This week on the Boagworld Podcast, Paul and Marcus drag themselves from their death beds to share why you should care about Vista, which browsers you should support and introduce you to the exciting world of terms and conditions. Oh yes and Drew McLellan explains the pros and cons of Ruby on Rails.
News and events
The weekend of the 17th of February sees the second barcamp to take place in London. If you haven’t come across barcamp, it is a gathering of web geeks where everybody takes turns to present a 30 minute session. You can pick which sessions you wish to attend and the whole thing has a very informal feel. Its free and arguably one of the most valuable meetups of the year.
There is an excellent new article on the List Apart website. It proposes closing down your PC and returning to good old pen and paper. Compelling stuff, which should make you evaluate the way you develop your designs.
Jeremy Keith is about to release the follow up to DOM Scripting, Bulletproof AJAX. As with his previous book Bulletproof AJAX is aimed squarely at the designer community. It will be perfect for people who have read DOM Scripting and want to take the next step. If you can’t wait that long and can squeeze £295 out of your boss then you might want to attend Jeremy’s AJAX workshop down in Brighton. I have attended it myself and it is extremely good.
Custom reading containers
This is an incredible proof of concept that I was emailed last week. Basically it enables the user to resize elements of your web page to suit their requirements. Admittedly it has only undergone limited testing so far and relies on PHP; nevertheless it looks very interesting indeed.
Client corner: Terms and conditions
This week Marcus starts a new series on client contrasts with a “fascinating” look at terms and conditions… I know… control your excitement! Some of the points he covers include:
- Make sure you read the T&Cs carefully no matter how boring they are!
- Get advice if you don’t understand something
- Make sure you note the governing laws that cover the T&Cs
- Note the deliverables and rights
- Understand your liability if there are problems
Agony Uncle: Browser support
Danny has sent in an excellent question about how far we should go in supporting the numerous browsers out there. Should we support IE5, Opera mobile, Opera on the Wii and so on? In the show I talk about the need to not set hard and fast rules in this area but adapt to the individual requirements of our clients. I talk about not blindly accepting the browser support requested by the client but rather analysing statistics to establish the best browser set to build for. Finally I also explain the concept of graded browser support as implemented by larger organisations like Yahoo!
Ask the expert: Ruby on Rails
Talking of Yahoo, this week our expert is Drew McLellan who works in their development team. He is on the show discussing the pros and cons of working with frameworks like Ruby on Rails. Among other things he looks at speed of development vs. maintenance and generally gives a nice overview on the subject. He certainly helped me have a clearer understanding of the benefits and drawbacks.
So Vista has hit the shelves and being the uber geek that I am I couldn’t resist upgrading as soon as I got my hands on the disk. I know there are loads of reviews on Vista but I thought it was worth reviewing specifically from a web designer’s perspective. I talk about the problems I had installing Photoshop, the improved FTP support and the multiple website support now in IIS. I also look at how Vista could potentially change the way people interact with the web by bringing things like desktop widgets and RSS feeds to the masses.