What’s New With HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript?

Angry Birds Beta for ChromeAlthough we are still a ways away from being able to use HTML5 and CSS3 to their full potential, some really neat things are being done with them right now. In case you missed the news last week, a new, Web-based version of the wildly popular game Angry Birds was unveiled. For the most part, that application is built using HTML5 and JavaScript (relying heavily on the new <canvas> element and all of its power).

There was some minor controversy over the game, after it was discovered that it still requires Flash in order to play the game (to produce the sounds and music for the game rather than using HTML5 audio), but there are some potentially valid reasons for that.

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Comments in HTML5

As we’ve discussed on this blog in the past, HTML5 introduces a lot of new elements that are intended specifically to imply semantic information. One of the elements being introduced is the <article> element.

For the most part, the <article> element is supposed to denote a block of information that can stand on its own (essentially, the main content of the page or post). When developing a blog template. The spec currently describes the <article> element with the following verbiage:

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Adding Settings Fields to Your WordPress Plugin

When developing a plugin for WordPress, a lot of times you’ll want to create your own page of options within the administration area. To do so, you’ll usually use the add_options_page() or add_submenu_page() function to actually create the page; but then you’ll have to populate that page with the actual settings fields.

The first step in that process is to understand the add_settings_field() function. This function accepts 6 different parameters. They are as follows:

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Using jQuery in your WordPress plugins

This evening on Twitter, @viper007Bond posted a quick tip about using jQuery in your WordPress plugins (also applicable to themes). His initial tweet was:

Using jQuery in your WordPress plugin? Make sure you’re using quotes in your selector strings! http://api.jquery.com/category/selectors/

Then, @dimensionmedia, @viper007Bond and I had the following brief conversation:

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Is Yahoo! Protesting the sale of Delicious?

For a little over two hours, now, Yahoo! Mail has been unavailable to its users (yes, all 8 of us). I saw reports this morning that Flickr (another Yahoo! property) was down intermittently, as well.

Has anyone seen any official reports as to what might be causing the issues? Is Yahoo! under some sort of attack? Are the throngs of people transferring their bookmarks from Delicious bogging down Yahoo!’s servers? Are you experiencing any problems trying to access any of Yahoo!’s other properties?

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What Is HTML5?

There’s been a lot of talk about HTML5 and all of the new elements it introduces. Forms will be built and used completely differently, the structure of documents will be much more semantic, and new features will be available to website and application developers.

But, what are these semantic elements? Are they really anything new? Will they change the structure of your document at all? The simple answer is “no”. The new elements, for the most part, just make your documents easier to parse and understand (for machines and for people using assistive technology). Very few of the new elements are really all that new; they’re just the same old elements with new names for new purposes.

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Captions in HTML5

As more and more browsers begin to support HTML5 and its elements, one of the nice things we can all begin using is the <figcaption> tag. When coupled together with the new <figure> tag, the <figcaption> tag semantically connects a caption with an illustration (not necessarily an image illustration; it can be a text illustration).

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ChromeDeck – Tweetdeck for Chrome

TweetdeckFor the past few weeks, I have been using ChromeDeck (the native Tweetdeck application for the Google Chrome browser) fairly exclusively as my desktop Twitter client. I am very pleased with the application, and am extremely impressed at how similar the appearance is to the desktop app. There are a lot of neat features that you won’t find in the full-fledged desktop version; but there are also a few features I used regularly in the AIR application¬†that I sorely miss in the Chrome version.

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Guidelines for Accessible Forms

In an age where user feedback and interaction has become so popular, accessible forms have become that much more important. Many sites have already embraced making their forms accessible, and done a pretty good job of it, but inevitably some will still lack that little extra something – as small as an inappropriately named label through to no accessible features at all.

1. Using label tags

Labels should always be used and include the for attribute (e.g. <label for="name">). The value used should match the id of the input field that the label is being used for:

<label for="name">Name</label> <input type="text" id="name">

Labels for inputs, select dropdowns and textareas should precede the input, though labels for radio buttons and checkboxes should follow the input, as follows:

<input type="checkbox" id="terms"> <label for="terms">Accept our terms & conditions</label>

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WordPress: Hooking Into The Upload Action

While WordPress implements a really nice asynchronous upload function, it doesn’t really offer any simple way to manipulate the files before they’re actually stored in your uploads folder.¬†There are multiple filters you can hook into after the file’s been uploaded and processed; but there aren’t any filters available to do anything with the file beforehand.

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