Nookeen.com – Awards

I am happy to say that my new website (Nookeen.com) won a CSS Design Award nomination and The Ripley Award for excellence in web design. I still believe that I should improve my website a bit with some additional features which I plan to start working on only in a month or so due to starting to work on a new website re-design project.

Thank you all for your support!!

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Creating a Blog With Joomla Can Be A Hassle

I am planning on moving this blog to my major website, http://nookeen.com. However, being a firm believer in a saying, “Do not put all the eggs in one basket,” I plan on keeping this blog as well. Here, I’ll have an intro text and a ‘read full article’ button that will link to my website. You never know how people hear about you.

I am working a lot to make sure that my blog looks and work properly and that’s, like a rolling snowball, becomes more and more complicated . I wanted to use JComment component, but then I came across Disqus and I fell in love with it. So now, I am trying to make it work well with my site. However, there are some complications…

I am not a fan of Mootools yet. All JS library I use are for JQuery. So since Joomla is pared with Mootools, I had numerous conflicts. I was thinking about what would be the best way to correct it and realized that “no-conflict” option was NOT an option since I have a lot of JQuery plugins and hand written functions and if I were to use it, that meant like a complete rewrite of every function. I hate the idea that I had to do it just because Joomla chose to use Mootools, so I turned Mootools off completely and there. It was all fine until Discus came along.

There is only one plugin for it from Joomla Works for Discus and it’s behaving NOT as I want it to behave. It uses some functions that randomly cause break and error in Firebug JS Debugger. Don’t get me wrong, it works fine, just gotta make sure my Firebug JS debugger is disabled =)

In addition, there is more issues with styling. This plugin puts some annoying fields that I do not want, like number of comments on top of the page, so I’m working on making it all go away and at the same time, trying to figure out what’s going on with JS, if it is me, or them.

Oh, and also, it’s amazing that I could not find any normal social media sharing plugin for Joomla. All I’ve checked look really bad and limited in capabilities. I had to manually implement AddThis, but it does work exactly how I’d like to work, so I will have to look into its API. ShareThis didn’t work for me either. Their layout is for bright websites only if I want to track visitors. Unless I get into their API and change icons myself it will look really bad. I so do not want to spend time on this!!

Ufff… A lot of things to do and so little time considering that I am working full-time on top of it all and working on freelance projects almost every week. I still gotta put some extra portfolio samples and I really do not have the time for it.

Nookeen.com – Only High Quality Work.

Nookeen.com – Only High Quality Work. – 1st draft of my new website. It will look and feel even better soon!

JQuery – Easing Plugin – List of Possible Easings

I was surprised not to find any lists of these Easings anywhere online written as a list. For those who do not know, JQuery Easing Plugin is really amazing way to animate with JavaScript, I simply love it! I was looking at the possible easing solutions and could not a full list. The Plugin page does not present a full listing, but it does give you an example of how they work, which is great, but I am one of those people who likes to experiment!! =)

So I compiled a list of available Easing effects for JQuery plugin just in case you are like me:

Here is an array. I like to make my animation random, so I use this form sometimes and add Math.random() and  Math.round() functions:

var arrName = new Array();
arrName[0]=’def’;
arrName[1]=’jswing’;
arrName[2]=’easeInQuad’;
arrName[3]=’easeOutQuad’;
arrName[4]=’easeInOutQuad’;
arrName[5]=’easeInCubic’;
arrName[6]=’easeOutCubic’;
arrName[7]=’easeInOutCubic’;
arrName[8]=’easeInQuart’;
arrName[9]=’easeOutQuart’;
arrName[10]=’easeInOutQuart’;
arrName[11]=’easeInSine’;
arrName[12]=’easeOutSine’;
arrName[13]=’easeInOutSine’;
arrName[14]=’easeInExpo’;
arrName[15]=’easeOutExpo’;
arrName[16]=’easeInOutExpo’;
arrName[17]=’easeInQuint’;
arrName[18]=’easeOutQuint’;
arrName[19]=’easeInOutQuint’;
arrName[20]=’easeInCirc’;
arrName[21]=’easeOutCirc’;
arrName[22]=’easeInOutCirc’;
arrName[23]=’easeInElastic’;
arrName[24]=’easeOutElastic’;
arrName[25]=’easeInOutElastic’;
arrName[26]=’easeInBack’;
arrName[27]=’easeOutBack’;
arrName[28]=’easeInOutBack’;
arrName[29]=’easeInBounce’;
arrName[30]=’easeOutBounce’;
arrName[31]=’easeInOutBounce’;

Or if you just would like a list, here you go:

def
jswing
easeInQuad
easeOutQuad
easeInOutQuad
easeInCubic
easeOutCubic
easeInOutCubic
easeInQuart
easeOutQuart
easeInOutQuart
easeInSine
easeOutSine
easeInOutSine
easeInExpo
easeOutExpo
easeInOutExpo
easeInQuint
easeOutQuint
easeInOutQuint
easeInCirc
easeOutCirc
easeInOutCirc
easeInElastic
easeOutElastic
easeInOutElastic
easeInBack
easeOutBack
easeInOutBack
easeInBounce
easeOutBounce
easeInOutBounce

If you would like to learn more about the plugin and see it in action, here is the link to the Easing Plug-in Page: http://gsgd.co.uk/sandbox/jquery/easing/. Buy the guy who made it a beer while you’re there! ūüėČ

Oh, and please let me know if I am missing something! Cheers!

Joomla vs WordPress: Top 4 Differences

In one of my previous posts, …WordPress Is The Best CMS, Really… ?, I examined some of the WordPress usages as a Content Management System (CMS). I wrote that I am skeptical about using WordPress as a CMS. However, thinking about it more and researching, I am getting more and more convinced that WordPress is actually a great CMS.

It’s so happens that I am re-designing my website right now, nookeen.com, and I am faced with a dilemma what CMS to choose.

I am not going to mention the qualities that are the same like both have DIV structure, numerous plug-ins, great support forums, tutorials, documentation, and so on,¬† both CMS’ are amazing! What I am going to explore is their differences.

WordPress +:

  1. Super easy blogging (BIG +). For those who use blog a lot, it is very easy to manage comments, post articles, and add media. For Joomla, I use JComment. It is the best tool for blogging I could find. It supports Gravatar, RSS, Sharing and everything else you might need. However, JComment is just a plug-in for Joomla, it’s interface is combined with Joomla interface, so you would spend more time posting, checking, and approving comments due to the need to navigate to different places within Joomla CMS.
  2. Simple but powerful interface (BIG +) – one window for all. It seems like Joomla 1.5.x has so many different windows, panels and so on. I would be nervous if I were making a website for a client who is technologically challenged. There are too many nuances to keep in mind.
  3. Making less choices makes you focus on blogging more. With WordPress, it’s simple. You just create a post and publish it under a certain category. In Joomla, you have to choose what format you would like you post in: article, article list, blog, blog list, category list, and so on; in what menu to include; should it appear on the front page; what to link it to; what category; in what section… All those choices! ARH!
  4. If you ‘speak’ basic PHP, it’s easier to make a template. Joomla templates require a Joomla-way-of-thinking which you get accustomed to if you spend enough time on it. You have to divide your page in blocks – user1, user2, header and so on. However, with WordPress, it is more like what see is what you get. Make it, add a menu and you’re done.

Joomla +:

  1. Give you a lot of flexibility right from the Admin Panel without the need of modifying PHP code (BIG +). Lets say, I would like to have the same links to articles that are in a certain category through out a certain section or menus. Definitely, you could make it in WordPress, but then you would have to change the PHP Template file. With Joomla, you can pretty much choose where and what you would like to show up right from the Admin panel. It is very convenient if you constantly add content. Notice, above I say that WordPress is simpler and makes you think less and that’s a good thing, but, in some cases you would want to think more to impress your readers with the amount of detail.
  2. Full control over menus (BIG +). You can create as many menus as you would like. That is very powerful tool if you have a different navigation for different sections. Joomla comes packed with this feature, so it is easy to use. It is very simple to integrate jQuery, since you can assign names to the UL LI or DIV elements. Integrating a CSS dropdown menu can be a headache: looking for the right Joomla plug-in is time consuming. However, if you already have one on your HTML website, all you have to do is put the menu sections, headers, and submenus through the Admin Panel and you are ready. Joomla’s UL LI structure is pretty basic. Just make sure you CHECK in menu options to display ‘submenu’ elements so that it would not hide it.
  3. If you do not speak PHP, using Joomla is much easier to use (BIG +). Switching menu on and off, modify sections, adding boxes, fields is quite simple. No need for PHP knowledge what so ever. Just choose what to show from the Admin Panel. Want to transfer your HTML version into Joomla? No problem. Put your content into Custom HTML Modules and Articles and you are done. Each section can look different from each other easily. Whereas with WordPress, you can only achieve such flexibility by reading Tutorials about its PHP programming.
  4. It is good for big websites (BIG +). Creating and sorting 100+ pages (not blog posts)  is easier with Joomla due to its interface and control over what each page should display. WordPress is more of a generic template CMS, where as you can twist Joomla as you wish. Add section there, remove this article here, and so on. Its menu options will allow you to exclude content with one click.

So, as you can see, they are both awesome platforms, but you have to decide what is right for your needs.

Now, your turn. Which one do you usually choose?

HTML EMail Coding: How to create an HTML email from scratch (Tricks and¬†Tips) – Part 1

You know, some time ago, one of my clients asked me to make an email ad. “No problem” – I said, and made an HTML page with CSS, DIV and with validated XHTML 1.0 code. Then I put the whole thing into Outlook Express, emailed it to myself and got shocked! It looked nothing like the HTML page I just made.

I cruised the web for solutions and suggestions and I managed to find really good information regarding it; however, I could not find a detailed guide for it.

I cannot put all I’ve learned in 1 post, since it takes too much time, and I’ve been trying to do it and notice that it only slowed down my postings. So I’ll start little by little giving you some idea about how to code and HTML email.

So, let’s create an HTML email from scratch. There is a whole new HTML coding way for that.

So, now, here’s how it should be done:

1. Head Section
Just as a regular HTML page. You can change it to XHTML 1.0 validation and keywords and description <meta> if you’d like.

<!--DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
   <title>Your Title</title>
</head>

2. Body Section – not like a regular HTML or XHTML.
– Don’t use DIVs – some EMail clients just erase them, use good old TABLES.
– Do not set a background image
, it will not work either.
Use <bgcolor> for specifying the background color instead of anything else. For example, it should be “bgcolor=”#000000” rather than CSS styling. And do not shorten the colors like this: #000. Instead use the full color code #000000.
Do not use email width larger than 640px if you can. Notice how Yahoo or Hotmail shrink the email field by putting their menu on the left and advertising on the right.

<body>
<!-- Wrapper -->
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" width="640" align="center">
<tr>
   <td>Sample text</td>
</tr>
</table>
<!-- Wrapper ends -->

</body>
</html>

 

Stay Tuned! More details coming soon!

News Update: Renaming Night Sky Project

Hello all, I want to announce that I decided to rename my business name and go by my real name, Arkadi, and online nick, Nookeen. There are several reasons why I did that.

I decided to part with NSP and trust me, there are many reasons for it. One of the most important ones is that I would like to get away from a corporate image I’ve been promoting saying on my website since it’s really just me. I am the talent behind all of the work, and I feel that it’s time to get a full credit for it. =)

Venetian Snares – Hisz√©keny – Awesome Animation from 1stavemachine Advertising Agency – MUST SEE!

Updated Look of Our Blog

We have updated the look of our blog to fit with our website design. Soon, we are going to move this blog on our own website, NightSkyProject.com, right after the re-design. We have developed the new look and working on content implementation.

– We also going to have Tutorials and some Free Stuff to share! Stay tuned!

Night Sky Project Team

‚ĶWordPress Is The Best CMS, Really‚Ķ ?

Recently, I looked at numerous CMS’ to find out if there is anything new going on on the market. Again, the best ones are the those for which you have to pay for (Expression Engine).¬† But I also saw some reasonable improvements in CMS’ that many have already forgotten. A lot of developers say that Joomla is about to be eliminated. However, a significant difference between 1.5 and its predecessor makes me believe that Joomla will still be with us and probably soon will have more features to match the new line if CMS’ like MODx and SilverStripe.

I discovered a great article about it at  SpyreStudios.com. A lot of users mentioned WordPress as a leading CMS. Very interesting choice, I must say. I thought that WordPress is perfect for blogs, but using it for a simple website or a rather large one did not make any sense to me. I sat and studied why it is actually so popular. Then I discovered that many modern web designs resemble blog sites, e.g. Bredova.ru (uses MODx CMS). Among layouts like this, it seems like WordPress is the leader.

However, let’s say I need more. I want to implement numerous modules, articles, and menus onto my website. Then what? If I use WordPress, I basically have to re-write the whole CMS to fit my needs by hand. PHP and WordPress command knowledge required. I don’t like this idea. If I wanted to write a website from scratch, I would use Netbeans or some other utility. I want something that I can put in my already-made XHTML design and utilize it without major PHP rewriting. Why should I do that if there are many other CMS’ that already have it all built in. I spent hours checking the features of each CMS and came to the conclusion that, yes, some are more advanced than others (e.g. unlike Joomla, some CMS can manage sub-domains or multiple sites), but mostly, they are very similar.

This brought me to the conclusion that using what you know best, if it does the job, may save you a lot of time. Unless you have a spare time or something is wrong with a CMS you use, don’t waste your time. Use the one you know. Some CMS may lack features, then you have no choice but to switch. But it’s for the best, choose well this time which one to stick with… However, judging by how fast technology progresses, it’s difficult to forecast if a leading CMS today will stay as technologically advanced in 2 years, even with all the updates.