Archive for the 'webdesign' Category

Published by Fabian on 21 Oct 2008

AjaxWorld Day 1

After having quite exhaustive flights on the weekend (guys, 7 hours in Chicago O Hare are no fun), I spend today 13 hours in great sessions.
I will be preparing a slideset on some of the key information I was able to gather today for our company blog, so just a few words on more or less private stuff.
Boy, last time I was in US I did not notice that in US everything costs extra. I thought 219$ for the room is expensive, but its not. it is 219+tax+hbid+pid (whats those two?)+newspaper (which you can cancel) and its not including breakfast. Luckily I could get hold onto meeting room wifi, free for people with the AjaxWorld password, otherwise I would have to pay also for wifi extra.

The conference as such is better than I did expect. Quite a lot of good topics, and many interesting people to meet. Only one negative point for today: I came 5 minutes late into Jeremy’s presentation on integrating AJAX into Spring, cause I talked to a few oracle people still. When I came into the room he was just going over some SpringSource service offering slides. I have seen them soo many times already, so why can’t the SpringSource guys just stop showing it? I headed directly towards another session, onto a JavaScript based distributed database, called nextDB.net . Even when this was also advertising, it mainly was about the conceptual issues one could have with a browser accessible DB. So dear guys at SpringSource: please skip your 15 minute SpringSource portfolio slides, then I might join your talks again.

My personal highlight was a presentation from the founders of Kaazing, who talked about Server-Side Events and WebSockets. Good stuff, and I am very eager to try it out.
From company perspective perhaps the most interesting finding was the product called KITE from Keynote.
More about this then later.
Heading now to the aftershow party

Published by Fabian on 29 Sep 2008

jQuery wins the race

It seems like jQuery has beaten Prototype, Mootools, Dojo and all the others.
While recent Garnter Studies still claim Prototype and Scriptaculous being the leading duo, this will for sure change.
Microsoft and Nokia announced that they will integrate jQuery into their software stacks. While Mircosoft and Nokia are not Google and Yahoo! and seem not to be that important in Internet business right now, one important detail should not be overlooked:
Nokia and Microsoft dominate the “runtime market”. Their systems run the majority of software applications, Nokia for the mobile market and Microsoft for the desktop/laptop market.
As I said already in my post about Googles Chrome browser, I think that it is very important to support JavaScript in the platform.
This announcement could make a noticeable shift in market shares towards jQuery. Who could dare to ignore the new first class citizen in the web platform world?

Published by Fabian on 02 Sep 2008

A new Operating System was born

Google is attacking Microsoft for the future market of Operating Systems.

Already some time ago people started to discuss about the browser being the future application platform, virtual machine, or even operating system. But up to today browsers were designed for displaying web pages.

But today, everything has changed. Google presented Google Chrome to the world.

Google is the first one to do a radical perspective shift. Chrome is no longer a reader for HTML pages, but it is designed as Application Platform for Web Applications, oh and by the way: it can also display HTML.

It includes Google Gears as “registry” for Web Applications, a task manager for everything in Chrome, and blurs the borders of Applications and Web Applications by putting a GMail icon on your desktop that you can open up standalone.

Lets be all excited about the next days, where thousands of web gurus will put their hands on Chrome and see if it has the potential to become THE platform for running future applications.

Be sure to watch the introduction video by the Chrome development team

Published by Fabian on 24 Jul 2008

Cross Browser Custom Scrolling

I am a bit frustrated.

I actually do like web page layouts that prevent scrolling of some content. Why? Because i have a 1680 resolution here and I really appreciate that some navigation stays in place. Even for small resolutions the loss of a few pixels is a gain of usability.

So far I have only seen and used two different techniques that do not use frames of any kind.

  1. Div-Puzzle
    In a Div-Puzzle you use some amount of divs to fill the screen. All these divs stay in place, most likely using an absolute css positioning. There is quite likely a “content” div that will be the only one that has a visible overflow.
    While this div puzzle works nice for many designs I tried so far it exposes some issues:

    1. Browser Quirks
      There are quite a lot of hacks required to get this working correctly and place all the puzzle pieces where they should belong in all browsers.
    2. 100% Issue
      It is even more complicated to get 100% width and/or height on all those elements where you want. Its possible, but depending on the nesting not very nice.
    3. Scroll Detection
      While many PC browsers manage to find out that there is only one div that can be scrolled, mobile browsers hardly can deal with that. Also scrolling wheel sometimes only works when the mouse is over the main scrolling div. Also the scrollbar will mess up the design. If its not only being it ugly looking, its also of different width when its not there. iPhone uses need to double scroll to be able to scroll inside.
  2. Fixed-Framing
    In this technique, you put all your main stuff to the body element. This is good for browsers, because that is what they want to have. In addition you build some divs that contain navigation or just background images. These divs get a fixed position and a higher z-index than the body. In addition the body gets some padding so it makes sure that no content will be under the frame. This solution seems to have less downsides for me:

    1. Format
      As the padding is required for this solution to work only rectangular window from the frame is easily possible.
    2. Browser Display
      At least my S60 browser displays the frame initially fine. But on scrolling it has redraw issues, hiding the content which is scrolled over (but which is actually fixed on a higher z-layer)

Are there any other good ideas for realizing a nice layout like the ones I implemented on www.tempus-vivit.net or www.hma-info.de ?

Especially I am interested in “legal footer” solutions. I can live with the footer beeing relatively positioned to the end of the page, lets say with some 30 pixels spacing. However on larger resolutions, where the main content of the page filles only 50% of it, I still want the footer to be at the bottom of the page, as I think having the footer in the center of the screen distracts and looks ugly :-)