Curt Trout's blog

Site Construction Notes

As much as we try to make the operation and maintenance of our websites intuitive, there is a need to document how a site has been constructed and why certain decisions have been made.  We used the Drupal contributed module Site Notes to meet this need on Drupal Version 5 and 6 websites.  Let's look at an easy to use, and perhaps more flexible way to meet these needs in Drupal 7 and the future.

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Drupal

I was doing some surfing and stumbled across this presentation from Drupal Camp Indianapolis in July, 2012.  While the intended audience is people looking to develop websites themselves using Drupal, it does contain useful information for others not familiar with a content management system (CMS), like Drupal, and distinguishes between the most popular Open Source Content Management Systems, namely Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal.

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Fonts, Typefaces, Etc.

Traditionally, the fonts used on a website were rendered by the browser using fonts resident upon the browser's computer.  The website builder could attempt to specify a particular font but if that font was not available then a substitution would be made.  There were a few techniques that could be used to render some content, particularly things like headers, in a special font using various forms of image substitution.  Those techniques added complexity and could not be used for all circumstances, e.g., in body text.

CSS3 provides a new way to specify the fonts used to render text.  This allows websites to either provide their own fonts, or, more significantly, reference external font libraries (e.g., hosted by Google) and control the fonts used by all CSS3 compliant browsers.  All of the current versions of popular browsers, even recent versions of Internet Explorer (Version 9, and later), support this facility.  We've begun to use this facility on some of our newly developed websites, including this one.

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Creating a Mollom Account

We hate spam!  And, we're sure that our clients do also.  Therefore, we routinely incorporate a couple of features in our websites that have been proven to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate completely, spam submissions through our contact pages and webforms.

We also love our legitimate site visitors and we don't want to waste their time, and possibly antagonize them, with intrusive antispam techniques like unnecessary CAPTCHAs when they want to send us a message.

Spam, Google Apps Email and Mollom

No Spam symbolAlmost everyone hates spam (the electronic type anyway); the only exceptions being the spammers themselves and maybe the companies profiting from and/or protecting against it.  Some spam fighting technologies are so effective that we may take them for granted and forget that they're actually working day in and day out protecting us from the spammers.  In particular, Google's spam fighting for Google hosted email is particularly effective and easy to overlook.

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