Recently in Web Development Category

New Twitter doesn't have a button on users' profile pages anymore that allows you to subscribe to their messages as an RSS feed. When you're on a profile page and try to subscribe using your browser's built-in feed subscription mechanism, you get a feed of your own favorite tweets (WTF!). You can still get a feed of a user's updates by doing the following:
  1. Grab there user name (e.g., mashable).
  2. Punch it into to get the associated user ID.
  3. Prepend "" to that ID.
  4. Append ".rss" to that.
To automate this, you can use this little Web page I threw together that uses's AJAX Web service.


I presented to the Portland Web Innovators user group tonight.  I talked about a Twitter bot that I created a while ago called @tweetybot.  It is a normal Twitter user that, believe or not, will make phone calls when it receives direct messages.  Ultimately, what I did was trivial; the magic and heavy lifting is being done by Twilio, a Web service that hides all the complicated telecom stuff behind a simple RESTful API.  You can read more about it on my previous blog post.

Here's the deck I presented just in case you missed the show:

I would like to especially thank Portland Web Innovators for giving me the opportunity to talk, Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) for hosting the event, Twilio for providing a killer service and some really nice swag, and to all those that attended.

The other day, I bumped into a blog that mentioned a CSS framework called 960 Grid System. I haven't been doing as much Web development in recent years as I used to, but the name caught by eye even though it wasn't clear from the blog post what it was exactly. My teething son woke me up tonight, and I couldn't get back to sleep. So, I thought I'd check it out.

I guess the idea goes back to the kindergarten exercise of copying an original piece of artwork by drawing horizontal and vertical lines through it and replicating the contents of each square to a derived work. Now that we're all grown up though, we do this by starting with a Web design created in Photoshop, enabling a layer that overlays a grid, and marking up the design in HTML and CSS to match the graphic designer's original — one square at a time.

I found this tutorial to be very help in figuring out what this framework and its alternatives are all about. I learned from reading it and other articles, that there are a number of competing CSS-based grid frameworks including

among others. I've used YUI a lot in the past, so I would be inclined to start with that one, but it is purportedly bloated and not as lightweight as some might prefer.

Regardless of which framework is used, just a cursory look shows that making CSS-based layouts is a whole lot easier now than the last time I tried. With these toolkits available nowadays, you can be sure that my next Web site will be laid out using one of them.