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Web applications often require a calendar or datepicker functionality. Whether it’s a web form that requests the user’s date of birth, a content management system that needs to display a calendar of events on a side column, or an application that charts data as a function of time – there’s never a short supply of demand for calendars or datepickers.

To write a custom solution yourself is one option, especially if you have the time, and your requirements can’t be met by freely available scripts. But if you’re the type that wants to save some time – check out these brilliant, free calendar and datepicker scripts available for download. You can use them for inspiration, incorporate them into your project as they are, or modify them to suit your needs.

Calendar: a Javascript class for Mootools

Calendar: a Javascript class for Mootools that adds accessible and unobtrusive date pickers to your form elements - Screen Shot

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What’s the best remedy for "designer’s block"? Easy – visit design gallery websites to get you back in the creative groove. There are many wonderful sites out there specifically to help inspire designers, and here are just a handful of them.

Best Web Gallery

Best Web Gallery

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I’ve made it a goal to learn at least one useful thing each day so that I can stay sharp and well-versed on the topic of web development and design. To that end, here’s some of the websites I keep track of to find new techniques, resources, and news about building websites.

Most of these sites are updated frequently, so there’s never a lack of new content that fills up my Google Reader.

Because the role of the web developer is ever-expanding, I’ve also included a variety of sites that covers fields relating to web development – such information architecture, user interaction, and web/graphics design.

1. NETTUTS

NETTUTS - Screenshot

NETTUTS is a recently launched blog/tutorial site that provides "spoonfed web skills". There are already plenty of useful and detailed tutorials that range from offloading static content to Amazon S3 to creating a beautiful tabbed content area using jQuery. NETTUTS is perfect for developers just starting out, since the tutorials are very thorough and in a "step by step" format. For more advanced developers, it’s an excellent source of inspiration and learning new techniques.

2. woork

woork - Screenshot

Woork is a blog by Antonio Lupetti, a developer from Italy. He provides short, easily-consumable tutorials on various topics of web development such as PHP, Cold Fusion, JavaScript, and CSS. His knack for creating beautiful tutorials, chock full of custom-made images that illustrates the concepts he talks about is a testament to the detail and "work" that Antonio puts in each of his posts. Check out his awesome tutorial on a "Top-Down approach to simplify your CSS code" where he explains his preference on creating and formatting stylesheets.

3. Web Designer Wall

Web Designer Wall - Screen shot

Web Designer Wall is a blog by Nick La that features design ideas and elaborate, stunning tutorials such as creating a CSS gradient Text Effect – a technique that uses an image overlay over normal XHTML text, and jQuery tutorials for designers which showcases ten techniques to get you started with jQuery.

4. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine - Screen shot

I won’t say much about Smashing Magazine since most of us have probably heard of it, but if you haven’t, Smashing Magazine is an excellent resource for web designers and developers looking to be inspired. Smashing Magazine also manages to publish almost everyday, despite their very detailed and thorough posts.

5. Vitamin

Vitamin - Screenshot

Vitamin used to offer a large amount of information on the topic of web development and design. With many contributors, Vitamin managed to cover a wide range of topics including Ajax, CSS, development techniques, best practices, and workflow management. This blog merged into the Treehouse Blog.

6. Wake Up Later

Wake Up Later - Screen shot

Wake Up Later is the blog of Samuel Ryan, a freelance web developer/designer. Rather than covering specific web development techniques or providing tutorials, he talks about general web development related things such as reasons not to write your own code, tips on improving productivity, and common design mistakes made by developers.

7. Snook.ca

Snook.ca - Screen shot

Snook.ca is run by Jonathan Snook, an icon in web development and design. His blog provides tutorials and articles about PHP, JavaScript, and more recently (the blog dates back to 2001), Adobe AIR. He also provides useful resources and bookmarks that are worth a read, and talks about things that are part of being a web developer such as project management via email and maintaining your personal brand online.

8. Signal vs. Noise

Signal vs. Noise - Screen shot

Signal vs. Noise is a design/usability company blog by the people over at 37 Signals – known for developing remarkable web applications such as Basecamp and their involvement in the popular open source web application framework, Ruby On Rails. The blog gives insights about being a productive and effective web application developer and keeping things simple, with entries such as "Workaholics fixate on inconsequential details" and "Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor".

9. Adaptive Path Ideas

adaptive path blog - Screen shot

adaptive path’s company blog offers news and posts on the topic of user interface design. There’s a variety of useful posts that cover the topic of creating user-friendly designs (not limited to just web applications). Some things the adaptive path crew writes about are "Tips for presenting the look & feel to a client" and "The Lure of the Single Click".

10. Tutorial Blog

Tutorial Blog - Screen shot

Tutorial Blog used to provide handy tutorials, resources, and lists on various web development and design topics such as code snipplets for web designers and Flash tutorials. As of May 2015, the site no longer exists.

11. WebAppers

WebAppers

WebAppers is a blog created by Ray Cheung, a freelance web developer. The premise of WebAppers is to provide news and resources related to open source and free applications that are useful to web developers and designers. From cost-free fonts and icons to navigation menus and image galleries, WebAppers seeks to hunt down useful tools and applications aimed at reducing your time developing custom solutions.

12. Web Resources Depot

Web Resources Depot - Screenshot

Web Resources Depot is similar to WebAppers – it discusses new web resources that web developers and designers may find helpful. Web Resources Depot is an excellent way to stay up to date with what’s currently available out there all in one place.

13. Ajaxian

Ajaxian - Screen shot

With continual advancements in Ajax, it’s imperative to keep up to date with modern techniques and news. Ajaxian is the leading Ajax community run by some of the biggest names in the field. You’ll find information, reviews on JavaScript frameworks, helpful tools, and server-side technology specific (like PHP, RoR, and .NET) articles. If Ajax news and information is what you’re looking for, you can be sure to hear about it from Ajaxian.

14.DZone

Dzone - Screen shot

DZone is a social news site for developers. Users share links related to development and can vote on submissions (very much like Digg but limited to developer links). You can subscribe via RSS to various pages and sections such JavaScript, Flash/Flex, or databases if you want to get instant updates to things specific to your interests.

15. Design Float

Design Float - Screen shot

Design Float is social media site created for web and graphics designers. Like Dzone, people get to vote up submissions. You’ll find stuff about CSS, HTML, and Photoshop submitted to Design Float.

16. IBM’s developerWorks

developerWorks - screenshot

With the name camel-cased, you already know off-the-bat that it’s a great site for developers. developerWorks offers many articles and tutorials pertaining to development topics, not just about web development, but also on related fields such as systems administration and open source technologies and applications. developerWorks has a knack for writing about complex topics and boiling it down to consumable, understandable articles.

17. del.icio.us

del.icio.us - Screen shot

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site where members can post bookmarks to keep and share. It’s not strictly for web developers but you can monitoring specific tags such as webdev, development, or javascript.

18. Sharebrain

Sharebrain - Screen shot

Sharebrain is site that shares useful resources for web workers. You can find resources and tutorials on various web development and design topics such as Photoshop tutorials, Usability, SEO Tools, CMS’s, and interviews.

19. Style Grind

Style Grind - Screen shot

Style Grind was a blog that shared useful news and information about web technologies and designs. Resources and news reported by Style Grind included a variety of web development and design topics. Style Grind no longer exists.

20. PSDTUTS

PSDTUTS - Screen shot

Your value as a web developer increases when you’re proficient in design as well. Some examples would be WordPress theme developers who not only know how to develop themes, but can also design them. PSDTUTS is a great place to improve on Photoshop skills and is a site I follow to learn more about graphics/web design.

21. Design Reviver

Design Reviver - Screen shot

Design Reviver aims at providing useful information for web designers. You can visit this blog to read Flash tutorials, get free downloads like Photoshop brushes, and to find design inspiration.

22. Blog.SpoonGraphics

Blog.SpoonGraphics - Screen shotr

Blog.SpoonGraphics is a blog about graphics and web design created by Chris Spooner, a graphics and web designer. You can find many tutorials on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, free, downloadable resources like “Sliding Door” tab menus, articles for inspiration, and news.

23. John Resig

John Resig - Screen shot

John Resig is the self-titled blog of John Resig – a premier JavaScript developer and author most known for his creation of jQuery, a popular JavaScript framework. John Resig’s blog shares his thoughts about JavaScript development and web applications. It’s where I found out about the release of his new project: Processing.js (a JavaScript port of the Processing programming language) and where he voiced his thoughts on Google Doctype.

24. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows - Screenshot

Boxes and Arrows is all about best practices, innovations, and trends in the topic of design – including information architecture, graphics design, and user interaction design. You can read about findability (how people look for information), counter-arguments of front-loading information above the fold, and web accessibility.

25. PHPDeveloper

PHPDeveloper - Screenshot

PHPDeveloper brings together news and resources about PHP from blogs and sites that cover PHP. You’ll find reports varying from PHP video tutorials to interesting developments over at Zend.

26. Coding Horror

Coding Horror - Screenshot

Coding Horror is a very popular blog (over 100,000 RSS subscribers!) by Jeff Atwood, a software developer. He talks about web development too, posing questions such as Is HTML a Humane Markup Language?, discussing Amazon S3’s viability to host images, and sharing information on versioning databases.

27. O’Reilly Network

O'Reilly Network - Screen shot

The O’Reilly Network by O’Reilly Media (publisher of development books) features articles and blogs pertaining to web development and open technologies. Some recent articles include Creating Applications with Amazon EC2 and S3 and Getting Started with the Google App Engine. Some blogs that are part of the O’Reilly Network include WindowsDevCenter.com (for Windows Developers), ONJava.com (topics cover the Java language) and ONLamp.com (which talks about Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).

28. Google doctype

Google doctype - Screen shot

Google Doctype is Google’s new project that will include entries "by web developers for web developers". Currently, it doesn’t have very many articles, but it’s certainly a resource to follow in the upcoming months.

29. Web Monkey

Web Monkey - Screen shot

Web Monkey – the web developer’s resource is back! Though they’re just getting back to the swing of things, it’s definitely a website to keep track of.

30. Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine is the online magazine for web professionals (web designers, developers, information architects). You can find many things included here such PHP, Web Standards, and Programming.

Other notable sites to check out

If you’re looking for your favorite site and it’s not included here, check out something I wrote few months back called "20 Websites That Made Me A Better Web Developer" which talks about popular sites like A List Apart and 456 Berea Steet.

Because of the sheer quantity of great websites out there, I simply can’t talk about and share all of them (I wish I could), so I encourage you to share your own favorites in the comments section with the name, link, and a short description. In about a week, I’ll update this post with your suggestions. Thanks!

Updated (March 14, 2014): Corrected 3 URLs that have been moved (Snook.ca, Signal vs. Noise and adaptive path blog.

A designer’s creativity is often showcased in the little details and touches that he or she incorporates in a design. Using common, familiar objects as design elements to accent and ornament a web page is a wonderful way of showcasing one’s attention to detail.

For inspiration, I explore the trend of utilizing paper clips by providing excellent examples to showcase how designers make use of them.

These People Comedy.com

These People Comedy.com - Use of paper clip as an ornamentRealistic paper clip used as a design ornament.

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There are many available tools to help make web development projects quicker and more productive. Aside from a handy text editor or WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver, you can find plenty of tools and utilities that can greatly increase development speed, reduce debugging and testing time, and improve quality of the output. The tools described below are a variety of utilities, optimizers, testing, and debugging tools aimed towards helping developers create websites more efficiently.

1. CSS Grid Builder

CSS Grid Builder - Screenshot

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MySQL is the most popular open-source database. Whether you’re an aspiring web application developer or a person working on an existing database-driven web application like a content management system, ecommerce platform, or blogging platform — there are a variety of handy applications that you can use to make MySQL database design and administration (relatively) a breeze. So if you find yourself in a position where you have to work with MySQL, you don’t have to use a command-line interface, check out these 7 outstanding applications to help you create, write, manage, and visualize your database.

1. TurboDbAdmin

TurboDBAdmin - Screenshot

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If you’re a web worker, mobile computing is either a necessity of the job or something you choose to do to get away from the monotonous confines of your office work station. Along with your laptop and (most probably) your iPhone/Blackberry/[insert handheld here], there are a plethora of useful devices that you can tag along with you to enhance your computing experience. Here’s a round-up of 10 cool gadgets that can supplement your remote workspace.

1. LapStrap

If you’d like to keep things minimal and leave your big, bulky, heavy laptop case behind, LapStrap is an excellent solution. It’s a simple shoulder strap that attaches to your laptop. The LapStrap also solves the awkward moments in airport lines where you struggle to juggle between your other carry-on luggage and taking out your laptop from its conventional case.

LapStrap

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