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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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Data Grids with AJAX, DHTML and JavaScript

In order to be presented effectively, information needs structure. The more intuitive data structure is designed, the better users can understand the content. Consequently, the data can be scanned and extracted in a more meaningful and systematic way. Table is a perfect example of a well-structured data presentation, which is easy to analyze and easy to handle. Used for its original purpose - to present data, not to style it -, it can convey ideas effectively. And this is what most of us are actually trying to achieve in the Web.

Screenshot

Furthermore, the user experience can be greatly enhanced with further optional functionalities - such as sorting, filtering and fast editing. What solutions can you use to provide them in your tables?

Few months ago we've covered the basics of semantically correct CSS-based tables - among other things, we've presented solutions for Zebra tables and few tables with sorting and filtering functionalities; but we've missed some important ones.

Now it's time to get this right and list the rest - 17 free solutions for data grids, developed with AJAX, DHTML and/or JavaScript. In a brief and descriptive overview.

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Golden Rules of Linkbaiting

Link baiting is not evil. Although some bloggers tend to go beyond any ethical considerations in their attempts to enforce as many reciprocal links as possible, the term itself stands for a completely organic nature of the Web - actually, something that has already been here for a while. Traditional link building, used to be bounded with Search Engine Optimization, is now being extended with the aspect of so-called Social Media Optimization - with Digg, StumbleUpon, Netscape, Del.icio.us & Co. on the bandwagon. Driving traffic to your site has become easier, but requires through-out strategies and understanding some basic rules of useful content and effective content marketing.

Golden Rules of Linkbaiting

The term 'linkbaiting' doesn't necessarily reflect this aspect of organic growth on the Web; in fact, as suggested by Darren Rowse, its negative connotations rather expose the idea of clever tricks, traps, deceptions or even frauds, which are supposed to manipulate content editors in linking, even if they don't really want to.

Mostly that's not what link baiting is really about. Instead, Linkbaiting is about gaining reputation, finding your niche, writing useful and creative content, presenting your ideas, publishing them on the Web and finding people who might actually use them. You won't find your readers if you concentrate on building links; you will be able to build links organically if you concentrate on your readers. Moreover, you can gain reputation if and only if you focus on your readers. This is one of the basic principles of successful blogging.

Let's take a look at non-trivial and most effective rules, principles, techniques, strategies, methods, examples and resources related to link baiting. Among other things this overview will cover the aspect of effective copy writing as well. Golden rules of linkbaiting - in a comprehensive overview.

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60 Elegant and Visually Appealing Designs

It's quite easy to get stuck in creativity blocks, but it's damn hard to get out of them. Particularly if you are out of time and don't want to compromise your professional principles selecting the first "quick-n-dirty" solution you can think of. To get things done, you need inspiration and creative thinking. You need fresh ideas and elegant approaches. And you need to be able to find them as quick as it is possible. Handy references and examples are therefore both useful and enjoyable - after all, who can resist gorgeous, professional, elegant and visually appealling designs?

Solid and Serious Designs - The Big Noob

We've selected some of them. In an overview below you'll find 60 fresh, elegant, professional and visually appealling designs, which pay close attention to details and manage to remain simple, user-friendly and nice-looking.

You might be interested in taking a look at design showcases we've published before:

Please feel free to comment upon the selected designs: nothing is more important to us than constructive criticism from your side.

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Best of April 2007

Every month we take a look around and select some of the most interesting web-development-related web-sites. We read articles, check out tools, analyze the advantages of new resources.
Istalkr
Below you’ll find useful references, tutorials, services, tools, techniques and articles we’ve found over the last 30 days - an overview of web-sites you shouldn’t have missed in April 2007. Read more...

70 Expert Ideas For Better CSS Coding

CSS isn't always easy to deal with. Depending on your skills and your experience, CSS coding can sometimes become a nightmare, particularly if you aren't sure which selectors are actually being applied to document elements. An easy way to minimize the complexity of the code is as useful as not-so-well-known CSS attributes and properties you can use to create a semantically correct markup. We've taken a close look at some of the most interesting and useful CSS tricks, tips, ideas, methods, techniques and coding solutions and listed them below. We also included some basic techniques you can probably use in every project you are developing, but which are hard to find once you need them. And what has come out of it is an overview of over 70 expert tips, which can improve your efficiency of CSS coding. You might be willing to check out the list of references and related articles in the end of this post. We'd like to express sincere thank to all designers who shared their ideas, techniques, methods, knowledge and experience with their readers. Thank you, we, coders, designers, developers, information architects - you name it - really appreciate it. Read more...

10 Fresh, Elegant and Clean WordPress Themes

We like to observe the Web. We like to present fresh ideas, creative solutions and interesting approaches. We like to share them with our readers, making both our personal work and the work of fellows developers easier. Observing creative works of talented designers, you can improve your skills and learn new techniques. However, to do that, you need to keep an eye on fresh and inspiring starting points. We collect them. And present them to you. Every month. So you don't have to.

Fresh Wordpress Themes - Dark Theme Release at iLEMONed

Let's take a look at 5 fresh and elegant and 5 simple Wordpress themes you might be willing to use for your next project. Read more...

Microformats: What They Are and How To Use Them

Web 2.0 has its positive and its negative sides. Apart from tremendous technological improvements, provided by Ajax, semantically organized content and the growing popularity of RSS-Feeds, the term "Web 2.0" still hadn't managed to assert itself as the renewed Web rather than a new revolutionary technology as it is mistakenly being called.
About Microformats
Consequence: many renewed techniques, which somehow seem to be related to the "new" Web, aren't fully or properly understood. This results in public misunderstandings and keeps both developers and users away from the use (the improvement) of these techniques. One of the new terms on the horizon is Microformats (sometimes abbreviated µF or uF) - formats, which make it possible to create meta-content which can be not only read, but also understood by machines (which was the basic idea of Semantic Web, which is not Web 2.0). This post is supposed to give you an idea, what Microformats actually mean, which advantages they have and how you can use them to enrich your content and make it more visible and understandable for search engines. Read more...

CSS Float Theory: Things You Should Know

The concept of floats is probably one of the most unintuitive concepts in CSS. Floats are often misunderstood and blamed for floating all the context around it, causing readability and usability problems. However, the reason for these problems isn't the theory itself, but the way the theory is interpreted - by developers and browsers. Still, if you take a closer look at the float theory, you'll find out out that it isn't that complex as it appears to be. Most related problems are caused by the older versions of (take a guess) Internet Explorer. If you know the bugs, you can control the way information is presented in a more sophisticated, profound way.
W3C Visual Formatting Model
Let's try to tackle the issue and clarify some usual misunderstandings, which always appear once floats are being used. We've browsed through dozens of related articles and selected the most important things you should keep in mind developing css-based layouts with floats. Update (01.05.2007): our comment form returns some strange mistakes. We're working on it. Sorry for inconvenience. Read more...

Free Fonts Cheat Sheet

We all love high quality typefaces, particularly those available for free download: as provided by typo-designers or typo-foundries. Over the last months we've collected over 50 of them and presented them in our Free Fonts Section, which is being updated on a regular basis. So if you haven't downloaded these fonts yet, you probably should take a look at them right now.

However, 50 fonts are pretty much, so it would be nice to have some kind of quick reference for the best of them - to have them printed out and browse through them once you need to decide which font to use. Therefore we've decided to create a Free Font Cheat Sheet, which is basically a list of examples, which demonstrate, how the best high quality freefonts can be used for body copy.

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