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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Getting Semantic With HTML5 November 23, 2010

Posted by ramonmendias in New Technology, Programming, Web 2.0.
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If you have HTML experience and have been working in the Web business a good while, you should know there has been a large number of changes to the HTML standard over a relatively short time. There are so many new and exciting things coming to the Web market it’s impossible to put everything into one article. Last week I mentioned some things about client-side storage and how it’s handled by HTML5. This week I am continuing down the path of HTML5 and mentioning other important features that will become more commonly used by developers as Web browsers catch up to these new standards.

For those who are familiar with the term “semantic coding”, you know this term is used to describe correct markup with meaningful naming or definitions. Who wants to open up another developer’s code and spend additional time trying to figure out what is going on in regard to structure and naming? The code needs to stand on its own, and be considered self-explanatory. This semantic way of structuring and naming is a trend that started a while back and is used by good Web designers or developers.

W3C has implemented some new tags in HTML5. It is common for one to structure pages using the <div> tag with IDs named “branding” or “nav_main” for example. HTML5 has introduced the tags <header>, <nav>, <article>, <aside>, and <footer>. I didnt name all of the new tags, but the whole importance behind these is to allow developers to write less code but add more meaning to the content. The new tags will make it easier for other developers, browsers, and search engines to distinguish what is important and what is not.

It is really exciting to see the standards change to make production easier and overall user experience better. Oh my, I recall the table and frames madness going on in the nineties, and I am so relieved we are not in those stone ages anymore.

5 Exciting Things to Look Forward to in HTML 5

HTML5: Are Online Databases On Thier Way Out? November 15, 2010

Posted by ramonmendias in New Technology, Programming, Technology, Web 2.0.
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This week I read an interesting article on HTML5 and what’s coming in regard to data management. The article refers to client-side storage, which allows the data you input to be stored to your local hardrive. This may not sound like a big deal, but this will provide a better user experience through offline interaction and speed performance.

We all like retina blazing speed when we’re browsing right? I have used AJAX to allow users to browse information on Websites without reloading pages, but it still involves connecting to a database somewhere on a server. A good use of AJAX can be found when you type something in the search bar on www.google.com. Google uses AJAX to grab similar keywords and display them as you type.

By using HTML5 and these newer storage APIs, we can have better control of how data is stored. Have you ever been filling out a form and your internet drops connection? Most of the time you lose all of that information you typed into the form, and one has to start over from the beginning. An online-offline application would be able to store all the information you entered and be able to recall it at any time.

Older storage techniques such as cookies, plug-in based storage, and browser-specific features are very limited on many fronts. They still have a place in the Web arena due to people using older browsers, but they will eventually deprecate. The new client-side storage APIs are not being developed to replace traditional databases hosted on a server. They are being put in place to make everyone’s web experience better. I’ve included some links to the articles I found below.

http://www.html5rocks.com/tutorials/offline/storage/
http://www.html5rocks.com/tutorials/offline/whats-offline/

Our Design has to be Influenced by Something November 8, 2010

Posted by ramonmendias in Uncategorized.
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Art is such a beautiful thing, and consistently proves to be a great point for discussion. We all have different childhoods and experiences we have gone through. I chose to talk about the monolith Squares with Two Circles, by Barbara Hepsworth, for a number of reasons. The first reason I liked the sculpture was because it seems to symbolized a parent and child. Interestingly, I recently took my nine year old daughter to see the DMA and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. It was very cool to see her reactions to the various pieces, and I really enjoyed the time we spent together. The modernist sculpture is located outside and is positioned in front of weeping willow trees. The two large holes in the sculpture allow the space around the piece to come through. It was cast into bronze in 1964, and has a natural green patina which adds to it’s great appearance. Seeing pictures of these various sculptures and works of art doesn’t reflect all the detail or craftsmanship the artists put into the pieces. The original was made from plaster, and only four numbered bronze castings were made. Unlike many other monoliths, this appears to take the form of two figures standing together. The holes in the sculpture resemble two heads, which adds to its human form type appearance. Barbara Hepsworth was inspired by the work of Henry Moore, who was a British sculptor that also used abstractions of the human figure. I’m not on board with Clement Greensburg’s school of thought which art has no emotion, and we all should view it and accept it at face value. I think art stirs us up and gives us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves. I am an artist, and I put myself entirely into each piece I do, even though most of the work I do these day is Web based. I think it’s important for people to actually get out and see art in person, rather than only viewing it from a book or photograph. I am thankful we were able to go see some exhibits, because I haven’t been to the art gallery in ages. My daughter shows great appreciation for art, and it’s something I feel everyone should share. Regardless if one can draw stick figure or not, its about what the piece of art makes you think about.

Squares with Two Circles

Is Your Reality Augmented Today? October 25, 2010

Posted by ramonmendias in New Technology, Technology, Web 2.0.
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Have you ever found yourself wondering what it would be like to view and interact with information as done in the movies Minority Report or Iron Man? I was browsing YouTube.com one day and I stumbled across some videos that clearly opened my eyes, and made me realize it’s not ridiculous to imagine such a concept. There is a term called augmented reality (AR), in which a live direct or indirect view of our real-world environment is enhanced with computer generated graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell. The line between what’s real and what’s cgi has become less distinguishable over the years. AR technology has been around for decades. The newer mobile smart phones and computer system have allowed the once very expensive AR technology to explode into many markets.

There are too many applications of AR to list in detail for this post, so I have gathered some I found very interesting. Some simple examples of AR can be found on television such as various sporting events. In American football, the 1st down marker line running across the field is overlayed so it appears to be painted on the field. Telecasts of swimming events, which are time based, often display the position of the world record holder real-time. More complex application of AR can be found at museum displays, heads-up displays in cars and airplanes, and also on mobile smart phones.

I am a smart phone user, and recently upgraded to a phone with the Android operating system on it. I enjoy browsing through the thousands of apps that are available. I recently found a multitude of apps tapping into the AR technology. Applications like Layar and Wikitude.me, use the phone’s global positioning technology to determine a person’s location and uses the phone’s compass to discern the direction the device is pointed. The AR application can match up what the user is seeing and overlay information to add to the mobile experience. I was blown away by this, and found it very useful when trying to locate a place to eat, locate a business, or even learn where friends are Tweeting from. This is all integrated with a number of APIs which tie in maps, directions, social networks, and many other online resources. The Layar application is set up like an app store. When you launch it, one can browse through hundreds of custom Layars available to plug in to the base application. These Layars can be added or subtracted from your viewing at any time depending on what information you want to see.

Large companies such as Qualcomm, a world leader in next-generation mobile technologies, recently made AR technology available to the development community through Software Development Kit for Andriod. This news is monumental because more and more companies will be jumping on-board with the technology and making our consumer buying experiences better. Make sure you keep your eyes open while out shopping because product packaging and promotional items could have some AR technology attached to it. I guess we’ll no longer have to go through buying toys for our children, and getting home to find out it wasn’t what we expected to be. I can’t wait to see what AR brings to our future, can you?

Here are some other links pertaining to AR technology.
USPS – Virtual Box Simulator (youtube)
Hitlab – Augmented Reality (youtube)
Kicking Reality Up a Notch
HowStuffWorks.com – Augmented Reality

Programming Logic Posts Are Moving May 14, 2009

Posted by ramonmendias in Uncategorized.
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Hello all,

I have decided to move my Programming Logic posts to my other blog to keep this blog on the subject of business, technology, and new innovative things that are JUST COOL. My other blog is more in line with actual programming or scripting.

I’ll be probably making some new posts to this blog and my personal one this weekend. Cya soon!

Great refresher May 7, 2009

Posted by ramonmendias in Programming, Technology.
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This week we got into Arrays and the Math object which was great to be refreshed on. I was bummed to have missed our lab class this week, but the things covered weren’t too complex. The examples I coded for the assignments can be found here. Phillip Likens has been a very knowledgeable professor that has been easy to keep up with.

Weeee, if else if conditionals May 1, 2009

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This week we threw together some conditional statements, and also put together a number guessing game. Mine can be found here. We’re going to be getting into Arrays and some objects next week.

Hola!! Well, I’m Back to Coding on School Projects Again. April 22, 2009

Posted by ramonmendias in Programming.
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I just wanted to say hello, and mention I am coding again. I have a Programming Logic class and feel pretty comfortable coding javascript in general. I didn’t really have any problems with describing the different statements we were given to explore this week. The posted files can be found here.

It sure is nice to start blogging again. Woohoo!

I’ll be back soon!! October 1, 2008

Posted by ramonmendias in Blogging.
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Hello everyone. I am still alive… :)

I have been dealing with some family issues and haven’t had the time to post in the last couple of weeks. I should probably be able to get started back up this week. Stay tuned.

Swyper no Swypey…Swyper no Swypey: Text Input Revisited September 13, 2008

Posted by ramonmendias in Technology.
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Here is a new text input technology being added to a touchscreen near you. It has been created by Cliff Kushler, the same person who created T9 technology. They just need to make it for the Palm Centro, and then it will be SUPER cool. What do you think?

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