Archive for June, 2005

Google Sitemap Generator 1.0.2

DMXZone.com just released a 1.0.2 update to their popular Google Sitemap Generator extension for Dreamweaver versions 4, MX and MX 2004. Developed by DMXZone’s own George Petrov, this free DW extension crawls your site- and builds an XML site map that’s all ready for submission to Google’s new Sitemap service. If you haven’t explored Google’s Sitemap service yet, it’s a great way to improve your content’s visibility in Google, helping to update the popular search engine more effectively when your site content changes. Relevant traffic == a very good thing. ;-)

Zoom layouts

Found an interesting article at StopDesign on ‘zoom layouts’ today, a strategy (IIRC) originally proposed by Joe Clark for making your site design(s) more accessible to low-vision users (who may not use screen readers). Now I’ll be the first to admit my own prior strategy in this respect was simply to ensure that site visitors could leverage text zooming/scroll wheel controls for font sizes as required, but what if you want to provide more granular control over the regions of your page to be ‘zoomed’? If so, then click the links above for some brain food.

Podcasting plug-in for Movable Type

If the recent podcasting hype has you wondering how to dive in on a do-it-yourself level, here’s a link you may be interested in- Brandon Fuller’s ‘MT-Enclosures’ plug-in for Movable Type, updated within the last week. Installation is straightforward, but you will need to have Perl 5.8.5 or greater, Movable Type 2.x or 3.x, and the “Storable” Perl module installed on your server. Also, note that this plug-in does not work with dynamic MT pages, only static pages (check your current setting in the ‘Templates’ section of your Movable Type administrator). I haven’t deployed it yet – just setting it up on my staging server – but it looks pretty solid for getting your ‘blog framework tuned up to accept podcast/audioblog content.

If you’ve got on-the-street experience with this plug-in, then by all means bang out a comment below and let me know your opinions… thx!

Looking for a job?

Then try out these little ‘codelets’ available from SimplyHired – lightweight, customizable JS code that puts a customizable job search form on your site (visit SimplyHired’s beta website here to build your own). I’ve embedded a few on this post that let you search thru available job opportunities for Flash, Dreamweaver and ColdFusion developers. Click the ‘More’ link and enjoy!

Continue reading…

Apple sued over iTunes UI

Vermont developer Contois Music & Technology filed a suit against Apple Computer last week over the interface for Apple’s iTunes- alleging that owner David Contois’ demos of an early interface for ‘controlling media playback’ at trade events between ’95 and ’96 were hijacked by future Apple employees. Although this really seems a case of ‘too little, too late’ to me, one has to wonder how this could affect the future of the popular MP3 jukebox- which (as noted in this post by Eric Dolecki paraphrasing a recent Adam Curry podcast) seems poised to take on the podcasting wave by storm in short order.

Intro PHP OOP articles

A nice series of articles just wrapped up at DevShed- Object Interaction in PHP, a good intro to object aggregation. Author Alejandro Gervasi lays it out nicely for novice/intermediate PHP developers- a good read, particularly if you’ve been hacking at procedural code ’til now. While you’re at it, if this subject interests, you you’ll likely want to learn a little bit about unit testing in this article by Saleh Jamal at DevPapers while you’re at it- a skill that can save you a lot of debugging headaches down the road.

Avalanche of opinions

Microsoft announced the development of Avalanche- a P2P filesharing system hyped as being a potential successor to BitTorrent – at an interesting time, just as hype of BitTorrent proliferating spyware flew across the bit-waves. Coincidence? I don’t like to speculate, but given the obvious redundancy of the BitTorrent/spyware hype (ANY p2p mechanism only serves out what’s put into it, of course), the fact that Avalanche isn’t much more than theory and paperwork right now, and the general timing of the news events, it sure feels a bit suspicious to me.

As you’d expect, Avalanche also recieved a healthy dose of punditry afterwards, specifically a rather pointed public lambasting by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen calling Avalanche out as vaporware. Sour grapes? Perhaps. Interesting points, however.

My first thoughts on all the news were that MS simply needed to get a stake in the P2P community ASAP, although I found the absence of any DRM-related applications in the Avalanche news interesting, given its context and corporate sponsor. As Alex posed here, I’d also expected Google would jump first into the P2P market, but either way you slice it a migration to distributed transfer methods will definitely help free up per-capita Internet bandwidth and lower the overhead of media proliferation overall. Which can only be a good thing for us media junkies.

But can Microsoft build the right consumer-based application of this technology to gain leverage above and beyond the freely-available and popular open-source P2P alternatives? Should be an interesting project to watch either way… ;-)

Recursive Browsing?

Maybe I’m just being short-sighted today, but other than being a rather nifty widget, is there really a practical use for Bitty Browser? I suppose for browsing RSS feeds inline it could be handy, but honestly I’d probably just aggregate ‘em myself and maintain control over the design/experience. Coming strictly from a user experience perspective, I’m not sure why I’d want to enable ‘browsing within browsing’ like this on projects, but will admit it’s a nifty and well-done little mini-browser for those so inclined. ;-)

Applebee’s Dunktank

Alex Schleifer of Netymology just pointed me at a cool little Flash-based viral marketing piece he recently worked on for Applebee’s called the Dunktank. Upload an image of your face, crop and rotate it into a virtual dunkee, and let your friends and coworkers splash you down. You can even dunk me right here, I won’t take it personally- love to swim in fact. And for the record, no, that’s not my real hair. :)

4 new phones from Nokia

Nokia launched 4 new Series 40 handsets of the ‘slider’ form factor today- all of which support Flash Lite out of the box, as well as a swank new polished-up UI for the Series 40 devices as a whole (nice to hear- that upgrade is long overdue). All four are scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2005, so you’ve still got time to start brushing up on your Flash Lite kung-fu, grasshopper…