Category Archives: Web Design

Internet Set for Language Revolution

The internet is all set for the onset of what is seen by many to be the “biggest change” since its invention 40 years ago, according to regulator Icann.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) announced that coming to the conclusion of plans to allow non-Latin characters to be used in website addresses as Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).

Initially accepted in 2008 , the change will see domain names written in Arabic and other Asian scripts.

The regulatory body revealed that applications would begin to be considered for approval by 16th of November if granted for approval on 30 October.

The president of Icann, Rod Beckstrom, believes that the first IDNs could be in use by “mid 2010.”

Beckstrom continued, “Of the 1.6 billion internet users today worldwide, more than half use languages that have scripts that are not Latin-based.”

“So this change is very much necessary for not only half the world’s internet users today but more than half, probably, of the future users as the internet continues to spread.”

According to Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the board which has been set the duty of reviewing the change, IDN plans were approved in June 2008 but the system has been undergoing rigorous testing for much longer.

Dengate Thrush is pleased with the developments, stating that “you have to appreciate what a fantastically complicated technical feature this is.”

“What we have created is a different translation system.”

The alterations will be applied to the internet’s Domain Name System, which works in a similar way to a phone book, translating web domains names such as google.com into a series of numbers, more commonly known as IP addresses.

The modifications are due to allow this current system to understand and translate non-Latin characters.

Dengate Thrush added, “we are confident that it works because we have been testing it for a couple of years.”

“We’re really ready to start rolling it out.”

In China and Thailand, internet users can already access websites using their own language, as the website owners have used special work around techniques. However, these website addresses don’t work on all computers and are not internationally approved.

The meeting will take place in South Korea and include talks on the introduction of generic Top Level Domains (TLDs), such as .uk or .com.

The organisation allowed a relaxation on the rules regarding TLDs last year so that businesses could use their brand as a website address and individuals could use their names.

The US government founded Icann in 1998 in a big to control regulations on the internet, but has undergone years of criticism, leading to the relaxing of its control over the non-profit body.

Autonomy was provided to Icann when the US government signed an agreement on 1 October.

Photoshop Tutorial:File Formats Part 2

Photoshop gives you the option of choosing how compressed you want the image to be and Adobe Image Ready will allow you to resize the image until you have found a size that holds the colour and doesn’t loose any image quality or become highly distorted. PNG – Portable Network Graphics, is a format that has only recently been developed and is most popular for web Design use. The PNG file format compresses files differently than a JPEG does and the end result is it leaves better photographs because it has the ability to maintain millions of colours a photograph may hold including transparent layers but the file size still stays small. The only downfall of this file type is if you are using a PC the Internet explorer doesn’t support it.

Another popular format used for web design UK is a GIF – Graphics Interchange Format, this type of file isn’t good for photographs due to the colour limitation but is usually used for Illustrations and Graphics or web design England logos with solid areas of colour because this format loads the object quickly and it can be animated and can hold transparent colour. GIF files can contain one or more images with 256 colors or less. The images using a GIF are compressed using LZW compression, reducing the file size by 30-50% or more. Interlaced GIF’s are formats that load gradually, the interlaced GIF file allows the user to see parts of the image building up while it’s loading but interlaced files will take longer to decompress, and this means that they may take more time to download, although the user may think its downloading faster because they have something to look at or watch, it usually isn’t worth the decompression time for small files. GIFs can also have transparent backgrounds and this means you can also see the underlying background image or colour.

My personal opinion of the JPEG vs. GIF argument is that although they are usually confused as the same file they are actually very different and if used correctly create very different results, if they are used for the wrong content then the result will not be effective, generally I would say use a JPEG for photographs only as there is no limitation with colour so no colour will be lost or replaced, and use a GIF on original artwork that only holds a few colours like Graphics, Logos, Animations or Illustrations, as using a JPEG for work like this would distort edges where there needs to be a sharp contrast in colour.

Photoshop Tutorial:File Formats

Photoshop is capable of adjusting to numerous ‘types’ of formats and its tools if used to their full capacity can create some amazing results including even the smallest detailing, It also uses many different formats and there are advantages and disadvantages to which format you choose to save your work in. Photoshop can also open and save several kinds of files and the more you further your knowledge as to why these files exist you can apply the correct files to the correct image type and in web design. When choosing your file format there are three main things you should consider which will help you to determine how to save your file – web use, layering and image quality.

Image quality begins when you first take a photograph with your camera, you should use the highest pixel setting that your camera contains because the higher the level of pixilation the better the quality of the final image, but this also means that the higher the quality of the image the bigger the overall file size will be. Your camera will give you the option of how high or low you want the pixilation to be, so change this in accordance to what the final image is going to be used for. Photographs are best taken as a raw image to begin with as you will have the option to convert them into a smaller file once you have imported them onto your computer, and the larger the image is to begin with I have found, the easier it will be to manipulate using Photoshop’s tools. Photographs can be imported as JPEG’s or as a raw image but if you save as a JPEG you will lose some of the quality of the image from the start.

Layering begins once the image is stored on your computer, the image will usually open itself in the default programme so you will have to open Photoshop and then find the image you want to open using file – open – and then where the image is stored. This is when you will do all your manipulation, layering and resizing using Photoshop itself. Once you have completed this you will then save your changes, if you save the images straight into Photoshop it will save them as a PSD, PDD or EPS file.

If your image is saved in these particular formats your file will stay large and hold the quality whilst preserving all layers, this is the best file format to use if you are going to be reworking the image. Other choices of formats for your file are TIFF – which will keep the quality but are large files and best used in design for print, BMP or bitmap is a windows file that creates good photos but creates large files and a PDF is a adobe acrobat file which locks texts and images so they cannot be further manipulated, usually used as a file for sending information or important documents.

File formats that are going to be used for web design UK use need to be small size files, which means using a format that highly compresses the file. But compressing a file highly using takes out some of the range of colours, the vibrancy and the sharpness of the photograph. JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group, is the most used web design England form file, this is because the JPEG compresses the file to a small size but it still holds the quality and displays millions of colours unlike most compressing files.

Photo Editing and Restoration in Photoshop

This tutorial will teach you how to add colour onto an old photograph that may of lost colour through fading or an image that is originally black and white or greyscale, sometimes this can take a lot of time but the more time spent the better the final result will be, and looks great if used for Web Design.

  • Open up the image that you want to use and ensure that the image mode is set to RGB, you can do this by going into Image > Mode and then check its set to RGB.
  • Press Q to go into quick mask mode and make sure that the quick mask option that is on the main toolbar are set to selected areas. Using the Paintbrush fill in the area that you would like to colourize, this area will then appear in red.
  • Press Q again and this will send you back into standard mode and a selection will appear around the area you filled with the Paintbrush, when completing the next step your selections will be saved as Layer Masks which you will be able to restore later but you could also save your selections by going to Select > Save Selection and then name the selection after the area which you have just outlined in the image you are using.
  • Click on Create New Adjustment Layer icon which is at the bottom of the layers palette and choose the option of colour balance from the menu, you will be given a option of highlights, mid-tones and shadows and adjust the sliders for these until you find the colour that you think looks the best, this choice isn?t final you will have the option of going back and editing using your layers palette by double clicking on the adjustment layer icon for the layer that you want to edit. Web Design England.
  • Repeat this process over again for the other parts of the photo that you need to colourize, when this is al done and you have got colour using your colour balance adjustment layer you can also make further additional adjustment layers to adjust each colour layer more, you will be given a selection of options including Contrast, Shadows, Brightness, Saturation, Hue? Just load the particular selection by clicking CTRL and then clicking onto the adjustment layer, and repeat the process of adding a new adjustment layer.
  • Web Design UK, Once you have completed a few images you can begin to explore the other effects you can get from where you allow the sliders to sit and which effects work best which certain original images.

Cutting Up Images In Photoshop For Web

Images which are used for Web Design layouts and templates, tables, JavaScript enabled menus and interfaces need to be cut up differently, to ensure they are proportioned correctly for what they are going to be used for, this tutorial will show you how to cut them up correctly and then input them into HTML tables ready for use on the internet and for Web Design UK.

  • Begin by opening up the image which you want to cut up and use the shortcut CTRL & R to turn the documents rulers on so you have a guideline, drag the edges of the image out so you also have a grey work area to ?play with?.
  • Click on the ruler at the top of your page, hold down click and drag down with the cursor, this will make a blue line appear and then drag this line to the point that your want to make a cut and then let go, the final point you stop at doesn?t need to definitely be where you want the cut to be, you can still change the position if the line using the Move Tool to drag the line around.
  • Use the same process only using the ruler on the left hand side of your image and your image should now be divided into four sections by the blue lines, you need to keep repeating this process until all the areas that you want to cut up are surrounded by blue boxes.
  • If you want to animate a section of your image like what Web Design England can do, you need to make sure that the area is marked to be cut out and this will reduce the file size for your image ensuring the whole image will not need to be loaded numerous times for the animated section, also choose the Snap To Guides option in the view menu.
  • Using the Marquee Selection Tool make a selection box around the area of the image that you want to cut out, when the area you want to cut out is selected press CTRL & C to copy the selection into memory and then create a new blank document using CTRL & N and the new dialogue box will show the dimensions of the piece you copied, press CTRL & V and this will paste the selection you have copied, save the new image and then go back to the original image.
  • Repeat this process for every section that you wish to cut up and now the image is separated into usable pieces they will need to be reassembled so they appear to be one whole image again, this will be done using HTML TABLES. You will need the cell spacing, cell padding and border attributes to be set to ?0? and the width to be the same as your image as a whole, then all the images should appear lined up like they were still one single image.

Microsoft Unveils Silverlight Beta 2

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Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has unveiled an updated beta release of its Silverlight 2 beta 2 multimedia publishing software at the company?s TechEd conference in Orlando on Tuesday.

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The utility is to be made available for download by the end of this week, and allows developers to rite web-based applications using Microsofts .Net Framework. The company hopes the new beta will lure programmers away from the long-dominating Adobe Flash software suite.

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The company also released two related beta?s to accompany Silverlight: Expression Blend 2.5 Preview and Silverlight Tools beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008.

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“When I think back on the early days of development when we were all programming in DOS, and then take a look at what we can do now with technologies like the .Net Framework, it simply amazes me how far we’ve come,” Gates said during what he called his final keynote address as a full-time Microsoft employee.

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Microsoft may have come a long way, but Adobe is a tough opponent to face when it comes to interactive media. The new Silverlight comes out of the corner swinging though because as well as it .Net support, the new realise will have a dozen added controls, as will as data handling and networking improvements, WPF compatibility and error-handling. “It adds quite a lot,” said self-proclaimed Silverlight geek and Microsoft Senior Program Manager Jesse Liberty.

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“We’ve gone from roughly two dozen to roughly three dozen tools in the toolbox,” he said in an interview. “From a working programmer’s viewpoint, the most noticeable change is in the way templates work and the ease of creating templates,” he said, “[and] the way that Expression Blend and Visual Studio together allow you to take control over the look and feel of objects in your application.”

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Other new additions, according to Liberty, include the addition of scroll bars in text boxes, new cross-domain support, improved support for threading, and the implementation of an XML-based file format for Zoom -something he says will make the program a “much more prominent aspect of building Silverlight applications.” ?

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It all sounds pretty impressive but will it be enough to turn long-time Adobe users over to Microsoft? Liberty seems to think so, “It’s big enough for me to give up 12 very happy years as an independent consultant and join Microsoft to work on it,” he said.

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It doesn?t convince everyone though. Noel Green, creative director of Park East is one of many with no plans to jump ship.

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“I’m not interested in it at all. I feel like it’s a Coke and Pepsi thing, and Pepsi has to do so much more advertising to sell what Coke was already selling,” he said. “Flash just works.”

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Even Liberty is aware that getting Adobe users to switch over to Silverlight will be difficult: “Will they put down their tools, walk away from their desks, and say, ‘Let’s go to Silverlight? I know we have the best developer tools on the planet, [but] we would have to really show a tremendous value proposition to them.”

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The full Silverlight release is expected later this year.

Google Gives Web Masters Full Control

Google has always closely guarded the secrets of how exactly their search engine works, but a newly updated service from the company, that lets web site operators pay to use the company?s search technology, allows business to get a foothold in the, constantly changing world of search engine optimisation.

The service was launched in July 2007 with the name Custom Search Business Edition but now has the more palatable name, Google Site Search, said Nitin Mangtani who is the product manager for enterprise and small business search at Google.

“With this launch, we are giving full control to the Webmasters for indexing as well as for customizing these search results,” Mangtani said.

Google Site Search’s annual fees correspond to the number of Web pages Google indexes at a company site;

$100 for up to 5,000 pages
$500 for up to 50,000 pages
$850 for up to 100,000 pages
$2,250 for up to 300,000 pages
and custom pricing beyond that.

Customers are increasingly aware of how to use search engine?s to find what they are looking for. Search engines are able to infer, to a rough degree, the intent of the searcher.

The intent becomes clearer when the customer has taken the trouble to visit a company?s web site. If well done, the search box can connect users with what they want to buy, instructions on how the product works, forums to discuss company topics and the right contact in the sales department.

Put simply, if the customer gets exactly what they need at one website, they are less likely to look at a competitor?s site. To ensure the company are happy relying on Google search technology, there going to want to make sure it can meet there own needs for the business. The re-vamped service from Google makes that easier.

Some aspects of Google Site Search have remained the same. Customers can place a search box on their site and customise it to fit in with the look and feel of the page. They can also customise the appearance of the results and share Google ad revenue if they wish.

According to Google, What’s new is that customers now have three ways to influence the search results;

With “synonyms,” customers can upload a custom dictionary that Google can use to translate or interpret site-specific terms. For example, a banking company might want “SD” to be translated as “safety deposit” for searches on its site.

With “date biasing,” customers can ensure more recently published documents rank higher in search results.

With “top results biasing,” customers can make sure specific documents are high in the search results. That could be useful, for example, for a company selling digital cameras that has a promotional partnership with specific camera makers, Mangtani said. Or it could show online catalog results preferentially.

Google made it clear that it was careful not to let the user-configurable search results affect the main Google search site. “Any special indexing we do for Google Site Search customers doesn’t impact the ranking on Google.com,” Mangtani said.