All posts tagged ‘tutorial’

File Under: APIs, Location

Get Started With Google Geocoding via HTTP

Google’s mapping API is one of the most-used application interfaces on the web. It’s largely responsible for the recent explosion of map-based mashups. The massive popularity of Google Maps has also given rise to a new word in the web developer’s lexicon — geocodes.

Maps require a latitude and longitude point to plot specific locations. Whenever you’re programming a custom map using Google’s API, you will nee to convert the relevant city name, ZIP code, or address to latitude and longitude points. This process is called geocoding.

Google currently makes the process available via the GClientGeocoder Javascript class. That JavaScript class makes the geocode available immediately to the browser. But sometimes, such on the fly access isn’t enough. We want to store location information for later use. In that case, we need another service to grab the geocodes permanently.

That’s where geocoding via HTTP comes in handy.

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File Under: Multimedia

Create Headlines with Flash Using sIFR

Now let’s imagine for a moment that you are a purist. You love strict XHTML as only a mother can. Let’s suppose you’re as rabid about your little baby’s standards as Diane Ladd in “Wild at Heart.” How could we convince you that there is a practical application for Flash files, even in your twisted, lipstick-smeared world?

Well, we would criticize your typography of course. We already know your code is impeccable, but wow. Those headlines are still in Georgia huh? Kind of primitive, don’t you think?

As web designers, we have reliable access to maybe six fonts that all users will have. This was one of the limitations of HTML that first drew me to Flash. Now, you may not be as obsessed with typography as some of us (if you know that Mrs Eaves is not Mr. Eaves wife, then you might be obsessed with typography), but wouldn’t you like to use something other than Arial sometimes?

Well, I can’t really help with the body text. But headlines, oh headlines, do I have a revolution for you. It’s called sIFR.

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File Under: APIs, Location

Yahoo Maps API

This is the basic structure of a data call to Yahoo Maps’ API. This will draw a 500px by 300px map centered on Wired’s San Francisco offices, complete with zoom and pan controls. When the user clicks on the location marker, a pop-up box will appear with some text inside.

All of these attributes can be changed by modifying the code below. You’ll need to use your own API key.


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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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