News : May 2008

News : May 2008

IETester – the answer to our prayers?

Via Ajaxian comes word of a new way to test in different versions of Internet Explorer. IETester is a separate browser that allows you to select the rendering engine to use with each tab you open. My quick and dirty testing seems to indicate that it’s doing what it promises, so if you’ve never got on well with the old multiple IE solutions, this just might be the silver bullet you’ve been waiting for.

It’s currently only an alpha release, but definitely one to keep an eye on.

May 29, 2008 at 7:22 AM

Matthew Pennell

Get your library from Google, speed up your site

Google have released their AJAX Libraries API and now host all the major JavaScript libraries (jQuery, Prototype, Scriptaculous, mootools, and Dojo) on their own servers. What does this mean for you? Well, you can now load your favorite library direct from Google’s ultra-fast servers, either directly or using their new google.loader API; but more importantly the more people that adopt this approach, the higher the likelihood that your site visitors will have the library ready-cached when they arrive, saving you valuable download time and speeding up your site or app.

There are, of course, caveats – Derek Allard discusses some of the potential negative implications for both private sites and CMS developers.

May 29, 2008 at 2:08 AM

Matthew Pennell

No issue this week!

Digital Web Magazine is taking a short break this week. Rest assured we’ll be back next week with your regularly scheduled issue!

May 27, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Tiff Fehr

New Issue: Design v. Audience Considerations

Digital Web is happy to welcome Robin Ragle-Davis to the magazine with her first (and top-notch) contribution: Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations. No doubt many of us think our designs could benefit from more user attention, even beyond what effort we currently put in. In want of time and resources, it helps to be very clear about audience and design, and Robin helps draw clarity out of any project. Definitely give this one a read, and add focus to your audience awareness and wireframing.

p.s., Thanks to all our readers who posted nice comments on our twelfth birthday!

May 20, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Tiff Fehr

Blue Flavor on Process

Former DW Editor-in-Chief, D Keith Robinson, has written a great piece on how to work with Blue Flavor that could equally well have been titled “How To Be A Good Client”. It’s great to see a design shop that isn’t secretive about its process and priorities, and sets out so clearly what they need from a client in order to do a good job.

May 16, 2008 at 1:00 AM

Matthew Pennell

Happy 12th birthday!

So I am supposed to be on vacation, sitting here in Kauai enjoying a Mai Tai and the warm sun and surf… but I can’t help but crawl online (DSL here seems to top out at 2400bps) to post about a very special day for Digital Web Magazine. Long time readers will know today is’s 12th birthday.

Way back in 1996 we registered the domain and over the years it took shape to become the online magazine you see today. In 1999, just 3 years after registering the domain, we had our first issue published. Since then we have published more articles than I can count under more topics than I could imagine thanks to the help of more contributors than I could have dreamed of. But most of all, I owe a big thanks to a staff who has volunteered their time and energy week after week to make sure we have a new issue to publish. I can never thank you enough!

I owe a bit of thanks to our editors Frances Berriman, Laurie Rauch, Nicole Ramsey, William Hicks, and a special thanks to Jessica Neuman Beck for keeping everyone in line.

I also owe a big thank you to Walker Hamilton whose technical skills keeps us afloat, and to Tiff Fehr for painstakingly producing every issue, and most of all to Matthew Pennell for taking the helm and making sure we are on course and steaming along every week. Thanks for all your help! Readers, please show your appreciation by commenting on this post to thank the staff for all their hard work, Digital Web Magazine wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for them!

May 13, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Nick Finck

New issue: Efficient Web Video

Lei Zhu returns this week with a new look at Efficient Video Delivery Over The Internet. If the past year has proven anything about the Web, it’s that video over the web is here to stay. And make that high-quality, effortlessly streaming video, too. But have we covered all the technological hurdles to deliver the most efficient video streaming available? Join Lei Zhu as he looks at different methods of serving Flash video.

May 13, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Tiff Fehr

Webvisions 2008 Contest!

Want to score a free pass to WebVisions 2008? Enter our shiny new contest! One lucky winner will walk away with not only a conference pass, but entry to the the Type Class workshop with typography guru Roger Black. For more information and details on how to enter, click over to our contest page. Good luck!

May 9, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Jessica Neuman Beck

New Issue: Page Performance and Lazy Loading

Jakob Heuser is the newest contributor to Digital Web, covering JavaScript libraries, webpage performance and loading concerns in Improve Your Page Performance With Lazy Loading. Jakob covers how to improve page weight and download times with a lazy loader utility, based on the JavaScript library of your own classic scripting skills.

May 6, 2008 at 11:00 PM

Tiff Fehr

Opera Dragonfly

Opera have just announced the first release of their upcoming developer tools suite. Dragonfly looks to be similar in form and functionality to the popular Firebug debugger on Firefox, with the added bonus of mobile integration, allowing you to remotely debug mobile devices. There’s a detailed overview and screenshots at Dev.Opera.

It’s only an alpha release at the moment, but it looks like a promising start — whether it will be enough to unseat Firefox as most developers’ browser of choice remains to be seen.

May 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Matthew Pennell

Front-end dev skills at Yahoo! Juku school

Today Yahoo! announced via the YUI blog that they’re seeking students for their Yahoo! Juku program. Yahoo! Juku is an interesting training opportunity in front-end development skills—“HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP”, plus more—as well as working experience within a guided program inside Yahoo. Yahoo is pretty direct about their goals for the Juku program, which are to grow talent they particularly need, train their own staff to teach (cool!) and also draw attention to the void around web skills in academic CS programs. Here’s Yahoo’s call-to-action:

If you’re a budding Front-End genius with a strong background in programming fundamentals and a passion to learn, [Yahoo! would] like to hear from you.

The vision of the Juku program is to provide top-quality training in frontend technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP) with the ultimate goal of producing great frontend engineers. Participants are put through 3-4 months of intensive training taught by some of the best frontend engineers at Yahoo!, focusing not just on concepts, but also on best practices in terms of maintainability, accessibility, and performance.

I like that Yahoo is addressing the lack of CS dept. attention toward web development skills, while so many social websites bring web programming into day-to-day lingo. And in the ashes of the Yahoo-Microsoft merger coverage (disclosure: I work for partly MSFT), it is nice to see focus continue on efforts like education, even with so many open questions about where Yahoo heads next.

May 5, 2008 at /files/includes/10.css:04 PM

Tiff Fehr