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HTML entities (character references) which are used to define reserved characters or to express characters that cannot easily be entered with the keyboard are generally hard to remember.

EntityCode is a website that lists HTML entities in an easy-to-find format. Rather than a long list of entities, they are simply grouped like currency, math, direction, etc.

A must-bookmark for every web designer & developer.

HTML Entities

Ftg (Fireworks texture gallery) is a website presenting 300 black and white textures with various shapes used like:

  • lines
  • circles
  • hearts
  • flowers
  • stars & more

Black And White Textures

Textures can be used in both free & commercial works. To download them, images can be simply right-clicked & saved.

P.S. Although the website is not English, it is the images that talk.

First impressions are important & a website with lots of typo may easily result in losing visitors.

Spell Check Rex is an open source website spell checking application, built with PHP & MySQL, which can be installed on any website to automatically monitor & report spelling mistakes.

Website Spell Checker

The application spiders the given website and generates reports. It supports frame-enabled websites & directories, pages can be excluded.

Spell Check Rex only supports English (has a multilanguage backend) & has 110,000+ words in its database.

jQuery Fancy Gestures is a plugin for enabling mouse gestures on any website.

Using the plugin, you can accept inputs similar to smartphones, create a captcha where users will need to draw a text & more (totally up to your imagination).

jQuery Mouse Gestures

The plugin is a port of mouse gesture recognition with ActionScript & uses Walter Zorn’s VectorGraphics library.

Every position (N,W,S,E,NW,SE, etc..) is described with a number & it is possible to create custom gestures by defining the related series of numbers.

ICEpdf is a 100% Java-based open source PDF library for creating & displaying and printing PDF documents from any Java application.

The library is lightweight, fast & easy to use. It can render PDF files up to version 1.6 (Acrobat 7.0).

Java PDF Library

The library can render PDF files to an image (PNG, JPEG, or GIF) in a server-side web application. For faster viewing the first page, it loads documents incrementally.

ICEpdf also supports Adobe Standard Security for password-protected documents & interactive link annotation actions; uri, launch and resource.

P.S. The open source version doesn’t come with the Font Engine (the font substitution is done succesfully when the Font Engine is off).

Free icons are great resources for web designers as quality ones help creating beautiful outputs. But they are better when they come with the source files as it is possible to edit/improve them.

Smashing Magazine is sharing Flavour Extended icon set, a set of 450+ icons, that is created by Oliver Twardowski.

Free PSD Icon Set

Icons are in 48*48px size & PNG format. PSD source files are also included.

The set contains icons of users, folders, file formats, actions, social bookmarking services & more.

Axiis is an open source data visualization framework & based on Degrafa, Flex & ActionScript 3.0.

It is a resource for both beginner & expert developers to create elegant charts.

Flex Data Visualization

Axiis comes with both ready-to-use visualization components & abstract layout patterns + rendering classes that makes it possible to create custom visualizations.

To view some beautiful examples of this framework, click here.

siwapp is an open source web application, built with PHP (Symfony), that enables anyone to create & manage invoices with ease.

The application has a slick interface & provides a simple usage to create professional-looking invoices.

Open Source Invoicing

Some features of siwapp:

  • invoices with different serial numbers can be managed
  • invoices can be downloaded as PDF files
  • periodical invoices can be created automatically
  • & more

siwapp uses MySQL to store data & if you need periodical invoices to be e-mailed automatically, a scheduling system (like cron) must be used.

It can also work as a module (be integrated to other business management applications) with the API support.

Dragon Labs is featuring 3 beautiful CSS / JavaScript effects that you may want to use in your websites. Here they are:

Codename Rainbows

A solution to create rainbow effects by not using any images.

It is accomplished with the help of some JavaScript and CSS magic to apply a two-color gradient to any text. Shadows and highlights can also be applied.

Dragon Labs CSS Effects

Codename Putterfish

This is a CSS trick, specially used in menus, that fades any other elements when one of the items is hovered.

Codename DragonFish

It is technique to smoothly change colors and create ambient motion. A nice demo is presented here.

P.S. Rainbow & Putterfish are well-described & source files are offered. On the other hand, DragonFish, currently, only comes with the demo.

Controlling layouts with CSS is a big subject these days as after dropping the table support, it is clear that the current capabilities of CSS is not enough to develop complex & flexible layouts with ease.

There is CSS Template Layout Module which offers exciting features but it is in a draft status.

Until we get those new features, there are various solutions that are developed with jQuery to manipulate page layouts for faster & cross-browser results.

Here is a collection of 6 jQuery plugins to manage page layouts easily:

jQuery Masonry

jQuery Layout Plugin

Masonry is like the flip side of CSS floats. Floats arrange elements horizontally then vertically, Masonry arranges them vertically then horizontally. And the result is no vertical gaps between elements of varying height.

The plugin is almost totally managed with CSS rules. It uses jQuery’s outerWidth() and innerWidth() methods to calculate the margins & paddings of elements.

UI.Layout

jQuery UI Layout Plugin

This is a plugin to create desktop-like layouts. It can b used to create any UI look from simple headers or sidebars, to a complex application with toolbars, menus, help-panels, status bars, sub-forms & more.

jLayout

jLayout

The library provides three layout algorithms:

  • border, which lays out components in five different regions
  • grid, which lays out components in a user defined grid
  • flex-grid which offers a grid with flexible column and row sizes.

css-template-layout

jQuery CSS Layout

The plugin aims to offer a similar functionality with the CSS Template Layout Module (which is currently in a draft status).

The script simply parses the mentioned CSS rules & displays the content accordingly.

Columnizer

jQuery Column Plugin

The plugin automatically converts any content into a newspaper-like column format.

A default clumn widt or a static number of columns can be defined & the rest is almost done by itself.

EqualHeights

jQuery Equal Heights

Creating equal height boxes or content holders is mostly a challenge with CSS. The plugin makes this process easy by simply calling a function.

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