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Best of the Web: February

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With the end of February comes a new monthly roundup on the Tuts+ sites. Each month we like to bring you some of our favorite articles, tutorials, and code snippets from all around the web. Today we will go over the best of the web from February 2009, covering everything from Ruby On Rails to Wordpress tutorials.

40+ Useful & Handy Web Designer's Services & Tools

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Nothing can be more useful than handy tools you can use “on the fly” in your design process. Whether you’d like diagramming application, create vector images, format or optimize CSS code, generate patterns- you can use dozens of tools to make your life easier.

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10 Useful Tips For Ruby On Rails Developers

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While Ruby On Rails is a very popular and powerful language, it is often the case that popular web articles tend to leave Ruby On Rails out of the roundup. Luckily, Smashing Magazine has put together a wonderful collection of useful tips for Ruby On Rails developers.

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Lightbox + Photonav = Lightnav

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If you've been around the web for a while, you might have heard of Lightbox. And if you used it, you might also know the limitations. One of those limitations is of course the fact that an image wider than your screen goes out of bounds. Very annoying! And it creates ugly scrollbars. In this article Gaya has created a panoramic photo viewer with Javascript, free for you to download and use how you wish.

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Download Counter in PHP Using .htaccess

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Ever had this thought: "I want to fire something extra up when somebody downloads a certain file."? This can be easily fixed by making all you download links link to a php page and output the download file for you. But what if the file is called directly in the browser? This tutorial walks you through using php and .htaccess to create a custom download counter script.

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6 Signs of Adaptive PHP

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In this excellent article written by Brian Cray, the user is walked through 6 different php techniques to achieve and a more adaptive style of php scripts.

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CSS Trick Hidden Messages

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If you have ever read one of my monthly round ups before, you will know I like to include some tricks and articles that use the latest techniques to just have some fun. This is one of those articles. The author uses some CSS3 mozilla specific techniques to make a witty hidden css message when the text is highlighted. Even better is that it really does 'self-destruct'. Practical? Probably not. Fun? You bet.

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Top 50 Wordpress Tutorials

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As a web developer, you can broaden your potential client base and add value for existing clients by listing 'Wordpress' as an area of expertise. Of course, unless you want to bluff your way through jobs, you'd better have the skill to back-up that claim. This collection will help.

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Wordpress: How to Get the First Image From the Post and Display it.

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Most Wordpress users are using custom fields to display thumbs on their blog homepage. It is a good idea, but do you know that with a simple php function, you can grab the first image from the post, and display it. Just read on. Written by WP expert Jean-Baptiste Jung.

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25 Great Site Designs Powered by Wordpress

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For all of you out there who are more design oriented this article is for you. Check out this post and get inspired by the wonderfully beautiful websites that are powered by wordpress.

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Customize Your Blog Posts Without Touching Your Theme Files

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Do you ever get frustrated by having to edit your theme files after a wordpress upgrade? Yeah, me too. Thanks to Ian Stewart for showing us a quick and painless way to create a plugin that will allow you much more customization of your blog theme files, without actually touching or editing the files.

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Video Screencast: Adding RSS Content with SimplePie

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As always Chris Coyier delivers another fantastic video screencast covering the basics of using SimplePie to parse RSS feeds. Learn how to use any RSS feed you like and pull custom information out and onto your site.

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Add Easing to Your jQuery Animations

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Easing can really bring life to an effect. Easing controls how an animation progresses over time by manipulating its acceleration. jQuery has two built-in easing methods: linear and swing. While they get the job done, they are pretty boring when compared to what's made available through the jQuery easing plugin.

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Video Screencast: Extending SimplePe to Parse Unique RSS Feeds

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The boss man Jeffrey Way decided to go even further with the use of SimplePie. In this video tutorial Jeffrey shows us how to pull custom namespaces from Blip TV to grab 20 video tutorials. Taking things one step further, Jeffrey also creates a custom lightbox like video viewer so the videos can be viewed conveniently by the user.

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Things You May Not Know About jQuery

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A fellow Nettuts+ author and a fantastic Javascript Guru, James Padolsey, has compiled a list of all kinds of cool tricks and other hidden features you may not have known about the jQuery framework. Don't miss this one!

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6 Warning Signs of a Problem Client

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Have you ever had a project that turned out to cause way more stress that it was worth? Of course you have. We all have. Most of the time you’re left saying “Why didn’t I see this coming?” Here are some early warning signs of a problem project and some tips for upgrading them from hopeless to profitable.

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Fun with php 'maths'

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This is another 'fun one' that gave me a really good laugh. Every once in a while on the SitePoint forums someone asks a relatively simple question, an answer is provided, and then the members continue to find the most outrageous way to write a simple (usually php) script. Check out all the different hilarious ways people came up with to add two basic numbers with php. For more fun, check out 'Write a FOR loop that prints the numbers 0-9' thread.

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Create Snook-Style Navigation Using MooTools

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We have covered some pure Javascript articles and awesome a few that use the jQuery library, now it's time to give some love to the moo. Programmer extraordinaire David Walsh shows us how to create a Snook like navigation using the popular Javascript library 'MooTools'

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Javascript and the DOM Series: Lesson 1

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While frameworks such as jQuery, Prototype and MooTools are great ways of suppressing browser bugs and speeding up development, it's important to know and understand the underlying technologies. This series intends to tell you what you need to know about JavaScript and the Document Object Model (DOM). Even if you swear by a particular library this will still benefit you - knowing how something works under the skin can only be a good thing!

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A Few Lessons From Real World Usability

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The recently launched UXBooth, whose focus is primarily on the user experience and usability in the world of web design, has put together a wonderful list outlining some usability lessons. Even if you are a usability expert yourself, these are some great tips to keep in mind.

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7 Interface Design Techniques to Simplify and De-clutter Your Interfaces

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"Most people naturally dislike complexity in devices and software. Yes, some people find joy in figuring out how something works, but for most of us, being unable to operate a device leads to wasted time and frustration, and that’s not a good thing." Use this article as a guide on how to make your interfaces more friendly to your end users.

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    Wordpress for Designers Video Series

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What Did You Enjoy?

I always enjoy seeing the links and article all of you enjoy. If we missed any article or tutorials you felt should have been included, please do let us know! Happy coding everyone!

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