Posts from January, 2012

My favorite web design and development tricks: The short list

Jan 20

I love a good list.

I have a slightly Type A personality and, to me, organization is a beautiful thing (Although I have to admit that all the recent ‘Best ____ of 2011’ lists that every publication on earth seemed to be putting out around New Year’s were getting a little out of hand, amiright?). That being said, I’m intending to keep this list fairly short and just give a little shout out to a few of my current favorite web design and development bookmarks that I hope might be useful and interesting.

I do most of the front-end web development (HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc.) here at TPI World Headquarters, so anything that I come across to help me streamline that process is aces is my book. I’m also fortunate enough to have a few friends in the industry who help keep me in the know and introduce me to the latest and greatest technology for creating beautiful and functional websites:

  1. Visual jQuery – (http://visualjquery.com/)Ok, ok, this Javascript library (jquery) isn’t news to anyone in the industry. It’s been around for a while now, but I gotta admit that I am still enamored with the way jquery simplifies javascript and makes things like animations and manipulations so easy and, dare I say, fun. This site is one of the most easy and useful documentation sources I’ve ever seen. It’s clean and easy to navigate and I can find what I’m looking for, usually, in a matter of seconds. Bonus: Each entry has syntax, examples and options all lined up and organized (Type A, remember? *sigh*).
  2. Chosen – (http://harvesthq.github.com/chosen/)Speaking of jQuery, this little gem is a great plugin if you’re digging on some creative ways to utilize select lists.  Whoa. Did I just get a little excited about using select lists? I did. What can I say? A few lines of code and your oft-unwieldy multiple selects become an enchanting experience for the user. Ok, I have to stop now before this gets embarrassing.
  3. CSS3 PIE – (http://css3pie.com/)Mmmmm, pie. If you’ve been reluctant to embrace the new-fangled awesomeness that comes with CSS3 because you’ve been worried about IE compatibility, fret no more! My friend, early-adopter, and programming wunderkind, Skye, introduced this to me on a recent project we worked on together. What a difference! While I haven’t had much opportunity to utilize it on other applications just yet, I’m definitely going to be putting it through its paces on some upcoming victims, er… projects we have in the works.

A short list, but a good one.

There’s new plugins, languages and tricks coming out all the time, it seems, to make our lives as web developers ever more exciting. Have you come across something lately that’s changed your coding life forever? Let us know! We love expanding our knowledge and keeping our clients happy with interesting and engaging websites and applications.

Google’s Hidden Easter Eggs

Jan 12

It turns out there’s an advantage to old-school search directly from Google.com. Not just content to sit around fine-tuning their algorithm and counting their money, the web wizards of Mountain View, CA have also taken to working some clever tricks and treats into their programming to the delight of users that happen to stumble across or successfully uncover them. These fun little surprises have come to be affectionately known as “Easter eggs,” hence the shade of  hide-and-go-seek involved.

Here’s a few of our faves for your viewing pleasure (Fair Warning: this list is a time drain!):

  • Find Chuck Norris…if you can.  Type “Find Chuck Norris” into Google, hit I’m Feeling Lucky, and Google will tell you what’s up with Chuck
  • We can only assume that this one is meant as an ode to lost productivity: www.Google.com/Pacman
  • Type “Do a Barrel Roll” into the search bar.  We dare you not to turn your head
  • Type in “Askew” or “Tilt.” Same dare
  • A holiday classic:  type in “let it snow” and watch the magic happen.  You can even defrost your screen and write in the snow with your mouse!
  • See if you can find the subtle humor in this one: type in “Recursion.” Get it? :)
  • Type “gravity,” click I’m Feeling Lucky and watch the Google logo defy Isaac Newton
  • Ask Google Maps for directions from Japan to China.  You might want to pay close attention to step 42…
  • BONUS: Google has a bit of Pirate in ‘em with this next Easter Egg.  Simply click here and have a good time, matey (or whatever pirates call friends)

UPDATE: April 6, 2012

In celebration of the upcoming Easter holiday, we’ve added one more to our “Easter Egg” to the list, and this time it isn’t from Google.

Yay ‘ol Facebook

  • Is your Facebook profile looking a little bland?  Well spice it up with a little pirate action!  Simply go to your Facebook profile page, click on the small, downward pointing arrow on the upper right on the blue bar.  A small menu will pop up.  From there, click “Account Settings” and then the “Language” tab at the bottom.  Now look closely and you will see multiple English settings named English (Upside Down) and English (Pirate).  We recommend choosing the “Pirate” language (this is BY FAR the most fun).  Save your settings (of course you can change them back at any time) and have a look around at all the changes to your text!  We guarantee you will impress all your friends with this little gem!