Archive for December, 2006

Studio 60 goes Spry

NBC’s site for the new show ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip‘ just got an update- and is now using Spry for both effect transitions, and data loading for the list views (right of the video player), comment threads, permalinks and more. And Flash video is used for the video previews, natch. It’s great to see Spry get implemented by one of the major US networks- head over and check it out!

What is the CSS Advisor?

The new community-driven site CSS Advisor was quietly launched this morning as a public beta, and although most people get what it’s for pretty quickly there have been a few who haven’t. So I’ll take a quick poke at a mini-FAQ of sorts here…

Q) What’s the purpose of the CSS Advisor? Is it a wiki?
A) A centralized site where the web design community can help surface best practices, bugs and snafus, and other good snippets ‘o wisdom regarding CSS design and development. It’s similar to a wiki, yes- in that the public can submit new articles/posts (and both rate and comment upon them), and selected editors from the community can help us keep the content fresh.

Q) There’s a lot of other sites devoted to CSS design, why CSS Advisor?
A) First, CSS Advisor isn’t a replacement for all the great CSS resources out on the web today – from the CSS-D wiki to and, and so on – if anything it’s a complement to these sites, helping to index and collect all the great sources of wisdom available today. Also, Adobe plans to link out to CSS Advisor from our products down the road – and it was necessary to have a consistent way to do that on the website end. Hosting it here helps that goal, of course. But the content and focus of CSS Advisor is yours- Adobe’s just providing the server and storage.

Q) How can I get involved?
A) Have you pulled your hair out over a CSS rendering bug? Or worked around a nit-picky positioning error in Safari? Post about it on the CSS Advisor site and share that knowledge with the rest of the design community. Did you find an article elsewhere online that helped you out and you’d like to share? Come and link to it on the CSS Advisor site (or ask the author to!), so we can make sure that folks looking here find the great articles you may have written over there.

If you’re really hardcore about your documentation and contribute a lot to the content on the site, we may ask you to be a site editor- and help directly contribute to keeping the content fresh. Again, we want this to be a resource for the design community and kept sane and honest BY the design community. Tell us how you’d like to use the site!

Q) What’s the catch? What’s in it for me?
A) We’d hope that the CSS Advisor site grows into a strong resource for CSS design issues and solutions, and helps you find solutions to your problems faster and more directly. And since sharing with the community is always good karma, it won’t hurt your reputation much, either. ;-)
Seriously, though- the site will only be as good as we all collectively make it, and the only way to get started is to roll up your sleeves and get started. That simple answer you found last week may be a godsend to the right frustrated designer somewhere, so share!

If you’ve got any other questions, by all means post them here as a comment, or on the CSS Advisor feedback forum. The floor’s yours. What do you want to say?

Firebug Public Beta – get it now!

Firebug, Joe Hewitt‘s long-awaited Firefox extension for debugging DOM/CSS/JS/Ajax projects has finally hit public beta, and is available for download as of today. If you’re doing any work tweaking the DOM via CSS/JS, or general Javascript development, this extension is – quite frankly – a must have extension for your workflow.

Firebug takes some of the favorite staples of the Web Developers’ Toolbar (link below) such as CSS/HTML visualization, the ability to introspect your HTML/CSS/JS assets, and adds some must-have debugging tools like an integrated JS debugger/logging tool, network bandwidth profiler (see how all the assets in your page contribute to page load), DOM inspector, and a great error-handling UI to manage all the tricky bugs in your code (you do write the occasional bug, right?).

Alongside the old-favorite Web Developer’s Toolbar extension by Chris Pederick, Firebug should become a staple of your web dev toolchest in short order, and in my opinion- the first thing you install into Firefox. Hope you find it equally as useful!

24 Ways – an Advent calendar for web geeks

You don’t need to celebrate Christmas to enjoy 24 Ways – a ‘countdown’ calendar in which a new surprise is revealed each day from December 1st to the 24th – and this one being crafted especially for the inner web geek in all of us.

Kicking off Day 1 for the 2006 advent countdown is a nice post from Drew McLellan, detailing how to build one of those tasty and delicious text area length trimmers (similar to the ‘size of abstract’ slider in Safari) using the YUI Slider widget, and a little crafty Javascript. Make sure to check back each day between now and Christmas day (12/24) for a new tip to keep your holiday season a productive and educational one!

(If you need a little extra convincing, check out all the great tips from the 2005 holiday season here.)