Monday, November 26, 2007

iPhoto Book Themes

Back before Google (shoot, before Altavista, or any of them), I used to offer my readers a spot in a gallery of Web sites that I published on my Web site. It was a huge job to compile them because I insisted on visiting each one to make sure I really wanted to link to it. At the same time, it was a job that I loved, because I got to see what people were making with my books. And they were incredible. There were sites about everything. They (you!) were and are so inspiring.

One of those sites was from a guy in London who took pictures of his two sons on the same day each year on the same bench in Hyde Park. On the Web site you could see how the kids grew every year while the bench and the trees around them stayed pretty much the same. His kids must be teenagers now! At any rate, I decided that I would do that too.

Which brings me to the point of this whole post. I've been meaning to make an iPhoto book with those photos for years. One of the things that has stopped me is that I can never decide which iPhoto book theme I should use.

And one of the reasons I can't decide is that it's so hard to tell what's available in each theme. Sure, Apple shows you a sample page and a sample cover, but there is so much variety within each theme and until you play around with it a little, you can't tell what you can and can't do. It's hard enough to decide between the Picture Book and the Crayon, but what if I decide I have to have captions on each page, or I really need a layout with 8 photos? Only some of the layouts will satisfy those criteria, but which ones?

In addition, a lot of the layouts depend on what I call the original orientation of the photos. That means that if you use a horizontal or landscape photo you get a different layout than if you use a vertical, or portrait, photo. Even when you've chosen the exact same option in the Layouts menu. And that means you can't see every possible layout until you actually place the photos.

So, I decided that I would place all the photos necessary in order to document every possibility of every layout in every iBook theme--all so that I could choose the right theme for my iPhoto book. But then I discovered Skitch, this amazing tool that not only makes it really easy to take screenshots of examples on screen, but lets you annotate them, and then so completely automates the upload process that you feel like you can be luxurious about including as many as you need. Skitch made me want to put every layout online.

So here's my new iPhoto Book Themes Web site. Take a look. I hope you find it useful. Maybe you've got an iPhoto book project you've been meaning to work on. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Don't fill my screen

Allow me a short rant. I've been selected to be a judge in an upcoming Interactive Design competition (more on that soon), and I've been looking at a lot of Web sites. Strangely, I don't mind the ones that blast music at me, since the ones I've seen at least choose music appropriate to their content (instead of annoying midi versions of their favorite 80's songs). Instead, I'm extremely ticked off by sites that insist on expanding my (that's MY) browser window to fill my screen.

Note to web page designers: If I wanted my browser window to fill my admittedly oversize screen, I would have completed that task personally. The way I dispose of my monitor real estate is as particular to me as the way I organize my desk, though not as messy. I like to have several windows open to the sizes that I choose. I am not only not impressed that you fill my monitor with your Web site (and every other site I open in that window), but equally dismayed at your manners. Keep your hands to yourself.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Il modo più facile e veloce!

That is, "the fastest and easiest way" to learn HTML, XHTML, and CSS!

The Sixth Edition of my HTML book has just been published in Italian. As soon as I have their Web site, I'll be sure to post it.

You can find more information about all the foreign language versions of my HTML book on my main Web site. There's even a special page that lists all 17 translations and shows the covers I've been able to get my hands on. If you know of another translation (or have one of the missing covers), please let me know.

My Books