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
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!
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.
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
A very Arduino Christmas
This 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.
Recently 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.
Even Microsoft Hate IE
While 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.
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.
Leaving the world of work
It'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.
I 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.
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.