Welcome to the Modern Earth Blog!

Insights into the Online World

Oct282015

A lot of Windows users prefer to use Internet Explorer (also known as IE) as their default browser.

This may work for some, but I think IE is far from perfect to be used as a default browser when there are other options available.

IE is Complicated to Update

The most current version of Internet Explorer will only run on the most recent version of Windows, Windows 10. IE 12 (also known as Edge) can be installed only on Windows 10. This creates a problem for Windows users who are still operating on Windows 8 or lower.  They are unable to take advantage of the latest features of the internet browser.

IE is Updated Infrequently

  • IE8 - was released in 2008 and is the default browser in Windows 7
  • IE9 - was released in 2011
  • IE10 - was released in 2012 and is the default browser in Windows 8
  • IE11 - was released in 2013
  • IE12 or Edge - was released in 2015 and is the default browser in Windows 10

IE is updated every couple of years [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_versions ]; these updates are too far apart to keep up with for a fast-paced environment like the web.

Old IE Versions are Less Secure

Viruses often  appear on user’s computers because of out-of-date browsers.  As browser versions are updated many security holes are found and corrected.

The more recent your browser version, the fewer potential security holes it has.

What Other Options Are There?

There are several alternatives to IE:

I personally recommend using Google Chrome as your primary browser.

The Top 8 Reasons to Use Google Chrome

  • Fast; Google cares about the performance of their browser a lot and all deprecated or legacy code and features will be removed in the latest versions. Any unpopular features are moved to extensions in order to keep Chrome running even faster.
  • Secure; Chrome will warn you if a website you are about to view can harm your computer
  • Simple and easy to use; Chrome has clean and intuitive User Interface (UI)
  • Open Source; this means that everybody can see what is going on inside of the browser and anybody can report issues in it, or contribute new features
  • Frequent silent auto-updates; Google releases a new version of Chrome every month. This means that Chrome is always up-to-date, secure and uses the latest features of the web
  • Configurable; Chrome offers hundreds of extensions and themes to customize your user experience (UX)
  • Smart Omnibox; you can search from the browser's Omnibox or address bar because the Google Search Engine is integrated in the browser
  • Easy sync; Chrome offers a secure synchronization feature through your Google Account. When you log into Chrome on a different computer or device all your settings and bookmarks will be available to you. 

Installing the browser only takes a few minutes. 

But the right browser gives you long-term benefits in your usage of the web.

What Does Java Mean to You?

Iurii Zhmurskyi

Oct152015

Mountains of Java in Indonesia - Modern Earth Web Design - Winnipeg Web Design

We’ve all heard the word “java”used at some point, but it has a different meaning for each of us.  Coffee lovers will immediately feel cheerful, or a sudden boost of energy.  Vacationers may have a flashback to their unforgettable holiday on the tropical island of Java in Indonesia - where coffee beans are grown

As a web developer, when I hear “Java” I assume we’re talking about the versatile and powerful programming language.  Not to be confused with the scripting language JavaScript, which was cleverly marketed with a similar name to attract attention

Java was originally designed to program the first tv remotes!

The first Java developers built the language in a way that allows it to run programs on any computer or device.  Designing the language to have included libraries of functions that could be dynamically used in a specific setting allowed it be much smaller than the other programming languages of the time.  The code is so fast and memory efficient it can be used to create additional programming languages.  One of these “new” programming languages is ColdFusion, which was developed specifically for web programming. 

Many web programmers choose Java as their main web development language.  Modern Earth is no exception.  We use Java in our web design and development process because of its stability and performance ability.  Many of our websites are run on a Java-based ColdFusion platform. 

If you’re unsure which programming language will meet the needs of your company, please feel free to ask us! We are always happy to answer your questions and would be happy to discuss the options we can offer you at Modern Earth Web Design. 

A New Type

Stacey Wiebe

Oct142015

With the increasing popularity of flat design, typography has taken a pivotal role in Web design. More fonts are available for less money (via Font Squirrel) or no money (through Google Fonts) than ever before. There are still a lot of outdated fonts that aren’t right for the job but are used because people have been using that font since they started using computers. A slight change in typography can make a big difference in helping your site and documents stand out.

 

Don’t: Arial

Arial Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

Made part of a suite of system fonts for the Windows 3.1 operating system, Arial has been used on just about every computer since 1992 [source]. This free installation of a font that is easy to read at large and small sizes led to an explosion of usage on magazines, street signs, banners, and advertisements. Why buy an expensive font when you can use an okay one for nothing? Now that we have a plethora of different options to help your project stand out, let’s try using them.

 

Do: Open Sans, Lato

Open Sans Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

“Open Sans was designed with an upright stress, open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance. It was optimized for print, web, and mobile interfaces, and has excellent legibility characteristics in its letterforms.” - Google Fonts

Lato Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

“The semi-rounded details of the letters give Lato a feeling of warmth, while the strong structure provides stability and seriousness.” - Google Fonts

 

Don’t: Times New Roman

Times New Roman Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

Highly legible at a small size, Times New Roman was created specifically as a newspaper typeface and it serves that purpose well. The design was first used in The Times newspaper in 1932 and was then offered to the public as commercial fonts in 1933 [source]. The design has enjoyed a long popularity as a standard print font and as one of the fonts bundled with computers. There’s nothing technically wrong with Times New Roman, but if you want your project to stand out and excite people, try a new font.

 

Do: Droid Serif, Libre Baskerville

Droid Serif Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

“The Droid Serif font family features a contemporary appearance and was designed for comfortable reading on screen. Droid Serif features slightly condensed letterforms to maximize the amount of text displayed on small screens. Vertical stress, sturdy serifs and open forms contribute to the readability of Droid Serif while its proportion and overall design complement its companion Droid Sans.” - Google Fonts

Libre Baskerville Typeface - Modern Earth Web Design - Custom Web Design Winnipeg Manitoba

“Libre Baskerville is a web font optimized for body text (typically 16px.) It is based on the American Type Founder's Baskerville from 1941, but it has a taller x-height, wider counters and a little less contrast, that allow it to work well for reading on-screen.” - Google Fonts

 

I’ve given you the tiniest sample of fonts to help you replace overused, default fonts. While there are a great deal of typefaces online, not all of them are right for your project.  If you’re looking for more variety try Font Squirrel or Google Fonts and be sure to check out Google’s recommendations for font pairings to maintain harmony with your design.

 

Sources:

http://www.fonts.com/font/monotype/arial

http://www.fonts.com/font/monotype/times-new-roman 

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/fonts-to-avoid/