Archive for the ‘Code Logic’ Category

How developers order lunch

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Today the Dev team at Zoom Creates is having a meeting were we are getting Chinese food brought in.

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<?php
function lunchOrder($rice = "Fried Rice", $entre = "General Tso") {
    return $entre." with ".$rice;
}
 
$developers = array("Justin" ,"Kris", "Kurtis", "Nick");
 
$order = array();
 
for ($i = 0; $i < count($developers); $i++) {
    $order[$i] = $developers[$i]." would like to order ";
 
    if ($developers[$i] == "Kurtis" or $developers[$i] == "Justin") {
        $order[$i] .= lunchOrder("Steamed Rice");
    } else {
        $order[$i] .= lunchOrder();
    }
}
 
foreach ($order as $whatEachDeveloperWantsToEat) {
    print $whatEachDeveloperWantsToEat."<br />\n";
}
 
?>

2011 Web Trend: The End of the Fold

Friday, February 25th, 2011

With new developments in screen sizes and devices, the fold has become practically outdated. In web design, the “fold” is known as the imaginary line on a screen that designates what content is visible to a viewer without scrolling. If you’re curious, the term, “fold” originated from the traditional newspaper, where the most important content and images were printed above the paper fold. This rule helped gain maximum attention from the reader and made sure essential information was always visible. The same goes for web design, you want to make sure a viewer has visual access to the key info on your site within the first five seconds of reaching the page.

For years, web designers could mostly rely on the fact that a visitor would have a screen resolution between 1024×768 or 1280×700, and web sites could be created accordingly. There have been debates on where the traditional fold fell on these screen resoutions, but in general, the rule has been, don’t put any essential information below 600 pixels. Today, this is not always the case. Viewers now have access to a variety of screens, from iPhones, to giant TV’s, and it’s getting more and more difficult to establish the ‘fold’ line on a specific device. You can’t possibly design for all outcomes, and so the “fold” is starting to become irrelevant. To add to the mayhem, users today also aren’t afraid of scrolling either, and devices like the iPhone, make this intuitive and essential to view important information. With this new openness to scroll, these invisible boundaries seem somewhat unnecessary.

Even though we are moving into an entire new use of space, it doesn’t mean we should totally ignore the idea of the fold. The most important messages should remain near the top. We still need to respect the importance of the initial visual hit a viewer gets when they reach a site. It’s a powerful tool and and can help to capture the attention of the audience and perhaps even keep them scrolling on down the page.


2011 Web Trend: Parallax Scrolling

Monday, January 10th, 2011

First seen in side scrolling video games from the 80′s, Parallax Scrolling is a special technique that gives an illusion of depth in a video game, or in today’s case, a web site. Parallax scrolling uses multiple layers to create the illusion of a 3D space, where background images move slower than foreground images. When used in web design, it can add a great sense of depth to the look of your site and is best used as a header, footer, or background. The effect can be created using CSS and some JQuery plugins (I’ll leave that up the the dev team). To experience this technique in action, check out Silver Back App. You’ll have to scale your screen width to get the full experience. Also, The Old Pulteney Row to the Pole web site uses a top down parallax that is super sweet. Be on the lookout for more designs like these popping up in 2011. For more info and how it can be done, check out Think Vitamin’s post on how to recreate the silverbacks parallax effect.


Google Update

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Here’s what happening with Google today:

Google eBookstore

Did you buy someone an internet-connected gadget for Christmas, such as an iPad, Android tablet, eReader, or netbook? Chances are it can take advantage of Google’s eBookstore that offers millions of free and pay-for ebooks. Google announced and opened the eBookstore today which combines the selections from some of the big ebook providers with Google’s own library of digitized books. One nice feature of Google eBookstore is that the ebooks that you add to your collection remain on the web, so you can read them on your smartphone and then switch to your netbook without having to download your book again. Your whole library is available to all your internet-capable devices. It also remembers where you left off, even when switching between devices.
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A Very Nerdy Christmas

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, you have to give some props to these supremely nerdy, yet fantastic, ideas. I’ve scoured the internet, and come up with the best of the best of all things nerdy and all things Christmas.

Check it out!
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Google Font Previewer

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Another free Google tool in beta?  Yep.  Seems like another one comes out every week.  This one in particular has been out for months, so if you haven’t given it a try yet, then you are overdue.

Do you need help configuring, testing and then easily embedding some free fonts into your web pages?  Great!  The Google Font Previewer lets you pick one of the open source fonts from Google’s Font Library, then tweak the size, spacing and decorations using simple sliders and buttons.

Perhaps even more exciting is the Chrome browser extension for the Google Font Previewer.  Click the icon in your Chrome toolbar, and select the web font you want the page you are currently viewing to become.  Zap!  New fonts to preview.  This can be great if you’re designing a site, but you’re just not sure which free web font to use.

These are both great tools for designers and web coders alike, so give them a shot.

Google Font Previewer (http://code.google.com/webfonts/preview)
Google Font Previewer Extension for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/engndlnldodigdjamndkplafgmkkencc)

Also, don’t forget to go back and read Greg’s post about Google’s Library of free Web Fonts.


Custom Icons with the Google Maps API V3

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Putting a map on your website is pretty easy. The easiest way is to go to Google Maps and find the location you want, click embed, then copy and paste the code onto your site. This creates an iFrame on your site, which isn’t bad, but isn’t the most flexible either.

If you are feeling brave, you can put a map on your website with the API that Google provides. It’s all javascript code that works on every modern browser. The API is extremely well documented, so I won’t get down to the complete process of setting up a map, because this blog post is about using custom icons for your markers.

Click through to read how.
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Awesome Fontstacks

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Continuing the discussion of new web typography options from our earlier posts Web Fonts and Cufon vs CSS3 vs Google Font API, I ran across this the other day: Awesome Fontstacks. And it is pretty awesome. Kurtis will back me on this.

This site allows you to “automatically match fonts based on typographical metrics, optimize the font bundles for their intended purpose, and deliver rock solid CSS for those fonts and their fallbacks to copy & paste”. Basically, you can go to this site and choose from 45 fonts (that are free and licensed for online use) to use for your headlines, body copy, decorative and monospaced needs. As you choose your font for each category, sample text in a window to the right updates to show you how it will look as copy. It only displays fonts that would be appropriate to use together so you don’t end up with, say, two similar sans serifs like Droid Sans as your headline font and Fontin Sans as your body copy font. This makes it really nice for me as a designer.

What makes it nice for web developers is that after you have chosen all your fonts, or your “fontstack”, you can conveniently download the font files and put them into a directory in your website then copy the CSS code to your stylesheets folder and link it from your website. Awesome, eh?

AND, each font stack has a back-up stack for those using browsers that don’t support @font-face.

P.S. Iron Maiden rules


Flash 3D Coming Soon

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

At MAX 2010, Adobe announced new APIs for Flash player. Code named ‘Molehill’, they give developers low level access to 3D hardware acceleration through the GPU.

The current version of Flash provides us with 2.5D content; not quite 3D. But with frameworks and libraries like Away3D, we could stuff a 3D engine into Flash. Now the engine will be built-in with GPU support, allowing content with faster frame rates, more triangles, and better lighting and shaders. But because the APIs are low-level, developers will need to use frameworks to simplify development. Check out these videos for all the details:

3D APIs for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR

Flash Player 3D Future


MODx Update: Fantastic new administration panel

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

We here at the Zoom Creates Nerd Herd (the development team) have always loved the modX CMS tool. It’s extremely flexible, has a great system for templates and code chunks, and is limited only by your imagination. We’ve been using it for sites since before the code base was at a stable 1.0 release, probably since around late 0.8 beta releases. There are many great plugins that help with breadcrumbs, dynamic navigation and menus, AJAX requests, search engine friendly URLs and more. Today I’d like to point out some of the features and changes of their latest release, Revolution 2.0.4.
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