Image telegraph.jpg

The creators of the popular security-first messaging app Telegram is expanding to the blogging scene, and the result is an unusual little service called Telegraph.

The first thing you’ll notice about Telegraph is that it is extremely bare-bones. The main page itself houses nothing more than boxes for your title, name and the main story itself and a “Publish” button.

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Perhaps the biggest difference that Telegraph has when compared to other blogging services is the lack of a sign up option. As Telegraph is made with anonymity in mind, you don’t need to sign up to use the service.

Using Telegraph is easy enough. Fill in the boxes provided with a title, a name and your story. Once you’re happy with it, click on “Publish” to publish your post. The website will instantly generate a link to the post, allowing you to share that link on your social media accounts.

Additionally, those who use the Telegram app will be pleased to know that Telegraph supports Instant View, allowing Telegram users to quicking launch stories from Telegraph from the app.

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Image 0584-03-brackets-extension-caniuse.png

Brackets is a great source code editor for web designers and front-end web developers. It has a ton of useful features out of the box. You can make your Brackets experience even better by using extensions.

These Brackets extensions will help make your web design and front-end web development workflow a little easier.

1. CanIUse

Quickly see the current level of browser support a certain web technology has without leaving Brackets. This extension sources its data from Can I use.

2. HTML Skeleton

HTML Skeleton helps you set up your HTML files quickly by automatically inserting basic markup such as the doctype declaration, <html>, <head>, <body>, etc.

Related: A Generic HTML5 Template

3. HTML Wrapper

Rapidly mark up a list of text into list items (<li>), table rows (<tr>), hyperlinks, (<a>), and more with HTML Wrapper.

4. Brackets Icons

This is a super simple extension that adds file icons in Brackets’s sidebar. The icons are excellent visual cues that make it much easier to identify the file you’d like to work on.

5. Autoprefixer

Automatically and intelligently add vendor prefixes to your CSS properties with the Autoprefixer extension. It uses browser support data from Can I use to decide whether or not a vendor prefix is needed. It’ll also remove unnecessary vendor prefixes.

6. JS CSS Minifier

This extension will remove unneeded characters from your JavaScript and CSS files. This process is called minification, and it can improve your website’s speed.

7. CSSLint

This extension highlights CSS errors and code-quality issues. The errors and warnings reported by this extension are based on CSS Lint rules.

8. Emmet

Emmet is a collection of tools and keyboard shortcuts that can speed up HTML- and CSS-authoring.

9. Lorem Ipsum Generator

Need some text to fill up your design prototype? The Lorem Ipsum Generator extension helps you conveniently generate dummy text. (And if you need image placeholders, have a look at Lorem Pixel or DEVimg.)

10. Beautify

This extension will help keep your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code consistently formatted, indented, and — most importantly — readable. An alternative option to check out is the CSSComb extension.

11. Simple To-Do

Make sure you don’t forget your project tasks by using the Simple To-Do extension, which allows you to create and manage to-do lists for each project within Brackets.

12. eqFTP

Transferring and syncing your project’s files to your web host or server requires FTP or SFTP, but such a fundamental web development feature doesn’t come with Brackets. To remedy the situation, use the eqFTP extension, an FTP/STFP client that you can operate from within Brackets.

How to Install Brackets Extensions

The quickest way to install Brackets extensions is by using the Extension Manager — access it by choosing File > Extension Manager in Brackets’s toolbar.

If I didn’t mention your favorite Brackets extension, please talk about it in the comments.

Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions. He’s a front-end developer. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Related

A New Breed of Free Source Code Editors

10 Open Source Blogging Platforms for Developers

15 Free Books for People Who Code

Should Web Designers Know HTML and CSS?

5 Games That Teach You How to Code

The post 12 Brackets Extensions That Will Make Your Life Easier appeared first on Six Revisions.

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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr… the advent of photo-heavy apps and social networking sites reinvigorated an interest in great photography at a time when advances in digital photography have significantly reduced the cost to access high-quality photography tools. Smartphones come standard with cameras, and enterprising amateur photographers can even invest in lenses for these devices, and complete simple, straightforward editing projects using web-based apps and programs.

All of these improvements in photography have largely coincided with improvements in web design, from responsive coding to parallax and other opportunities to display rich, high-quality and high-resolution images. For those wanting to digitally display photos, this is great news, and we’re going to highlight some of the best and cutting-edge methods to use web design to beautifully showcase stunning photography.

If you’re using Drupal or WordPress, there are hundreds of high-quality photography plugins available for you to easily maximize photos on your website, from sliders to  hover-over effects to full-screen coverage. But if you’re wanting to take full control, the following tutorials will help you incorporate high-impact elements with your photo display.

Ghost Buttons

Since 2015, it’s been an increasingly popular trend to use massive high-definition, high-impact photos on home pages. But for home pages with buttons or links, those buttons would often interfere with the visual capital of the image, ruining an otherwise jaw-dropping photo with a pop of unnecessary color. Ghost buttons have no fill color or shadow, allowing minimal interruption of the photo. This leverages the high-impact visual content behind the button, and for savvy designers, provides an optimal user experience by still permitting easy foreground navigation without sacrificing good design.

To begin making your ghost button with CSS, first create a “ghost button” a class. To make a standard white ghost button, your CSS information for that class should look something like the example below:

.ghost-button {

  display: inline-block;

  width: 300px;

  padding: 10px;

  color: #fff;

  border: 1px solid #fff;

  text-align: center;

  outline: none;

  text-decoration: none;

}

It’s easy to modify the properties above to adjust the look and feel of the ghost button. Examples of easy adjustments include rounded corners, color-fill hover-over effects, transitions, and thicker borders.

Touch Content Sliders

More and more web-users are viewing websites from mobile devices, or from computers with touch-enabled interfaces. A great designer should always incorporate ‘prev’ and ‘next’ buttons or arrows for traditional computer users, but there’s an increasing benefit to considering touch users.

To add touch capabilities to a slider or gallery, begin with a simply HTML page, style sheet, sample images, and JQuery and SwipeJS folders. The first priority will be to set up your SwipeJS folders.

Begin by making an ID’d div tag which will wrap the slide.

<div id=’homeslider’ class=’touchswipe’>

  <div class=’touchswipe-wrap’>

    <div><img src=”img/01.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”600″></div>

    <div><img src=”img/02.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”600″></div>

    <div><img src=”img/03.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”600″></div>

    <div><img src=”img/04.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”600″></div>

    <div><img src=”img/05.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”600″></div>

  </div>

</div>

Now, you’ll need to define your “touchswipe” rules, which will help to instruct your page on the optimal size of your slider.

.touchswipe {

  overflow: hidden;

  position: relative;

  max-width: 1200px;

  width: 100%;

  height: 600px;

  margin: 80px auto 0;

}

.touchswipe-wrap {

  overflow: hidden;

  position: relative;

}

.touchswipe-wrap > div {

  float: left;

  width: 100%;

  position: relative;

}

Once that’s done, you can either add the script at the bottom of the page – ensuring the entire document is loaded before the script – or you can add jQuery ready text, like the following:

$(document).ready(function(){

  // Slider = $(‘#homeslider’).touchswipe().data(‘touchswipe’);

});

This should allow the slider which loads to be easily manipulated using touch screens, whether from a tablet, smartphone, or touch-capable computer.

The Bottom Line

Designing great portfolio websites, or even impressive photography-heavy splash pages, can be difficult for beginners and those unfamiliar with JS and jQuery techniques. But these simple tutorials should demonstrate how to correctly incorporate high-impact design and UX elements which can decrease visual clutter on photos and improve the user’s overall experience.

header image courtesy of  stocksnap

This post Showcasing High-Res Photography: Design Tips & Tricks was written by Catalin Zorzini and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

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Image activation-email-default.jpg

One of Multisite’s useful features is the way it lets you change the experience users get when they first register a site on your network. You can edit their welcome email and change the default content that’s created for their site.

You do this by configuring your network settings in Settings > Network Settings.

But there are two emails that are sent out and this is the second of them. Before the site is activated, WordPress sends out an activation email with a link the user must click on in order to make their site active. Unfortunately, the settings screens don’t give you the option to edit this.

So is there a workaround? The good news is yes, you can write a plugin that amends this email. And in this post I’ll show you just how to do that.

Getting Started Customizing Your Multisite Activation Email

Before you start, you’ll need a few things:

A development WordPress installation with Multisite activated – don’t try this on your live network until you’re happy with it.
A code editor with FTP access, or a code editor and a FTP client.

If you still need to activate Multisite, our uptime guide to Multisite will show you how.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the code in a core WordPress file but you won’t be editing that file. Editing core file is a very bad idea: it could break WordPress and it means all your changes will be lost next time you upgrade. Instead, we’ll write a plugin that you’ll save in your site’s plugins folder and activate for your network.

The Default Email and Code

Here’s the default activation email that’s sent out when someone registers a site on your network:

The email subject is ‘Activate [link]’ where [link] is the link to the new site. All a bit uninviting, in my humble opinion!

The code that generates this is in the ms-functions.php file in the wp-includes folder of your WordPress installation. There are two filter hooks, one for the content of the email and the other for the subject.

The first is called wpmu_signup_blog_notification_email and it lets you filter the default contents of the email itself. In the current version (3.6.1) it’s at line 820 in the ms-functions.php file:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

This uses placeholders for internationalization and it also uses variables which are defined immediately above that filter. We’ll be using the $content variable to define the new version of the content. Each instance of n is a line break and n%s inserts the path to the blog. We’ll use those again in our plugin.

Note: For more on internationalization and placeholders, see our developer’s guide to internationalization.

The second filter is wpmu_signup_blog_notification_subject, which defines the subject line of the email. Here’s the code (at line 844):

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Creating the Plugin

So now we know which filters we’ll be targeting, we can write our plugin with functions that’ll be hooked to those filters.

Create a new file for your plugin (in the wp-content/plugins folder) and give it a suitable name: I’m calling mine wpmu-ms-activation-email.php.

Add an opening to your plugin to tell WordPress what it is:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Editing the Email Subject

First let’s create a function that defines the subject of our new version of the email.

Start by creating an empty function and hooking it to the correct filter hook:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Now let’s populate that function. Inside the braces, add this code:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

That has some new text but it also uses the $1$s placeholder to show the value of the network’s title, which is provided in the original file by the $from_name variable.

Save your plugin file and we’ll move on to editing the email content.

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<!– end row –><!– end full-blogad-container –><!– end full-blogad –>

Editing the Email Content

The second function will amend the contents of the email.

In your plugin file, add a second empty function hooked to the correct filter hook:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Now populate that function with the following:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Again that’s using a placeholder: this time it’s n%s, which displays the link to the new site and is provided by the $activate_url variable in the original function in the core file.

Here’s the full content of your plugin:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Activating and Testing the Plugin

Now save your file and go to the Plugins screen in your network admin screens. Network activate the new plugin.

Sign out of your site and go to http://mydomain.com/wp-signup.php, where mydomain is your own network’s domain name.

Work through the site creation process and wait for the system to send you the activation email. You should find it’s changed.

Here’s mine:

Customizing the Activation Email Improves the Experience for Your Users

So you now have a plugin that customizes the site activation email and makes it more appropriate to your network and more user-friendly. I think a friendly email like this improves the user experience and should reduce the number of people who don’t get past this part of the site creation process.

You can edit the text in my plugin so that it’s better for your network and your users, and you might want to try testing it on some users too before you go live. You should also take the time to edit the welcome email that users will receive once they’ve gone through the activation process – you can do that via the Network Settings screen.

Note: If you’d like to copy the original code fom my plugin or use it for your own site, you can find it on Github.

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Image customize-quick-settings.jpg

Android 7.0 (codenamed Nougat), officially released on August 22, 2016 for Nexus and Pixel devices, is slowly rolling out for mobile devices all over the world.

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While you’re eagerly waiting for trying out the latest Android on your phone or tablet, we bring to you a list of useful tips & tricks for making the most of new features and improvements in Android Nougat.

Scroll down for each of the tips or take a shorcut to a specific tip:

  1. Customize Quick Settings
  2. Faster multitasking
  3. Use Multi-window
  4. Use any app in Multi-window
  5. Direct reply and expandable notifications
  6. Get bundled notifications
  7. Better notification management
  8. Adjust font and screen size
  9. Unlock System Tuner UI
  10. Use Data Saver
  11. Block people and numbers
  12. Close background running services
  13. Add your second language
  14. Optimize battery management
  15. Use File Encryption

Customize Quick Settings

Quick Settings enables the user to quickly configure the common system settings such as activating rotation, turning on/off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and more without opening the Settings (app). Nougat allow users to customize the availability of Setting tiles in Quick Settings. (Some manufacturers’ devices already come with this feature, however, it wasn’t part of vanilla aka Google’s version of Android.)

To customize the quick settings, slide down from the top to view the notification drawer > slide down again to see the settings toggles > click the EDIT button to view the quick settings tiles’ configuration > drag and drop the tiles to set the tiles’ availability.

Faster Multitasking

Multitasking on Android so far involves tapping on the square button to pull up all your open apps, arranged based on recent use. Now, all you need to do is double-tap the recents (square) button on the navigation bar and Android will switch to the most recent app.

Use Multi-Window

Multi-window come to Android in Nougat. It lets you use two apps concurrently side-by-side by splitting the screen into two halves — horizontally or vertically.

To use two apps simultaneously, open your first app, long press the recents (square) icon on the navigation bar while using it. This will snap it to the top-half of the screen (in portrait mode) or to the left-half (in landscape mode). Then, choose another of your recently open apps to snap to the other half of the screen.

Note: The two apps that you want to use concurrently using multi-window should be already present in your Recent Apps list for this to work. Note that not all apps support multi-window feature currently. There is however a workaround you can try (next tip).

Use Any App in Multi-Window

One of the reason multi-window is not supported in certain apps is due to the size. There is a tweak you can use to overcome this. It is a developer option that allows apps to be resized (so it can used in split-screen mode). It’s not a 100% tweak though – you’ll have to try it out to see if it works.

To enable this ability, first enable developer options by opening Settings > About > Software information and tap on the Build number 7 times.

Once the developer options has been enabled, open the Settings again > Developer options and toggle Force activities to be resizable on to make all apps compatible with Multi-Window.

Direct Reply and Expandable Notifications

Direct reply feature enables you to reply to a message or notification directly from the notification drawer, i.e., you don’t need to open that particular app to reply to a message. Expandable notifications feature allows viewing more details of the notification.

These features come handy when you’re playing a game or watching a movie and a notification arrives for which you need to reply to. Rather than load up the app, you can reply to the message or read the notification in full right from the notification bar.

To use the direct reply feature, when a message comes in, slide down from the top of your device’s screen to see the notification drawer. Swipe again with two fingers on any particular notification then type your message and tap the reply button to send your message.

To use the expandable notifications feature, click the tiny arrow button on the right side of your notifications or make the expand gesture (swiping with two fingers). This lets you expand that notification to show more details (say, complete message) from that particular notification.

Get Bundled Notifications

Similar to the notification stacks on Android Wear, bundled notifications group all notifications into one notification, reducing individual attention required to address them.

If you just single tap on a bundled notification, the action will launch the associated app. If you, however, use the expand gesture (swipe down using two fingers) on that bundled notification, then the bundled notification expands itself to display the individual notifications.

Then you can tap on a particular unbundled notification to view the same in the given app (and not open just the app as described above).

Better Notification Management

With Nougat, you can manage certain kinds of notifications based on the apps they come from. Ignore ads, promotions and other irrelevant notifications (like Facebook birthday reminders and game notifications) and keep only the important ones that really require your attention.

To do this, on any such incoming notification, long press on the app’s notification > select the behavior accordingly from the options. You can choose to silent the notifications or totally block them.

If you tap on MORE SETTINGS (at the bottom, next to DONE), you can choose to:

Block all notifications from this app,
Show them silently,
Control what shows up on the lock screen, or
Allow the app to override Do Not Disturb’s settings

Note that if you select to show the notifications silently, you can’t ask to override Do Not Disturb’s settings because it can’t override without making sound, of course.

Adjust Font and Screen Size

With Nougat, you can adjust the size of the text and even that of non-textual elements, i.e., increasing or decreasing the ratio of the app’s size (including bars and buttons) to the screen size per your display needs.

To adjust the size of the text shown anywhere in the user interface, open the Settings app > select Display > tap Font size and move the slider to set the final font size.

To adjust the size of the non-textual parts of the interface including drawer, bars and buttons, open the Settings app > click Display > tap Display size and move the slider to set the size you want.

Unlock System Tuner UI

System Tuner UI brings more in-depth settings and lets you fine tune design elements and some experimental features. For instance, you can turn on power notification controls, which enables more granular control over any individual app’s notifications. You can even turn off complete quick settings to view just notifications in the notification bar.

To enable this powerful and risky enhancement, swipe down from the screen to open the quick settings > simply tap and hold the settings icon until it starts spinning. You’ll receive a confirmation of the feature been activated (as shown in the picture below).

Use Data Saver

Data Saver feature limits access to data for apps in the background, saving you data as well as battery life. It’s good to keep it enabled if data saving is a necessity and your wish to forbid apps to use data in background for syncing or loading ads. For instance, an adware app won’t show ads if you haven’t opened it explicitly, but do note that an app like Twitter won’t also refresh itself in the background unless you launch or interact with yourself.

To turn on the Nougat’s Data Saver, open the Settings app > click Data usage > Data saver > click on the toggle button on the top right to turn on the data saver.

Optionally, click on Unrestricted data access and choose the apps that data saver won’t affect, i.e., these apps won’t save data and will act in their full potential. This exclusion list is meaningful for important or crucial apps for which you don’t want to miss or delay any notification.

Block People and Numbers

Android 7.0 Nougat finally brings the ever-wanted feature to block numbers — numbers from whom you don’t intend to get messages or calls. It’s especially helpful at times when we get irritated by spam or advertisement calls that disturbs you during work.

Moreover, we also find this feature helpful against marketing messages from market stores. To block such numbers, open the Dialer app > tap the Options button > Settings > Call blocking and click ADD A NUMBER. Then, simply enter the number you wish to block and you’re done.

Close Background Running Services

In most cases, background services consume unnecessary resources. For example, Facebook consumes data and battery to get your timeline and other post updates or Twitter to fetch you latest tweets from your following or favorites list. But if the phone’s battery is going to die or if you’re ready to play a heavy game, then it’s better to close some irrelevant background-running services to free up resources and improve the performance.

To close the running services, go to Settings > Developer options (enable these first if not yet enabled or visible by going to Settings > About > Software information and then tap on the Build number 7 times) > Running services and click on the running services you want to close one-by-one and tap the STOP button for each to kill them from the memory.

Add your Second Language

If you are equally fluent in two languages, then Android 7.0 Nougat provides you the facility to give input in both the languages, which is obviously a great feature for bilingual users and also frequent travelers.

To make use of the multi-locale feature, open Settings > Languages & input > Language preferences, then select Add a language and finally pick your second language from the list of available languages. Then after, you can easily change the language in the on-screen keyboard by pressing globe or long-pressing spacebar key.

Optimize Battery Management

Android’s battery management capabilities require serious improvements because of no successfully advancements in battery technology. Owing to the same, Nougat brings better battery management feature than its predecessors. Doze on the Go supersedes Doze released with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and boasts to improve the overall battery life.

Do note that some third-party non-compatible apps may no longer send you notifications or perform background data-required tasks. This means you may end up missing some instant messages or other notifications.

Thankfully, you can turn off battery optimization for such apps by doing these steps: open Settings > Battery > Battery optimisation > All apps and tap on the apps individually and select Don’t optimise and then click DONE.

Use File Encryption

Android 7.0 brings File-Based Encryption that contrary to the already available full disk encryption in Android, encrypts and locks only some part of the storage rather than the complete storage of the device. This allows the essential apps to function properly even if you don’t unlock the device, for ex., the device will sound alarms if auto-restarted.

Due to the same, you don’t need to enter the lock code during the boot process. A full wipe, however, is required to switch from full disk encryption to file encryption. To encrypt your device using this scheme, go to Settings > Developer options (enable these if not yet enabled or available by opening Settings > About > Software information and tap on Build number 7 times) > Convert to file encryption and click WIPE AND CONVERT.

Well, that was all about the new features and enhancements offered in the latest version of the most popular mobile operating system. What more do you love about Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat? Don’t hesitate to share with us using comments.

10 Essential Tips To Increase Android’s Performance

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Image Screen-Shot-2016-11-14-at-09.37.09.png

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

HTML5 brought web development into a new era.  Unfortunately, many designers haven’t really caught on to its full potential, and actually are developing HTML4 pages with a simplified doctype and header section.  Looking at the source code, unless it is written by somebody who never worked in HTML4 or XHTML, you would often easily mistake it for HTML4 because those designers aren’t changing their style.

This is a tremendous shame because HTML5 really does give us some fantastic improvements over HTML4. If we really push those improvements to their limit, the results would more than justify the small investment of time required to learn how to do that.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the biggest improvements HTML5 has to offer (and which, in general, are being ignored by designers and developers), with some information on how you can put them to work for your advantage.

Big improvements for better work flow in HTML5

The big changes that came with HTML5 aren’t universally known, so here are the highlights:

1. HTML5 doesn’t need to identify itself

Just when we’d all gotten used to the need for declaring a doctype, it turns out that HTML5 doesn’t really need one at all.  Yes, that’s right, not even that <!DOCTYPE html> declaration that all the books and tutorial websites tell you to have.  However, just because you don’t need it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it.  This declaration is still useful because it tells you what the document is not.

2. HTML5 gets rid of all the pesky pendantic details

It seemed once the intention of W3C was to make each new markup evolution more strict, more pedantic, and more complicated.  So you can imagine the collective gasps of astonishment when it was revealed that HTML5 is less complicated than any previous implementation of markup, and we now can get more done because its so relaxed about rule enforcement.  The focus of HTML5 is on productivity, not pedantic details.

3. HTML5 drops the need for identifying content types

You know the kind of code code that says something like type=”text/css”? Now you don’t have to do that.  It never made sense that this was necessary, because it could be known from the file extension and the file content itself what type it was, without that needing to be declared.

Some things that are maybe not so good

It may come down to a matter of personal opinion, but there are some features of HTML5 that won’t win every heart.  They include:

1. Editable content

Somebody, somewhere, thought it would be a good idea to let users edit something right there on the page.  This doesn’t seem to have much practical application for anything.  In fact, it could be downright dangerous, because the user could make it look like your site is saying something that it’s not.  Why? For a prank. 

“Hey, mom, look at what this terrible website is saying about old people!”.  Then they can take a screenshot, complete with your actual URL visible in the URL bar, forward it to relevant authorities, and before you can say “legal injunction” you have a problem on your hands.

2. Unterminated tag pairs

Some HTML tags are made to stand alone (not a good feature, because consistency is a good thing), but most have required closing in order to be valid.  In HTML5, that’s not the case.  You don’t have to close your tags.  This will potentially lead to the creation of code that’s even more difficult to read and maintain than the already-too-complex source code that properly set out HTML produces.  This just doesn’t look like a great idea.

3. An annoying new incorrectly used buzz-word: semantics

A pet peeve for anyone who actually cares about semantics is the hijacking of the word “semantic”.  This word actually means “something pertaining to language and the use of words”.  The way it is being used in the industry, however, pertains to document structure.

Therefore it is semantically incorrect to refer to these structural elements as semantic, yet we’re stuck with this buzz-word because it is now so widely used.  Professionals who are aware of this anomaly usually refer to the same elements as “structural elements”, so they won’t sound like morons.  This, however, doesn’t work, because those who have adapted to the buzzword will correct you and say “Hey, it’s a semantic element.  What are you, some kind of moron?”

The best bits

HTML5 gives unprecedented support for multimedia, and eliminates the need for using third party plug-ins such as Flash.  Using the new multimedia features is also much simpler than the older methods, and supports more media formats.

1. Video

Including video content in your page could not be more simple.  You simply use a video tag pair to declare a player object and set the source for the video using an unpaired source tag. Example:

The only confusing thing there is why it’s necessary to follow the source keyword with src when they mean exactly the same thing.  Although webm format is more efficient than mp4 in terms of file size, currently mp4 works in all major browsers that support HTML5, while webm may not work in older versions of IE and Safari.  Therefore mp4 is the recommended format.

2. Audio

As you may have already guessed, adding an audio player to your page is virtually the same process, except that you declare an audio player instead of a video player.  Example:

The mp3 format is supported by all browsers that support HTML5 and it is therefore the recommended audio format to use for web audio.

3. Drawing and animation

There are a few different ways to implement drawing into a web page, and some are better than the built-in HTML5 methods, but those built-in methods are there for you to exploit.  There’s a steeper learning curve involved here than for the other media items, but learning these techniques will open up a lot of interesting design possibilities for you.

The primary method for drawing uses the canvas:

The above example just creates a simple primitive drawing, but you can create drawings and animations that are much more spectacular.  In fact, the only limit is your own imagination.

4. SVG

Bitmapped graphics are so yesterday when it comes to illustrations. Until recently, SVG wasn’t widely supported by browsers, but now all major browsers that support HTML5 can display SVG content, so there’s no reason not to use it.

There is a big learning curve involved in drawing an SVG image in code, but you don’t actually need to do it that way.  There are two methods you can use.

The first is to declare the SVG image the same way you would declare any other image, for example:

The disadvantage with the above method is that it may not give you access to every node as something you can manipulate with script, so the other way you can do it is to draw your image in your favorite vector drawing application (for example, Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator) and ensure you save the result as a plain SVG, which will strip out any extra information that isn’t needed.

Then open the SVG file in a text editor and copy all the markup.  Paste that into your HTML document.  The code will look something like this:

Typing all that out by hand would be a nightmare, but using a dedicated SVG drawing application makes it easy, and because the path ID for each node is created for you automatically, you can easily take control with scripting.  Setting an ID for the SVG object itself would be a good idea, too.  Then you can apply CSS styling to it.

HTML5 makes forms easier to manage

There are a few little tricks that HTML5 introduces that significantly reduce our workload when it comes to forms.

1. Enforcement of required fields

You no longer need to use scripts to check whether required fields have been filled.  So many people still are doing this the old way that it was worth mentioning. To use this feature you only need to add the required to any input element. Example:

When the required keyword is present in a form field, the form can not be submitted until the field is completed.  The required keyword does not check the validity of the data, only that it exists.  When used in combination with other HTML5 form validation methods, it does a great job.

2. Pattern-matching for data validation

The pattern attribute lets you perform simple data validation using regular expressions.  Used alone, it will only check that entered data is valid, but won’t check if it is missing.  In order to force data entry and then validate it, you’ll need to use required in combination with pattern.  Example:

The above example checks for a valid Canadian zip code, which resembles a string similar to the following:

R3R 3A1

It will always have this pattern of letter-number-letter-space-number-letter-number, and the first letter cannot be D,I,O,Q,U,W or Z.  If you’re not already familiar with regular expressions, you’ll first need to learn about them before you can write expressions to solve problems like the one in the example, and then you’ll need to learn how to adapt ordinary regular expressions to work as HTML5 patterns.

A special type of input control that has built-in pattern validation is the email type.  Using this, you don’t need to define a pattern.  Example:

3. Placeholders

These are things you can both love and hate at the same time.  It’s true placeholders can cause confusion for some users, but they also can be really helpful if you don’t have a lot of screen space available for your form components.  Placeholders put ghost text into an input area, which can be used either as a replacement for a label or to provide an input example.  They’re especially useful on mobile layouts.  Example:

The big problem with placeholders, especially when they’re used as example input, is that they can lead to UX complications.  The first such confusion is that users might consider the placeholder text as being physically present in the input area, and thus they may try to manually delete or modify it by positioning the cursor at an appropriate point, which of course won’t work.

A related problem is where your sample input exactly matches the input the user wanted to type.  They may consider the data to already be filled, and not type anything in manually.  When submitted, the form processor will treat the field as empty, not as containing the placeholder text, and it will produce the wrong result.

4. Autofocus

Making sure your form sends focus to the correct input area can be important, and you do this with the autofocus keyword, used in the same way as required. Example:

Adding autofocus to more than one component may cause your carefully planned form to malfunction.

Document structure – a matter of semantics

As mentioned earlier, the use of the word “semantics” is wrong for structural elements, but that argument is in itself simply a matter of semantics.  So choose what name you will, the function of them is still the same – to help you better understand your document structure when reading it.

Most developers are still using div for this job and that’s fine.  Using the structural elements just makes everything a touch more official, and it’s easier to read the source code.  There’s no real advantage to using structural elements in your document.  For the sake of completeness, we’ll briefly step through them.

1. Article

An article is some part of the page that is isolated in context from everything else on the page.  It’s a complete portion of content that doesn’t relate to other portions of content.  Using this element doesn’t solve any problems for you.

2. Section

Similar to articles, but without the intention of defining that the content isn’t related to any other content.  So for example, you may have an article that is divided into sections, and a section could contain one or more articles.  These are purely for your own reference, to help you organize the source code, however you also get features identical to using a real div.

3. Header

This is supposed to contain things like titles, logos, and other things like that.

4. Nav

A dedicated section for navigational components.

5. Aside

Defines content that’s supposed to be treated like a sidebar (though there’s no rule about where an aside gets placed, its actual placement is up to you).

6. Figure

The first—and perhaps only—structural element that serves any kind of purpose at all is the figure element. Using these makes you sound all academic, and what spoiled upper-class English girls of the Victorian era would have described as “frightfully clever”.

Figures let you encapsulate images so you can include captions with them.  Example:

7. Footer

The correct use for a footer is to contain footnotes, but it’s more usually used to provide miscellaneous links, copyright information, and contact information.  You can put anything inside it that you want.

Concluding remarks

There’s a lot more to discover, but the above methods from HTML5 have reached a point of maturity now where they shouldn’t be getting as ignored as they are.  Many sites, for example, continue to use the antiquated and soon-to-be-obsolete Flash Player to provide video content, which is just plain crazy.

Making the jump from HTML4 to HTML5 isn’t difficult at all, but dropping those HTML4 habits may be a lot harder, and that’s probably why HTML5 hasn’t been embraced as fully or as enthusiastically as expected.

Using HTML5 properly, without including unnecessary HTML4 artifacts will make development faster.  It will make your code more readable and easier to maintain.  And it will ensure your pages aren’t weighed down with legacy code you don’t need.

This post Under-exploited HTML5 Features was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

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I’m big on modular design. I’ve long been sold on dividing websites into components, not pages, and amalgamating those components dynamically into interfaces. Flexibility, efficiency and maintainability abound.

But I don’t want my design to look like it’s made out of unrelated things. I’m making an interface, not a surrealist photomontage. As luck would have it, there is already a technology, called CSS, which is designed specifically to solve this problem. Using CSS, I can propagate styles that cross the borders of my HTML components, ensuring a consistent design with minimal effort.

The post CSS Inheritance, The Cascade And Global Scope: Your New Old Worst Best Friends appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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This article is part of our "Mobile Payment Systems series" – where we take a look at how mobile technology is gearing towards a cashless society. Click here to see more articles in the same series

In this increasingly digital world, it’s not surprising that money will follow suit as well. Recent trends show that digital money kept in mobile wallets will soon replace physical cash and even credit cards. Some countries are even actively trying to remove cash in circulation – just look at Sweden.

It makes sense. We can buy most products and services online these days via our laptops and mobile devices. It’s easy to link this process to our bank accounts and online payment processors like PayPal.

6 Safety Steps To Making Secure Mobile Transactions

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For some people, their phones are already their wallets, especially among Millennials and Gen Z. According to a study about mobile wallet usage, the compound annual growth rate for mobile wallets is a cool 80%, between 2015 and 2020. This adoption rate makes sense; we already use our phones for a million things, so why not use them as a payment method as well?

How do mobile wallets work?

Mobile wallets also sometimes called electronic/e-wallets, virtual wallets, digital wallets and similar terms are mobile applications that enable financial transactions. They help customers like you and me to send payments for things we want to buy with just a few taps on the phone.

During payment, all we have to do is to follow the payment instructions – enter or scan a code or an address, usually – and the amount will be deducted from your mobile wallet account into the merchant’s wallet account.

Currently, there are countless mobile wallet options available in the market as many smaller but revolutionary fintech companies have also jumped on this profitable bandwagon. This leads to many innovations, and each of them is competing for your patronage.

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Mobile wallets have a few obvious advantages over physical cash. Digital money is safer to carry around, especially if you need to make larger payments. They also record transactions well – handy for those of you who tend to ask yourself "where did my money go?!" every month!

Examples of Mobile Wallets

With so many mobile wallet options in the market, picking one is a matter of individual preference. While some users may stick with their bank’s app, many will try out other mobile wallets which offer other types of high-tech features that their banks can’t match (technologically speaking).

Here are some examples of mobile wallets currently available. They are supported by most mobile devices:

E-payments services

E-payment services, usually referring to services provided by e-commerce payment systems help us make online purchases, electronically.

Mobile apps created by banks also fall under this category, however the most popular mobile wallets with e-payments services tend to be developed by tech giants. Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal and other big names are familiar names to us and offer comfort in their solid reputation.

Loyalty and coupon-based wallets

As Millennials are known to be a thrifty generation as well, loyalty and coupon-based mobile wallets such as Gyft, Key Ring and LevelUp also make the list.

They help you to link and house all of your loyalty card accounts under one roof and still be able to use them to collect reward points or bonuses. You just don’t have to carry around a dozen or so cards with you when you go shopping.

Starbucks mobile wallet is a favorite among many of its enthusiasts, and offers app-only promotions.

Peer-to-peer payment wallets

Mobile wallets such as SquareCash, Venmo and Circle are marketed as peer-to-peer payments between friends and family.

It’s designed to remove the awkwardness when asking people who owe you money to pay you back. Say you and your friends go out for your weekly brunch, and you paid for the group. You can make a payment request via these apps and your friends can transfer the amount due directly to your account.

Cryptocurrency wallets

There are many bitcoin wallet options for beginner to advanced users. There are also specific wallets to keep single or multiple altcoins on your phone, but as of writing time most of these wallets are too new for us to recommend. After all, bitcoin, the most mature cryptocurrency of all have not even been around for a decade yet.

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

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Bitcoin wallets work like regular wallets, except that instead of USD, you send the bitcoin-value equivalent at the time of payment instead. The merchant will provide a bitcoin address (alphanumeric code or QR code) that you can enter as destination address. The value of bitcoin changes often, so you might want to time your purchases.

Hybrid wallets

Wirex is an example of a fintech service which supports both digital currencies and traditional cash currencies in the same platform. It’s like a combination of a banking account (which can issue Visa and Mastercard cards too like normal banks) with bitcoin wallets.

Your account can be funded with both cash and digital currencies, so it’s an interesting product for people who want to use both in one platform. Having the freedom of choice to choose between paying in USD or bitcoins can be appealing to some people, as each of them have their benefits you can take advantage of.

Remittance wallets

International remittance is a big market. Wallets such as Remitly and Xoom are marketed with this in mind.

It’s similar to peer-to-peer payment wallets, but with an additional focus on helping the receiver (who tend to stay in developing or third world countries, where literacy might be an issue) to collect the money.

They are helpful money-saving tools for people who send money to countries where much of the population are bankless.

Messaging app wallets

WeChat, Telegram and Facebook Messenger can all be used to receive money from friends/family and pay for products and services.

Messenging app wallets are very new – so new, they are still figuring it out how to best outplay the competition. For example, WeChat can only be used in some stores in China, and Facebook Messenger just integrated Paypal payments.

It’s too soon to tell who will dominate the messaging app wallet market, if widespread adoption even comes at all.

Conclusion

To say that there are a lot of mobile wallets offered in the market is an understatement. In fact, some online media have used the term "mobile wallet war" to highlight the current fight between financial service providers as each is intent on capturing the biggest share of the market.

Only time and continued mainstreaming of mobile wallet will tell which of the above companies, or another company altogether, will be the winner in this race.

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Windows Group Policy is a powerful tool to configure many aspects of Windows. Most of the tweaks it has to offer are targeted towards PC administrators to monitor and control standard accounts. If you are administrating PCs in a company environment or administrate multiple accounts at home, then you should definitely take advantage of Windows Group Policy to control PC usage of employees and family.

Below we have listed 8 Windows Group Policy tweaks that will surely make administrative tasks easier.

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How to access Windows Group Policy Editor

You must access Group Policy Editor before following any of the tweaks below. Although there are many ways to access Windows Group Policy editor, but using "Run" dialog is the fastest and works in all versions of Windows.

Press Windows +R keys to open "Run" dialog. Here type "gpedit.msc" and hit Enter to open Group Policy Editor.

Furthermore, make sure you are logged in to the administrator account before accessing the Group Policy.

Standard accounts are not allowed to access the Group Policy.

1. Track account logins

From Group Policy you can force Windows to record all successful and failed logins to the PC from any user account. You can use such information to track who is logging in to the PC and whether an unauthorized person tried to login or not.

In Group Policy editor, move to the below mentioned location and double-click on "Audit logon events".

Here check the checkbox next to "Success" and "Failure" options. When you will click on "OK", Windows will start keeping a record of logins made to the PC.

To view these logs, you will have to access another useful Windows toolWindows Event Viewer. Open "Run" dialog again and enter "eventvwr" in it to open Windows Event Viewer.

Here expand "Windows Logs" and then select "Security" option from it. In the middle panel, you should see all the recent events. Don’t get confused by all these events, you just need to find successful and failed login events from this list.

Successful login events have "Event ID: 4624", and failed ones have "Event ID: 4625". Just look for these event IDs to find the logins and see exact date and time of logins.

Double-clicking on these events will show more details along with the exact name of the user account that logged in.

2. Prohibit access to Control Panel

Control Panel is the hub of all the Windows settings, both security and usability. However, these settings can be really bad in the wrong hands. If a novice user will be using the PC or you doubt that someone may mess around with these sensitive settings, then you should definitely prohibit access to Control Panel.

To do so, move to the below mentioned location in Group Policy editor and double-click on "Prohibit access to the Control Panel".

Here select the "Enable" option to prohibit access to Control Panel. Now Control Panel option will be removed from the start menu and no one will be able to access it from anywhere, including "Run" dialog.

All the options in the Control Panel are also prohibited and accessing them using any other method will show an error.

3. Stop users from installing new software

It can take quite some time to clean a PC infected with malware. To ensure users don’t install any infected software from any mean, you should disable Windows installer in the Group Policy.

Navigate to the below mentioned location and double-click on "Disable Windows Installer".

Select "Enable" option here and select "Always" from the drop down menu in the "Options" panel below. Now users will not be able to install new programs in the PC. Although they will still be able to download or move them in PC storage.

4. Disable removable storage devices

USBs and other forms of removable storage devices can be very dangerous for the PC. If someone accidentally (or on purpose) connects a virus infected storage device with the PC, it could infect your whole PC and may even make it inoperable.

To stop users from using removable storage devices, go to the below mentioned location and double-click on "Removable Disks: Deny read access".

Enable this option and the PC will not read any type of data inside an external storage device. Additionally, there is an option below it saying "Removable Disks: Deny write access". You can enable it if you don’t want anyone to write (paste) data to a removable storage device.

5. Prevent specific apps from running

Group Policy also allows you to create a list of apps to prevent them from running. It is perfect to ensure users don’t waste time on known time wasting apps. Move to the below mentioned location and open the "Don’t run specified Windows applications" option.

Enable this option and click on the "Show" button below to start creating the list of apps you would like to block.

To create the list, you must enter the executable name of the app to be able to block it; the one with .exe at the end, I.e., CCleaner.exe, CleanMem.exe or lol.launcher.exe. The best way to find exact executable name of an app is to look for the app’s folder in the Windows File Explorer and copy the exact executable name (along with its extension ".exe").

Enter this executable name in the list and click on "OK" to start blocking it.

There is also an option of "Run only specified Windows applications" below it. If you want to disable all types of applications except for few important ones, then use this option and create a list of apps that you would like to allow.

This is a great option if you want to create a really strict working environment.

6. Disable Command Prompt and Windows Registry Editor

Control Panel is bad in wrong hands, but the Command Prompt and Registry Editor are the worse. Both of these tools can easily make Windows inoperable, especially the Registry Editor that could damage Windows beyond repair.

You should disable both Command Prompt and Windows Registry Editor if you are concerned about the PC’s security (and health).

Move to the location given below:

Here disable both "Prevent access to the command prompt" and "Prevent access to registry editing tools" options to stop users from accessing Command Prompt and Registry Editor.

7. Hide Partition Drives from My Computer

If there is a specific drive with sensitive data inside, then you can hide it from My Computer so users are unable to find it. It’s a good measure to keep users fooled, but it should not be used as a method to protect data against prying eyes.

Go to the below mentioned location and enable the option "Hide these specified drives in My Computer".

Once enabled, click on the drop down menu in the "Options" panel and select which drives you would like to hide. The drives will be hidden when you will click on "OK".

8. Tweaks for Start Menu and Taskbar

Group Policy offers dozens of tweaks for Start Menu and the Taskbar to customize them as you like. The tweaks are perfect for both administrators and regular users looking to customize Windows Start Menu and Taskbar. Go to the below mentioned location in Group Policy Editor and you will find all the tweaks with an explanation of what they do.

The tweaks are really easy to understand, so I don’t think I’ll have to explain each one of them. Besides, Windows already offers a detailed description for each tweak. Some of the things you can do include, change start menu power button function, prevent users from pinning programs to taskbar, restrict search option’s reach, hide notifications area, hide battery icon, prevent changes in taskbar and start menu settings, prevent users from using any power options (shutdown, hibernate, etc.), remove "Run" option from start menu and a whole lot of other tweaks.

Time to show who’s the boss

The above Group Policy tweaks should help you take control over a PC and ensure nothing goes wrong when other users use it. Group Policy has hundreds of options to control different Windows functions, above are just few of the most handy ones. So you should explore Group Policy editor and see if you find any hidden gems. Although make sure you create a system restore point before making any changes.

Which one of these Windows Group Policy tweaks you like? Do share with us in the comments.

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