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For years, Adobe has dominated the world of creative software, with Photoshop and Illustrator being the lead software applications for photo editing and graphic design. Even though other programs were available, none of them were able to match the amount of features found in the Adobe suite of tools. However, seven years ago things began the change when Sketch entered the market and established itself as a viable alternative to the famous Adobe Illustrator.
Since its launch, the app has been adopted by design professionals at Apple, Facebook, and Google, and has become a topic of a heated debate among web and UI designers: Photoshop/Illustrator or Sketch?
If you’ve been debating the switch yourself, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share ten things you need to know about Sketch before making the switch from Adobe applications.
You can purchase Sketch for $99 dollars which will get you a one year license. This means that for the duration of the year, you will receive regular updates for Sketch. Once your license expires, you can renew it if you want to continue receiving updates. If you don’t want to renew, Sketch will still continue to work. Compared to Adobe’s subscription model which ranges from $19.99 for a single app to $49.99 for all apps on a monthly basis, Sketch is significantly cheaper, which may be a deciding factor for some.
Like Illustrator, Sketch is vector-based. That makes it a perfect tool for digital illustrations and user interface design. In fact, the developers market it as “made for mobile/web/product designers like you.” It uses Shapes, where each shape is a separate layer. You can combine them into more complex shapes while each individual shape still remains completely editable. On top of that, Sketch’s Union button for merging shapes closely mirrors Illustrator’s Pathfinder tool which makes it easier to design realistic icons and various UI elements.
Sketch comes with built-in tools that automate file export and allow you to drag any element from Sketch directly to a folder, browser, or your desktop. You can export files as SVG, PDF, and EPS, as well as JPG, PNG, TIFF, and WebP. When it comes to importing files, Sketch supports PNG, JPG, TIFF, and WebP file formats. It can also open the SVG, PDF, and EPS vector formats. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files can only be opened as a single flattened layer which means you won’t be able to collaborate with someone who works with Adobe’s applications.
Given that it’s a vector-based program, Sketch cannot compete with photo-editing software that works with raster graphics. In this case, Photoshop still reigns supreme since you won’t find tools that serve simple purposes like reducing red eye, duplicating & patching certain areas, blending colors/textures, and exporting photos as optimized images.
Nowadays, you can find a tutorial for almost anything online. Considering the popularity of Sketch, you can find decent tutorials for the app, however, the available tutorials cannot compete with the sheer amount of Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials. If you’re completely new to the software, this may be a drawback.
Directly tied to the point above is the fact that the user interface in Sketch is a lot simpler than that of Adobe programs. Getting used to a new program is definitely a lot easier when you don’t have hundreds of different options and tools to go through to find the one you need.
If you’ve been using Illustrator for a while and are thinking about moving to Sketch, you’ll be pleased to know that Illustrator and Sketch share a lot of terms, like “layers” and “paths.” Some of the terms are undoubtedly different but they are still easy to understand; for example what Illustrator refers to as boards are called pages in Sketch. In that aspect, migrating from one program to another will be easy.
While the color tool in Sketch is more intuitive to use than in Adobe’s programs, Sketch is not suited for digital painting. Unlike Photoshop, Sketch doesn’t have the pixel-based brush tool that allows for custom settings for pressure sensitivity and compatibility with a wide array of drawing tablets.
One of the things Sketch has going for it are the text styles. If you’re working with a document that has a lot of text layers, you can quickly define a Text Style to apply to these layers. This allows you to update the text style and see the changes reflect across your entire document. You can also convert any text to outlines and modify each letter as an individual shape.
Unfortunately, Sketch is available for Mac only. If you’re a Windows person, you will have to find an alternative for Illustrator and Photoshop, or continue using them.
Considering all the hype Sketch has received and its quick rise to fame, you may be wondering if it’s time to say goodbye to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. If you’re a veteran user of Adobe and rely heavily on the integration between Adobe’s programs, switching to Sketch may not be a good idea. Similarly, if you’re primarily working with others who use Adobe’s programs, dropping them in favor of Sketch may not be a wise move.
If, on the other hand, you’re new to design and your primary focus is UI and icon design, Sketch is a worthwhile and capable option to consider. Keep in mind that both Sketch and Adobe programs come with free trials as well as free video tutorials. so now would be a perfect time to experiment with both and see which one fits your workflow best.
WordPress is one of the most, or even the most hyped content management systems ever. It is favored by many people and there are some really good reasons for it to be so well-liked. There is no doubt that a lot of clients opt for WordPress because one can work with WordPress for free. This is surely a very strong ‘pro’ WordPress argument. Moreover, WordPress offers its clients a number of interesting possibilities due to the elaborate system of plugins. So, with WordPress, you can create a lot of things ranging from a simple blogging site to a unique website or sophisticated online store.
However, when you are about to launch your own site and are looking for the best solution, you should be aware of the problems you may face if you start working with WordPress.
The first thing to know about WordPress is that it was created as a blogging platform. The company doesn’t like to admit this fact but it is true. So, you should understand that WordPress is not a full featured CMS. To make your WordPress website perform some complicated CMS functions you are supposed to add various plugins. There are a number of them but there is no pre-built all-in-one solution here.
WordPress has a plugin system they are proud of. It means that you can create a site of your own and make it functional by adding different plugins. You can do whatever you want; there are more than 40, 000 plugins to choose from at the moment.
The plugins are created by a wide range of WordPress developers. The problem is that the entry barrier is extremely low. It means that the professional level of a person who adds his/her plugin may be not high enough. As a result, plugin conflicts are common within WordPress. So, one has to be extremely careful with adding plugins because they are developed by different developers with different level of coding knowledge. You may face a serious problem resulting in malfunctioning of your website.
The only alternative to using plugins means programming the functionality yourself, which means, at the very least, you need a reasonable knowledge of php.
There is one more detail you should take into consideration. If you are a newcomer in the world of web development, you are certainly searching for an easy variant with little or no coding knowledge involved. In this case, WordPress is definitely not the way to go. You do need to know what it takes to get a site online with this platform. Of course, it may be even interesting to learn something new, but only if you have time for it. If there is no time you’d better find all-in-one website builder with a ready-made template. The market is full of vendors that offer the solutions, requiring no coding.
The plugins used to run your WordPress website need constant updating. Of course, the digital world can’t go on without updating, it is absolutely necessary. But in the case of WordPress, updating becomes a constant source of irritation. Each time you login there is a probability you need to update something. The worst thing about updating is that there is no guarantee your site will be working properly after the next upgrading session. If you don’t have a website administrator and you are doing all the work yourself you will have a lot to do.
If you want your site to have more than the default functionality, you have to add a lot of different plugins to perform multiple tasks. But do not forget that the more plugins you add, the more the site is slowed down.
Besides that, if you need a lot of images for your site the problem is aggravated, as they make it even slower. To add to this, if you are not experienced enough to pick a template with no extra functions, you risk ending up with a disastrously slow website. Your prospective clients are not likely to be very happy with this situation.
As a beginner, you may find the learning curve for WordPress rather steep. It will take you a good while to figure out how the things work here. Unfortunately, they are far from being intuitive. Previous experience of web development will be quite helpful in this situation. But if this is your first attempt to become more intimate with web building, it could be hard work.
In the contemporary world full of digital devices you automatically expect that your visitors will be able to access your website using any kind of screen. This is not always the case with WordPress. Regrettably, not all WP themes are mobile-friendly. So, you should be careful and make sure you find a responsive theme. The same is true about plugins. Not all of them are responsive.
Unfortunately WordPress sites are an easy prey for hacking. The security system used by WordPress is not sufficient, so it is too simple to hack your page. If you are concerned about the secure future of your website you should give give this a lot of consideration. There are things you can do to protect a WordPress site, but, again, they require some coding knowledge.
WordPress does not provide any direct technical support to their clients. There are community support forums where you can ask for help from other WordPress developers, but there is no guarantee you will get a solution to an issue. There is also a WordPress Development StackExchange forum, but again there is no guarantee of an answer. You will probably find yourself spending a lot of time searching the web for answers.
WordPress is able to help you a lot with staying visible to other Internet users. But to achieve this result you need to deal with more plugins. So, you depend on the plugins again. Moreover, be aware of the inconvenience of duplicates and confusing sitemaps created by the WordPress tagging and category system. It may lead to the situation when you will have multiple versions of the same content. You can cope with the problem easily if you have some idea of coding. But if do not, it is something to look into.
There is no doubt, WordPress is a good solution for an experienced web designer. But if you are trying to create your first website yourself, you may find this platform somewhat confusing and troublesome. The plugin system makes the things even more complicated for a beginner. Moreover, though most basic themes and plugins are free, you are still supposed to pay to get high-quality plugins and support. Taking into consideration all these facts, you might want to think twice before opting for WordPress.
When you originally set out to create a web design portfolio site for your business, it was most likely with the intent to use those work samples to impress prospective clients and generate more revenue. But a WordPress website is a powerful, revenue-generating tool in and of itself. You’ve invested a lot of time in creating it, so don’t let it go to waste.
Your main source of revenue right now likely comes from the development projects you work on. As a web design professional, that may present some challenges if your services aren’t priced as high as they should be, if clients are late in making a payment, or if a project runs too long. Rather than rely solely on that project-to-project income (whenever it does come in), why not monetize your portfolio website and start generating passive revenue from it?
Let’s explore some ways you can turn your portfolio website into a money-making machine behind the scenes.
There are two types of ads you could place on your website that will help you start generating revenue right away. Google AdSense may be the easiest of the two options, though it’ll garner you less money in the long run.
The other way to use ads for revenue generation is by creating and then selling actual ad space. This gives you more control over the process, including deciding who the advertisers are, which ad content can run, and where it gets placed. You also get to determine the revenue you make from it.
Because you have more control over everything, this means you can place more targeted and relevant ads for your audience. So, if you’re a WordPress developer, you could have ads from WordPress marketers, WordPress support services companies, and so on.
If you happen to be skilled in graphic design or photography, you may want to consider designing a number of add-ons to sell on your site. Stock photography, iconography, and typography would demonstrate your artistic eye and also give visitors another reason to invest in your services as a web professional.
WordPress themes are always a great option for products to sell. Again, this would not only demonstrate your keen eye for design and web trends, but it would make you an invaluable asset. Not only could you work as a designer for your clients, but you could upsell them on your WordPress theme assets.
This will be one of the more labor-intensive methods for monetizing your website—since you’ll not only need to create a theme, but a demo site for it as well. But it’s an investment worth making if you have the time to put into it upfront, so you can reap the rewards of passive income on it later.
If your interests lie more with coding and providing solutions for web development, try your hand at building a WordPress plugin. Again, it’ll require a sizeable investment of time to build, QA, and launch, but it’s a fantastic way to generate income and to upsell current customers.
With this option, you can either start an affiliate program or join one.
Starting an affiliate program will help you establish a network around your business—something every business owner could benefit from. By offering affiliates a chance to refer traffic to your website, you’ll pay them a small commission every time you land a sale from the referral.
On the other hand, you could join an affiliate program. Start by checking with your business partners or even your hosting company.
If you have a large stockpile of valuable content (like ebooks, video tutorials, etc.) or WordPress tools that visitors would love access to, consider creating special members-only access to your site. Your portfolio and information about your services could be available to the public; but everything else would require a paid membership to gain access to those value-adds.
This is a great way to generate not just additional revenue, but recurring revenue. You’ll just need to be good about managing the memberships and continually creating content or tools that make the membership worthwhile.
Do you enjoy public speaking minus the “public” part of it? If you have unique insights into web design, development, WordPress, or something of particular interest to your niche audience, a podcast may be for you.
Unlike most of the other options on this list, this one will require a regular investment of your time, but it’s a good one to make if you enjoy speaking about your work. Podcasts will also help establish you as an authority in the community and give you another way to make additional revenue from your site.
If educating is your “thing” but you don’t want to go the podcast route, you could offer online courses through your website. You’ve already got a portfolio that serves as proof of your knowledge and skill in web design, so it’s simply a matter of creating a new services page to advertise your courses. And, of course, finding a tool that will enable you to professionally provide those courses to paying students.
Once your portfolio website is up and running, you can start monetizing it at any point—no matter if your business is brand new or it’s been around for years. The suggestions above cover a wide range of options and skill sets for web design professionals. See which ones you can make work for you and start generating some passive revenue today.
Before digging into code, it’s important to create a plan of action that all parties are satisfied with. A mockup, or wireframe, is an easy vehicle for sharing a basic design with anyone involved with design decision making for a web or app development project.
When you hear the word “wireframe,” an image of eyeglasses with a metal frame might come to mind. It might seem cheesy, but a wireframe is similar to a pair of glasses in the way that it allows you to see clearly. Before you can add on a good pair of lenses to clearly see the world around you, you need a sturdy frame to put them in.
Wireframing tools make the process of creating an app or website much easier, by purely focusing on functions and user interactivity, stripping away everything else. A wireframe allows you to plan information hierarchy without the distraction of typical design elements like colors, fonts, and images.
Wireframes look like a mock up of the website or app layout, kind of like a newspaper’s mock layout, before detailed stories are added in.
$99.99 for Mac version
Omnigraffle is a wireframing app that has a high cost, but is worth it for the features. It allows you to create diagrams, process charts, page layouts, wireframes and even graphics that can be used on your website.
Where OmniGraffle stands out from many other wireframing tools for web developers is in its precision. Graphics and wireframes created through this tool could easily make their way to your final product.
Another feature of this tool is ease of use, with something for everyone – from professionals to beginners. You can start simple, then layer on detail if the project requires it. It’s easy to get started, but there’s plenty of additional power in this tool when you’re ready to unlock it.
Omnigraffle on Mac is perhaps the best user interface for creating mockups (with iPhone and iPad apps also available), and purchasing the program provides access to their support team.
Once you’re done with a project, you can quickly share individual elements or entire mockups in a message to a project collaborator, or export finished assets for the project in whatever format you need.
Free basic version, paid plan is $14/month billed annually
Mockflow allows you to easily collaborate with others – up to 2 on the free version and 5 with the paid plan.
It’s known for easy editing and creation features, with drag and drop elements. There’s an extensive library of options to choose from, like video, social media bars, images, and text. If you need inspiration, Mockstore (their template store) allows you to purchase other developer’s templates – or upload your own!
The export options are numerous, including formats like PDF, Microsoft Word, HTML5, images and PowerPoint presentations.
Mockflow is one of the best wireframing tools for developers, but if you’re looking for cons:
Basic plan starts at $9/month
WireframeApp is very similar to Mockflow, but at a slightly more affordable monthly price point. In the past, they’ve worked with Appsumo to offer affordable lifetime access (under $50), so it’s worth following both parties to hop on that deal if it happens again in the future.
WireframeApp is available on the cloud, is touch-friendly, optimized to work fast, and allows for easy collaboration. An especially useful feature is the ability to easily add notes to describe features or functionality that would be too clunky on a basic wireframe.
$6.99 on the App Store
iMockups was created exclusively for the iPad, and it allows developers to draft wireframes for their websites or apps – on the go! iMockups provides the mobility of an iPad + power of a desktop, offering a beautiful interface with intuitive functionality.
It’s easy to share and collaborate, and app purchasers have access to a dedicated support team. The price doesn’t hurt, either.
Cost varies, depending on if you own the software, or if you’re paying for an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. The most basic plan with Adobe Photoshop starts at $9.99/month.
Some people use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or a combination of these two tools to design their wireframes.
In Illustrator, you can save object types and copy them later. Objects are easy to move, scale or modify on this wireframing tool for developers. Illustrator can then export to a PSD file with editable layers, and many typography features. Photoshop is then used to translate the wireframe into a visual final mockup, not dissimilar from how the final website will look. Think of Adobe Illustrator as your bare-bones wireframing tool, and Adobe Photoshop as the final visual wireframe before coding.
If you’re familiar with how to use these tools, the process is relatively straightforward. If you’ve never used either, it’s probably not worth learning just for wireframing purposes, since there are so many other great wireframing tools for developers. On that note, the only major caveat of using Adobe tools for wireframing (compared to others on this list) is that neither Illustrator nor Photoshop offers libraries of interface elements.
Framebox is a simple and free wireframing tool for developers that’s available as a web application. It has various drag and drop elements, allows you to give elements titles and descriptions, and makes it easy to share your final product with others through a URL.
This tool is ideal if you’re looking for something free, just note its limitations compared to other tools on this list, and determine if that’s worth it.
Building a wireframe doesn’t need to mean that it is done on an app or tool; the apps and tools are just there to make everything easier. Some people work better when using the old pen and paper route. Some of the best app ideas started with this wireframing process!
This method is essentially free, since these items can be found laying around the house. But instead of loose pieces of paper or a shared notebook, it’s best to jot down ideas in a separate notebook solely for app and website ideas, for easy organization. Moleskine’s squared notebook has a built in grid that’s perfect for the job.
Wireframes are important when designing a website or app to identify basic information hierarchy, without the distraction of other elements. Clearly, there are a number of tools available – you just have to determine what makes the most sense for you and your collaborators.
In your opinion, what are the best wireframing tools for web developers? We’d love to hear what’s working for you in the comments below.
It’s no secret that the mobile revolution is already here. Everyone’s been abuzz with talk about the need for websites to be mobile-ready and responsive for years now. But considering mobile device usage accounts for 55% of all internet activity, now is the perfect time to ensure any site you work with looks just as good on a mobile device as it does on a standard computer.
Here’s another impressive stat: nearly 47% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile apps. When you take that into consideration, it might be worth thinking about converting your website into a mobile app from the get-go.
While there is no guarantee that your business will suddenly blossom just because your target audience can now interact with you through an app, it makes even less sense to ignore this portion of the market.
By turning your website into a mobile app, you have another chance to build your brand, reach your ideal client, and even generate new revenue. You’re showing your clients that not only you can build a responsive website, but you also know how to create an engaging app that they can use in the same fashion as you – to expand their reach and grow their business.
In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of having a mobile app and share the key things that will help you determine whether your website is ready to make this leap.
Let’s dive in!
With an increasing number of people spending more of their time on their smartphones, creating a mobile app for your business is a wise choice. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.
Now that you know the pros and cons of mobile apps, let’s cover the most important things you must consider before creating one.
Before starting on your journey to create a mobile app, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. This will make it easier to determine which features would translate well to this platform and show you parts that need to be improved upon or created from scratch.
Now is a good time to check your analytics and see how your ideal audience interacts with your website. Which devices are they using? Which pages on your site do they spend the most amount of time on and where do they drop off? By analyzing the data, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you should invest in a mobile app and which marketplace to target first.
What functionality do you provide on your website now? What can a potential visitor do? How easy is the process of booking your services or getting support? Will your app offer the same functionality or will you start with the basics?
Your website might be fine on your current hosting plan but if you plan on using the same server to host your app, you might run into issues when there is a surge in popularity and user count increases.
The last point to consider is your brand consistency. It’s true that an app should be simpler to use than a website but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore your brand values and style. If your website already has solid branding in place, it will be easier to develop an app that falls in line with it.
If done correctly, a mobile app is a great business asset that provides a smooth user experience and feels like a natural extension of your brand. Take the time to assess your website and understand how people interact with it. Once you have a general idea of your site’s strengths and weaknesses and your audience’s behaviour, you’re ready to turn your website into a mobile app.
After ensuring a successful launch, most WordPress developers take a step back and look on to their next project. But constantly chasing new projects results in an uneven cash flow that means some months are better than others.
What developers sometimes fail to realize are the benefits of working with web development clients on a continuous basis to maintain their WordPress website, even after the initial project has been completed.
Sell clients into working with you on a regular basis by reminding them that an unmaintained website will:
Because clients don’t often know they need your help until a situation arises, here are 6 WordPress maintenance services to offer clients.
Sometimes, people’s reliance on technology can be their downfall. Take, for example, the recent AWS outage, which caused a day full of headaches for companies hosting their data centers on Amazon, and their clients, who were all forced to find alternative ways to get things done that they had previously taken for granted.
Because of this, and for many other reasons (like security), it’s important to be constantly backing up all files tied to online properties. Though there are a number of plugins that can take care of this, they can be confusing to configure for a non-technical person. Additionally, some hosting providers offer this service, but you should also have your own solution in place as an extra precaution.
As part of your continued maintenance of a WordPress website, you could offer to setup and facilitate WordPress backup – daily, weekly, or whatever makes sense for the nature of the website, and how often it’s updated. As a best practice, maintain 3 backups of the website (files and database) in different locations – both locally, and in the cloud.
Some web hosts offer basic levels of WordPress security (which defends a website from hackers), but even if they don’t, it’s important for webmasters to continuously perform manual checks. After a client’s WordPress website is setup, your first maintenance package could include factors like:
And this is just the beginning! A monthly WordPress maintenance retainer package should include regular scans for security issues, then proposed fixes.
It’s a best practice to always install the latest version of WordPress, then update the themes & plugins (in that order). Plugins are often updated by their developers to keep up with the latest WordPress updates, and hackers can use outdated plugins as an entry point to breach your site.
One of the most simple, but useful WordPress maintenance services to offer clients is staying on top of WordPress updates. Additionally, check plugins every once in awhile, and delete those not currently being used by the client, to reduce potential security breach issues.
The larger the website, the more information it stores, and the larger the database. If not regularly attended to and periodically cleaned out, a database gets slower – which can then result in slow page load.
Maintaining the database helps it run more smoothly. One of the components of your retainer for WordPress maintenance services to offer clients should include a regular database refresh. Install plugins like WP-Sweep or WP-Optimize, and clean up spam comments – they unnecessarily take up storage space.
Website health problems include slow loading pages, broken links, and site downtime. They might seem like minor issues compared to the whole, but can have a negative effect on user experience. Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools can help you to check website metrics, for preventive action. My WordPress Health Check is another plugin that may be useful in identifying issues.
Periodically test and fix these user experience issues as part of the WordPress maintenance services to offer clients (especially after major design changes, or new page additions):
Even though WordPress is incredibly user-friendly compared to many other CMSes, some clients either can’t wrap their heads around it, or just don’t have time to deal with it. Since small changes are the most common asks from clients to web developers, designating a couple of hours each month towards content changes can be one of the best WordPress maintenance services to offer clients.
In addition to standard or expected changes, you might also want to offer basic SEO help with content, and website structure/technical considerations. Configuring an SEO plugin like Yoast can help, in addition to the usability measures already mentioned. Of course, onsite and offsite SEO help isn’t something every web developer knows how to do, so make sure you’re only offering it if you can actually follow through.
Certainly, some of these tasks are much easier to perform than others. But setup is often the hardest part – maintenance gets easier as you develop efficient systems. Offering most/all of these services together as a package can help you start making an attractive income with monthly retainers, in addition to new client projects. By finding a balance between both, you’ll have more good months than bad.
HTML5 has been around for quite some time and it brought along a whole slew of new semantic elements. If you do a quick search, you’ll be able to find plenty of tutorials that give an in-depth explanation of what’s new in HTML5, what makes it so great, and how to transition from (X)HTML to HTML5.
But, HTML5 also introduced various application programming interfaces that are far less discussed, yet they form a large part of HTML5 specification and are predicted to dominate the future of web development. Some of them have been around but never documented, while others came about at the same time as HTML5.
Some of the existing HTML5 APIs include:
The following resources will help you brush up on your HTML skills and provide you with tips on designing your own API and an overview of how to use existing APIs so that you can learn by example and get inspired to create your own HTML API.
HTML APIs: What They Are And How To Design A Good One: This article published on Smashing Magazine gives a basic explanation of what HTML APIs are and essential guidelines to follow when designing your own API.
The Web API Checklist — 43 Things To Think About When Designing, Testing, and Releasing your API: While not strictly related to HTML5 API, this article written by Mathieu Fenniak contains a list of things that are easily missed when you set out to create your own API. His website also has other useful articles related to API design such as API versioning and how not to design fragile APIs.
APIUX: whole blog dedicated the API user experience written by a team of people who “share the vision that APIs should be useful, easy to use and efficient”. You’ll find a plethora of articles on API user experience, in-depth look at popular APIs as well as expert interviews.
A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML: The W3C standard for HTML APIs covers every term under the sun that you need to know when it comes to API as well as on overview of APIs that are associated with HTML and XHTML.
Sergey’s HTML5 & CSS3 Quick Reference: HTML5, CSS3 and APIs by Sergey Mavrody: If you need a reference guide, Sergey’s book summarizes the official HTML5 and CSS3 specification and covers the fundamental concepts which include HTML5 APIs as well.
The developer’s guide to the HTML5 APIs: In this article, Rich Clark from HTML5 Doctors discusses the purpose and development of existing HTML5 APIs and provides a list of resources to learn more about each one
10 HTML5 APIs Worth Looking Into: SitePoint’s article shows practical examples of using HTML5 APIs along with demos and a brief explanation of how the API works.
5 HTML5 APIs You Didn’t Know Existed: David Walsh exposes some of the smaller APIs that are useful none the less, includes short code snippets with the APIs in use and encourages readers to explore them.
HTML5 Geo-Location API And Google Maps API: This tutorial walks you through using the HTML5 Geolocation API in conjunction with Google Maps API to create a simple web app that request your location and then draws the best route to get there.
Use the HTML5 File API to Work with Files Locally in the Browser: In this tutorial, you’ll see a practical example of using the HTML5 File API to load an image to the browser, make simple edits to it, and then upload it once you’re done.
Building a web application or a mobile application is getting easier as web developers sees new technologies arise and establish themselves as viable solutions. Take advantage of using the resources above to brush up on your API knowledge, use them for your own projects, or to come up with your very own HTML API. Good luck!
Java is incredibly popular, and for good reason. The programming language is easy to learn and is often a university’s first choice for the code it teaches its students. On the other side of it, Java is supported by multiple tech enterprises, most notably by Oracle, Google, and IBM. As a result of these two pillars of support, Java is currently the number one most popular programming language, according to the Tiobe Index which analyzes a language’s popularity by number of online searches for it.
Java rests at the top of the pile because of a self-perpetuating cycle. It’s easy to learn, so many people know it, which in turn, encourages more people to learn it. Of all the programming languages, Java comes the closest to being a lingua franca for the industry. This means two things: one, Java will continue to evolve and receive support from the community, meaning a business won’t be writing its codebase in a language that will die in 5 years, and two, businesses will have no difficulties finding talented developers to help build their Java code.
Even more importantly, Java comes with a large catalog of libraries and frameworks to assist developers completing the project, and the code is compatible with other languages like Scala and integrates with tools like Clojure and Groovy. So while picking a great WordPress theme is well and good for a small business in need of a website, a large company creating a full stack service is far better served by a language like Java.
Speaking of Java’s capabilities, the language is in fact divided between three (free) editions. In the world of Java, developers can work with Java SE (Standard Edition), Java EE (Enterprise Edition), and Java ME (Micro Edition). The delineation between Java ME and the other two is fairly straightforward—ME is for mobile devices—but what’s the difference between SE and EE? How does the Enterprise Edition vary from the Standard Edition?
The first and most important thing to know about Java EE is that it’s layered on top of SE. It’s not a totally different application. Everything you can do in Java SE is possible in Java EE. The Enterprise Edition simply lets developers do more, and is intended for—you guessed it—developers building large-scale systems for enterprises.
So what exactly does that mean, and how does Java EE enable developers to build large systems? In essence, Java EE developers have access to numerous EE-exclusive APIs that make the creation of distributed, multi-tiered systems with good security across multiple servers much easier. These APIs include various modular components, such as JMS (Java Messaging Service), which lets Java programs communicate with each other, Servlets, which handles HTTP requests, and EJBs (Enterprise JavaBeans), a collection of APIs that let businesses conduct transactions through a Java codebase. Java SE does not support transactions, so this is an important distinguishing factor for many businesses.
There are many more APIs than just those mentioned in Java EE, but those are a few of the big ones. It’s important to note that despite these additional tools, Java EE is not as big as it sounds. In fact, the software is considered light weight, and build and deploy time and artifact size within Java EE are all relatively small. In fact, Java EE dependency is limited to compile time and isn’t included in the artifact actually deployed. This leads to small files around a few hundred kilobytes each, meaning that you can achieve build time in a matter of seconds. If it’s slower, it’s likely due to a third party integration.
Another important feature of Java EE is that it’s backwards compatible with Java SE, its running platform. This is incredibly useful as the latest edition of Java EE is usually released two years after an update to Java SE, meaning that developers can utilize the latest updates and changes in Java SE without losing the ability to work with Java EE as well. With Java EE 8 set to be released in the spring of 2017, the community stands to have an upgrade soon.
Java EE is intended for transactional software that is mistake-tolerant despite its complexity. A light weight set of APIs overlaid Java SE, EE is an incredibly useful set of software features overlaid Java SE, but it is not as different or as complicated as many think it to be. If you’re a Java expert already, picking up Java EE won’t be too challenging, especially with so many resources on Java EE published online. If you’re looking to work for a large company in Java, having working knowledge of Java EE is incredibly useful to get hired.