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Design Focus

Friday Focus #47

Here with are with another month drawing to a close. We are just 5 weeks away from the first year anniversary of Friday Focus, so feel free to start putting together your gifts for us now. I’m not sure what exactly the 52nd week of Friday Focus will actually hold, but hopefully I can get a whole bunch of things to stuff the focus with when the time comes. In another quick announcement, I apologize for not getting out the WordPress 2.3 sum up article out right away like I had promised. The week became a lot more busier than I expected it to be. Things are coming, just be patient.

Enough talk, let’s kick off the weekend with a new Friday Focus.

Sites of the Week

Leading off is Groop, a really simplistic, clean design that utilizes flash. They’ve done some really cool work, including stuff for Live Earth, so check them out.

Groop

Next is ShawnBlanc.net, a good example of a dark design that is simplistic, uncluttered, and eye catching.

ShawnBlanc.net

And finally we have the updated version of Hydra Studio. They’ve done some really clean work, including designs for the bands The Almost, Underoath, and Mae among others.

Hydra Studio

Digg Weekly

Design100 (Legal) Sources for Free Stock Images
From the digg description: Staying legal as a designer or webmaster means you’ll have to either create your own images or buy them from stock sites. Fortunately, there are a number of sources for free images, and we’ve collected them here. So read on for 100 sources where you can find free stock images: and don’t worry — they’re all legal!

Programming7 Reasons I Switched Back to PHP
Everyone thinks that Rails is the future of coding. It is already in use on tons of web applications, but this article just may make you reconsider.

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WordPress 2.3 Released

Lots of people have been waiting all day for this, and now WordPress 2.3 is finally out. You can grab it here. I’m going to be making the upgrade now, so if you run into anything not functioning over the next little while, that’d be why. Expect a full 2.3 report tomorrow afternoon.

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Design Focus

Friday Focus #46

Here we are with the forty-sixth time I’ve said this. It’s Friday Focus time. Welcome to the weekend everyone.

Sites of the Week

Kicking off the 46th edition of Friday Focus is Cornerstone Fellowship. This is just another great example of religious sites being designing and built right. Some of the nicest designs are now being found in places you wouldn’t expect.

Cornerstone Fellowship

Second this week is Mint (no, not that mint). Mint, the money management application that has been hyped for a long time finally went live, and although I have yet to actually try out the application (you kind of need to have money in order to use it), mostly everything I’ve heard and seen about it has been all positive.

My Mint

And wrapping things up is Cottyn. The Virb/Purevolume crew is at is again producing some cool (and funny) tee’s. Right now there are only three, but I’m sure you can expect a lot more in the future.

Cottyn

Digg Weekly

DesignAdvanced Glow Effects in Photoshop
Description from Digg: In this tutorial we’re going to create some really sharp looking glow effects using a combination of layer styles, the pen tool and colour blending. The end effect is quite stunning and hopefully you’ll pick up some tips you didn’t know before.

Programming – Couldn’t find anything amazing or really standout, so we’ll leave this as is this week, unless someone has some suggestions.

Summing Up a Big Week

This was a very big week in terms of traffic for us. It was very nice to see, especially because it seemed like things were slowly beginning to die here as days went on and on and I didn’t write anything new. The font list post really woke things up and will hopefully create a nice spark from here on out. I have an interview with Keegan Jones that should be hitting your screens and feedreaders pretty damn soon, so be on the lookout. Over and out.

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Last Updated Categories WordPress 2.3 Query

With WordPress 2.3 about to be released, I had to update some code I used to correspond with the new taxonomy schema.

For another blog I run, I have a feature where I show only the categories that have recently been posted against. For example, this post is being published under the category ‘Sidenotes’, so sidenotes would be the first category shown on a list.

For the new schema, I had to write a new query. I thought I’d share my query in case others find it useful or want a real example of a query using the new taxonomy schema.

<?php
function getLastFiveCats() {
	global $wpdb;
	$query = "select t.term_id as term_ids, t.name, t.slug, max(p.ID) as id, tx.count from $wpdb->terms t, $wpdb->term_taxonomy tx, $wpdb->term_relationships tr, $wpdb->posts p where t.term_id = tx.term_id and tx.parent != 0 and tx.taxonomy = 'category' and tr.term_taxonomy_id = t.term_id and tr.object_id = id and p.post_status = 'publish' group by term_ids order by id desc limit 5";
	$results = $wpdb->get_results($query);
	foreach ($results as $result) {
		$catPermalink = get_bloginfo('url') . "/category/" . $result->slug . "/";
		?>
			<li><a href='<?php echo $catPermalink ?>'><?php echo $result->name ?></a></li>
		<?php
	} 
}
?>

Please note that this query only searches for non-parent categories, but this can be changed to search for all categories pretty easily by removing: tx.parent != 0

Here’s another query that gets all the categories and orders them by when they were last updated:

<?php
function getAllCats() {
	global $wpdb;
	$query = "select t.term_id as term_ids, t.name, t.slug, max(p.ID) as id, tx.count from $wpdb->terms t, $wpdb->term_taxonomy tx, $wpdb->term_relationships tr, $wpdb->posts p where t.term_id = tx.term_id and tx.taxonomy = 'category' and tr.term_taxonomy_id = t.term_id and tr.object_id = id and p.post_status = 'publish' group by term_ids order by id desc";
	$results = $wpdb->get_results($query);
	foreach ($results as $result) {
		$catPermalink = get_bloginfo('url') . "/category/" . $result->slug . "/";
		?>
			<li><a href='<?php echo $catPermalink ?>'><?php echo $result->name ?></a></li>
		<?php
	} 
}
?>

Recently Updated Categories

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Homepage News

Record Breaker?

Lists definitely seem to be all the rage. It’s been less than 24 hours since the 30 Fonts You Want To Have list went up, and after just checking Mint it appears like it is going to be a record setting day. With just under 10 hours to go before the books close on today’s unique visitors, we are already at 4,000+. I’m excited to see what the day brings in at the end of the all, and what effect, if any, it will have on subscriber counts and comments / reads on other articles.

Devlounge Mint Snapshot Live

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30 Fonts You Want to Have

Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to deciding what fonts to you one their designs. Depending on the project type and what the design is for, certain fonts make more sense in certain situations than in others. There are millions of fonts out there – not one list could ever list them all. Some are available for free, and others will cost you a little bit of dinero, but in the end, the larger font collection you have the better off you’ll be in ensuring you have the perfect font to meet your clients needs.

We’ve compiled our own list of 30 fonts we think you should have if you don’t already have them. The list is a mix of some popular ones as listed in a “Favorite Font” thread over at Mintpages, and some of them I have added myself because I happen to be a big fan on them. Each font also has a url listed where you can grab it from (damn we make it convenient for you huh?) Enjoy!

The Font List

The List

1. Rockwell [Paid]
Font: Rockwell

2. Segoe UI [Free]
Font: Segoe UI

3. Helvetica [Paid]
Font: Helvetica

4. Calibri [Paid]
Font: Calibri

5. TW Cen MT [Paid]
Font: TW Cen MT

6. Bello [Paid]
Font: Bello

7. Myriad [Paid]
Font: Myriad

8. Century Gothic [Paid]
Font: Century Gothic

9. Fat Love [Free]
Font: Fat Love

10. Decker [Free]
Font: Decker

11. Non Serif [Free]
Font: Non Serif

12. Interstate [Paid]
Font: Interstate

13. Lane Narrow [Free]
Font: Lane Narrow

14. News Gothic MT [Paid]
Font: News Gothic MT

15. SF Arbocrest [Free]
Font: SF Arbocrest

16. SoopaFresh [Free]
Font: Soopafresh

17. Ubahn [Free]
Font: Ubahn

18. Vrinda [Paid]
Font: Vrinda

19. Babel Sans [Free]
Font: Babel Sans

20. Bitstream Vera Serif [Free]
Font: Bitstream Vera Serif

21. Bold Bold [Free]
Font: BoldBold

22. Franklin Gothic Demi [Paid]
Font: Franklin Gothic Demi

23. GoodOT [Paid]
Font: Good OT

24. Din Regular [Paid]
Font: Din Regular

25. Sansa 2 [Paid]
Font: Sansa 2

26. Marcelle [Free]
Font: Marcelle

27. Avant Que [Free]
Font: Avant Que

28. Stag [Paid]
Font: Stag

29. Apex New [Paid]
Font: Apex New

30. Arrival [Paid]
Font: Arrival

Your Thoughts?

What fonts would you like to see on the list? Obviously like I said, we can’t list them all. I’m sure I missed plenty of great ones. These are just a few that come to my mind. Feel free to use the comments to let us know what you thought of this list – what shouldn’t have been on it and what should have.

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Design Focus

Friday Focus #45

Another weekend is upon us. This was a fairly busy week in terms of site changes around here, most of which have been received fairly well. Now that school is beginning to calm down and settle back into the usual “pattern” I can expect to be in until June, I should hopefully be able to get writing again over the weekend or at the beginning part of next week. Watch for it, because it is about damn time I write something other than these focuses!

Anyways, enjoy the weekend everyone!

Sites of the Week

This week was rather scare, and there wasn’t too much of anything that really caught my eye this week. One site that I did stumble upon and found pretty nice was Cabedge. Cabedge is a Nashville based web design and development studio. Besides offering design and development help, they also offer hosting to any of their clients.

Cabedge

Design Float / Digg Weekly

Design30 Secret Photoshop Shortcuts
A collection of Photoshop shortcuts aimed at boosting your productivity. From WebDesignerWall.

ProgrammingCreating Google Custom Search Engines
A custom search engine (CSE) tells Google which sites to search and which to avoid when dealing with a search query. This makes it much easier to get specific, guided answers to questions about a specific subject area. If you create a CSE you can use your expertise in a subject to control where Google looks for information about that topic.

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WordPress 2.3 Beta 3 Released

Just thought I’d put up a quick note before everyone else starts posting about it. The latest beta build of WordPress 2.3 is now available for download. Everything I’ve tested so far with 2.3 has been working superbly, and I’m really excited to see 2.3 go final and get it in use here on Devlounge. The first release candidate is due out next Monday (continuing with their new released every Monday pattern that’s been going on over the last few weeks), so we sure to watch for it. You can grab the beta here if you are interested.

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Homepage News

And The Tweaks Continue

Round two of the homepage updates have now been completed. You’ll notice that the homepage sidebar is now a little bit more populated than before. Header images have been added for each section, to give some visual identification to each section. You’ll now find the four latest news briefs and side notes in the sidebar as well. Lots to click on, but it is all leading on into the site. That’s good, right?

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Two Social Bookmarking Icon Sets

I was recently on the hunt for some social bookmarking icons. I found a couple of resources, but all of the icons were for a particular background color. And then I stumbled upon a resource with some icons with the beloved transparent background.

Both icon sets are from the same site: http://www.vikiworks.com/

Social Bookmarking Icon 1

Social Bookmarking Icon 2

For the code to implement some of the icons, please check out the Life Rocks! 2.0 icon page.

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Homepage News

Refreshed Homepage Now Up

If you’re looking for something to go good with your Sunday breakfast, stop by Devlounge and have a look at the updated homepage. As promised, it was time to trash all of the extra stuff and put more focus on our articles. I still have some things to add (just a few more things to the sidebar on the right), and I’m still trying to determine the best amount of articles to have on the front page (more or less than right now…what do you think?). Let me know what you think of the change.

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Friday Focus #44

What an extremely slow week! I apologize for a severe lack of new material this week. My first week back at school, and it just takes a little while to get back into the swing of things. Without any more delaying, let’s just right into things this week since this is the only new material coming out of camp Devlounge.

Sites of the Week

Leading off week 44 is Varien. I’m loving the color scheme here, the site is very clean as well. The layout is nothing over the top or ground breaking, but it gets the job done and serves the purpose just fine.

Varien

Second is Kyan. I really like how it goes from blue to green, obviously representing the sky and the ground. And their Carbon Logic project looks pretty damn nice.

Kyan

And finally this week is Worldways. The reason this one makes the list is because of how clean it is. Sometimes I just love how things are laid out, and this is one of those cases.

Worldways

Digg / Design Float Weekly

DesignWeb 2.0 Layer Styles
A bunch of Photoshop layer styles, with a bunch of gradients for you web 2.0 nuts. A time saver? Maybe for some of you.

Programming17 WordPress Plugins for AdSense
A Mashable article pointing out 17 WordPress plugins to help with displaying Google AdSense ads in WordPress.

Changes, Changes

You may have read it last week about the suggested changes that were on the way to Devlounge. Plain and simple, I’m removing all the bloat and putting 90% of the focus on what it should be on – the content. I feel right now, a lot of it falls by the way side. Currently if you land on the homepage for the first time, it can be difficult to navigate, and chances are you’ll end up clicking on content from somewhere else than from Devlounge, because there is so much more of it on the page. The homepage will be split into two columns, with a column on the right containing ads, recent interview photos (like they are displayed now but without the iframe), and some other goodies. The left column will feature someone between 5-10 articles, in large excerpt form leading to the actual full length articles. This should increase circulation of all of our content, which is always helpful, especially right now because I’m swamped with school stuff, upcoming SAT’s, college essays and applications, and a lot of other stuff that is going to be occupying most of my time. It should make it to the stage in a few weeks or less.