Design lives

Time was, design was something of a blueprint. You drafted up the poster or magazine or brochure. You knew the materials that would go into it. You knew the printer’s color process. You knew the paper stock you’d be using. You knew the tolerances of the machinery involved. And you could design for it, accommodate and adapt to the limitations and contingencies, design for the essential result. This font in this point size in this color positioned right here on this stock cropped just so....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Forking or collaborating: the mix of open source ethics

When it comes to Open Source software, forking is a feature! Anil Dash said it well: There are several related technical concepts that can answer to the name “fork”, but the one I reference here is the dramatic moment when a software project undergoes a schism on ideological or technical grounds. Instead of merely taking their ball and going home, those who forked were taking a copy of your ball and going to a new playground....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Recovering contrib Image module’s content in upgrade to Drupal 7

Once upon a time in the Drupalsphere, there was the Image module, which was the preferred image solution for all Drupal sites. It dynamically resized images for display, so you could upload one image and get other sizes. But it was limited to one image per node, which made it hard for situations where you wanted to insert several images into one article. All kinds of workarounds emerged, but it was all a bit kludgey....

 · Laura Lis Scott
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The theming firehose (NB for designers & front-end developers new to Drupal)

You theme with the mark-up you have, not the mark-up you’d like to have. That’s the essential truth that designers and front-end developers new to Drupal need to understand. You don’t get to construct your pages from scratch, building out essentials, never a wasted div, never an extraneous class. No, you have to flip the entire process around. With Drupal you’re getting markup shot at you from a firehose, and as a themer you need to sop it all up and make it pretty....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Browsers don’t matter? Look at the longer view

I love my apps! I have an iPad and a Droid. I used to have an iPhone (before I decided I wanted my phone to also be able to make calls). I love apps! They’re efficient and fast. Websites on mobile browsers can be difficult to manage. The apps can connect with internet data, but do it with a much improved user experience. No doubt. When it comes to mobile at least, a well-designed app beats a well-designed website 99% of the time....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Did your website end up doing the wrong job?

What job does your website do? Is it doing the job that you initially set out for it? With all the excitement happening online, all the buzz, all the enticing opportunities, and all the fabulous tools standing ready at hand, it can be tempting to just dive in to building a site — design it and launch! The barriers to entry seem so low — the how often seems to be in such easy reach — you just grab it and go, without ever considering the questions of what you want to launch....

 · Laura Lis Scott
diamond-shaped chart representing how much attention is given to each release of software

How to use open source (and how not to)

The open source path can be a delightful and cost-effective way to go for a web-based project. However, if you don’t understand the primary dos and don’ts of open source, a “free” open source website can quickly become a costly and difficult bear to manage. As open source software becomes more popular and more relevant to the needs of non-tech-minded people and organizations, we thought we’d offer some basic background on how to use – and not to use – open source for a web platform....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Looking back at 2005

This past year has brought about many changes. Early in 2005, when we started up pingV, Katherine and I had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve in five years, ten years…. Those plans are still there, still in the works. But wasn’t clear back then was how we ourselves would work our own ways down both the internet and television paths towards the inevitable convergence, when interactive television — the medium combining the hyperlinking freedom of the web with the full-motion video of television — becomes a reality....

 · Laura Lis Scott