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Web Development News & Analysis

W3C Publishes Mobile Web Apps Best Practices Draft

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (news, site) is back at work, this time developing best practices for the development and delivery of web applications on mobile devices.

Developed by the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group as part of the Mobile Web Initiative, each best practice is intended to be a possible measure towards "the goal of providing as rich and dynamic an experience as possible on a mobile Web browser."

On the whole, the best practices relate to the appropriate technologies and techniques to use for managing a Web application's data. Here's a glimpse into some of the recommendations made by the working group.

Components, Patterns and Frameworks! Oh My!

Somewhere, right now, there's a team creating a new design with some amazing, never-before-seen functionality. And to take advantage of that awesome, groundbreaking functionality work, their users will need to login.

Login functionality isn't new. It's not awesome. It's not very challenging to develop. Teams are designing this functionality as if it's never been built before.

But it has been built before. Teams, all over the world, have built login functionality into their applications about a million times. And yet, here we are, doing it all over again.

All this re-creation and re-invention isn't just inefficient, it leaves the team open to problems. Because it's not the sexy part of their project, it's likely to get less attention, resulting in an unusable and frustrating experience.

This is where the Re-use Trinity -- Patterns, Components, and Interaction Design Frameworks -- comes in.

ASP.NET MVC Not In Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

ASP.NET MVC Not In Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1How many of you rushed to download Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2010 (news, site) when it was released last week? A lot, exactly. But how many of you came away just a little disappointed to find out that ASP.NET MVC (news, site) is not part of Beta 1? Know how you feel.

Great Designs Should Be Experienced and Not Seen

Recently, in a set of interviews UIE conducted with avid users of, the online DVD rental web site, we asked "What are the things you like best about the site?" Lots, apparently.

W3C CSS 2.1 Spec Gets One Step Closer to Release

W3C CSS 2.1 Spec Gets One Step Closer to ReleaseThe W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has released the latest version of the Candidate Recommendation CSS Specification -- CSS 2.1. The newest version corrects some errors in the previous version and adds some features that have been highly requested.

Quick Take Review: Adobe Contribute for Micro Publishing

Back in 2004 -- yes, eons ago in Web time -- we lamented over not having a blogging client awesome enough to make us do away with our browsers for daily publishing work. Although there were a few promising candidates, ultimately none of them yielded a good enough score on our terms.

Since then we’ve been keeping tabs on developments in the desktop web content authoring and management tool business, and things have certainly come a long way.

Adobe caught our attention anew just recently. Their release of Creative Suite 4, including Contribute v5.0 sparked hope that we might find a wonderful desktop tool in which to while away our days. Let's take a closer look.

MS Web Platform Installer Hits 1.5 Million Product Downloads

MS Web Platform Installer Hits 1.5 Million Product DownloadsIs it a sign of the times? People want an easy way to install applications on their PCs. Microsoft's Web Platform Installer (news, site) is certainly looking like just the ticket.

Released to the public in January of this year, Microsoft has announced that the Web Platform Installer has reached 1.5 million product downloads. This includes free, core products to run websites on the desktop like ISS7, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition and SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. In addition you can download ASP.NET and PHP.

The Windows Application Gallery alone has had 100,000 application downloads. This is where you can pick web content management systems like Umbraco, Drupal and Silverstripe, along with some blogging apps like Subtext.

The Web Platform Installer is Microsoft's vision of a place where the development community can get access to the best open source .NET and PHP-based solutions.

“In 2008, we placed a large bet on the fact that the Microsoft Web Platform and interoperability with Open Source community applications, together, would be something that would benefit both open communities and developers for building Web applications," said Lauren Cooney, group product manager, Web Platform & Standards at Microsoft. And they have been extremely happy with the results. 

Just think of how many downloads they would have if Windows SharePoint Services was among the list of applications.

SiteGalore v17 Adds One-Click Mobile Website Publishing

SiteGalore v17 Adds One-Click Mobile Website PublishingSiteGalore (news, site) has added new features to the latest edition of its publishing suite to take advantage of the surge in mobile browsing and the latest demands of site creators.

Mobile browsing is on an ever-upward curve thanks to devices like the iPhone and millions of more mundane portable gadgets. The major new feature, among many updates, of SiteGalore version 17 is that a desktop-targeted website can be converted into one suitable for mobile devices with just a single-click, with the resulting site viewable on any device.

Additional features include:

  • Design snapshots that show the evolution of a site, and help you go back to a previous version or pick from a range of templates.
  • New templates that update the existing range and add modern touches
  • A revamped editor aids design

Starting from US$ 99, SiteGalore has a range of subscription models to cater for all types of companies site designers.

SharePoint 2010: Preparing Your Infrastructure

It's getting closer. SharePoint 2010 that is. And now that the dates are all out in the open, Microsoft is offering us information to get our infrastructure ready.

A new post has just come out on the Microsoft SharePoint Team blog outlining the Preliminary System Requirements for SharePoint 2010. Here's a quick look:

  • It's all 64-bit: SharePoint itself, Windows 2008, SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008
  • Browser Compatibility: Brace yourself -- IE6 is out. Supported browsers on Windows systems will include IE7/IE8, Firefox 3.x. Microsoft will also increase compatibility for Firefox 3.x and Safari 3.x on non-Windows OS.

The team offers 6 things you can do to get ready including getting your environment to 64-bit and running the Update Checker that comes with Service Pack 2.

You'll also find a beginning set of common Q&A's in this post that will grow as required.

One key question is about supporting IE6 for publishing sites. A good question considering we can't control what browsers our public websites are being viewed with. The answer, a little comforting, and perhaps a peak into some of the changes for the web content management capabilities in the next version, "...2010 will provide a deep level of control over the markup and styling of the reader experience".

Time to start getting ready. You may want to consider the SharePoint Conference in October to help you out as well.


Third Party Authoring Tools No Longer Required for Platformic Web CMS

logo-platformic-2009-03.jpg At the end of March, Platformic (news, site) introduced a new Embedded Content Tool (ECT) to its web building platform that facilitated the easy use of assets in an enterprise’s media library. As part of its continuing development of a Web Content Management System for use by even novices, it was a timely release.

What they didn’t say at the time was that only six weeks later they would be releasing an entirely new version of their platform that would remove the need for Adobe Dreamweaver, or other third party web-authoring tools.

That version – v3.0 – was unveiled this morning.

Create Custom, Personalized Navigation for SharePoint Services Sites

bamboo_solutions.png There are any number of SharePoint add-ons and web parts available today. We can't cover them all. But sometimes one crosses our path that we find interesting enough to pass on. That's how it was Friday when we told you about SharePoint Solutions's new Data Zoom Web Part.

And that's how it is today as we tell you about a new offer from Bamboo Solutions (news, site) called SharePoint Navigators -- a new tool that lets you customize and personalize the navigation for your users in Windows SharePoint Services (WSS3.0) or MOSS.

A New Web CMS for the Publishing Industry

GMP targets publishing industry with CMS Pro While the latest release from Georgia-based GMP Services has it eyes set firmly on the publishing industry -- perhaps recognizing current difficulties in the sector -- it is also targeting other professions that might be looking for an in-house Content Management System.

Available starting next month, the new version of Media Publishers Professional CMS, which in another life was known as GMP CMS, is an ASP.NET 2.0 Content Management System that has taken six years to develop.

Significantly reducing the need for coding, it includes application services and controls that can be reused across a given website, as well as role-based access to content for security purposes.

Create Dynamic Data-Driven Content for SharePoint with Free Tool

SharePoint Solutions Releases Workflow EssentialsLooking for an easy way to create dynamic, data-driven content in SharePoint? SharePoint Solutions (news, site) is offering a new free tool to help you out: SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part.

Mobile Website Builder Gets Honored with a Webby

Mobile Website Builder Gets Honored with a WebbyIt looks like its going to get crowded out there in mobile web land very soon.

While this might draw a wry smile from those involved in traditional website development, a (very) quick search across the web would indicate that we could well be surfing on a cresting wave that is only starting to grow.

Only this week, mobiSiteGalore (news, site) was selected as Honoree in the Mobile Applications category for the 13th Annual Webby Awards.

Export Your Google Analytics Data with New API

Google Analytics is a very popular website analytics tool. This is partly because it's free, but also because it offers a lot of useful analytics on what's happening with your website. But people have been asking for just a little bit more from Google.

Now they have delivered. Google has made available a Google Analytics API that provides you with read-only access to your analytics data to integrate into your own custom applications and mashups.

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