Some have been covered before, but a lot of PSD tutorials and sample looks to check out here.
Just a quick note to clue my visitors in on a fantastic little Firefox addon/cross platform app named Service Capture. From the site…
ServiceCapture runs on your computer(pc or mac) and captures all HTTP traffic sent from your browser or IDE. It is designed to help Rich Internet Application(RIA) developers in the debugging, analysis, and testing of their applications.
It is a time saver and a conundrum killer. It’s a verbose little HTTP sniffer, Flash tracer and bandwidth simulator all in one. It thoroughly rocks. One thing that it certainly shows, is just how many people publish SWF content without either removing or turning off trace statements before pushing files to their sites.
Besides Flash Trace statements, it shows XML files, AMF requests, system logs and tons of other stuff. It’s $35 well spent. I’m always looking for little utilities like this to help me out, so if you have some you like to use, let me know, I’ll check ‘em out.
A pretty cool technique for adding some selective compression to your images in Photoshop
A pretty nice and thorough graphic depicting most all tech components on the web.
Some tips for fixing up your WP install. Some nice advice here.
The Iona Group recently launched a multi-screen 1080P installation at The S.N. Shure Inc. headquarters. Shure is the world’s leading manufacturer of microphones. They make great equipment. They have for decades. Their name is synonymous with quality, integrity and audio history. We were contracted by them to create a media experience for their new theater at the headquarters (which happens to be an architectural masterpiece, by the way). Some details on the theater can be found here. Some highlights:
- Meyer Loudspeakers: CQ1 (mains), HP700 Sub-Woofer and UPJ Surround
- a Dolby Lake Loudspeaker Processor
- a custom-built, 200-inch diagonal Stewart projection screen
- a 20,000 lumen Digital Projection Model 40-1080p projector
- a dual input windowing processor allowing multiple images on screen
- a custom demonstration cart and lectern, featuring Shure MX412 microphones and a Crestron control system for the lighting and other audio visual systems
- Shure UHF-R¬Æ wireless systems
- a Yamaha LS9 digital mixing console.
Beyond that, the space has some great aesthetic characteristics… check this out:
- A single, large English Sycamore tree was sourced from the Black Forest in Germany to produce the 11-foot lengths needed for this project. This one tree was used for ALL veneered surfaces inside the theater (approximately 23,000 square feet), which were all laid by hand.
- The ceiling incorporates both absorptive and non-absorptive surfaces and consists of multiple layers of drywall and insulation. A stretch fabric system was used to cover these surfaces and create a uniform, clean appearance. Microphone drop points are integrated into the ceiling.
- To reduce fan noise from the building‚Äôs HVAC system, the exterior walls surrounding the theater consist of multiple layers of drywall, and acoustical and rigid insulation. An under floor air distribution system also was installed under the theater seating.
- Temperature and humidity in the room are maintained independent of the building’s system. In addition, all interior surfaces (floor, walls, and ceiling) incorporate a continuous vapor barrier to ensure that the wood is kept within acceptable humidification ranges at all times, which will prevent it from constricting and contracting.
- The theater seating was manufactured by Poltrona Frau in Tolentino, Italy. Each piece, which was individually constructed by hand, comes equipped with a flip up work surface for taking notes.
- A Steinway B, 7-foot Concert Grand Piano, which will be stored in its own humidity-controlled alcove.
- The back stage area of the theater includes a Green Room with a 40‚Äù LCD display, a restroom, and an elevator.
- A motorized theatrical curtain is available for further control of onstage acoustics for amplified events.
So, that all said… What did we do? Our fantastic creative team came up with an amazing idea. 3 52″ touchscreens lined to create a seamless multi-screen presentation. We developed a multi-user synced experience using the Red5 server and Flash Player. Live spectrum analysis. Triggered by motion detection via Flash Camera activity. Decades of historical photos. Narration by the great Bill Curtis. Video Interviews from dozens of employees. All in all, a great project. Amazing.
The space is gorgeous. The software is cool! The content, historic! Take a look at the install…
What a cool project to be part of. The creative team was fantastic. The development process was a ton of fun. The industrial design is tight and the client is top notch. So fun!
A patterntap like collection of Breadcrumb implementations. Lots of samples here.
I still ue BBEdit to this day. I can't get rid of it. Anyway, here are some of the cooler things you can do with it that you may not be aware of.
The much needed whitepaper on RIA SEO from Adobe. RIA SEO FTW, OMG!
Add some pizazz to those drab little hyperlinks on your site!
A very nice logging class to help with your Flash tracing. Muchas niceio.
You want to do blob detection in Flash for faces… Or is it face detection for blobs? Either way, here is an interesting development.
Perhaps the biggest problem area for the software industry is the inability to accurately estimate work. However, this is only because people allow themselves to give out wild ass guesses on very coarse grained and undefined pieces of work.
For example, with fairly high confidence we can tell the difference between a 1 hour task and a 2 hour task, but it is improbable that someone can tell you the difference between a 34 hour task and a 35 hour task. Here in lies the answer, better estimation comes from estimating smaller bits of work.
Now, that's what I call a stack of icons.
FTA: The real problem for Dreamweaver and for its users is that the nature of the web is changing dramatically. Dynamically-generated web applications, from Amazon right down to the humble blog, all offer much more ‚Äì in-built commenting, voting, RSS feeds, etc – than the best sites built on static HTML can ever hope to provide. Read it here.
My take… while I don’t use Dreamweaver, and I don’t like WYSIWYG editors in general, I feel the author is so misguided here in his criticism of the well known Adobe web design tool. He compares Dreamweaver to Drupal and Joomla (two market leading open source content management systems), pointing out that most sites of any scale these days rely on application functionality, ie. RSS, content rating, comments, etc.
Now, while these “Web 2.0″ features certainly are important for user engagement, the actual tool you use for creating the design template used in a site powered by a CMS DOESN’T MATTER! Dreamweaver’s use doesn’t prohibit you from using a CMS, and vice versa. I’m not sure what Tom Arah, the original author of the article, does for a living when he isn’t writing half baked articles for PCPro, but I would be very surprised if it were web design. I can imagine him in a client meeting telling a customer that the Web Server they have doesn’t work with Firefox or that JPGs are obsolete because of iPhones or JQuery is a new database language… Ooh I love unrelated hyperbolic comparisons. Too fun… Let’s try some more. Submit a completely ridiculous web design comparison to my comments here. I need a laugh.
Now, that aside, I do have trouble believing that Dreamweaver is as relevant now as it was a handful of years of ago. With tools like Coda and Expresso out in full force, Eclipse/Aptana offering powerful debugging features and dozens of other free and easy to use text editors out there, I have to think that a WYSIWYG editors appeal is much more limited that it was then. With Web Developer toolbars, Firebug,¬† Safari’s developer toolbar and tons of other design aids for your browser, a design view is pretty pontless IMHO. Simply write your markup, edit or tweak your CSS and tab to a browser window and refresh. Web design, in the world of media production and interactive development is about the easiest deliverable you can preview. What I mean here is that there is virtuall no penalty for tweaking and previewing. Not so in video or compositing, any substantial change requires a new render or RAM preview. This is also not the case in RIA development. You may need to compile your runtime (SWF, Silverlight, etc), upload it to your server and make a tweak to the middleware code, too… You get what I am saying, i think. A design time WYSIWYG offers no real benefit. When you consider that Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG rendering engine is not Gecko, Explorer or Webkit, it becomes clear that WYSIWYG is actually something more like “What You See Is Wishful thinking Ya Goober” – WYSIWtYG!
That said, Dreamweaver’s editor tool isn’t that bad, and when used only a text editor, it’s okay. It is expensive for that purpose alone though, so unless you are using the site management tools (which I don’t care for – it’s FTP is atrocious), or it’s server behaviors (which are pretty limiting and notoriously brittle – not allowing much customization), or it’s AJAX editing (I won’t touch Spry, sorry) then you may just want to move on. So it’s not so much dying, at least not from the perspective mentioned by Tom Arah, it’s just fading into irrelevance due to lack of upkeep.