ChunkySoup.net Serving hearty nuggets since 2001

ChunkySoup.net has been mothballed (for now?). Posts appearing on ChunkySoup.net have been moved to Place Name Here. - Management

InterACT With Web Standards Book Released

InterACT With Web Standards Book Released

In a recent post over on the Web Standards Project blog I introduced the newest and first book released by the WaSP – InterACT With Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design.

This is a great reference teaching the craft and profession of building web sites, and not just a book about markup or 3 column layouts with CSS. Read more about it in the blog post or go straight to the book’s companion site.

Progressive Enhancement For Better Performance

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the great crowd at the New York Web Performance Group Meetup. Fellow presenter Marco Carag (Front End Manager at The Knot) laid down a strong foundation with a discussion of where HTML and CSS sit on the Progressive Enhancement ladder. Following that I came in and talked about JavaScript’s different roles in PE, client side performance, and browser support of upcoming Web Standards. Here’s the slide deck from my portion of the presentation:

Easy Automator Workflows For Increased Productivity

Computers are built to perform repetitive & tedious tasks. But as users of the computers we’re never exposed to all the tools that are provided to help, and when we are the balance between familiarizing ourselves the given tool and learning to make it do what we need it to do is a larger endever then just doing the thing manually once or twice a day.

Along these lines Apple has long had the ability to script application and operating system tasks via the AppleScript language — powerful, but not the easiest thing to pick up. However, since OS X 10.4 Apple has shipped a free visual workflow tool called Automator that can do some quite powerful things with just a few clicks or drags of a mouse. Creating complex workflows via Automator still has a learning curve and takes some trial and error, but to get it to do some simple things is easy, will take you 5 minutes, and save you time every day.

60 Second Automator Overview

Automator is a visual macro tool that allows you to string together a series actions associated with single tasks in applications like Finder, Keynote, iPhoto, Transmit & Photoshop and create workflows that you can run via the Finder, Services Menu, standalone Application [Droplet] or iCal event item. Each action takes some input [text, URL, selected files], performs a task and then passes the output onto the next item you’ve placed in the chain.

Fill Your Apple iPad With Books From SitePoint

Sitepoint has two new offers that will help fill your shiny new Apple iPad [or Kindle or other Nook] with some great titles covering web design, web development and programming and business.

5-For-1 Deal

For the low price of 1 digital book [$29.95USD] you can get 4 more free. The sale ends April 16 so head on over and check the titles. Unless specified, a purchase gives you access to the book in PDF, ePub and MOBI formatted downloads. They’ve created some common bundles based on themes but you can select from more then 30 available titles. Check out the sale and place your order.

Already Purchased? Download the new format FREE

It must have been from a past sale, but I had a few old PDF versions of SitePoint books on my harddrive. I had tried converting them to ePub myself and the results were ‘just ok’. The folks at SitePoint were smart enough to anticipate the desire to do this and kind enough to allow you to log into their site and download the alternate formats for digital books you already have purchased. An informative blog post with all the details.

Some Suggested Titles

I always hit a sale and get overwhelmed with options not knowing what to pick. Having not read all 5 titles I bought in the day since I bought them I don’t want to go so far as recommending something blindly, but here’s my thinking. It’s hard to go wrong with books by Derek Featherstone and Jina Bolton, or Elliot Jay Stocks or Rachel Andrew. I grabbed a title like jQuery: Novice To Ninja just to see how it was written. But there are some books covering novice, server side development or business related topics as well.

Be Aware Of What Analytics Don't Tell You

The web community lives in a world of numbers. Tools like Google Analytics, Mint, Campaign Monitor and others do a wonderful job of helping put concrete numbers in the hands of site owners allowing them to make informed decisions about their business.

Last week ReadWriteWeb had an article The Death of the Pageview which provided an overview of some ways the industry has moved from simple “clicks” or “views” into more meaningful metrics. While it is great that we can now measure campaign conversion rates or watch the cow paths form through the sites we build we must always ask ourselves if the analytics are measuring the correct things, or if numbers or trends can even help answer a particular question.