By: Sheri German
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Having just attended TODcon in Vegas, I can tell you that everything glistens and shines there. No one sleeps in this quintessential party town. Shows and entertainment abound, and the hotels each have a schtick. One might accurately call the place a paragon of excess, and keeping that in mind, we offer you a new JumpStart that is crammed with features. We proudly introduce CMX JumpStart Vegas, designed by Fireworks expert Linda Rathgeber, and coded by CSS guru Stephanie Sullivan. Flash slideshow, FlashObjects, sIFR, a complex form, the glitter of a golden design--it's all there, ready for you to adapt for your own sites.
Like all of the CMX JumpStarts, the pages are constructed using valid XHTML 1.0 markup and formatted using valid CSS 2.1 styling. Vegas also follows the WAI and Section 508 accessibility guidelines to provide you with a solid foundation for your work and give your users the best experience possible.
What does Vegas include?
Now let's look at what the Vegas package includes:
- An extension for Dreamweaver MX 2004 allows you to easily
copy all the files you need to a defined site so that you get a quick start.
After installing the extension, you'll find a CMX JumpStarts category in
the left column of your "New Document" dialog box. Vegas will
appear in the right column, and if you acquire other CMX JumpStarts, their
names will appear there also.
Note: While all of the pages and files included will work in any version of Dreamweaver, or any other HTML editor, the extension to install the design into the New Document window will only work in Dreamweaver MX 2004.
- Paul Newman's bundled Flash Slideshow article also gives you the CMX Flash Slideshow extension and thorough directions for using it.
- Once you select Vegas in your "New Document" dialog box, you'll choose a "save" location and the CSS and XHTML files that will serve as your starting point will appear in your defined site's folder. The default images will also get added to the folder.
- Vegas includes both a commented and uncommented version of the main style sheet, as well as a design time style sheet (DTSS) to make it easier to edit the form page in design view.
- You get the original Fireworks PNG file so you can customize and brand the pages with your own color scheme, logo, text, and images. All layers in the PNG file are organized and labeled so that it's easy to make any modifications you need.
- The source png also includes a hidden layer with a color palette that you can modify to store your own colors for a customized color scheme.
- Also included are the source Flash files for the slideshow.
- A slides folder includes the sample images you see in the Vegas JumpStart.
- Vegas includes slides.xml to provide you with a "dataProvider" you can easily modify with your customized list of slides.
Tip: There are no restrictions on the number of sites for which you may use the Vegas layout. Apply it over and over again to create unique pages: you are limited only by the boundaries of your imagination.
This is a lot of features, and thus the bundle comes with 13 tutorials that will help you understand how to modify Vegas for your own sites.
What tutorials and extension come bundled with Vegas?
For those of you who want to understand how Vegas was built, the package comes bundled with all the tutorials you'll need to deconstruct it.
- Do You Want To Do That With CSS? — Centering a Wrapper by John Gallant and Holly Bergevin
- Fireworks Layers - Best Practices by Jim Babbage
- CMX Slideshow Flash Extension by Paul Newman
- Styling CSS Buttons (Part 1) by Stephanie Sullivan
- Flowing and Positioning: Two Page Models by John Gallant and Holly Bergevin
- Simple Form Styling with CSS by Stephanie Sullivan
- Styling Forms: Fieldset and Legend by Stephanie Sullivan
- Using Masks in Fireworks MX by Jim Babbage
- Float The Theory by John Gallant and Holly Bergevin
- How To Attack An Internet Explorer (Win) Display Bug by John Gallant and Holly Bergevin
- Styling Headings for Fun and Profit with CSS by Stephanie Sullivan
- Flash DHTML Menus and Accessibility by Stephanie Sullivan
- Accessible Forms With Dreamweaver by Tricia Littlefield
What is included in the Vegas documentation?
In addition to the bundled tutorials, Vegas comes with specific directions on how to modify its starter and form pages. There is documentation for the following:
- Using sIFR for custom fonts
- Customizing your slideshow, or using a static image instead
- Understanding how the page was built in Dreamweaver
- Understanding the hacks needed to ensure consistent rendering in multiple browsers
- Adding your own masks to the Fireworks source png
- Understanding the skip to content link
- Working with Linda Rathgeber's Fireworks source png file and slicing/exporting images
Note: Vegas is the eighth in our series of CMX JumpStarts
Dreamweaver templates. We will continue to diversify our features and layouts
so that you will always be able to find a design to fit your needs. If Vegas does
not suit your current site, perhaps you would like to look at these JumpStarts:
CMX JumpStart Paris is a two column fixed-width layout with the popular tab navigation feature, and it includes a starter page and a form page.
CMX JumpStart Seattle has a home page with four floated boxes, and two column, fixed-width inner and form pages that include accessible, list-formatted navigation.
CMX JumpStart Aspen is a three column liquid-width design that includes floats, fixed and absolute positioning, background positioning, styled lists, and a base page and a form page.
CMX JumpStart Northpole was our free 2004 holiday gift to the web community. It is a two column, fixed-width design that uses clever deployment of background images in both the navigational elements and the content areas of the design. The images make use of the CMX black line art series for Fireworks.
CMX JumpStart Liverpool includes a two-column fixed-width layout with navigation on the left and a main content section on the right. There is also a little twist to the content area: its lower section is split into two columns, while the upper section spans across both of these columns. Additionally, Liverpool includes an authentication system based on access levels, and provides files for ColdFusion, PHP, ASP, and .NET versions.
CMX Jumpstart Venice is a three and two equal-height, rounded-corner column design. It uses faux column technique to give the illusion of equal columns.
You can see that the package includes everything you need to get you started, as well as to turn the Vegas CMX JumpStart into a rich CSS (with a little Flash) learning experience.