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Web development is a delicate and complex discipline, and requires an in-depth knowledge of the many architectures that exist today. The basics of these architectures — DOM Core, HTML, CSS and Events — are contained into the W3C DOM specifications. The DOM, which stands for Document Object Model, is the most essential concept in web design and development: it's the model that describes how all elements in a HTML page (like input fields, images, paragraphs, etc.) are related to the topmost structure — the document itself.

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SEO, SEO, SEO... Three little letters, so many troubles. SEO — which, btw, stands for Search Engine Optimization — is too often considered as of low importance when starting the design of a web site. That is quite surprising, since it is commonly agreed that the SEO techniques can be easily applied from the very beginning of the design process. But far more concerning, it appears that about 25% of the professionals involved into web production don't have a clue what SEO is.

In a very comprehensive article, Nick La, who runs famous websites like WebDesignerWall and N.Design Studios, reviews the fundamentals of SEO for web designers, explains the common mistakes and provides some tips to avoid the major roadblocks.

» SEO Guide for Designers

The guys at Frexy really love icon design. In the past few months, Min Tran and Vu Tran have worked on two icon sets called “Bright!” and “Milky”, and now they happily release both as free resources for you.

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Frilly bits” seems to aptly describe what are typically called ornaments, fleurons, vignettes, embellishments, or in some cases, frippery. Type ornaments, also termed printer’s ornaments, have been used in conjunction with type for literally hundreds of years. Of course, nowadays it’s all too easy to abuse these design elements, adding them merely for decoration rather than communication. But in the hands of an accomplished designer who knows how to use them appropriately and in moderation, type ornaments can serve to beautify and enhance a design.

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Let's start with the obvious: using one icon will always be better than writing many words. That's a well-known fact. The visual representation of a concept is assimilated more easily by the humain brain. Thus, icons remain the most effective way to symbolize actions, contexts or messages.

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It's that time of the month again, where Smashing Magazine release their cool fonts selection. This month, we have one script, two sans-serif and one hand-drawing/graffiti typefaces. Check those out.

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When it comes to design of modern web-applications, Ajax is considered as a standard approach. Interactive solutions for lightboxes, form validation, navigation, search, tooltips and tables are developed using Ajax libraries and nifty Ajax scripts. Ajax is useful and powerful. However, when using Ajax, one should keep in mind its drawbacks in terms of usability and accessibility. With an extensive use of Ajax, you can easily confuse your visitors offering too much control and too many features.

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There'll be no more CMS articles this week, because of a stupid accident that resulted in a twisted ankle, an unexpected appointment with a radiologist and a lot of wasted time. Doh! The last platform on our list, Xoops, will be reviewed next monday.

Sorry for that, folks.

Many webmasters, when first setting things up, are faced with one of the most critical decisions one can make, that is, which CMS to use? There are many out there, all with their respective pros and cons. Out of the jungle, we continue to bring you our valuable reviews so you don't waste time juggling between the dozens of existing solutions. Today we're evaluating another heavy lifter: Movable Type.

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CMS Week #2Well, well, well… Look who's our guest today. Nobody else than the most famous blogging platform, Mr. WordPress itself. It comes to us with a very solid reputation and an impressive installed base. But are these enough to justify the « best blogging solution ever » tag? That's exactly what we're going to see in our review.

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CMS Week logoWhen you take a "forty-thousand feet" look at the open-source CMS products, you can rapidly identify two big categories. On one side, you find the lightweight and the middle-class clients with the basic content management features that will satisfy 90% of the users. On the other side, you find some heavy contenders, loaded with tons of functionalities and enough horsepower to fuel a large corporation's information framework. Today's candidate, CMS made simple (CMSMS, in short), belongs to the first category, and does its job pretty well.

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logopond - identity inspirationInspiration (ĭn'spe-rā'shun): a) Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. b) The condition of being so stimulated by an external source. There's a tight line between inspiration and imitation. Inspiration means captivate an idea and develop it further. Imitation means identify an idea and use it.

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Here we are at the dawn of a new week. Today is tuesday (yesterday was an official day off in Belgium, hence the "no article" article...), and we start the second half of our 10-article series over open-source CMSes. Last week, we've been through Joomla!, Drupal, Typo3, DotClear, TextPattern and Plone. This week, we have 5 more platforms to review, and we'll start by MODx.

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There'll be no article today; but we'll be back tomorrow with the 2nd part of our CMS Week series, and we'll review MODx.

In our series of CMS Week articles, the system we're reviewing today, Plone, is a kind of special animal. First, it's not everybody's CMS — understand: it will not be easily tamed. Second, it won't get satisfied with a basic PHP/MySQL environment. It'll require more than that: Python and Zope, to be exact. So, is it worth learning Python? (because you'll have to!) Let's find out.

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Gosh, already Friday? Time flies! We're nearly at the middle of our CMS Week article series. On the menu today, we have another « flexible, elegant and easy-to-use content management system, designed to help overcome hurdles to publishing online, and to simplify the production of well-structured, standards-compliant web pages » (that's what the website says): TextPattern. Ready for your daily CMS dose? Let's go.

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As we continue our CMS Week article series, we stop today on a particular case: DotClear. Why is it particular? Because DotClear is not a full-featured CMS, strictly speaking — it's rather a blog engine with enhanced content management capabilities. And also, because it's the motor that powers our own website.

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Depending on feature richness and modularity, a content management system can be an investment not affordable for many - so the idea of looking for cheaper or even free alternatives comes to mind. There is actually a bunch of — more or less mature — solutions under Open Source or freeware licenses. Today we're reviewing Typo3, a powerful open-source solution.

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The problem with CMS is the more seamless they become, the harder they get to modify should they not do exactly what you want. Furthermore, fully featured CMS tent to bloat and run your server harder. As a Web Developer, you don't need a nice installer and could be quite happy editing a configuration file rather that clicking check boxes to get what you want. However, it's nice to offer both possibilities to the end user. Are you ready to meet Drupal?.

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Joomla! is one of the most popular CMS. On the one hand, it's definitely not as easy to set up as a personal blog on any free blogging platform, but on the other hand, it grants you total control on the way your website is displayed, managed and updated. And in case you need help, Joomla! features a highly detailed help section on its website which can bring light on any problem you may have during installation and configuration.

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These last 24 months, the blog has become a complete new way of communication. In addition to traditional information channels such as newspapers, radio and television, the web 2.0-powered internet enables a more modern, rapid information delivery. Blogging, today, is considered as natural as speaking or chatting.

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DevKick is another directory where you can find carefully hand-picked components and resources. Focusing web developers and designers, DevKick provides a well-organized space with a clean interface, where you can browse components, play with demos, read the latest news from the blog and experience the latest web development experiments in the lab section.

Allthrough DevKick is quite new (at least, in its current instantiation) and is a bit limited at the moment (about 70 scripts and components are listed), it has a great potential to grow fast and become a good and solid reference, like WebAppers or Smashing (which is more generalist, but offers great content for developpers, too).

» Visit DevKick

There will be no new articles this week, but one – friday or saturday. This is mainly due to some heavy workload (hey, who would complain about that!) and the redesign of the blog (which should happen in a few weeks). But wait, there's something HOT inside – come and read !

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