Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow

Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow
Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Mind Mapping - migrating your thoughts from mind to desktop

As a software development company, we will often get provided with very open-ended tasks that tend to require some good old common sense and organisation in order to develop the ideas from concept to .NET Application.

Whilst some people may be better organised through writing extensive documents and papers and others prefer an audible (sound of their own voice) approach; personally I am strongly of the visual type. I understand concepts and ideas best when I can see them laid out in front of me using short "to the point" language and with necessary connections drawn out and connected. One powerful way for someone like me to organise and connect ideas together is by developing personal mind maps.

If you've never created a mind map before, why not give it a try when planning your next project or meeting! It's much faster and easier than you may think and is certainly worth every highly organised minute!

While many other pieces of software exist to help you in migrating your floating thoughts from mind to desktop screen, if you're not ready to invest in power commercial products such as MindGenius ( or Inspiration ( then my personal recommendation is to give FreeMind a go!

Available from , FreeMind is a handy open-source mind mapping tool that allows you to develop mind maps from the smallest basic layout of your big ideas to the grandest designs of complex *interactive* maps. See their website for some fairly extensive examples!

With great little built-in icons and handy "snap-to" movement, FreeMind lets you get the job done quickly with minimal fuss and learning curve! When your ready you can export your MindMaps to a variety of formats including PDF, XHTML (with Flash for interactivity!) as well as SVG, JPEG and many other commonly used formats.

If you do eventually feel like moving up to more powerful software the format of FreeMind's files is all in XML allowing you to import your existing FreeMind mind maps with minimal bother - so provides a perfect starting point for anyone who would like to give mind mapping a go.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Emergency 24hr IT Support Line for Adventi Customers

Clicknetworks has today launched an emergency support line for free advice to customers of Adventi IT, who has recently gone into administration.

Established in 2002, Adventi had been regarded as one of the fastest-growing technology firms in the UK but cash flow problems have forced their board to put the company into administration.

In an effort to help current Adventi customers today, Clicknetworks Ltd has setup a 24 hour support line whereby Adventi customers can call to receive advice on how to keep their vital business IT infrastructure running and their businesss moving forward.

"We were very sad to hear about what has happened to Adventi and their customers, especially with people losing their jobs. However, Clicknetworks is in a good position to help Adventi customers in this emergency situation, as 60% of our client base are former Adventi customers", said Clicknetworks Managing Director Mark Mahaffy.

If you are an Adventi customers and are unable to get support from them then please feel free to get in touch with us here at Clicknetworks Ltd. We can provide a wide range of support options for you whether they be just for the short term or in the long run.

Call the support line on: 0141 530 9116.

Friday, 16 April 2010

HTML5 for today right now - It's a DOM thing ok!

Last week I brought up the question of whether it was ok to start developing and authoring sites in the still being devised markup language of HTML5. Today I will talk about which tags you can start using now in your web apps to future proof them for the future.

The vision and aim of HTML5 as mentioned in my last post is an attempt to make structured data more semantic (carry more inherent meaning inside of it) which will allow more advanced processing of the data than is currently possible with other doc types such as HTML4 and XHTML.

Apparently, when developing the HTML 5 spec, the editor, Ian Hickson of Google, analyzed over a billion web pages to find out how authors were actually using these elements. He discovered that in the top 20 class names used in the markup for this huge set of data were classes for common requirements: footer, header, nav, menu, content, and main.

So the foundation of the HTML5 markup spec consists of the following new tags which allow us to markup our website or blog in more meaningful ways:

  • header

  • footer

  • nav

  • section

  • aside

  • article

Now even though not every browser supports these tags at the moment, there is no reason why you can't start using them now to future proof your documents for the next wave of development. Whilst Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera provide limited support, again Internet Explorer provides almost nothing (no surprises there from Microsoft).

So the way to get IE8, IE7 and possibly IE6 to start recognising and parsing these tags and therefore enable the ability to style them via CSS, is to introduce the tags into the DOM via the use of a tiny and non-intrusive linked javascript. Then we can add style rules—floating, background colors, margins. This one line piece of code introduces the following tags into the DOM: abbr, article, aside, audio, bb, canvas, datagrid, datalist, details, dialog, eventsource, figure, footer, header, hgroup, mark, menu, meter, nav, output, progress, section, time, video.. Once in IE's DOM the browser recognises them which allows you to style them even though actual functionality for that element and attribute may not work, which means that you can start developing for the other browsers and at the same time enable backwards compatibility for IE as well as forwards compatibility for IE9 which apparently is being shipped with some support for HTML5. For more information, discussion and comments about this HTML5 DOM script please see:

Alternatively you can use a script in the head of your document which enables you to call only those tags you wish to use:

So start authoring your docs in HTML5 today and future proof your sites whilst getting ahead of the competition. Although there is no evidence as yet that Google is making any meaningful sense out of the new tags, there is ample evidence to suggest it is wise to be prepared for the change in the algorithim when it happens for SEO purposes.

Next week I will go into more detail about HTML5 and even introduce some new ideas about how you can use Microformats and rich snippets to enhance your website, synidcate its content and improve your ranking and overall brand in Google and Google Maps all at once and at the same time.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

HTML5 - Is it time to start developing websites this way?

HTML5 is being developed as the next major revision of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the core markup language of the World Wide Web.

HTML5 is the proposed next standard for HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0. It aims to reduce the need for proprietary plug-in-based rich internet application (RIA) technologies such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Apache Pivot, and Sun JavaFX.

The First Public Working Draft of HTML5 was completed in 2008 and will reach W3C Recommendation by late 2010.

Although the final specification is not to reach W3C Candidate Recommendation till 2012, many parts of the specification are stable and may be implemented in browsers.

So is it time to start developing websites and applications in HTML5?

Yes and no. Yes, you can start developing using the features already supported by the major browsers. No, you should not use HTML5 experimental features on any client projects where you must have an absolute 100% accessibility compliance.

In my next post I will talk about the major features in HTML5 and CSS3 that you can use now, and have vendor support across all major browsers.