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Flash Web Roundup - Great tutorials and experiments

About the author:
Carlos Pinho is a web-dev geek and is founder of The Tech Labs, a blog/site which publishes free tutorials on Adobe Air, Flash and Flex. The Tech Labs is maintained by multiple authors. You can follow Carlos on Twitter.

Flash Web Roundup

The launch of the Flash platform, was perhaps the greatest revolution the world of the Internet has seen to date. One of the determinant factors is the high success on the rate of deployment in any browser from any OS. Its success is due also to the constant updating and development of new frameworks, API's as also the effort that Adobe and Community dedicated to show their experiences through the tutorials, whether through demonstrations and source codes. That is exactly what we are going to show today: Tutorials and experiments that will help to improve your skills.


Tags:  flash roundup flex actionscript as3 tutorial experiment guest article
 
A fancy Apple.com-style search suggestion

Apple is known to create beautiful products (next to the needed functionality of course). I already wrote several articles on how you can transfer some amazing iPhone designs to your webbrowser, I own a MacBook Pro (which also looks pretty sleek) and many other products from Apple are well known for their amazing design.

The website from Apple isn't less: The layout is simple yet beautiful. Yet, one of the most awesome things about the website is the search functionality. It gives you suggestions (with images) about the several products they offer, making it really user-friendly.

Today, we're trying to recreate the effect from that website by creating a fancy apple.com-style search suggestion. Make sure you check out the demo (or visit Apple.com) to see this awesome effect work.

A fancy Apple.com-style search suggestion

This example makes use of several techniques: MySQL (for the database), HTML/CSS for styling, PHP for retrieving the data and jQuery for the AJAX request. How about that for some nice way of combining powerful techniques to create something nice like this. You do need some basic knowledge about these techniques to fully understand this tutorial.

Demo Apple.com-style search suggestion   Download Apple.com-style search suggestion

IMPORTANT NOTE:
As you can see, the demo is located on another server. The reason for this is, that every time a user presses on his keyboard, a call is made to the MySQL database. When loads of users do loads of calls (at the same time), this could result in slowing down the database. The answer for this would that the results should be cached - Something that isn't implemented right now.

Safari, Chrome and Opera are currently the only webbrowsers that support the drop shadow effect around the the search results. Other browsers will simply display the results without the drop shadow.

This technique would be great if it were converted to a plugin for a CMS (WordPress/Joomla/Drupal etc.), but also just very cool to have on your website.


Tags:  apple.com search suggestion mysql php jquery ajax
 
Show me some sleek and well designed game logos

The gaming industry can sometimes be a real source of inspiration. The designs, animation, graphics, music and storyline in each and every game can help you get your inspiration fluids running.

Although I don't play much games myself, I do like the way some game logos (and game covers) are designed.

Sleek Game Logos

On the picture above, you see Faith, the main character in Mirror's Edge. The game logo imitates the shape of the design around her right eye.

The list below shows some seriously sleek and well designed game logos for your inspiration. They all have one thing in common: The logo is more than "just the name of the game" in a fancy way. It's something where you can recognize the game of.


Tags:  sleek game logo recognizable unique design
 
Styling a chat conversation with text balloons

As you can see in my last article (a chat conversation with Janko Javonovic), the article is nicely styled in a real "chat conversation" way. This is achieved by placing the text in text (or speech) balloons, using avatars and making it look pretty fancy.

Like I already said in that article, I wanted to share how you can create such a nicely styled chat conversation with text balloons using CSS3. You can show your interviews or chat conversations online in a pretty way, making it more visually attractive.

Styled chat conversation with CSS3

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Just like the polaroid photo viewer: The text balloons are styled using the CSS3 border-radius property. This works fine on Firefox (using -moz-border-radius) and on Safari/Chrome (using -webkit-border-radius), but on Internet Explorer (not even 8.0) it doesn't. The browser just displays the text baloons as simple blocks.

Demo styled chat conversation with CSS3   Download styled chat conversation with CSS3

Get your CSS editor ready so you'll be able to re-create this cute effect for your site!


Tags:  css3 text balloons speech balloons interview chat conversation
 
Chatting on warp speed with Janko Javonovic

Janko Javonovic is an (digital) artist, UI designer, husband, father and founder of Janko At Warp Speed. The tagline of JAWS (Helps you build good looking and functional web sites) is exactly what the site is about. I found his website last year through StumbleUpon, when Janko had "just" 600 RSS subscribers. From that point on, his blog kept on growing and growing and many people like Jankos creative thoughts and ideas that he's sharing.

Last week, I was "chatting on warp speed" with Janko, sharing thoughts about webdesign, UI design, webdevelopment and his personal life. You can read this conversation right here.

Warpspeed chatting with Janko Javonovic

I'll be placing an tutorial online later this week on how you can create these cute "text-balloons" yourself with CSS. Now, lets sit down and warpspeed chat with this creative man behind the scenes of Janko at Warp Speed.


Tags:  janko javonovic warp speed chat interview personal
 
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