Tools & software blog posts

  • Silverback has launched!

    Clearleft’s first desktop application is now available! Silverback is a handy piece of software to make ‘guerilla’ usability testing a breeze.

  • Website analysis tools

    In recent commentary, people have lumped together Google Analytics, Mint and Measure Map as three new traffic analysis tools all competing with each other. The reality is somewhat different.

  • Unicode Font Info

    Unicode Font Info is a really handy free application for OS X. Essentially it’s a font inspection tool with full support for Unicode 3.2, allowing you to easily navigate huge fonts with tens of thousands of supported glyphs.

  • What’s the difference between a blog and a news site?

    A question asked of me by a non-blogging friend. Other than content emphasis, he could see little difference, and thinking about it neither could I. (Which might explain why RSS, originally developed for news feeds, has been so whole heartedly taken on board in the…

  • Mozilla DOM inspector

    Mozilla’s DOM Inspector (also available in Firefox) can seem daunting at first but is amazingly powerful. Amongst other things, it allows you to see which CSS rules are affecting any given element in order of cascade priority.

  • Colour tools

    There are a number of really handy online colour tools coming to my notice. They all help the untrained or unreliable eye to come up with colour schemes and palettes based on complimentary and harmonious colours. I list five of them.

  • iTunes/Win

    So I’ve just downloaded iTunes for Windows and it’s lovely. Straight away, here’s three things it’s got over Windows Media player: Music sharing with your local network.
    Quick browsing – play an individual album in your library with one click.

  • More Gardening

    Andy Budd has created a lovely design for the Zen Garden. I’m giving a SkillSwap talk this Monday on Design Process – Evolution of the Wireframe. Dave Shea has reinvigorated discussion on designing with colour deficient folks in mind and points us to Pixy’s…

  • PowerNote

    On his tasty new blog, Brendan Dawes extolls the virtues of Apple’s Keynote as a rival PowerPoint. But I’m not convinced.

  • Video conferencing

    Recently I’ve been playing around with the webcam & audio conversation features in Microsoft’s latest instant messenger client. I have to say I was impressed, particularly with the audio. And for a short time only, there is a webcam feed on this site.

  • MX 2004 seminar

    Notes from the Macromedia MX 2004 seminar. In particular how Dreamweaver pleases and disappoints and how Flash video gets better and better.

  • Dasher

    Dasher is the most incredible writing interface I think I’ve ever seen. Dasher is a zooming interface. You point where you want to go, and the display zooms in wherever you point. The world into which you are zooming is painted with letters, so that any point you zoom…

  • Back soon

    I’m off mountain biking for a week. In the meantime I’ve added an archive to Clagnut and made some fundamental changes to the RSS feed, discovering FeedDemon along the way.

  • Digital Venezia

    Photos of Venice with a new Casio Exilim S3 and discovering XnView image browser and converter.

  • A matter of style

    Eric Meyer has created a rather nifty colour blending widget which calculates a palette between any two given colours. Fun (and funky JavaScript) and if nothing else, it’s useful for calculating the midpoint between two colours. Matt has posted a list of online style…

  • Checky

    Checky is a great plugin for Mozilla that gives you one-click page validation, configurable across any of 18 different online validation and analysis services. It’s not quite as groovy as the tool in Opera which will validate local files, although Checky’s scope is…

  • Don’t break the back button!

    The new W3C Validator has come out of beta and released unto the world. There is an improved UI and loads of links to the Specs, as well as help, documentation, tips and improved accessibility (accesskeys a-plenty). There also seems to have been a few changes to the…

  • Rosegarden at Linux Expo UK

    Bownie and Chris will be showing off their music software, Rosegarden, at the Linux Expo in Olympia, London on the 9th-10th October. Registration is free on the website and on the door.

  • Hidden magnetron

    The Undetectables are a company specializing in hiding mobile phone masts in existing architecture, such as chimneys and churches; clever stuff. If p. g. wodehouse had a blog (and others) over at lying mo’ fo’. Those of you with enough time on your hands to have…

  • Shorter URLs

    Great free, simple service to make those huge URLs nice and short. Great domain name: makeashorterlink.com.

  • Thoughtful dialogue

    I love the new version of TopStyle (Pro 3). Its colour picker is a piece of genius, packed with so many features (all of them useful in their own way), particularly to colour ‘blind’ users such as yours truly.

  • In a pickle

    A List Apart explains a great time management system for those that can’t be bothered with time management systems. The gist is to schedule in the critical tasks of the day and fill in the gaps with all the rest (email, site maintenance, phone calls, reading ALA, etc.).…

  • mx out

    OK this is the last plug for Macromedia, but importantly enough MX Studio (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, et al) is finally out. $199 upgrade to Dreamweaver alone is significant but given the user interface and CSS improvements it’s probably worth it.

  • dmx blogger

    Matt Brown, the Dreamweaver Community manager and general Macromedia ombudsman has a web log. Nothing fascinating there yet but I suspect it’s one to keep an eye on.

  • Right click

    Some gizmos for improving your IE5 experience. Particularly helpful for developers. Google toolbar – quicker searching, page ranking etc. Validate HTML – using WDG validator. Disable style sheets – toggle CSS to check accessibility. Web Developer Accessories…

  • Dream on

    The Dreamweaver MX Preview Release came out today. It promises vastly improved support for CSS, XHTML, and accessibility (not that improvements would be hard to come by here). Apparently WaSP’s Dreamweaver Task Force consulted on the new version’s evolution, which…