In the early days of the internet, some knowledge in HTML markup and an eye for design was enough to get us started putting together web pages. However, the Web has evolved so much at a fast pace, constantly introducing new technologies and techniques, little knowledge of web development is no longer enough.
Today, web development encompasses many different skills and challenges. These can include graphic design, interface design, content authoring, front- and back-end coding, user experience design, SEO and much more. It’s tough for an individual developer to have all of these skills. As a result, developers today often work in teams, each member covering a different aspect of the design process according to his or her skill sets.
There are, however, some technologies that are of utter importance. In this blog we will discuss these technologies in as much details as possible in order to help web developers understand these technologies and importance thereof better.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) has been the main markup language for pages on the Web since the beginning. Each subsequent version of the HTML specification has introduced a greater range of abilities to the language, but the recently introduced HTML5 specification is arguably the biggest leap forward that HTML has ever made.
The inclusion of a whole range of new media tags like audio and video in HTML5 means that many of the abilities formerly provided via plugins such as Flash are now handled locally. HTML5 adds new semantic markup tags (such as article, figure and section, among others), the canvas element, which gives HTML a surface on which to draw graphics, support for local data storage. HTML5 has gained the support of all the major browser vendors including Apple, Google, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft. Because all major platforms are supported, including mobile devices, we can look forward to a uniform experience across most devices. However, even though individual features of HTML5 might vary from platform to platform, there should always be sufficient common features to build useful web apps with a consistent look and feel. As HTML5 continues to progress, the differences among implementations are expected to lessen even more. Perhaps, the biggest draw of HTML5 is that it offers a chance to code something once; have it work across a wide range of browsers.
Some parts of CSS3 are still experimental and carry vendor-specific prefixes, yet, development is continuing rapidly.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is a very important issue in web development industry today. To see it in action, open this blog in a desktop browser, then slowly change the width and height of the browser window. See what happens? The layout adjusts itself automatically for the best fit to the new browser dimensions. Even if you’re viewing it on a phone or other mobile device, the website is easy to view. Responsive website design moves us away from the fixed width pages we’re used to, toward pages that intelligently alter their layouts and flow content to suit the dimensions and resolution of the browser display.
The first big idea is the fluid grid. Fixed width layouts have until recently been the more popular choice for web page layout. However, considering the broad range of screen resolutions in today’s market, more liquid layouts start to make sense.
Instead of designing a layout based on fixed pixel counts or percentage values, a fluid grid works more carefully with proportions. This way, whether a layout is compressed to fit a mobile device or expanded across a large monitor, all of the page elements in the layout will be resized in relation to one another.
It is common that the mobile experience for a web application or site is developed only after the PC version has been completed. But with the progress in mobile computing added to the challenges imposed by limited screen estate and variable connectivity, many new designs are being developed with a mobile-first approach.
A framework is designed to aid the development of scalable, robust and efficient dynamic websites and web applications. The framework aims to reduce the effort expended and promote code reuse on common activities such as database access, templating frameworks and session management, among others.
The MVC (model-view-controller) architecture is perhaps the most popular for web applications, as typified by the Google-supported AngularJS. HTML is great for declaring static documents, but not quite so able when we try to use it for declaring dynamic data in pages. MVC divides your application into three interconnected parts, separating internal representations of data from the way that information is presented to the user.
The model contains application data, business logic and functions.
- The view can be any output representation of information, such as a web-based table or graphic.
- The controller acts as go-between for the model and view.
AngularJS lets us extend HTML vocabulary for our application. The resulting environment is very expressive and quick to develop, while still producing very readable code. It employs directives, which are all prefaced with ng-, to add new actions into the HTML attributes on a page. AngularJS can handle much of our data binding and display tasks.
Web Design Toronto company DTW rather uses open-source CMS as framework to create affordable dynamic website solutions.
Apple markets its much-vaunted “Retina” displays across its whole range of iOS products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.) and it seems almost certain that the other major manufacturers will seek ways to follow suit using their own display technologies.
One of the most interesting technologies that may help with this is SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics. SVG essentially allows us to embed vector-based, rather than raster-based images right into web pages. Because the graphics are stored as patterns of vectors, they’re infinitely scalable without any loss of quality, whatever the platform, screen size or resolution.
Creating state-of-the-art web applications that work well regardless of the user’s platform and browser has always been a challenge. Lets discuss many aspects of web application development process and technologies in this blog.