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Brusheezy, Vecteezy and Fresheezy. Like their proud parents say, "Stupid Names"... But cool free resources. We featured one of those (Brusheezy) in our yesterday's article on free Photoshop brushes. Why not take a tour and learn to know the two other brothers? Vecteezy is an index of free vector graphics, while Fresheezy (as the name doesn't say) does the same for Wordpress themes.

» Brusheezy, Vecteezy and Fresheezy

So you've decided to become a programmer. That's a great decision, but let us ask you a little question: do you know where to start? There are — as usual — thousands of place on the web where you'll find hermetic references, cryptic cheat sheets or endless keywords lists. Maybe reading this article should be a good starting point.

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Joomla! is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable.

Packt Publishing is a modern, unique publishing company with a focus on producing cutting-edge books for communities of developers, administrators, and newbies alike.

What happens when you mix both? You get a free eBook titled "Building Websites with Joomla!".

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One of the most powerful features in Photoshop is the brush tool. Thanks to its numerous settings, it can create an infinity of shapes, effects or textures. The sites we're featuring today offer free brushes for your favourite graphic toolbox. As usual, don't forget the read the licencing terms before you download and use what you'll find on these sites.

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Web design isn't 100% about design, we know that. It's a complex mix that requires several ingredients to be effective. In every webdesigner, there should be a graphic expert, a useability guru and a marketing specialist. That's a lot of things to combine.

In their neverending quest for excellence, our friends from Smashing Magazine wrote two extremely interesting articles over the basic principles of effective web design. These articles do not discuss implementation, code or design per se, but rather focus on the theory, the principles, the heuristics and the approaches for an effective web design.

Keep in mind that there's no magical receipt; creating a website with an high value requires a lot of work. You won't become the next "big man" after you've read those articles. But you'll better understand some key concepts like avoiding to squander users' patience, make use of effective writing, using fluid and minimalistic designs, and adressing the user's needs and expectations — certainly the most important one, and also the least implemented one...

» Article #1: 10 Principles of Effective Web Design
» Article #2: 5 More Principles of Effective Web Design

Are you into AJAX? What a silly question, of course you are! Who isn't, those days? AJAX is everywhere, and it fuels the so-called "web 2.0". So even if you're not into it, you have to deal with it. That's the story.

Now the wonderful thing about AJAX is that, since everybody does it, there are tons and tons of scripts, modules, libraries, snippets and frameworks available. And the place to start looking for those is certainly AjaxRain.

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If you're like us, you certainly have to work on international projects, or projects involving foreign languages and character sets. Handling many of these can be quite a nightmare, if you don't have the right tools. Hopefully, from time to time, you find on the web some fine gems that make your life easier...

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We got selected to be featured in CSS Nature's showcase. CSS Nature is maintained by the guys from Studio 7 Designs, a well-known brand and identity development agency.

You can see our page and vote for us here. Thanks in advance!

When you look at the general tendencies in web design those days, it appears that Flash-powered websites have lost points, as more and more web developers use technologies like (X)HTML, AJAX, Javascript and CSS to propose clean, feature-rich and effective websites to the world.

However, there's still one field where Flash has its word to say: media handling. I may be wrong, but I haven't seen (yet) a 100% javascript framework capable of properly handling audio and video files. So let's face it: we need Flash to handle media files, even if we don't like it (well, at least I don't like it, mainly because it makes SEO optimization a real nightmare, but that's another story).

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This morning, I was setting up a couple of new websites on my development server. The way I do this is very simple: since I use IIS7 on my development box, I change the default binding and map each new website to its new port — easy, quick and clean.

But today I encountered a small glitch: after I mapped port 87, I couldn't manage to access it from Firefox, no matter what I tried. Mozilla's browser wouldn't simply open the pages, and constantly kept to return the same error message.

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Today, the blog went down during a couple of hours — we'd like to apologize for that. According to our hosting provider, there were some issues with the MySQL databases, but they fixed it quite fast. So here we are again, ready to roll!

Don't miss the next updates, we've got plenty of exciting stuff coming your way...

Today, The Art Company showed up as #1 in the "Professional on the Web" directory, which features more than 2,000 web agencies and freelancers from around the world. Thanks to you!

» Professional on the Web

You know that one browser that has only a vague association with modern web standards? Yeah, Internet Explorer. Wouldn't it be great if it supported stuff like translucent PNGs? Well, now you can add decent PNG support to IE5.5+ on Windows with no changes to your website HTML source code.

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The Art Company Blog just got listed into two popular CSS & Design dexes: CSS Clip and CSS Based. Click on the logos below and vote for us!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a delicate science that requires many things to work together ir order to be effective. One of those things is the sitemap, which you can think of as an "index" of your site: it's a document that will tell the search engines where to find the different parts of your website, and that makes sure that the engines don't forget to parse the latest data you have uploaded in your pages.

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RSS feeds and XML are great things. Through the use of standard APIs, they allow you to pull out data from any website that supports these protocols, and reuse the collected material in your own applications. But what if you want to do the same with a website that has neither RSS feeds, XML, nor a dedicated API ? Well, you use dapper!

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Every month, the guys from Smashing Magazine dig the web for the nicest free fonts. After the link, you'll find the march set.

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When you think of javascript frameworks, you think Prototype, Mootools, JQuery or YUI. But hopefully, the web 2.0 world is moving and changing fast, and new players show up everyday. So now, when thinking javascript framework, you'll have to think Ext JS as well.

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When it comes to vector drawing, there isn't much choice available: only a few big names come to mind, like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe FreeHand, Corel Draw or Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer. All these applications are well known, with a strong reputation and a long list of success stories. The downside is, as always, the price — often quite high — that you have to pay to get your hands on these.

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Google launches a new activity called Google App Engine that actually works as an application cloud service. It provides the environment, the infrastructure and the storage needed to develop and deploy new applications. In other words, it's designed to completely house your project, and to integrate easily with Google services. It's been opened up to the first 10,000 developers that request an account — free of charge. And, in the pure Google-style, it's expected to remain free — at least to some extent.

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There are a multitude of date-picker scripts available on the internet but, with only a few exceptions, they all require either the use of a nasty pop-up window or the inclusion of an embedded JavaScript block within the HTML. That's no good practice.

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Bringing quality to the community, as they always do, Smashing Magazine released a free RSS/Feed icon set (designed by Dirceu Veiga from Brazil). The set contains 8 icons which you can use for private and commercial projects, blogs and web-sites for free. The icons are available for both Mac and Win-users in resolutions 16×16px, 24×24px, 32×32px, 48×48px, 128×128px, 256×256px and 512×512px.

Those guys love high-quality freebies. Over the last years, they've featured a number of designers and developers who released their work for free. Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place, which is why they support designers and challenge them to release something for free in order to be featured on Smashing Magazine. And the results are quite often pretty impressive.

» Get the exclusive free RSS/Feeds icon set

Photoshop Lady is a new online repository for graphic designers and graphic artists, that aims to provide the best existing Photoshop tutorials in one single location.

This repository is updated daily, and categorizes the tutorials into 3D Effect, Abstract Effect, Drawing Effect, Photo Effect, Text Effect, Texture & Patterns and User Interface Design. You can also bookmark your favorite tutorials easily and create your own private tutorial collection.

» Visit Photoshop Lady

It's always interesting to dig into others's pages. Not for stealing, but for learning. It's good to interact with other developers/designers, because you can always learn from anyone, regardless if they are a newbie or an expert. Now if you have Firefox, you can simply stick to the web developer toolbar, that contains lots of useful features. But what would you do if you had the ill famed Internet Explorer or any browser which does not have the features like Firefox? XRAY rescues you from such situations.

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