Elsewhere archive

I regularly find interesting links on the web, which I collect on del.icio.us), a website for storing and sharing links. Feel free to add me to your network and/or subscribe to my links.

Fri, 14/09/2007 - 10:34pm.

elementReady: a jQuery plugin

"elementReady calls a function during page load as soon as a specific element is available — even before the full DOM is loaded. It’s useful if you have unobtrusive JavaScript that you want to apply to particular page elements immediately, without hav

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Fri, 14/09/2007 - 10:31pm.

vjustify plugin for jQuery

There are actually several jQuery-based solutions for equalizing the height of elements, but this one seems to be best maintained.

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Tue, 11/09/2007 - 12:32pm.

Photoshop Secret Shortcuts

Unlike the title says, none of these are secret (and I knew most of them already), but the switching between documents shortcut (CTRL+TAB) alone is worth bookmarking this page, if only because Photoshop deviates from all other apps in this!

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Tue, 11/09/2007 - 12:15pm.

jQuery 1.2: jQuery.extend(”Awesome”)

This looks like an amazing release, and more importantly, the jQuery UI plugin will be released this weekend as well! This will finally bring a whole slew of interface components to expand jQuery’s minimal base.

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Tue, 11/09/2007 - 12:11pm.

integrated2007 | Home

"integrated2007 is a new vital international design conference taking place in deSingel Antwerp on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 November 2007. The conference focuses on the fascinating cross-pollination of graphic design, typography, new media, architecture, adv

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Tue, 11/09/2007 - 12:09pm.

YAML now supporting equal column height using JavaScript

This is interesting, not because of YAML, but because it’s a jQuery plugin. I’m still debating wether it’s OK in a purist way to enhance presentation with Javascript this way, but it’s nice to see the possibility exists.

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Sat, 01/09/2007 - 1:54pm.

Truncate: A jQuery Plugin

"Truncate is a JavaScript plugin built for the jQuery library. It helps conserve valuable space without affecting SEO." And: it’s accessible by all accounts.

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Sat, 01/09/2007 - 12:33pm.

Magento

Having worked on several e-commerce sites this summer, I can certainly appreciate more Open Source solutions in this space. Although still in beta, Magento (built on Zend/PHP5) certainly looks very promising.

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Tue, 28/08/2007 - 10:08am.

Foundations of Interaction Design

A nice reflection on the fundamentals of interaction design, and how it differs from related disciplines such as user interface design, information architecture and user experience design.

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 2:49pm.

Deliverables That Work: Design Description Documents

Basically, a way to combine use cases (descriptions of user interactions with the system) with wireframes (skeleton models of how this might look like).

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 2:39pm.

Brad's Thoughts on the Social Graph

Social communities are essentially silos and require you to re-enter your data whenever you subscribe to a new one. What’s it gonna take to break this up and share this data in a way the user stays in control of his data?

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 2:37pm.

jQuery 1.1.4

"Faster, More Tests, Ready for 1.2"

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 2:27pm.

SOLVED: Right Click in AS3

The right-click menu in a Flash object doesn’t show anything useful most of the time. With a bit of Javascript & Actionscript, it can be customized to anything you want.

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 1:54pm.

Primary & Secondary Actions in Web Forms

According to this eye-tracking study, the ideal placement of submit & cancel buttons on web forms is to align them left together with the labels.

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Mon, 27/08/2007 - 10:51am.

Creativity Spark From Masters Of Illustration

Some very nice illustration work featured here.

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Wed, 22/08/2007 - 9:52am.

Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

Freely available online.

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Wed, 22/08/2007 - 9:19am.

Mobile Web Design

This book by Cameron Moll will guide you through standards-based web development for the Mobile web.

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Wed, 22/08/2007 - 9:17am.

Live Query

"Live Query, previously called Behavior, utilizes the power of jQuery selectors by binding events or firing callbacks for matched elements auto-magically, even after the page has been loaded and the DOM updated."

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Sun, 19/08/2007 - 9:46am.

This Way to the Web, Print Designers!

A very insightful post with one of the most accurate description of the difference between print and web: "(…) on the Web, design is not a method for implementing narrative, as it is in print, but rather it’s a method for making behaviors possible."

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Sat, 11/08/2007 - 1:48pm.

Meer politieonderzoeken.nl: Jan Popke Karsten

"De politieregio Ijsselland gaat zelfs zover door er een recente zaak op te plaatsen (maart 2007). Naast dat het een nieuwe zaak is waar de politie graag de hulp van ons internetters in roept is het tegelijk een samenwerking tussen verschillende politiere

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Tue, 07/08/2007 - 9:49am.

Free Photoshop Brushes für Photoshop

Beautiful, abstract brushes.

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Tue, 07/08/2007 - 9:29am.

A Win-Win Scenario: 'Game School' Aims to Engage and Educate

"Games offer a context for problem-solving with immediate feedback, and often involve social interaction that can reinforce lessons learned, Salen wrote in a proposal. Combine that process with the skills that modern games encourage — like computer liter

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Tue, 07/08/2007 - 9:27am.

Syncotype Your Baselines

"I often have trouble aligning text and graphics horizontally on the Web. To aid that process, I wrote a simple bookmarklet script that overlays a baseline grid atop everything on the page you’re viewing.""

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Mon, 06/08/2007 - 10:31am.

It's Tomorrow Calling. Do You Accept the Charges?

This was basically my idea for setting up an environmentally aware ARG: "If a relative from the future asked for your help to protect the Earth, what would you do?" Hmm, back to the drawing board I guess!

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Mon, 06/08/2007 - 10:29am.

Column view drill down

Column view based on unordered lists, using jQuery. This supports unlimited nested lists that will be dynamically converted to columns, using nice animations. Some CSS fixes necessary to make it work properly in IE6 though.

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Mon, 06/08/2007 - 10:26am.

Complex Dynamic Lists: Your Order Please

"Help your site’s visitors reach their goals quickly with a dynamic menu that takes its cue from the Mac OS X Finder." Another, older, example of a Finder-like list navigation.

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Sun, 05/08/2007 - 7:44pm.

Trash All IE Hacks

History repeats itself. This echoes the ‘to hell with bad browsers’ article by Zeldman which argued the same for trashing Netscape 4 and IE 4: they’re outdated and hold back the development of the web.

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Sun, 05/08/2007 - 2:07pm.

ColumNav

"ColumNav is a hierarchical menu implementation utilizing Bill Scott’s Yahoo UI Carousel component. Content is loaded from an unordered list and displayed in a scrollable viewport, similar to Column View in the Mac OS X Finder."

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Thu, 02/08/2007 - 9:45am.

Data Visualization: Modern Approaches

As always, a well-researched overview from Smashing Magazine, this time om data visualisations.

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Wed, 01/08/2007 - 7:32pm.

YUI 2.3.0: Six New Components and a Prettier Face

A new YUI release: still the only widget library with a CSS framework. Glad to see it’s still going strong, and I noticed that font sizes are calculated differently now based on a bugreport I sent in.

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Wed, 01/08/2007 - 8:14am.

SIMILE | Timeplot

Very cool: "Timeplot is a DHTML-based AJAXy widget for plotting time series and overlay time-based events over them (with the same data formats that Timeline supports)."

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Tue, 31/07/2007 - 5:27pm.

RDF For The Rest Of Us

On using the RDF framework for marking up web pages, through the use of eRDF.

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Tue, 31/07/2007 - 5:13pm.

Icon Designer

Fellow Dutchman Sebastiaan de With is a great icon designer.

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Tue, 31/07/2007 - 10:08am.

TimeDrawer for Mac

Leopord will get this natively, through Timemachine, but until then this free tool will let you track changes in your documents on Mac OS 10.4.

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Tue, 31/07/2007 - 9:48am.

westciv :: XRAY web developer's suite

Cross-browser bookmarklet to inspect a website elements’ box model.

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Sat, 28/07/2007 - 12:26pm.

Doing good

Great post! The ‘doing good’ mentality should really be a more intrinsic part of design (and thus should start at design schools). Seeing how social, political and technological events of the last century are finally showing their consequences, ‘doing goo

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Fri, 27/07/2007 - 1:23pm.

Drupal 5.1 backport of JS aggregation patch

This patch will aggregate all Javascript files into one compressed file, which can reduces the number of HTTP requests your site makes and can optimize your page load considerably.

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Thu, 26/07/2007 - 10:14am.

Serious Games

"On using simulation experiences to encourage desired behavior. HFI Chief Scientist Kath Straub, PhD, CUA, discusses things to consider when using virtual simulations to affect behavior."

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Thu, 26/07/2007 - 10:02am.

Persuasive games article by Human Factors International

Short review: "Unfortunately, she doesn’t explain the concept of captology, and she doesn’t mention the Serious Games community."

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Thu, 26/07/2007 - 10:00am.

dfGallery

A free Flash-based gallery, with all the cool features from SlideShowPro and more.

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Thu, 26/07/2007 - 9:57am.

YSlow Release on YDN

"YSlow measures web page performance based on the best practices evangelized by Yahoo!‘s Exceptional Performance team. Since many of these best practices focus on the frontend, " Best of all, it’s integrated with Firebug!

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Thu, 26/07/2007 - 9:55am.

Recording ethnographic observations

Overview of categorical ways of transcribing ethnographic observations through the use of a framework.

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Wed, 25/07/2007 - 10:10am.

Boost your Drupal site!

Nice article on the use of Boost, a module that implements full page caching for Drupal websites.

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Wed, 25/07/2007 - 10:08am.

Ugly Websites Stinks

Reiterating the argument that your design should fit your purpose. A classy brand cannot afford a trashy website, just as a trashy brand isn’t served by a classy website. "Only cheap companies can have ugly websites."

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Wed, 25/07/2007 - 10:07am.

The Anonymous

Even the website’s HTML is beautiful – although the classes and id’s are chosen based on their presentation instead of their structure.

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Wed, 25/07/2007 - 10:03am.

Blasting the Myth of the Fold

"There is an astonishing amount of disbelief that the users of web pages have learned to scroll and that they do so regularly. Holding on to this disbelief – this myth that users won’t scroll to see anything below the fold – is doing everyone a great disservice, most of all our users.” We recently discussed this, and concluded that if your website visitors are incapable of scrolling, they have larger issues than you can accomodate for!

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Wed, 25/07/2007 - 10:00am.

Timeline Generator

Very cool: "Get Simile Timeline from hCalendar Microformat and vCalendar RDF". I planned to do this with my Timeline implementation but it cost too much time, so I ended up encoding everything in XML. This goes a long way towards accessibility and remixability of calendars.

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Tue, 24/07/2007 - 9:29am.

if:book: the open library

Review of the recently launched Open Library, focusing on its interface for book reading and collaborating, and its potential for providing an open alternative to Google Print.

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Tue, 24/07/2007 - 9:26am.

Why usability is a path to failure

A great (short) rant by Todd Wilkens, usability expert, which puts things into perspective again. Usability is a means (and quite often a necessary condition), but it’s never a goal.

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Tue, 17/07/2007 - 11:48am.

A List Apart: Articles: Conflicting Absolute Positions

Using CSS to produce a liquid layout that contains a fixed-width, scrolling side panel and a flexible, scrolling main panel. This works by using absolute positioning for all corners of a div (thus achieving the liquid main part) and dynamic expressions for IE5/6.

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Tue, 17/07/2007 - 11:42am.

Open Library

Taking Wikipedia to the world of books whose copyright has expired: "Imagine a library that collected all the world’s information about all the world’s books and made it available for everyone to view and update. We’re building that library."

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Tue, 17/07/2007 - 11:38am.

Designed Deterioation

“Unused objects are ignorant; only the ones that have been put to use, that have traveled, that have been tossed around have accumulated knowledge. That knowledge and familiarity, if it’s worn properly, can make an object desirable.” The question is: how can we include time and deterioration in digital products, such as websites?

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Mon, 16/07/2007 - 2:12pm.

Joyeur: Connector and Slingshot Open-sourced and Free

A bit pretentious, but I love this announcement: "Let’s not repeat the mistake of building monopolistic overlords on the internet. This is Bastille day for software on the web."

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Mon, 16/07/2007 - 11:38am.

CMS Made Simple 1.1 Released!

Includes upgrades to various libraries, the inclusion of TinyMCE as default editor and numerous optimisztions and improvements.

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Sun, 15/07/2007 - 8:52am.

Perian

The swiss-army knife of QuickTime® components. Includes codecs for all popular video and audio formats, enabling you to use QuickTime & FrontRow for all your media.

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Sun, 15/07/2007 - 8:48am.

Why Congress Needs a Version Control System

"The future we face is one of massive collaborative systems. How we design those systems, and how we build critical freedoms into them, shaping their architecture to support either participation or centralized control, is one of the great challenges facin

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Sun, 15/07/2007 - 8:43am.

ARGNet: World Without Oil: The Post-Game Press Release

Nice roundup of the creator’s reactions and response summary.

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Thu, 12/07/2007 - 9:41am.

Visual effects in the style of 300

"The 300 artists aimed to achieve a painterly watercolour effect in combination with photographic elements – a careful balance between the two. They then applied a heavy sepia tone and the ‘crush’ – clipping the levels to pump up the contrast. "

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Thu, 12/07/2007 - 9:35am.

friendsEAT.com

What a beautfiul website!

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:48am.

The FLIRT Model of Crowdsourcing

“The model views the phenomenon from the perspective of a company considering intensive collaboration with customer collectives and aims to identify the different actors on the field as well as their roles in the collective creation process. Furthermore, it suggests a set of elements (the FLIRT ring) that have to be considered and established in order to achieve desired action in the community.”

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:45am.

You've Ruined Everything

A funny (but also sometimes spot-on) description of various ‘roles’ that people have in online communities.

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:35am.

The Psychology on How to Keep the Crowd Engaged

“Robert B. Cialdini, a well-known social psychologist, wrote the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” to unlock the mysteries of human persuasion. Cialdini spent time in the field exploring various jobs that use persuasion to get people to purchase things. This book, however, is not a step-by-step guide on brute force selling techniques as you might find in marketing books. It explains in a scientific manner the reasons why people can be persuaded to do or act certain ways. So can the examples given be applied to areas other than sales, perhaps also to online communities?”

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:33am.

Web Standards: it's about quality, not compliance

Excellent article on the case for standards. “It is the idea of quality, not standardization, which provides the compelling argument for the Web Standards Project and for the W3C. It is unfortunate, however, that they’re not effectively seizing on this important fact and are not appropriately crafting their message for the intended audience.”

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:29am.

Open Source and William James

“James noted: “True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify. False ideas are those that we can not. That is the practical difference it makes to us to have true ideas.” Matt argues that that is why he likes open source — because it works.”

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:21am.

Perspectives on distributed creativity

"Assignment Zero, an experimental news site that brings professional journalists together with volunteer researcher-reporters to collaboratively write stories, has kicked off its tenure at Wired News by doing an extended investigation of ‘crowdsourcing.’"

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Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:12am.

Faceted Feature Analysis

“This article explains a process called “Faceted Feature Analysis.” The facets refer to three characterizing facets in any project: business value, ease of implementation, and user value. Faceted Feature Analysis also uses three constraints that govern every project: cost, time, and quality.”

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Mon, 09/07/2007 - 3:18pm.

The CSS Redundancy Checker

"You pass in a single css file, and either a directory of HTML files, or a .txt file listing URLs (one to a line). It then proceeds to look at each file in turn, and at the end, list all the selectors in your css file that aren’t used by any of the HTML

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Sun, 08/07/2007 - 11:09pm.

Psychology Today: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

"Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn’t sexist, and blonds are more attractive. "

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Sat, 07/07/2007 - 12:14pm.

Best uses of Flash

Some nice tips from the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog on flash: only use it when needed (so not for content or structure), use sIfr for text replacements and give Googlebot the same content as your users.

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 11:04am.

UXI Workshop Interaction Design: enkele notities

"Vermaard interactie-ontwerper Dan Saffer presenteerde de denkprocessen in ontwerp, nieuwe documentatiemethoden en hielp het publiek beter te worden als interactie-ontwerper."

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 11:01am.

PhotoFolder

JSON Image Gallery API + Automatic Thumbnails

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 10:58am.

The Designers' Dilemma

"Changing the way we think about design to take on the challenges of environmentalism. "

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 10:52am.

Moving Brands: Into Multi-Sensorial Branding

“We work not only on two-dimensional visuals such as printed logos, but on projects in a variety of areas: the four central ones being Static, Moving, Sonic and Responsive. So in most projects, we approach branding from the perspective of how you see, how it moves, how you hear and how you feel – this is called Multi-Sensorial branding. The world today changes at an amazing speed, and we feel that branding must be something as liquid in order to match this velocity.”

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 9:16am.

Gilde van Front-Enders

“Doel: het verder professionaliseren van front-end programmeren in Nederland (en Vlaanderen?) Zorgen dat buitenstaanders simpel onderscheid kunnen maken tussen goede en slechte front-enders.” Enige dat ik kan zeggen is: geweldig en ik ga me bij de eerste gelegenheid aanmelden!

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 9:14am.

Workshop Games in Crossmedia @ Cinekid

“Games and Internet are gradually replacing television als children’s favorite media. How can media makers use games and game culture in crossmedia productions?” This seems pretty interesting, although the focus is more on using virtual worlds and machinima rather then cross-media gaming (curiously no mention of alternate reality gaming anywhere!).

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Wed, 04/07/2007 - 9:07am.

Versions - Mac Subversion Client

From the makers of Disco, this beautiful website will soon offer a GUI subversion client.

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Wed, 27/06/2007 - 12:27pm.

Focus Cloud

Nice enhancement for tag coulds – add highlighting of similar terms when mousing over a term.

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:35am.

LittleDeviant xD

This is supposed to be an advirtisement, but I got caught up in the twisted humor of playing the game (and the beautiful graphics) that I forgot what the ad was for…

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:24am.

Reinventing the Wiki with OpenTeams

Review of OpenTeams, a beautiful looking wiki-like collaboration environment which adds structure through the use of the three-paned interface.

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:22am.

Luis von Ahn's Research

Research page of Luis von Ahn, who does a lot of research utilizing human "computing power" in gaming environments.

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:18am.

Nature Precedings: Early Access to Scientific Results

The well-respected Nature journal launched a site for reviewing pre-peer-reviewed articles. “The traditional way for scientists to share their research results is through journals. These have the benefit of being peer-reviewed, citable and archival, but as a communication channel they are also relatively slow and expensive. Nature Precedings is trying to overcome those limitations by giving researchers a place to post documents such as preprints and presentations in a way that makes them globally visible and citable. “

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:15am.

Finding the Perfect Shot: 5 Stock Photo Search Engines Reviewed

Good overview of some recent stock image search sites.

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:14am.

e-learning 2.0: All You Need To Know

“The traditional approach to e-learning has been to employ the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), software that is often cumbersome and expensive – and which tends to be structured around courses, timetables, and testing. That is an approach that is too often driven by the needs of the institution rather than the individual learner. In contrast, e-learning 2.0 (as coined by Stephen Downes) takes a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach that combines the use of discrete but complementary tools and web services – such as blogs, wikis, and other social software – to support the creation of ad-hoc learning communities.”

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Tue, 26/06/2007 - 10:13am.

IE PNG Alpha Fix Demonstration

Another Internet Explorer 6 PNG transparency fix, this time using a plug-and-play HTC file. Works even with CSS background images.

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Mon, 25/06/2007 - 6:49am.

Mary Poppins goes online "in the most delightful way"

"When you turn a boring task into a game, work then becomes play." Some nice references to academic studies on this subject.

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Sun, 24/06/2007 - 5:48pm.

How Drupal Will Save The World

"The web can be a powerful force for social change. It can give a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard. It can also bring together those with similar needs empowering both with the simple knowledge that they are not alone."

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Sun, 24/06/2007 - 5:46pm.

Invitation to Virtual World Event on Philanthropy

"I believe that the importance of virtual worlds may be less about their growth as economies, and more about their capacity for collaboration and human development."

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Sat, 23/06/2007 - 7:27pm.

Using Games to Tap Collective Intelligence

Some chap had the same idea I had about collective intelligence and games: "But one unique and important aspect of games has yet to be tapped: I believe they can effectively aggregate individual players’ actions into a form of collective intelligence."

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Fri, 22/06/2007 - 10:35am.

Sean Stewart - Alternate Reality Games

Case study of the first ARG, the Beast.

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Fri, 22/06/2007 - 10:16am.

Alternate Reality Games SIG

"This is the first paper from the ARG SIG, and provides a full introduction to the genre as well as a wealth of practical and analytical information on design methodologies, business models, and current and recent games."

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Thu, 21/06/2007 - 2:05pm.

This Might Be A Game

Dissertation of Jane McGonigal, which examines the historical intersection of ubiquitous computing and experimental game design.

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Thu, 21/06/2007 - 9:37am.

bLink: Completing the Connection Between Analog and Digital

An innovative way of merging traditional books with digital computing.

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Tue, 19/06/2007 - 1:13pm.

Team Viget | Stylegala

Nice review of this website, and noting some current trends in web design I’ve noticed myself as well; most importantly about the use of javascript libraries.

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Sun, 17/06/2007 - 6:43pm.

Sliced Menu | drupal.org

Drupal module for breaking up the navigation into multiple blocks, depending on how deep the menu is. "The Sliced Menu allows menus to be sliced into a block per level. It behave like primary link with no level limitation."

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Sun, 17/06/2007 - 4:02pm.

pinvoke - Icons and pixel fonts

Quality 10×10 and 16×16 pixel icons to designers. Free and commercial versions available.

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Sat, 16/06/2007 - 9:51am.

Passively Multiplayer Online Games

"Our Passively Multiplayer Online Game ("PMOG") follows people as they surf the web, giving them experience points, levels, items and currency. PMOG layers social gaming on top of web browsing."

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Sat, 16/06/2007 - 9:48am.

Instant.js

"Instant.js 1.0 allows you to add an instant picture effect (including tilt) to images on your webpages. It uses unobtrusive javascript to keep your code clean."

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Fri, 15/06/2007 - 10:55am.

There is more to email than TEXT vs. HTML

In which Baekdal argues for HTML formatted text (not HTML layout or presentation!), since using typographic conventions, such as headings, lists and emphasis greatly increases the readability of texts.

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Fri, 15/06/2007 - 10:42am.

HTML5 differences from HTML4

Useful document written by one of the authors of HTML5, Anne van Kesteren. “This document describes the differences between HTML4 and HTML5 and provides some of the rationale for the changes. This document may not provide accurate information as the HTML5 specification is still in development. When in doubt, always check the HTML5 specification itself. “

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Fri, 15/06/2007 - 10:41am.

Common Pitfalls of Building Social Web Applications and How to Avoid Them

“In the last several years we’ve seen the rise and fall of many social web applications. While most of our attention gets paid to the hugely successful ones like YouTube and Facebook, we can also learn a lot from those that have failed. Here are some of the common pitfalls that lead to failure when building social web applications.”

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About this website

My name is Jeroen Coumans, I'm a freelance web designer, front-end developer and Drupal ninja from the Netherlands. I love to create beautiful, usable and accessible websites. On this website, you can find my portfolio as well as my personal weblog. Interested in hiring me? I'd love to hear from you.

After completing my BA in Arts and Culture I'm now doing a MA in Communication and Multimedia Design. More …

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