In a head-to-head battle with the Apple iPhone, Opera recently announced the beta version of their Opera Mini 4 browser. For those not familiar with Opera Mini, it is a very popular free web browser for mobile devices, and works with any modern mobile phone. To help woo consumers Opera are offering a web-based simulator, which replicates exactly the functionality of the mobile browser.
After a quick play with Safari 3 beta on a Mac, I am happy to report that the infamous Safari Flash “flicker” bug has been fixed. If you are a Safari user then I’m sure you have encountered this bug before – it occurs when HTML content containing hover effects appears over Flash, such as when a dropdown menu overlaps a Flash movie embedded further down the page.
Silverlight is Microsoft’s new browser plugin for Rich Internet Applications, and since the unveiling of the latest alpha version it has been dubbed a “Flash killer” by many commentators. Silverlight is a Flash competitor to be sure, but a Flash killer? I think that may be overstating the case.
Big news from the Apple camp – Safari is now available for Windows! For Windows-based web designers this is exciting news, meaning it is now possible to test websites in Safari without needing a Mac at hand. The final version of Safari 3 will be released later this year, but you can get your hands on the beta version right now.
Back in October MTV redesigned their flagship site mtv.com using Flash. Last week they redesigned the site again, abandoning the Flash experiment and reverting to an HTML design. On the MTV Labs blog MTV cite user dissatisfaction with the Flash version as being the primary reason for the switch. Alexa traffic stats show that the site had its lowest usership ever during the 8 months the Flash site was running.
For the next week I will be a guest blogger over at Notes on Design, a blog for design students operated by Sessions School of Design. I’ll be writing about 5 posts on the topic of web design, aimed towards a student audience. My first post is an introduction to APIs, so pop on over to Notes on Design and check it out.
I’ve long been a fan of Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain’s design work, and appreciate how openly he talks about his design process. Jesse was responsible for the recent redesign of the ExpressionEngine website, and over at Digital Web he gives us a warts-and-all walk through of the project. The article provides a fascinating insight into the workflow and problem solving methods of a talented web designer.
CSS Advisor is a newish community website from Adobe. On CSS Advisor users can post their own CSS tips, or pose questions which other community members can attempt to answer. This question/solution format promises that CSS Advisor will remain more focused than the average forum, and provide a practical resource to call upon when faced with a sticky CSS issue. Within a few minutes on the site I discovered a potential solution to a long time CSS bugbear of mine – Safari’s ‘Wmode flicker’ when DHTML dropdown menus are displayed over a Flash movie.