5 Fabulous Friday Links for Web Developers

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It’s Friday again. Where did the last 5 days go? Since many of you are starting a long weekend, you probably won’t appreciate a long, complex tutorial. Therefore, here are a number of useful links I’ve discovered recently which could ease your development burden when you return next week…


If you don’t know your &raquo’s from your &rdquo’s, copypastecharacter.com is a great tool which could help you find the right HTML entity. Click any symbol and its character or HTML code is copied to the clipboard.

If you require something a little more sophisticated, the XHTML Character Entity Reference provides a categorized list of characters with their HTML entity code, numerical reference and unicode representation (useful for JavaScript).

Easy File Sharing with Ge.tt

Do your clients often try to send you videos or other large files from their AOL email account? Save their sanity and suggest they use Ge.tt.

While there are many file sharing systems, Ge.tt is one of the easiest I’ve seen. It’s free, there’s no need to register and there are no file size limits. File links can be sent to others via email, Twitter or Facebook. Your data is retained for 90 days, you can access download statistics and the developers are creating an API.

Support Details

It’s Friday, 5.30pm and your phone rings. It’s ClientX and they’re not happy. “My site doesn’t work.” they claim, “It’s broken and I want it fixed now”. You load the URL and everything seems fine.

A long conversation follows as you try to identify the problem. Unfortunately, the client doesn’t know what browser they’re using — they don’t know what a browser is. It’s futile to ask about their OS, screen resolution, color depth, version of Flash, or JavaScript state.

Fortunately, supportdetails.com can answer many questions for you. Ask them to visit the site and enter your email address to receive a report about their system. They’re probably running IE3.0 on their Great Aunt’s Windows 3.1 PC.

Convert PNGs with 8bitalpha.com

24-bit alpha-transparent PNGs are great. However, Fireworks users know that 8-bit PNGs are smaller and work in more browsers. If you don’t use Fireworks, 8bitalpha.com may help. Simply drag your 24-bit masterpiece into the page and have an optimized 8-bit version returned.

Install and Update Software with ninite.com

Have you recently received a new PC? How long did it take to download and install your vital software, developer tools, browsers, media players, runtimes, virus checkers and utilities? How long does it take to find, download and install updates?

Save those lost hours with ninite.com. It’s easy: choose your applications, download the installer, and let it do the hard work for you. The installer can be run again when you want to check for updates.

ninite.com is primarily for Windows users who don’t have the luxury of a built-in package manager. That said, a Linux version of ninite.com is also available.

Bonus Link: URL Hunter

Are you fed up with fancy 3D games? URL Hunter is possibly the simplest browser-based game ever devised. It’s played in the URL bar and your task is to shoot the ‘a’ characters. It’s hardly Call of Duty, but it’ll give you a few moments pleasure and no one will realize you’re enjoying yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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