How to code an HTML5 template.

Markup is a beautiful thing, and it certainly has changed over the years. What was effectively HTML1, has certainly progressed to an amazing semantic markup language, to which we can largely thank the W3C. And, what do ya know, the next thing to thank them for has come about – HTML5.

Unlike previous version of HTML, where the code was mostly a limited structure that was determined by how you made use of the class and ID elements, html5 really attempts to provide much more structure.

All of the layout can be created with semantic tags and elements that determine how you should structure, and, arguably more important, that help you structure each page. This produces code that is much more clean and readable than in previous versions of HTML, and really is something quite amazing. The new tags really require that you think about how you are structuring your page, which let’s be honest – in the end that is a great thing for us web designers and developers alike.

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Password strength verification with jQuery

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Many sites that require login credentials enforce a security setting often referred to as password complexity requirements. These requirements ensure that user passwords are sufficiently strong and cannot be easily broken.

What constitutes a strong password? Well, that depends on who you ask. However, traditional factors that contribute to a password’s strength include it’s length, complexity, and unpredictability. To ensure password strength, many sites require user passwords to be alphanumeric in addition to being a certain length.

In this tutorial, we’ll construct a form that gives the user live feedback as to whether their password has sufficiently met the complexity requirements we will establish.

 

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Performance is a Feature

The faster your website is, the more people will use it.

Follow the Yahoo Guidelines. Religiously. Yahoo’s 13 Simple Rules for Speeding Up Your Web Site

Or use the tools that do this for you:

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Apple trumps Nvidia in tablet gaming

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Apple is not known as a kingpin of the graphics chip industry. That would be Nvidia or Advanced Micro Devices. But one review site shows Apple’s iPad 2 and its A5 chip handily beating Nvidia’s chip, which is housed inside the Motorola Xoom.

Read more at Anandtech >

Report: Microsoft shelving Zune player, not brand

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Reports of Zune’s death may not have been greatly exaggerated.

Citing a source familiar with the decision, a Bloomberg report this afternoon echoes rumors from mid-February, saying that Microsoft plans to discontinue making its Zune player. The Zune brand, however, will live on as media player software on Windows Phone 7, and on the Xbox 360, Bloomberg says.

The apparent reason for the shelving of the device is “tepid demand.”

A Microsoft representative issued the following statement to CNET:

“We’re absolutely committed to providing the best movies, music, and TV show experiences through Zune on Xbox, the PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune devices. We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop.”

Reports surfaced last month that Microsoft planned to phase out the Zune brand, further splitting up the intellectual property among various product groups. Original speculation had centered on a lack of the Zune’s presence among Microsoft’s various product integration plans it had shared with members of the press and investors in the company’s announcement of its strategic alliance with Nokia.

 

Read more at CNET >

Donate Through iTunes and Help Japan

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Help Japan earthquake and tsunami victims by making a
monetary donation to the American Red Cross through iTunes.

Click here to find out more at iTunes >

Creating Flowcharts: Using Common Visio Shapes

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This article will focus on some common Visio Flowchart shapes and what kinds of uses you should put them to. You can find a detailed definition for a Flowchart from this link to the Wikipedia definition.

Here are the shapes we will be discussing:

  1. Process Block – You can use this shape to describe “processes”, which can be defined for our purposes as a certain action being taken. Some examples of a process could be:
    • Performing a calculation, such as “Calculate the average of all the sales”.
    • A group taking an action, such as “The Product Test group validates the software modules”.
    • A generic action, such as “Document is placed in the tray”.

    These are normally the building blocks of your Visio diagrams.

     

  2. Decision Symbol – As the name implies, you would use this symbol to branch out your diagram based on a decision that is made. You can think of this as an “If” statement (for those familiar with programming concepts).

    There are two basic ways to use this symbol:

    • Yes/No Path – This has two outcomes, Yes or No. An example would be “Is the average greater than 0?”. Based on the answer, you would either go down a “Yes” path or a “No” path.
    • Multiple Path – The flow can go multiple ways based on the outcome. For example, if could you “Choose location to check”, and then each location could be a path.

    The key here is to make sure you label each path, even if it is with a “Yes” or a “No”. Otherwise, you won’t be able to navigate your diagram.

     

  3. Terminator Symbol – This is what you use when you want to end or start your diagram. Normally, you would have one at the beginning labeled “Beginning of (process)”, and one at the end labeled “End of (process)”. However, if your diagram can end in many places, you should have a terminator for each place it can end. This also works if you have multiple beginning points, but this is less common. Make sure to give them descriptive names instead of just “Begin” and “End”.

     

  4. Document Symbol – Pretty obvious explanation here, but you might find yourself using it a lot. If you have any kind of document that you are trying to represent in your diagram, you should use this symbol. For instance, if the input to your process is a file, it would be represented by this symbol. Another example would be if the output of your process is a file.

     

  5. On Page Reference – This should be used if you need to “jump” back to another part of your process in a different part of the diagram, but can’t connect them using a standard connector. Also, this can be used to modularize your diagram. For example, if you have a repeatable process (like a “Function” for those familiar with programming terms), you could reference that process by just using this symbol instead of repeating that part of the diagram multiple times. You should use this when what you are referencing is on the same page as this symbol.

    Another important point is that these symbols work in pairs, like two ends of a connector. The key is to label them both the same thing so that you know which reference goes where. I use numbers, which seem to work fairly well for small diagrams. However, if your diagram is more complex I recommend using more descriptive text like “Determine customer payment information function”.

     

  6. Off Page Reference – This has pretty similar uses to the On Page Reference, however the key difference is that you would use this when what you are referencing is on a different page than the symbol. Using an example above, if you were to have repeatable functions in your diagram, you might just have one page where the details for it reside and then use this reference when you want people to skip to it. This way you don’t have to repeat the same set of symbols multiple times in your diagram. This also creates a cleaner, less cluttered diagram.

     

  7. Database Symbol – I think you would use this more when designing software processes, as it represents a connection to a database or more specifically a table in that database. For example, say part of your diagram writes a value to a table, then that table should be represented by this symbol. This symbol should be labeled with the name of the table if there is only one database, if there are multiple databases than the name of the database should preface the table name.

     

  8. Shape Location

    Shapes 1-6 are located on the Basic Flowchart Shapes menu, while Shape 7 is located on theMiscellaneous Flowchart Shapes menu. Both of these menus can be accessed by clicking on File -> Shapes (”Stencils” in some older versions of Visio) -> Flowchart.

    These are just some of the more common shapes used when creating a Flowchart. As you design your diagram, explore the different shapes available to you in order to better tailor your diagram to your project’s needs.

Read more at Workplace Life >

Adobe Debuts ‘Wallaby’ Prerelease Flash-to-HTML5 Converter

Adobe’s John Nack points to a demo of a new tool from the company that would allow developers to easily convert their Flash projects to a combination of HTML5 and related non-Flash technologies. The tool, demoed at Adobe’s MAX 2010 conference earlier this week, is not yet promised for a public release, but it is clear that the company is looking at ways to help developers offer their content in multiple formats.

Are you surprised? Don’t be. As I’ve written many times, Adobe lives or dies by its ability to help customers solve real problems. That means putting pragmatism ahead of ideology.



Flash is great for a lot of things, and this week’s demos showed it’s only improving. It’s not the only game in town, however, and Adobe makes its money selling tools, not giving away players. Let’s help people target whatever media they need, as efficiently as possible.

Apple has of course been pushing HTML5 and other standards as an alternative to Adobe’s Flash technology, and developers are increasingly getting on board as they seek to keep their content compatible with Apple’s popular Flash-less iOS devices. One recent study concluded that more than half of the H.264-encoded video on the Internet is now available in HTML5 format, but with Flash used in many other capacities besides video presentation, Adobe’s new tools could help developers of some of these other implementations more easily move their content to HTML5

Read more at MacRumors >

Apple giving $100 refund on recent iPad purchases

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If you bought the iPad very recently, you may qualify for a $100 refund.

Apple is offering $100 back to customers who purchased the iPad at its former price, an Apple customer-service rep confirmed to CNET today. The refund, which will be applied to a person’s credit card, applies to all versions of the first-generation iPad.

Of course, there is a catch. According to the customer-service rep, Apple is offering the $100 refund only to those who purchased the last-gen tablet within 14 days of yesterday’s announcement of the iPad 2. The customer-service rep wouldn’t nail down a date, but the cut-off would seemingly be February 16.

The iPad 2, which comes with two cameras, a dual-core processor, and either a black or white finish, is scheduled to hit store shelves March 11 for a starting price of $499.

Apple also said yesterday that it has started selling first-generation iPad models for $100 less than their previous price tags.

Online customers who already made their purchase must call Apple customer service to process the refund, the customer-service rep said. In-store purchasers must bring their receipt with them to the brick-and-mortar to get their money back.

Read more at CNET >

Mediocrity vs. Excellence: What Separates Good From Great?

As a designer, especially one without a lot of experience, it’s normal to look at the designs of others and think how great their work is compared to our own.

It’s a frustrating experience for many, especially when we can’t quite put our finger on why their design is so great when ours is merely good.

The thing about design, though, is that greatness is usually quantifiable.

Pay Attention to Small Details, the small details – an icon here, a border there – are the things that make a design great, instead of just good.

Unlike with more abstract and interpretable creative pursuits, there are definite elements that go into “great” designs.

The best part is that anyone who can create a good design can go on to create great designs with a bit of practice. Here’s what goes into great design and what you can do to improve your own designs.

Read more at Webdesigner Depot >

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