an Old Website With Stylesheets

The other day I ran a highly constrained Google search for one of my ancient pseudonyms (yes, thank you, moving to the country has left me with a glut of free time) and discovered my first Usenet post, circa July, 1994. And let me tell you, nothing, NOTHING makes you feel older than reading the ranting of your ten-years-younger self.

Chances are your first Usenet post either predates mine or you have no idea what I’m talking about (if you’re the latter, all you “need” to know is that Usenet was before Google bought it). While Google still indexes the really old posts, it doesn’t let you sequentially scroll through stuff that predates early 2000, so unless you know exactly what to search for — a person’s ancient cyberpunny handle, say — you’re probably not going to turn up anything. And thank god; I really don’t need that part of my past surviving in perpetuity (mark my words:<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>).

If unearthing ancient Usenet posts makes you feel old, try re-entering the world of Web design after a five-year hiatus.

“I was up really late working on a … website,” I told my brother, pausing sheepishly in the silence on the other end of the phone. “I think I’m, uh, going back into Web design.”

“Wow. How retro,” was his only response. And I don’t think he meant that in the “retro cool” sense. No, not at all.

Not only was I was old and uncool, but I my tech skills were dated. My CSS knowledge was abysmal. I had no idea there was almost complete browser support for CSS Level 1. In fact, I didn’t even know about CSS Level 2. You can control the printer output of your pages? And speed at which pages are read out loud? Who am I, Rip Van Winkle?

And, oh!, what about the poor meta keyword tag?

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