Google Page Creator (Beta of course)

Googe Page Creator BetaNormally I wouldn’t blog about yet another new Google product release. Now would I? 😉 Hey, I’m not the Googleblog you know.
But this time they’ve released a product that lets my mother create webpages in no-time, although I doubt if anyone’s waiting for another bridge-site. (Sorry mom. :-))

So what is it?

It’s an easy-to-use webpage publishing system. It’s easy as point & click to start creating pages, all with the familiar Google GUI as used in GMail/Base/Reader/etc. The site is currently coupled with your GMail account, meaning your mail username is also used to address the site. You’ll get a 100MB of space, so that should be enough to build a photoalbum or the likes. Uploads are handled beautifully by the way. And linking to other pages or sites is automatically checked, so it’s hard to make a mistake there.

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Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview available

IE 7 LogoIt’s public! So if you want to have a go take a look at the Internet Explorer 7 website.

But before you do so, also take a look at the IEBlog:

Especially note:

Can I run the preview and IE6 at the same time?

No, the preview is a system upgrade that replaces IE6 on your computer with the preview code.

As Chris Wilson pointed out, “‘IE’ is actually a collection of system components – networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we’re installing it for all applications that use these system components – including the tiny iexplore.exe itself.” Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system.

But that quote from mr. Wilson did not end there. He made a remark that I, as a webdeveloper/-designer, found rather interesting:

… That’s why it’s hard to have multiple side-by-side IEs. We are working on a solution for just HTML rendering, but we can’t have multiple system components installed with the same name.

Now if MS made THAT tool available I would be happy. Hope they don’t forget to put in a IE 6 rendering engine and for old times sake a IE 5 engine… That would make testing/hacking a lot easier.

Note: I’ll refrain from installing as I don’t want to compromise my dev-system.

Olympic Imagery 2006

Torino 2006 identityThe Winter Olympics 2006 in Turin are going to break loose some time next week. In case you didn’t know. In any case I just found out about the new ‘identity’ of The Games. Poynter Online is running a small story about the visual identity: Knowing Your Audience: Lessons from Olympic Imagery

Where the story is going I don’t know. But you’ll probably see those graphics multiple times on television.

Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

Over at Google Code they ran a survey, in December 2005, looking at a couple of webpages trying to find out which elements and their respective attributes are used most. And more importantly how they are used.

We took a sample of slightly over a billion documents, and looked at what elements were used on the most pages, what class names were used on the most pages, and so forth.

Pretty interesting read this Web Authoring Statistics study.
E.g. why would anyone use a <table>-tag and not put any <td> or <tr> inside? Beats me… Is it a remnant of MS ‘HTML’? Or someone deleting a table in a WYSIWYG environment? And there are more examples.

Which Browsers matter in 2006?

BrowsermixIf you are planning to build or rebuild a site this year you may wonder at some point which browsers you should support. If not, you should! Just looking at your new design in IE 6 is no guarantee it works and behaves the same in any other browser.

Not that long ago the browser shortlist consisted of IE 6, combined with IE 5, IE 4 & Netscape 4. And maybe some other occasional ‘weird’ browser. But times have changed and are changing. IE 4 & Netscape 4 are ancient history, support for IE 5 has been dropped in most cases by Microsoft itself. And there are emerging new browsers, either driven by innovation or security issues.

So what browsers should you support today and for the upcoming year(s)? Simple question, simple answer: Check your visitor stats and build/optimise for what they use.

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The Orange Icon, part 2

Feed Icon Microsoft has decided. The feed indicator in IE 7 is still orange!
Most surprisingly it’s the same one that Firefox has. Well, not so much of a surprise, because it was the Mozilla foundation who kindly ‘donated’ it:

Thanks again to the Mozilla team for making the icon available and helping us do the right thing for all browser users.

It’s a good thing there’s some in-browser ‘standardisation’ on the RSS/Atom/Feed front. But what about those orange XML/RSS/Atom chicklets everywhere? How about some standardisation there? Maybe in conjunction with the above mentioned icon? Like so? Feed Chicklet

Yahoo! Local Maps Beta

Yahoo Maps Beta LogoYahoo! Maps is offering a Beta version which is based on Flash! – shock & horror – What were they thinking? 😉

I do like it. It’s snappy, looks good and simply works. (hearing that MS?) Go see the Yahoo! Maps Beta for yourself.
For instance check out the ubiquitous “Pizza in Redmond” sample. Hover & click to see more info. Nice. Although at the largest zoom-level you won’t find anything.

Another nice feature is Live Traffic with which you’ll get up-to-date traffic info like congestions and construction work details. Now all they need to do is add the rest of the world and of course satellite imagery. Take a look at the features overview.

How about an API you ask? Here are the Yahoo! Maps Developer APIs.

Also see TechCrunch’s story on the Yahoo! Maps Beta and WeBreakStuff’s first look .

On a sidenote: Is it the time of the year or what? It seems everyone is releasing stuff like crazy.

The Orange Icon..

You know the one that signals a webfeed (formerly known as RSS or Atom). Over at Microsoft they’re pondering what new icon they should pick. Mind you, this single icon will be viewed by millions of upcoming IE 7 users.
So all you usability guru’s, web designer, graphic designers, … if you have an alternative or an opinion go and leave a comment on their Team RSS blog now!!!

This is what they’ve come up with so far:

  1. beta 1
  2. gleam
  3. ring
  4. spark
  5. waves

Personally I’m not sure what to think of it. Besides “I don’t like them…”. Maybe it’s because they’re ripped out of their context, namely the address bar of the upcoming IE 7. Or it’s just something brewing in the back of my head. (And should I tell Microsoft…?)

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar Beta vs Web Developer toolbar extension

“Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery.” Or so they say. But I don’t know if this holds true when the imitating party is… Microsoft. Sorry Chris, it’s about time to move on to greener pastures. 😉

Why the sarcasm? Well, Microsoft released a beta of their Developer Toolbar for Internet Explorer. So? Well, that’s what I thought. Why would I install a beta toolbar for IE when my main developement tool is Firefox with the Web Developer toolbar. Among others.
Just out of curiosity I gave it a go. You can download the developer toolbar beta for IE here. Don’t! If you are running Vista as it seems to crash the system.

So here are my first impressions.

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PocketMod: Not everything needs to be digital

Why should you need a several hundred dollar/euro pocket organiser that’ll last for just one day on batterypower? Why not rethink paper? It’s been used for a few hundred years and still going strong. If you accidently drop or sit on it the interface it’s still readable and writable. No need to go look for that damn adapter. If you don’t need it anymore, just chuck it in the bin. 🙂

Start PocketMod Enter PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organizer! The all-in-one organizer you need. Containing among others: “Dots game, 2007 calendar, food diary, tip tables, music staff sheets, story boards and more.”

Many things make this little personal organizer special, here is a list.

1. It fits easily in your back pocket or purse.
2. It’s as cheap as one piece of paper (Because that’s all it is!)
3. It opens like a book. Leading to easier to find, more organized notes.
4. The first page has a pouch, big enough to carry a business card!
5. Customizable with “Mods” tailored to your needs.
6. It’s free and fun!

Get yourself a PocketMod right here and impress your friends with your latest gadget. Paper, printer & scissors not included.

Anyway, it’s one of nicest Flash RIA’s i’ve seen in a while. There even is an offline Win/Mac version. Nice!

(Found at Fredscapes.nl)