Social Showdown: Changes to Facebook, Timeline and Google Plus

The New Timeline

Shortly after Facebook’s developer conference, F8, Facebook opened up use of its new “Timeline” feature to developers. Along with various other changes made within the past weeks, this is the largest change in a long list of recent updates made to Facebook’s interface.

This new profile displays everything from today all the way back to when you first joined Facebook. (It actually goes back to when you were born if Facebook has that information). There is also even a new spot at the top of the profile for a large picture or “cover” that you can switch out just like your Facebook picture. (more…)

HTML5, CSS3 and YOU

You may be asking yourself what this HTML5 is all about and why you were unaware that there was even a HTML 1-4. Or you may not even know what HTML or CSS is, and this is already too confusing. Considering all possibilities, I’ll start with the basics.

HTML is the underlying structure of all websites. It is the code that your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc) must interpret and decide how to show you a web page.

CSS aka Cascading Style Sheets is the set of “rules” applied to HTML code. So when you see some text on a page that is red or a box of text with a background or border, this is most likely some rules applied to the code telling the browser how to style those various elements on a page. Easy, no?

So why is HTML5 so important?

Well, for starters, there has been a huge backing behind HTML5 from major companies such as Apple, Google, and even Microsoft has jumped on board with IE9. Pushing towards a single standard means big things in the web-world, especially when HTML hasn’t seen much modification since 1997. This is a huge leap from a technology standpoint.

Among the new additions are a few that grab most developer’s attention. Better mobile compatibility, embedding media without a plugin, and new coding elements just to name a few.

Similarly, CSS3 is being used side-by-side with HTML5. CSS3 includes new rules which can be applied to elements such as rounded corners and drop shadows, all without having to use graphics. CSS3 can also apply a different set of rules depending on what size screen is viewing a page using newfangled things called media queries. Do you need to display 3 columns of content on a desktop HD screen, but want to stack those columns vertically on a mobile phone? Not a problem, CSS3 can handle it.

What does this mean for me?

Source: xkcd.com

If you aren’t concerned about what goes on behind the scenes and just want your browser to show you websites, you’re in luck. With most modern, up-to-date browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3, you will be greeted with a much more standard and streamlined experience. Whether you are browsing on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, HTML5 will cause much fewer headaches caused by installing plugins, non-standard content and incompatible websites.

Have a blog or a website with updates or news? Updating your HTML code to support new code elements such as <section> <article> and <header> you will largely improve your SEO when search engines like Google and Bing can understand your site’s structure that much more.

Are you in charge of a website for a business? Making sure you or your programmers/designers take advantage of the new features in HTML5 and CSS3 will further ensure your website is ahead of the pack when it comes to compatibility with various devices, increase your visibility to search engines with SEO improvements, and will make certain your customers can access your content anytime, anywhere without any hassles.

So that’s all, huh?

I know it’s a lot to take in, but in the long-run just knowing that new things are on the horizon is a step in the right direction. Designing for the web isn’t easy, but HTML5 and CSS3 are making things much easier, and in the end all of us will benefit from it.

If you want to know more about HTML5 and CSS3 and see what they can really do, check out some of the links below.

Dive Into HTML5
HTML5 and The Future of the Web
CSS3 Previews
Get Started With CSS3

WSURaiderUp.com Launches!

We are proud to present our newest project for Wright State University, WSURaiderUp.com. Raider Up is an online portal written for the students of WSU by other students and faculty.  Raider Up features the latest news and events happening on campus presented in a format appealing to students.

Raider Up integrates with the pre-existing student login and allows students to sign in with their campus username and password. From here, students can subscribe to the topics they are interested in. Through integration with MailChimp, students are emailed when new articles that they have subscribed to are posted.

Raider Up is a phrase that the University has recently implemented into other departments as well, such as Athletics. Raider Up was recently featured in WHIO.

Check out Raider Up!