Today I wrote my first JavaScript tutorial

Today saw the launch of SixCrayons.com, a new design blog focussing on six main categories of front end web development, from design to additional enhancements using scripting languages such as Flash and JavaScript.

Although I have a hand in the majority of categories, JavaScript is something I have a keen interest in and was asked to write a short tutorial on a JS related subject. Continue reading “Today I wrote my first JavaScript tutorial”

New Fubra World (Flash + Isometric)

Over the past few months I have been working alongside Nick to produce a more exciting presentation of the sites owned and operated by Fubra Limited, in the form of Fubra World.

We first saw a glimpse of Fubra World at the end of 2007, after Nick put together a simple flash animation of a small town that he had sketched and added some interaction to.

At the end of 2008 it was decided that we would give it a bit of a facelift. The process involved nick re-drawing the town in isometric and myself learning ActionScript 3 to allow for a more interactive presentation. Continue reading “New Fubra World (Flash + Isometric)”

The death of Mr. Box Man

It has recently come to my knowledge that an act I participated in a few months ago has leaked into public view in the form of a media project by a year 10 pupil from Calthorpe School in Fleet, Hampshire.

Now in year 11, the student – who we shall refer to as B. Haines – had obtained video footage of myself (in costume) and put into practice his new found video editing skills using a trail version of Video Edit Magic to produce “Death of Mr. Box Man”.

Not only was this used towards his GCSE Media Studies, I have more recently found out that it was played at the school during the final year 10 assembly.

Although I am undoubtedly the main star of the show, all credit must go to Nick Haines for the high quality video recording skills, and Ben for his acting, polishing of the final cut, additional textual commentary and great choice of music – nice work guys!

Professional JavaScript for Web Developers

When starting for Fubra back in 2006 I would have probably described my knowledge of JavaScript as basic to say the least. Knowing how to alert a bit of text and pop up a confirmation box was sadly pretty much the upper range of my ability at that point in time.

Since then I have found myself purchasing and reading a number of web development related books, whether they be JavaScript, PHP, MySQL or CSS. Each one highlighted something that I either didn’t know or simplified something I may have known already.

The majority of my collection is made up of books from the O’Reilly collection, but I also own a number of the Wrox publications. My current favourite – or should I say most referred to – is the Wrox edition of Professional JavaScript for Web Developers by Nicholas C. Zakas.

One of the most useful features it offers are the comparisons between IE and the DOM, highlighting what is and is not available to you across them both. The many examples provided throughout the book cover numerous situations across all the major browsers and provide a deeper understanding of the differences and how to work around them.

Recommending this book to anyone with an intermediate knowledge of JavaScript is something I would do without hesitation. Having recently lent it to a friend of mine, I have however discovered that it may not be so suitable to those just beginning JS or anyone having little development experience.

The synopsis does explain that the book:

Quickly covers JavaScript basics and then moves on to more advanced topics such as object-oriented programming, XML, Web services, and remote scripting

I am always on the lookout for books of similar nature to this on the subject of JavaScript in order to expand my collection and knowledge, therefore any suggestions or recommendations that you may have are welcomed.

FF AdBlock add-on blocking local images

I received an email last night from a colleague regarding his recent visit to the Fubra site using the Firefox web browser. In his email Matt Wardy pointed out that he could not see the central image on the homepage relating to advertising.

Fubra Site - Adblock image issue

Whilst digging around for a reason he found that there was an inline style of “display: none;” applied to the image although no inline style was visible in the source code, which asked the question of where was it coming from?

As with many development and layout issues in Firefox they often come back to one of the many extensions or add-ons that you have installed – for example wondering why JavaScript isn’t working and then realising that it’s simply because you had disabled it earlier on to ensure your site will work without it enabled :S.

In this case it was found to be that AdBlock was installed, so by either disabling the AdBlock add-on or whitelisting the Fubra site and hitting refresh, all image problems appeared to have been resolved – for now.

A quick solution was applied for anyone visiting the site with AdBlock enabled in order to avoid the hiding of imagery.

For now I’ve renamed the images and it seems to have solved the problem.

I found it very interesting that the AdBlock extension would automatically block localised images simple because they contained the phrase ‘advertising’.

It seems to me that the add-on may be acting a little greedy here and should maybe only exclude images from third party websites containing this phrase or similar phrases if any.

After all, adverts are usually put in place for a reason and in a lot of cases without them it’s unlikely that the site would be there at all.

Becoming a Blogger

At last I am now an official blogger according to the results from Google.

define: blogger – “The author of a blog”.

Over at Fubra they like to encourage – or nag – all employees to write their own blog and be part of the ever increasing population of online bloggers.

Until now I have been putting off the process of setting up my own blog in the hope that one would just magically appear or allow me to create one with minimum effort.

Thanks to the wonders of Subversion and WordPress I was able to quickly and easily install a blog on my vserver that Fubra have kindly supplied.

It can’t really get much easier than running the following cmd to checkout from the WordPress repository:

svn co http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/branches/2.3/ .

All that was left was to come up with a quick and simple design to get away from the default template theme.

So there you have it, the kick start to my future in blogging.

Oh, and a quick thank you to my boss Paul for backing me into a corner and pressuring me into this whole blogging malarkey.