DarkSnow

Freelance Web Developer

I am a freelance software developer, based in Fife, Scotland, and specialising in using Free and Open Source technologies to create standards compliant web sites.

I am passionate about creating websites using the latest technology and the latest standards. Of course, sites have to work on older browsers too.

No matter what device or browser is used to access a site, they are using the same internet, the same language, the same protocols, to show the same content. Without standards to define all those parts of a complex interaction, the internet, and the web on top of it, as it is today, it would not exist at all.

What I can do for you

My Heed
Firefox Chrome Opera Internet Explorer Safari

JavaScript with jQuery

Using various frameworks to make the web work for you.

PHP and CakePHP

A popular language with an MVC framework, making the server work for you.

Drupal and Drupal Commerce

My prefered CMS, capable of almost anything!

MySQL Database

Using SQL to store and retrieve your data in the ways you need it.

Linux and Apache

A rock solid server platform to run all this stuff.

Listening to the client

It's important to understand what you really want.

A nose for problems

If something's going to go wrong I'll sniff it out before it's a problem.

Standards compliant HTML5

Understanding the current state of the art.

Page Styles with CSS3

Making pages more beautiful and lively.

Page Layout and design

If you can draw it in crayon I can make it into a website.

Responsive page design

Modern web sites should work on any device, no matter the size.

Online mapping

Using Google Maps or OpenLayers to manage and dislay geographic data.

An eye for detail

It's the little things that make a project great.

Talking to the client

Things go smoother when everyone is clear what's been going on.

Examples of my work

Have a look at the full portfolio...

Technical Musings

A very Arduino Christmas

Arduino LogoThis Christmas I thought it was finally time to start on a hardware project that I've been thinking about for a long time.

So, to that end I ask my brothers for an Arduino starter pack, and they dutifully delivered.

I am now the proud owner of an Arduino Uno, a USB Host Shield for it and an assortment of small parts to begin playing.

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CSS3 Transitions

HTML 5Recently I've been messing with the cool new features of CSS3 for a client project and I was inspired to see what sort of interface features could be done with it.

The nice things, like drop shadows, gradient background and curved corners, make things look great without having to reach to the image editor, but are hardly revolutionary. Any design that is well planned could already make use of these things and they've been around on the web for ages, though CSS3 certainly makes them far easier to implement.

What really got my attention were transitions.

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Even Microsoft Hate IE

IEWhile wandering the web looking for a work around to a bug in IE (versions 7 upwards) I came across a very interesting little website run by Microsoft.

The IE6 Countdown.

10 years ago a browser was born.

Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we're in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it's time to say goodbye.

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Leaving the world of work

Piles of moneyIt's been a while since I've written anything on here, and I have a fair bit to write about now.

In September I quit my full time job to stay at home and look after my then one year old daughter. While the wife was paying the bills I decided to join a few freelance websites and see if I could get some work. This was mainly to see if I could cut it as a freelancer once the baby goes off to school and I have some time to devote to this properly.

Well, in short, it's been a massive success.

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Nifty Glass

Nifty GlassI had decided to create the "glass" effect popularised by OSX and Vista and while following various guides and creating some graphics in the GNU Image Manipulation Package I spotted a pattern and decided to come up with a way to create the now popular glass effect in CSS, without using any graphics at all.

Using the gradient fill in GIMP and applying those colours to the CSS used to create the Nifty Corners effect, I managed to create some pure CSS Glass buttons. Hopefully I can explain how I did this below and show you how you can create the same effect for your own projects.

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Contact Me

If you would like to get in touch to discuss project work, report a bug, offer comment on my work or anything else really, feel free to email me or use the contact form.

If it's work related I'll reply just as quicly as I can.

martin@darksnow.net