OSLO, Norway--Good news for anybody with a newspaper who needs to reckon with Internet publishing: the man behind a key Web technology has your needs in mind.
After years of relative obscurity, the Web formatting standard called CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets has come into its own, taking a starring role as the mechanism for building a new generation of interactive, elaborate Web pages. CSS is growing in new directions now, and the technology's original creator believes its next direction for improvement will be dealing with more complicated Web page layout chores.
For those who make typefaces, there haven't been many changes since the invention of the printing press: hot lead, electronic typesetting, desktop publishing.
But now, more than 15 years after its invention, the World Wide Web is finally becoming the next frontier.
The steadily gaining influence of the medium and a new technology for distributing fonts to browsers has led one of the biggest names in typography to embrace the Web in earnest. On Tuesday, Monotype Imaging will open a catalog of nearly 8,000 of its fonts, with more to come, for use on Web pages.
When it comes to typography on the Web, "that world has been stunted," Monotype Imaging Chief Executive Doug Shaw said in an interview. "We look at it as a very important evolution in adapting typefaces to this new world."
Well, not new exactly, but new to the font industry. To date, most Web designers have relied on a strained combination of:
A few "Web-safe" fonts such as Verdana and Arial that can be expected to be installed on most computers. Text rendered in graphics formats such as JPEG. Adobe Systems' Flash Player plug-in that offers polish but that's somewhat isolated from the rest of a Web page.
The arrival of Web fonts is an important milestone in the development of electronic media. The future of reading is text on screens--whether a book on a Kindle, a magazine on an iPad, or a news app on a mobile phone. Bringing that era to browsers is essential to making the Web as polished as other electronic media and as the print publications it's often supplanting.
Making the case for Web fonts Monotype Imaging is betting that businesses will see Web fonts as worth the new expense to their Web budgets. There are several potential reasons. … Read more
This week the Web site unveiled DeviantArt Muro, a free, HTML5-based drawing program. The program contains a variety of tools and brushes and also supports pressure-sensitive tablets, such as those from Wacom.
A DeviantArt representative said that the idea for Muro had been kicking around for several years, while the actual creation of the tool was a months-long project.
Though not aiming to match Photoshop and other tools in breadth, … Read more
Adobe Systems on Thursday is rolling out an updated version of its BrowserLab service. The tool, which was introduced last June, lets Web developers fast track Web site production by displaying how their site will look when rendered by various browsers. Its big trick is to do it all within Adobe's own Flash Player, so it will look the same no matter what browser users are on.
Thursday's release brings one main change, and that's a way for users to save a local version of its results as a full-quality JPEG image file. The company hopes this … Read more
Quark and other similar design programs are infamous for having a very tough learning curve, making it extremely difficult for amateurs to pick them up and make anything of quality. The company is looking to make layout and design more accessible for the general public with the introduction of Quark Promote. The goal of Quark Promote is to allow individuals and small business owners to quickly and easily create promotional materials.
Quark Promote's online template gallery features professionally designed templates for everything ranging from business cards to letterhead. Once users pick a set that they like, the Quark Promote … Read more
Perpetually is a new Web archiving tool demoed at the TechCrunch50 conference. It saves entire instances of Web pages, then lets users dial back to older versions. You just point it to a site or entire domain name then tell it what you want it to archive and for how long. It then does the hard work of saving pages to its servers.
Included is a visual browser that shows you visual history of pages in thumbnail form. You can simply flip through these before viewing the full-sized version. There's also a way to pick specific parts of a … Read more
Web developers should appreciate two of Adobe's latest open-source initiatives announced Tuesday, both designed to help media companies and other publishers build richer Flash applications.
The first project, Open Source Media Framework (OSMF), lets designers create more sophisticated media players to run Adobe Flash presentations. The second, Text Layout Framework (TLF), helps developers add more advanced typography and font layouts to their Flash apps.
Both OSMF and TLF are available for free as open-source applications.
OSMF is the open source piece of the Adobe project formerly known by the codename Strobe, a framework for Flash media players. Using OSMF, … Read more
The search giant rallies attendees at its San Francisco developer conference around the next generation of Web technologies, in which the browser will become the desktop and everyday people can do more with their Web sites.
With the housing market in such rough shape, sellers are pressed to make their home as functional and inviting as possible.
For everything from quick fixes and complete remodels, do-it-yourselfers are increasingly looking online for design guidance. These tools will help you create the designs you've always wanted (or at least the ones that will help you move to your next home).
Home design tools
Armstrong Design Tools Armstrong's Design Tools lets you pick any room in an imaginary home, and mix and match potential wall colors, flooring, trim, and countertops. Once you change everything in the room to fit your desire, you can save the room's design and share it with friends.
Color-a-Room Better Homes and Gardens' Color-a-Room tool lets you change the paint schemes of any room in the house. Once you pick the room, you can choose the color you like for your walls. From there, you can find window treatments and save the room for future viewing. If you want to work on the outside of your home, you can pick the paint colors for your roof, siding, shutters, or window trim. As with the Armstrong tool, you won't be looking at a representation of your home, per se, but it will give you a better idea of what might work in your space.
Deck Designer If you're planning on adding a deck to your house, Deck Designer is a great place to start. The tool lets you choose the size, shape, and color of your deck. You can decide where to put it, add stairs and railings, and save as many designs as you want. When complete, you can print out a full listing of the materials you need, as well as tips on how to install it.… Read more