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Prestwood IT Newsletter Jul 2009 Issue - Design Edition

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Each month on or after the 1st, and only once a month, we will send you content from up to 5 community groups. If you select this Design group, you'll receive the following content below mixed in with the other groups you elect to include.

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  July 2009 - Design Edition Year 11 Issue 7  
Your full service technology partner!


Expert guidance from working professionals!
Peter Gruenbaum
Technical Writing topic:
Survey on SDK Documentation
by Peter Gruenbaum

A survey was sent to software developers and other software professionals to ask what was important in SDK documentation and where they would like to see improvement. The results indicated that the current state of typical SDK documentation is "Fair", which was the middle choice of five ("Excellent" to "Unusable"). The answers to multiple choice questions indicated that overviews, API references, sample code, and tutorials were all considered high importance, whereas blogs and forums were considered less important. When asked to write what they considered important, sample code was mentioned in 61% of the responses and overviews were mentioned in 30% of the responses. Also mentioned as important were help getting started, explanations of why something should be used, accuracy of information, and the ability to find information easily.

IT Water-Cooler for Power-Users topic:
Stamp Out Spam
by Vicki Nelson

How to fight back against spam and reclaim your inbox. As you may know, the volume of spam messages sent across the Internet has reached epidemic levels. Some industry experts estimate that three out of every five e-mail messages that are sent today are spam. The spam epidemic is costing companies, professionals, and individual users considerable amounts of time, money, and resources.

What is spam, and what can I do about it? Spam is generally defined as an unsolicited mailing, usually sent to many recipients. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send. Most of the costs are paid by the recipient or the carriers rather than the sender. Some effective methods for preventing your e-mail address from being captured, sold or abused by spammers in the full version of this article. Click the title to read more.






 Design Group Top 
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MS Frontpage topic (classic post):
Browser Safe Fonts
by Mike Prestwood
These browser safe fonts will render well on various operating systems and browsers.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) topic (classic post):
CSS-P: Demystifying HTML Element Positioning Contexts
by Evan Egalite
The purpose of this article is to show how to use Cascading Style Sheets to control the layout of nested HTML elements on a page, and to demystify the confusing absolute and relative element positioning scheme used by the browser.

 Monthly Design Lesson
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month
The following code snippet allows you to import a cascading style sheet (CSS) into another CSS file. The main benefit is this allows you to organize your styles and to create common CSS files.

@import url('http://legacy.prestwood.com/style_core.css');

Artistic (design, layout, etc.) Topic:
Download of the Month: DHTML Menu Builder
Add [d_rop]-down menus to your website.

DHTML Menu Builder is the tool of choice for building Javascript menus for our Prestwood family of websites.

Complete dhtml menus can be built, in a matter of minutes, without writing a single line of code.
No special plugins and no programming or HTML knowledge required, with just DHTML Menu Builder you'll be able to create great looking and functional dhtml menus for all your web sites.

Artistic (design, layout, etc.) Topic:
Question: Any suggestions on buidling a DHTML/Javascript menu for my web site?

Answer:

Don't reinvent the wheel. Use one of the many menu builders on the market. 

I use a product called DHTML Menu Builder. He's worked out all the problems and it really didn't seem worth my time since someone else had already worked out all the issues between different browsers and browsers on different OSes. His menus still aren't perfect, but boy, they sure are close.

The software is located at http://software.xfx.net/

Logos Topic:
Tip of the Month

Each logo you create should have at most one symbol. You can mess with the text is "textual" ways such as font, color, and minor tweaks, but if you include a "symbol", you should include only one symbol.



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