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Archive for the ‘Web-based User Interfaces’ Category

New Website for Activo: www.activo.com

November 23rd, 2010
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I have good news and bad news to tell you, well it is not really bad news, but just wanted to use that saying…

The bad news is that this website is has just become absolute. Meaning we will no longer publish anything new or introduce any new content on this website. The good news is that we already have a new website and the new website can be found at www.activo.com. Notice that we got the domain name that we always wanted to have for Activo – Yeah!

Activo

For those of you who are interested, the new website was launched in late August of 2010. The domain was purchased back in November of 2009. The site currently already have twice the amount of traffic that this website has. The site also reflects a few changes in Activo:

  1. We moved our offices from Santa Clara to Los Angeles – and we love it down here. In fact LA is a great hub for techies and entrepreneurs, believe it or not.
  2. We now have a virtual team of developers, designers, and project managers. Yes – it was a decision we had to make back in the days before we moved and it turned out to work great. Our customers love it.
  3. We have decided to focus on Magento Development and Magento Extensions. I got to say, what a great decision that was!

So, check out the new website and our new blog. I (Ron Peled) will continue to post regularly about our daily grind and share with you as much as possible from what I am doing at any given time. Drop me a line if you have any suggestions or recommendations.

.NET Framework, AJAX, Content Management Systems, eCommerce, Ektron, Joomla, LAMP: Linux Apache MySQL PHP, Magento, Performance Optimization, PHP/MySQL, Project Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Application Hosting, Web Design, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces, ZenCart

Google is on a diet!

December 1st, 2008
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It seems like the search giant is going through some housekeeping: laying off 3,000 employees and shutting down over ten of its services. We know from our clients that the first thing in slow times is to shut down the advertisement dollars. I guess, easy to setup and easy to stop, all it takes is a click of a button.

Well, we are seeing the result. Here is a shortlist of the services that Google just stopped offering:

1. Lively – used to be a virtual world kind of like second life. No more.

2. Google Answers – similar to Yahoo Answers. No mas.

3. SearchMash – non Google branded experimental search for design purposes. Gone with the dinosaurs.

4. Page Creator – a simple way to create a simpleton website. Caput.

5. GDrive – allow online storage on Google servers. Negative.

6. Browser Sync – extension for FireFox to synch your browser settings across computers. Belly up.

7. Hello – online photo sharing integrated with Picasa. Dead.

8. SMS – send SMS to a phone from online. Departed.

9. Click to call – was used inside Google Maps. Extinct.

10. Send to phone extension – FireFox extension. Vanished.

11. Related Links – relating links between sites. Defunct.

Now, this is not to say that Google is no longer the search giant. I only suspect that this is a focus shift and we will eventually see many more useful tools and systems come out of Mountain View, CA. Google is still one of the biggest think tanks in the world and did I mention the largest cloud computing network?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Application Hosting, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces , , , , ,

jQuery Emerges as Most Popular Javascript Library for Web Development

November 3rd, 2008

It seems to be official: jQuery is gaining ground faster than any other JavaScript Library. There may be many reasons but I like to think that jQuery is leading the pack due to its simplicity and relatively small size. Here is what Google Trends is showing us:

Top Reasons for jQuery’s ground gaining:

  • Simplicity.
  • Small in size: only 15K for latest production release after its minified and gzipped.
  • Extendable: pretty big plugin library. Currently showing hundreds of plugins.
  • CSS3 Compliant and one of the first JS Library to use CSS selectors.
  • Handles AJAX very well while avoiding code bloating.
  • Major adoption by ASP.NET developers and teaming up with ASP.NET’s team for improved integration

jQuery Resources:

Other Javascript Libraries:

All these Javascript frameworks provide the basic idea of single developer resource for cross browser and cross platform JavaScript development. Additionally, all make AJAX a little bit easier:

If you know of any additional interesting jQuery Resources, drop me a line. Thanks!

.NET Framework, AJAX, Web Design, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces , , , , ,

First Google Chrome Screenshots

September 3rd, 2008

Google Chrome is new (still in beta) and I went a head and installed it on one of our VMs. It seems like a lot of the functionality from the popular Firefox extension ‘FireBug’ is built in. Here are the screen shots:

Google Chrome Screenshot 1: Main Page

Google Chrome Screenshot 1: Main Page

Google Chrome Screenshot 2: Search right from the address bar

Google Chrome Screenshot 2: Search right from the address bar

Google Chrome Screenshot 3: Browsing History

Google Chrome Screenshot 3: Browsing History

Google Chrome Screenshot 4: Incognito Browsing

Google Chrome Screenshot 4: Incognito Browsing

Google Chrome Screenshot 5: Right Clicking a Link Uses Google Gears

Google Chrome Screenshot 5: Right Clicking a Link Uses Google Gears

Google Chrome Screenshot 6: Inspecting Page Elements a-la Firebug

Google Chrome Screenshot 6: Inspecting Page Elements a-la Firebug

Google Chrome Screenshot 7: View Source

Google Chrome Screenshot 7: View Source

Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces , ,

Inspiring Commentary Article on Web Design Practices

August 27th, 2008
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Written by Kimberly Elam, Web Design by Design made me think twice before running to draft the next web site design with our designer. This same minimalistic approach of almost too little but just enough to make a clear point approach is great because it begs for more. As Kimberly puts it, the user remains hungry for more information. And guess what they will probably do? call or email for more information!

This article highlites the a similar line of thought for successful web firms: they target what their clients need not what they can do with technology or design. Hence this comes to remind us that websites, in any aspect: design or web development, are here to serve the business. A website is just a tool not the goal.

This comes accross with our line of though at Activo: each one of our proposals begin with what are the goals in this project. In other words, what will we achieve by the following web development project?

Web Design, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces , ,

Free Open Source ICO File Format for Photoshop

March 25th, 2008
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Once in a blue moon, a web developer will need to format or re-work the favicon for the website they are working on. What are the alternatives? Download a shareware from download.com. Any of those applications will need installation. Most people start complaining within a month or even a week if they haven’t purchased a license. I always try to avoid such ad-hoc installations, because you never know what else you might be installing on your machine. In other words, it’s not safe or stable.
open source file format plugin for Photoshop
A nice, free, and open source alternative is the open source file format plugin for Photoshop. This little plug-in works on Mac, PC, and even VISTA platforms. It supports Photoshop versions up to CS2. If you have Photoshop installed on your machine, all you have to do is download the zip, and copy the plugin (1 file) into the right folder. On my laptop the path to the folder was:
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Plug-Ins\File Formats

Reopen your Photoshop and you are done! drag and drop the ico file or save your image as (use “Save As…”) and choose the ICO file format.

If editing icons were a bit easier than playing with pixels. On a side note, what happened to the transparency with icons? That’s a question for another day..

Web Design, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces