Author:

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions, a web publication for web developers and designers, and the Deputy Editor of Design Instruct, a web magazine for designers and digital artists. He has over seven years of experience as professional web developer and web designer and has written a book on JavaScript.

Twitter: Follow Jacob Gube on Twitter

Breaking: Internet Explorer 8.1 Eagle Eyes Leaked

Smashing Magazine tries to be at the forefront of new and exciting developments in the wide world of the web. You might have heard that we met with the IE 8 Chief Strategist in the past, so it should come as no surprise that we like to keep up with the latest events in the web browser industry.

Even with the successful recent release of Internet Explorer 8, in some underground circles there is already talk going around about the next version of Internet Explorer: IE 8.1, codenamed Eagle Eyes. Loaded with exclusive features such as a new JavaScript engine, support of WebSlices and full web standards support (CSS 3), IE 8.1 is speculated to debut in this summer.

Screenshot of IE 8.1

In this article, we take a closer look at the new features of Internet Explorer 8.1, compare it with other browsers and share with you our first-hand experience with the browser. Overall the browser is faster, more flexible, more stable and also more secure and performs already much better than a recently released IE 8. One word sums up our experience with IE 8.1: Eagle Eyes is the browser that Internet Explorer should have brought on the market a long time ago - and now it's finally here.

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Breadcrumbs In Web Design: Examples And Best Practices

On websites that have a lot of pages, breadcrumb navigation can greatly enhance the way users find their way around. In terms of usability, breadcrumbs reduce the number of actions a website visitor needs to take in order to get to a higher-level page, and they improve the findability of website sections and pages. They are also an effective visual aid that indicates the location of the user within the website's hierarchy, making it a great source of contextual information for landing pages.

Example of location-based breadcrumb.

A "breadcrumb" (or "breadcrumb trail") is a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user's location in a website or Web application. The term comes from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the two title children drop breadcrumbs to form a trail back to their home. Just like in the tale, breadcrumbs in real-world applications offer users a way to trace the path back to their original landing point.

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50 Useful JavaScript Tools

JavaScript is a powerful client-side scripting language used in many modern websites and Web applications. In the hands of a skilled Web developer, JavaScript can enhance the user's experience of the website and provide rich interactive components and features. But even though syntactically simple in nature, JavaScript is often difficult to author because of the environment it runs in: the Web browser. JavaScript's popularity is evident in emerging technologies, such as Adobe AIR, which use it as a supported language for creating desktop-based applications.

jQuery UI - screen shot.

Below, you'll find 50 excellent tools to help you achieve various tasks involved in authoring JavaScript code. You'll find useful tools to speed up your coding processes, including debugging tools to hunt down places where your scripts break, unit testing and validation tools to test your scripts in various situations, security vulnerability scanners and code optimization tools to make sure your scripts are light as a feather.

You'll also find a few new and alternative JavaScript and AJAX frameworks to help you explore options beyond the big names (i.e. MooTools, jQuery, YUI, Dojo, Prototype), in addition to useful scripts to help you accomplish a host of design and development tasks related to JavaScript.

Also, be sure to check out the following related posts:

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50 Extremely Useful PHP Tools

PHP is one of the most widely used open-source server-side scripting languages that exist today. With over 20 million indexed domains using PHP, including major websites like Facebook, Digg and WordPress, there are good reasons why many Web developers prefer it to other server-side scripting languages, such as Python and Ruby.

PHP is faster (updated), and it is the most used scripting language in practice; it has detailed documentation, a huge community, numerous ready-to-use scripts and well-supported frameworks; and most importantly, it’s much easier to get started with PHP than with other scripting languages (Python, for example). That’s why it makes perfect sense to provide the huge community of PHP developers with an overview of useful tools and resources that can make their development process easier and more effective.

Webgrind

This post presents 50 useful PHP tools that can significantly improve your programming workflow. Among other things, you’ll find a plethora of libraries and classes that aid in debugging, testing, profiling and code-authoring in PHP.

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

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50 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Video Tutorials

Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard when it comes to the creation of vector graphics. Though a very robust tool - the learning curve involved in mastering it can be high. Thankfully, there are abundant resources on the web that allows you to "learn by doing". Video tutorials (in general) enable the learner to witness - step-by-step - how a particular technique works. We often learn best by seeing how things are done and following along with the instructor (much like in a classroom environment).

Illustrator - screen shot.

In this article, we present to you 50 excellent Adobe Illustrator video tutorials. We've broken down the video tutorials into several categories that include creating objects, effects, and general tips and techniques.

So fire up Illustrator, watch a few of these videos, and hopefully you will have learned a tip or two by the end of your adventures into these Illustrator video tutorials!

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50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for digital-image editing and graphics creation. Photoshop's versatility makes it a popular choice among Web designers, graphic designers, digital media artists, print designers, photographers and other professionals in design and image-editing. Whether you're designing a business card or website or digitally enhancing an image, you can rest assured that Photoshop will give you the necessary tools to get the job done.

HDR Style Results Using Layers in Photoshop results.

In this article, we focus on tutorials on digital photography. You'll find an assortment of top-notch tutorials that deal with applying post-production techniques and effects, color correction, enhancement and photo retouching. So fire up Photoshop and try out some of these wonderful tutorials on your own photos!

Without further ado, we present you with 50 Excellent Photoshop Tutorials for Digital Photography.

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50 Beautiful And Creative Portfolio Designs

Design portfolios come in various forms. Traditionally they have been print-based and something you would carry to a client pitch or meeting to showcase what you've done and how you do it. Today, many designers take advantage of the nature of the internet to publish and showcase their work via their online portfolios. Having your work displayed online removes the geographical restraints that traditional portfolios impose on you.

Rob Young screen shot.

In this showcase, you'll find a variety of beautiful, unique, and highly-creative portfolio designs. The aim here is to stimulate your creativity and to inspire you to create your own portfolio or re-think your existing one. You'll get to see portfolios from a wide range of fields including web design, product design, illustration, photography, and even animation. Without further ado, we present to you 50 beautiful and creative portfolio designs.

You may also want to take a look at the following related articles:

  • Creating A Successful Online Portfolio
    In this article we’ll review 5 pitfalls that commonly plague portfolio design. Then we’ll cover Portfolio Tips that if carefully considered and well executed will deliver quality results for your portfolio.
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15 Helpful In-Browser Web Development Tools

There are many useful Web development tools that integrate in your browser. These in-browser tools are commonly known as add-ons or extensions. Though add-ons and extensions aren't just for Web development, many of them out there are designed specifically for Web developers. In-browser tools vary greatly in the jobs they perform; for example, some of them help you diagnose issues with CSS, HTML and JavaScript, while others evaluate the accessibility of your website.

Web Developer - screen shot.

In this article, we explore some of the most popular and useful in-browser Web development tools. You'll find tools for popular Web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. Whether you need to debug and inspect your HTML, inspect HTTP headers, access FTP source files, evaluate accessibility or just figure out what color a Web page element is, you may find a variety of tools discussed here useful.

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Showcase Of Clean And Minimalist Designs

Minimalism, in the context of design, refers to simple, unadorned designs that embody only the most basic and fundamental needs. In art, it is a movement that has its roots in the post-World War II era, started by highly regarded minimalist artists such as Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Robert Morris. Minimalism today refers to a certain style (or even a certain attitude or way of life) that transcends different fields, such as architecture, philosophy, law and, of course, Web design.

HUGE screen shot.

In this article, we explore the meaning of minimalism in the context of Web design. We’ll look at some beautiful examplesof a minimalist Web design and proceed with studying its main features in the hope of learning by way of deconstruction. At the end of the post you'll also find some useful resources on the topic of minimalism in Web design.

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40 Beautiful Grunge Photoshop Tutorials

Grunge is a popular trend that attempts to give designs a more organic and realistic look. It also provides a stark contrast to the simplistic, polished, and rigid "web 2.0" trend, opting instead for a less uniform and more elaborate form of design.

Creating an Old-Collage Effect Poster

We've discussed grunge style in modern web design before, as well as the tips and tricks to achieving the grunge look. Now, it's time to put theory into practice by finding ways to infuse grunge thems into your artwork using Photoshop. In this collection, we present to you 40 excellent, high-quality grunge Photoshop tutorials. So fire up Photoshop and get ready to get your hands… dirty!

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