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Archive for the ‘Web Development’ Category

Transify – a jQuery plugin to easily apply transparency / opacity to an element’s background

In my search for a solution to make a background / border of an element transparent, I found that there really isn’t a perfect one that fit a particular need. IE6, IE7, and IE8 do not support CSS3′s alpha background color value nor do older versions of other browsers, 8-bit PNG’s do not look great in Internet Explorer, and other javascript PNG fixes are not great for performance nor will they work on elements with repeating backgrounds. So, I’ve written a great and easy to use solution in the form of a jQuery plugin. Read the rest of this entry

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Display Random Dynamic Content With PHP and XML

Every developer, at one point in time, will run into a situation where they need to display a small amount of dynamic data. Why create a whole database? Enter the magical world of XML. XML is easily manageable by anyone who has ever even dabbled a bit in HTML, so understanding should come easily just by looking at an XML file. PHP has classes already set up to parse XML. Here you’ll learn how to use PHP and XML to randomly generate HTML content.

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The Simple, Quick, and Small jQuery HTML Form Validation Solution

This is a tutorial on how to write a live validation script for HTML form inputs using jQuery. There are plenty of these out there already, but in most cases I found that they could not be applied quickly. 9 out of 10 websites that I develop need nothing more than a simple validation to tell the user when an input was left empty or filled in improperly. Once you’ve gotten the hang of this script, it will only take you a couple of minutes to reapply it to each new website that you’d like it on.

All you’ll have to do is type in a list of what fields are required, and then change the CSS style of a class to suite that particular website, and that’s it!

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CSS | Tutorials, Techniques, Hacks, & Resources – MLC#4

Back to the Massive Link Collection Series. This article focuses purely on CSS, and includes a list of my collection of articles and links that I’ve discovered over the past year that I’ve found to be very useful and helpful. These links, in combination with playing around with the Firebug extension for Firefox, will help you master CSS (assuming you’ve already gotten some initial experience with the language).

Once again, a description of these posts: I provide a list of links that I have collected over the past year, as well as all of the Firefox tags that I use to keep them indexed. This gives you a ton of easy and quick resources. If you are unfamiliar with Firefox’s bookmarking system and want to know how to truly take advantage of this post, click here.

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jQuery AJAX Validation Contact Form with Modal + Slide-in Transition

Due to popular demand, here is a tutorial on how I created one of the more complicated pieces of machinery on my new site: the contact form. A lot of different techniques went into this, and I have a few people/places to thank for some of the original code that inspired my final product: primarily Design Shack for their tutorial on creating a slide-in contact form with ajax, Zachstronaut for his code on scrollable same page links (used all over my site, but most effectively on the contact link in my footer), and Yens Design for a quick how-to on creating the modal pop-up background darkening effect (surprisingly extremely easy to do with jQuery).

All you need is jQuery. No plugins are necessary for this to work, and it is only 2kb of extra code in addition to the jQuery library. This also works on all browsers, IE6 and up.

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Useful Javascript, jQuery, and AJAX Tutorials and Resources – MLC#1

Welcome to the first post of a series of articles I will be doing that will bestow on you an enormous collection of bookmarks that I’ve horded like a squirrel and his nuts. These blog posts are not going to be your typical lists. These are posts that I have collected over the past year, and they’ve all been bookmarked and tagged for later use. Any good web designer and developer should have a nice bookmark collection; it’s appropriately compared to batman’s utility belt. With Firefox’s bookmarking system that it introduced in Firefox 3, this has become very easy thanks to its tagging system. For example, need to find a quick tutorial on that cool jQuery accordion effect that you found a couple of months ago? Hit CTRL+B, type in jquery accordion and whammo, there is the bookmark you need. This is only my recommendation, so do what you will with these links.

Many of these links are bookmarks to articles that were list themselves, so they included many items. What’s special about this list on Joren Rapini’s blog, you ask? Well, I have graciously copied and pasted the Firefox tags that I use to identify each one of these pages in my bookmarks, so you can copy and paste them right into yours! This should save you a lot of time, and give you an enormous wealth of resources to boot.

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Easy Client Control Over Page Elements with CushyCMS

Every client you deal with should have a unique solution to fit their needs. CushyCMS is definitely no end-all-be-all CMS solution, but it is absolutely perfect for a certain niche of websites. If you are developing a website that, for example, will often need a couple paragraphs on the front page changed often, or they’re a restaurant that just wants to update specials and prices every once and a while, then CushyCMS is a pretty optimal solution. You can let your client take control without damaging anything else on the website and, best of all, they get off your case on making updates! It’s extremely quick and easy to set up, and very easy to explain to your clients on how to use it as well.

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Are CSS Frameworks Really Worth Using?

I’ve witnessed the beauty of frameworks for languages like PHP such as CakePHP, and for Ruby such as Ruby on Rails, not to mention the myriad of great javascript libraries that are out there. I see the potential for making life a lot easier by using these frameworks. They prevent you from having to reinvent the wheel, and can really speed up your production. The difference between these and CSS frameworks such as Blueprint is that they impact how the site functions, and not really how it appears to the user (I’m not including js libraries in this statement). So to me, the idea of a CSS framework seems like you’d be producing some stale designs.

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Double Body Background CSS Trick

So, you just created this awesome fancy background for a website. The top part of the background is large and in charge, while everything below it is going to be a repeating background that goes all the way down to the bottom of the page and helps define your website’s borders. The goal is to make sure the top background sits on top of the repeating background so that you cannot see the repeating background until the top one is done, but how do you utilize 2 centered background images without the browser creating a horizontal scrollbar?

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CSS Navigation Rollovers With Drop-downs

This post is a continuation of Super Fantastic CSS Navigation Image Rollovers where we created CSS rollovers with a single image, so it would probably be a good idea for you to take a look at that post in order to follow along with this one if you haven’t done so yet. We’re going to take the code from that post, and adapt it to Stu Nicholls’ CSS drop-downs. He has done a great job in creating a multi-level drop-down menu that is verified to work in most browsers, and without any slow loading javascript.

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