(2 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Sure, feel free to send me an email/IM sometime. I'd be happy to help, if I can.


(8 replies, posted in Ajax + JavaScript)

The other option, apart from append, is to use the load function in jQuery. This would be useful if you want to clear the contents of a div and replace with an HTML/PHP/whatever document.



(3 replies, posted in Content Management)

I would just create a new template called "Nav" and give them access to it. In your template use {embed="template_group/template"} to include it on the page. It's easier than trying to dynamically pull in all your navigation... I learned that the hard way.

First of all, it's looking really good. My initial thought was that there's a lot to take in, but on looking again there really isn't as much as there appears to be. My first suggestion would be to limit the amount of information you're displaying about your recent posts. It might serve you best to put a list and maybe a visual element from each instead of displaying larger chunks of information and vertical images directly on the home page. If you do want to display that much content you might consider breaking it down a little more, maybe by adding some space between the elements in the left column.

The right side of the page is a bit more straightforward. I think the spacing is nicer and it's easier to read and figure out what's going on. However, and this is something I struggle with, you may want to be selective about where your social media stuff comes in. Right now it's on every page, sometimes making it a bit awkward when the left column doesn't meet the same length, like on the about page. You have some of the content in the footer anyway, so my thought would be to maybe move it from the right column onto the blog pages only, or synthesize it down a bit so that it's not pulling your attention.

My last thought is that something to indicate what page you're on would be helpful. (Home, About, Blog, etc.) It's just a little helpful detail.

But I really like the design you have going. It's clean and the section headlines really stand out nicely. I'm looking forward to seeing the final site.


(4 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Sorry about the delay. I just added you to the project.

If anyone else is interested in testing just let me know. I have space for a few more.

Thanks again everyone


(3 replies, posted in PHP Discussion)

Awhile back I read about Mail Chimp, it sounds good but I haven't used it. It's not open source, but they do have a free version of their service if that meets your needs.

It's looking good. I really wasn't clear at all about that margin comment. I just meant to put a right margin on #content p (instead of 0), not to move the whole right column over. Grids are good, and keeping them is better. smile

Good work man, I really like what you have going so far. I only have a few suggestions for you. I do like what you've done with the typography, but I wonder if the paragraphs could use a little more line-height than they have right now. Just a touch could increase legibility. I also wonder if maybe a little more margin on the right would help it breathe a bit more.

As far as the list items, the only problem I have is that they're the only thing in that space, which makes them really stand out and kinda kills that neat left line. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.

The comment icons don't bother me, but you might just want to spell out what they are. You could drop a line that says 3 Comments directly underneath the box, or inside the box giving them a larger indicator. But something that might help more would be a "read more" link, which may cover both bases for you.

That's what I have for now, can't wait to see what you come up with.


(4 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Sweet! I just added you. Thanks for signing up.


(4 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Hello everyone,

Over the past few months I have written a small web application for client interaction and now I'm looking for beta testers. The idea of the app. is to provide people who have their own site a way to let their clients see updated projects or invoicing without requiring a monthly subscription or having their content hosted elsewhere. The goal is to make this project so easy that you almost don't have to have any understanding of the web in order to use it. I have two ways that I need help testing this:

1. People to test the hosting side, installation and interaction from the freelance/admin side.
2. People to test the client side. Visiting an installation of the project and seeing if things make sense, etc.

If this sounds like something you're interested in testing I have created a signup form. If you would like more information, there is some tentative content over at my development site.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions, whether you sign up or not.

Thanks everyone!

I had two suggestions, both about what I thought was a blank space on the right of the home page. However, on one click back to the home page I saw a flash of an image. If that were there I don't have anything to suggest, it all looks good. I don't know why the image isn't showing up, but on Safari for Mac I'm not seeing it.

Hope that helps!


(7 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

I think so far you've gotten some great advice. The only thing I would add is to figure out what direction you want to go personally. If you want to develop a lot of applications like Facebook, Basecamp etc. I would focus on either PHP or Ruby just for the ease of deployment and cost. Where I work, there's a huge focus on Java with a little bit of ASP thrown in for the older client projects. Java is free but there's typically a lot more upkeep and ASP has the cost factor. A lot of companies out there prefer PHP and MySQL. Personally, I learned PHP out of necessity but would rather have been able to learn something like Processing or ActionScript just because I prefer visual manipulations and graphical stuff. You'll always be able to find somewhere to apply your skills, so it's really a question of what you want to do with it. If you want to go corporate, ASP and Java may be the right track whereas if you want something more cutting edge, I think there's a lot more promise in PHP, Ruby and JavaScript, especially when I see things like Cappuccino and Atlas. But I'm not much of a programmer, so don't take my word on any of that. smile


(9 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

You know, design 2 is a really interesting concept. I wonder about expandability though, and what would happen as the content grows. Definitely a great start, and probably a workable concept.

I would agree, the design looks good. The thing that I would suggest is giving the text more room to breathe. I like what you have done with the text under "Looking for More?" at the bottom left. My suggestion would be to have that entire column line up with that. As it is now in my edition of Firefox the text hangs about 5 pixels from the left edge, an extra 5 would give it a little more space.

Also in regards to space, if it were me I would expand the line-height on the paragraph elements. I would probably push it to 1.5em instead of the "normal" declaration. That should loosen the text up a little bit and make things easier to read.

I'm not sure the site knew where I was either, I did see the map of the states, I just didn't see anything more specific if it's supposed to go to that depth.

Good luck, it's looking good!

I was just working with sound objects last week, here are some examples I was messing with:

http://www.todaycreate.com/2007/02/18/a … m-analyzer
http://www.anttikupila.com/flash/revolt … -released/
http://www.actionscript.org/forums/show … p3?t=56131

I actually lost a few bookmarks that I would have referenced, but I do have the source files if you need more than these. Hope that's helpful.


(4 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

I've been using this solution to install IE for some time now. It lets you install everything back to IE 3 if you want. http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE
I'm still wanting to repeatedly visit someone with IE4. "What? 30% of today's traffic is from IE4?"

Well, typically if you have a continual background it's easiest to just make it repeat rather than stretch. To do that you would just use it as a background image in CSS like so: background: url(images/whatever.jpg) repeat-x; You could also use repeat-y, no-repeat or repeat depending on which direction the image needs to go.

Rounded corners, on the other hand, are typically created in something like PhotoShop or Fireworks. Personally, I'm using some CSS3 declarations to make things round. That doesn't work in older browsers, or even some of the newer ones. But I prefer to do that than to use images. If you were to use images, you just include them as background images in your CSS. Here are some tutorials on that: http://www.cssjuice.com/25-rounded-corn … -with-css/

Image formats depend on what you need to do. If your image is a photo or something with a lot of detail you're probably going to want a JPG. If it's an icon or something that doesn't really have a lot of color depth you'll probably just want a GIF. GIFs and PNGs are the only two image types that handle transparency. So, if you need to layer things together those are likely the two you'll want to use. Transparent PNGs won't work well with Internet Explorer 6, it'll give you a lovely blue space where there should have been transparency. There are some JavaScript techniques you can use to apply filters to your PNG images, but that's often a pain. PNGs are also sometimes larger than other image types, depending on the image. It's just something you'll have to play around with while watching the image sizes.

Hope that helps!


(2 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

Aesthetically I think you've made some great design choices. It's clean, simple and to the point. I think potential clients will be pretty impressed with it. Keep up the good work.

Certainly you can break a grid down into its parts in order to make unique layouts. The third column being a bit wider than the other two isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just might make your design a little bit heavy on the right side. But that depends on what you put in that column. If you're wanting a three column layout you might try the 12 column template also packaged with the 960, it's easier to break down in that way.

As far as your concerns about keeping the grid for the navigation, try to keep everything out of the spaces between the columns. Each of the columns has a 5 pixel margin on both sides, that's what gives the grid its spacing. On a single column, meaning the smallest element, the text should start on the left side of the column (Personally, I add an extra 5 pixel indention on all text throughout the design) and it shouldn't hang off into the margins if you can help it. (But it can be okay if it's just by a little bit and your design is somewhat loose and open.)

The easiest way to handle a situation like this is to increase the space for each navigational item to two columns. (Meaning, the first column + the 10 pixel margin in between the two columns + the second column.) It should give your elements a little more room to breathe and allow for larger text like "portfolio". If you don't like or can't use the larger columns for some reason, consider making the text smaller or turning it sideways, or something. It's all your choice, really.


(6 replies, posted in ActionScript + Flash)

I'm going to second that, when I worked at the Seminary we used the H.264 codec and it was really nice. The benefit of Flash is definitely in its OS independence, and that there's some crazy high percentage of people that have Flash players installed. With that codec it handles the compression better than most of the others and knocks down the file size.

And if you're looking for a player to present your FLV files, I recommend JW FLV Media Player. The other nice thing about that player, besides being really easy to setup is that it doesn't actually load the video until the person clicks the play button, then it does it progressively. Even if you had 30 or 40 on the page it wouldn't be a big deal unless the user clicked them all at once... And then it's their own fault. But even still, I don't recommend having too many on a page. smile


(4 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

Personally, I like both. But I think it depends on what your church is going for. I tend to lean toward the first because they are stronger and warmer colors. On the other hand, I know at least one person with whom I have spoken (at my church) that would pass on the warmer and go with the softer because they feel that it fits their perspective of our church. Like you also mentioned, I think the second option will lend itself to a wider range of applications, which may help especially if you're designing for what most people would call "fresh and youthy"... I could ramble on, but I think you get where I'm going. I hope that was helpful. smile


(0 replies, posted in PHP Discussion)

Not to be self promotional, but I thought I'd mention that I just wrote a script that automatically creates backups of a single or multiple database(s) that can be spread out on different hosts. I always forget to backup my stuff and I thought others might find it useful also. Hopefully someone here will find it helpful.


(5 replies, posted in Content Management)

Unfortunately I don't have access to an EE built site anymore, so my comment may be completely off base and wandering in left field... But the way I handle things in my own work is just to have a standard set of documentation that I give to every client for whom I build a site that uses a CMS. And I just screen shot the basic processes that they'll need to know and then compile it all with some written documentation. I thought with EE that there was a way to just say "Add this item and make it a link when I do." If you could do something like that you wouldn't necessarily need to get too technical with your users. If you wanted to get even more technical you could do some video tutorials for your clients, and that would probably make communication easier but at an added time expense to you.

If it's a standard text input you could just insert something like "anonymous" in as value="anonymous". Then they can change it or leave it as they'd like. Otherwise you could do something like to change the value when they try to submit the form:

$('#SubmitButton').click( function() { 


} );

Assuming your submit button is #SubmitButton and your text input is #name.
Hope that's helpful!


(9 replies, posted in Business Advice)

It took me longer than I expected to get to this point, but I'm going to quit dragging my feet and announce that I'm ready to start some limited beta testing.  I'm going to have to put a limit on the number of testers just to make sure that I can support everyone. If you sign up I'll give you a copy of the project in return for feedback and your thoughts about the project in general. If you're interested, take a look at the temporary project page for details about the project and signup if you'd like to be a tester.

Or, you could just email me directly. smile

Thanks again everyone!