Showing posts from November, 2009

Building Really Elegant Web Portals, Part 2

The first part of this article talked about some principles for building really elegant web portals.  It proposes using a design pattern rather than a one-size fits all framework.  It requires no specialized software and once implemented, can be rebranded, reorganized, and re-featurized by anyone with basic HTML design skills.  Part 2 looks at more technical details of this design approach.

An Example

The following example shows a simple contacts list with email addresses.  The layout of the page is already set up, so we just insert a simple tag, <?Widgets::membershipList?>, to create the list.  It looks like an HTML tag, but it automatically expands into the full contacts list.

Obviously this is a simple example, but you can see how easy it would be to move this widget around, change the CSS styling, relocate to another page or change the entire look and feel of the site around it.  Even if the whole layout of the portal changes, this widget will still provide the same functional…

Piz Balzet

Yours truly leading pitch one of the Piz Balzet, Albigna, Switzerland.

Photo ©2008 by Iain Williams

New Belcanto

Mike del Ferro, "New Belcanto - Opera Meets Jazz"

Great discoveries should be shared.   I came across Mike del Ferro's rendition of Nessun Dorma on more than a year ago.  Several months ago I went back and found that it was gone.   I finally tracked down the album.  It's available on iTunes.   Spoiler: this album will be on my Top 5 Albums of 2009.

I've also been enjoying the new CD/DVD from my own piano teacher Brian Browne, entitled "Brian Browne Trio at the NAC".  A protege of Oscar Peterson, Brian is one of the greatest jazz pianists that Canada has ever produced.  The album is available at

Farewell to Autumn

Wolf Trail, Gatineau Park, Quebec

©2009 Darren DeRidder

Wakefield Bridge

Covered Bridge, Wakefield, Quebec

© 2009 Darren DeRidder