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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

Google Profile: https://plus.google.com/+SvenLennartz-sf/posts

Selected Wallpapers: For Desktop & Web-Design

Creative wallpapers can serve as a nice source of inspiration. Particularly if you are having another creativity block, but don't really have enough time to take a walk or browse through Flickr pools. However, it isn't easy to find some really nice wallpapers - the choise is too big, and there are simply too many sources.

Over the last few days we've searched for the best posters, wallpapers, galleries and background images on the Web and collected them in an overview below. Especially Mac-Users will find some nice sources. Feel free to suggest further resources in the comments section.

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AJAX, DHTML and JavaScript Libraries

Ajax, DHTML and JavaScript components are important in the era of Web 2.0. Recent Web-applications tend to use them to provide more interactivity and guarantee better functionality. But what Javascript libraries can be used for a new web-project? What functions, effects and useful techniques are actually provided by them? We deliver answers.

The result is an extensive list with over 60 Ajax, Javascript and DHTML Libraries - with detailed description. Links checked on May/07 2008 - screenshots added.

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Online Generators

One can discuss whether web-generators are useful or not. On the one hand, they don't challenge our creativity, but on the other hand they make our life easier and save our precious time. However, it doesn't matter really. What matters is that we use them if we have to solve some problem quickly and efficiently. We've taken a look at the most useful online-generators for web-development and listed them below. Links checked: May/10 2008 - screenshots added.

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Design Patterns: Download Buttons

In the era of Web 2.0 download-buttons are becoming more and more important. Grey and simple few years ago, now they've become bigger, more colourful and come in dozens of variations. As the name says, download buttons are supposed to motivate visitors to use, or at least try the product which is offered on the site. Consequently, also visual appearance of download buttons has changed.

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Cheat Sheet Round-Up: Ajax, CSS, LaTeX, Ruby…

Whether you’ve forgotten the name of a function or the property of a cascading style sheet - handy cheat sheets deliver the information you are looking for - immediately. Most cheat sheets are available as .pdf or .png-files, so you can print them and use them every day for whatever projects you’re currently working on. We present an extensive overview of useful cheat sheets we’ve found in the Web. Links checked: May/16 2008.

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CSS: Techniques, Tutorials, Layouts

Since web-development is a quite dynamic field nowadays, new techniques are being developed and updated all the time. A primary example are CSS-related techniques, which emerge almost every day and offer more possibilities for fellows web-developers. We keep an eye on the recent developments and collect new ideas and methods for our readers. A "fresh" round-up of the "fresh" CSS techniques, tutorials and layouts. Links checked: May/17 2008.

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Stock Icons: An Overview

Whether you develop a software application, write an Ajaxified web-app or design a Web 2.0-stylish site, you can't get away from tiny, small, nice and extremely helpful icons, which make the text more readable and present the information more vividly. Some icon sets can be downloaded for free. But the most beautiful ones have their price - in the end, there is a lot of time, work and creativity involved. The so called Stock Icon Sets are usually the collections of specific icons, which stand for particular themes such as Shopping, Traveling, Medicine etc.

In this context "royalty-free" means that the acquired icons can be used for personal and commerical projects without any further costs. However, different companies have different license terms, so before using the icons they're offering you better make sure the license agreement is OK. In order to attract the attention of web-developers, some icon designers present free samples of icon sets for free download. Let's take a look what is actually offered. Links checked: May/19 2008.

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(X)HTML template systems in PHP

Web developers find themselves sooner or later in a dire situation: their scripts become an entangled mess of code. Program logic, presentation logic and in a worst case scenario even layout and design are so interconnected with each other that the further development becomes difficult. Would one have thought ahead and had created a clear structure for the code - the so-called HTML-template-engines, the integrity of the layers would have been preserved.

A HTML-template-engine serves to separate program logic (PHP), from layout, (HTML) and design (CSS). Most existing template-Systems are not limited to HTML-models. They are generally usable for E-Mail and even XML.

Program code can be changed independently of the web site design. All this is theory though. In practice and complex projects this division can not be realized most of the time. To prevent inflating the program code unnecessarily with representation logic, another fourth level is often added. In this layer logical connections are processed, which directly affect the representation. Example: Table line paging or dynamic lists.

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Complete List of Best SEO-Tools

What are the best ways to boost your position in search engines? What keywords should you use on your web-pages? And which tools should you use to improve the quality of backlinks, link popularity and Google Pagerank? We deliver answers. Here is the list of the most useful SEO-tools you might be willing to use, developing and optimizing your next web-site. Our personal choice: 156 Seo Tools - one of the most comprehesive lists with essential SEO-references and tools. For even more resources check out the SEO section of The Web-Developer's Handbook. Links checked: May/11 2008

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