Safari Screenshot Compatibility Test

Safari Screenshot Compatibility Test is yet another way to test your websites in Safari. The nice feature about this service is that the result is returned in only a couple of seconds. The others I have used take up to a couple of minutes. Whenever I run across a tool that enables website testing over different browsers or versions of browsers I always like to post it here to Digital Media Minute, because testing is such an easy thing to want to avoid, even though it’s so necessary.

I hope that posting time-saving solutions to the ongoing problem of browser testing your sites, even if it is just a screenshot compatibility test like this one, helps my readers.

PHP Ticketing System

PHP Ticket is an open-source PHP/MySQL based ticketing system that includes user management through sessions, a search function and several other features to simply ticket management.  What a time saver this will be for anyone who makes use of tickets in their organization or as responsible for choosing a process to manage their ticketing system. I haven’t actually tried this myself but by the looks of the screenshots at least it appears to be an extremely user friendly and clear method to set up a system to more easily manage your tickets.

You can also view a demo of the PHP ticket system online.

SQL Editor for Eclipse

DBEdit is a plugin for the Eclipse Workbench that can be used to explore databases, edit tables directly with a spreadsheet like editor, and edit SQL queries. Dan Switzer recently posted his installation notes that should get you up and running with this nice Eclipse plugin and SQL Server 2000.  I am always on the lookout for helpful plug-ins like this that snap on to the side of a development package that I use continuously, and this certainly feel fits the bill. Switzer has been a great source of information for me over the years and this is a superb tool he has created.


Web Application Form Layout

Luke Wroblewski has a series of good articles that explains the importance of consistant form design in web applications. In the articles you’ll find guidelines that will help you better position forms for whatever you need to do, though as Wroblewski says, you still have to verify through data analysis or user testing the combination of visual elements, content and layout that makes sense for you. This is an excellent discussion of some of the more theoretical aspects of forms and I actually found it enjoyable.

The articles can be found at:

Collapse and Expand HTML Elements

domCollapse is a Javascript that enables you to have collapsible elements in an HTML document. The collapsing and expanding of the elements is done using the DOM. The script is very simple to use, and degrades nicely in browsers that do not support the DOM. A demo is available online. Some non-technical people reading this have made use of domCollapse without even realizing it.

In terms of user interface considerations, it helps to keep a single webpage from getting too unwieldy and unreadable especially if it extends for 50 or hundred paragraphs. The idea is that rather than showing the entire article or document by default, it can be collapsed to show only the major headings of the document and this in my opinion actually makes  the overall purpose of the document clear to the reader.

Free FLV Encoder

The Riva FLV Encoder is a free tool that will transode your existing videofiles to the FLV format which can then be used in Flash. The AVI, MPEG, Quicktime, WMV video formats are supported. If you have ever been frustrated or hit a dead end after you shoot video and then have a difficult time actually watching it in the format of your choice–which for many people today is Flash–this is a very handy tool to facilitate doing that.

Video file conversion, in addition to video compression are huge hurdles for many people who are now getting into video for the web. Unfortunately handling video files is often not as straightforward as simply uploading a JPEG or gif picture file.


[link via Ultrashock]

Fireworks Autoshapes

Nathan Pitman has pointed out two really nice and useful Fireworks Autoshapes:

Autoshapes is a relatively new feature in Fireworks that allows you to create complex shapes just as easily as you would create simple shapes like circles or rectangles.

Fireworks from Macromedia has rapidly become one of the most popular and indispensable tools for rapid prototyping–among many other things–because of its flexibility and power. Autoshapes is a terrific addition to what was already a very strong suite of tools contained within Fireworks and if you haven’t yet dived into it Pittman’s tutorial would be a terrific place to start.

Software KVM

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware.

The software is intended for users with multiple computers on their desk. The software is free and open source and supports the most flavours of Linux and Windows.

We have done posts pointing to software that allows screen sharing before but I don’t think I’ve ever heard about software that enables me to do a screen share between computers running different OSs.

If this works as advertised it is even better for people who have access to both Windows and Linux machines. (link via]

Lookup PHP Function

Look Up PHP Function from Ranchero Software is an extension to BBEdit that provides a PHP reference.

To use the extension, simply right click on a PHP function and choose Look Up PHP from the Scripts menu. Your browser will be opened and the query will be sent to the PHP Documentation site.

This is the sort of useful tip that I aim to provide Digital Media Minute, and I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to share programming tips that could save your peers some time in their jobs. I would be happy to credit you and provide a link back to your website,  just click on the “write for us” tab on the navigation bar above.