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October 24 2012

CSS keeps growing

Eric Meyer, the author of CSS: The Definitive Guide (and much more) has taught thousands of people CSS through his books, his talks, and his articles. I’ve always enjoyed hearing his take on the state of CSS, as he manages to find combinations of capabilities that make CSS more powerful than I thought it was when I first looked.

We sat down last week to discuss the many huge changes CSS3 is bringing, from improvements to old capabilities to completely new tools for animations, transforms, and layout. The continuous rate of change and the size of the specification are driving him to serialize the next edition of the Definitive Guide, releasing it in pieces. Developers can work from familiar foundations, but reach new destinations. The declarative strength of CSS3 lets you create presentation by describing it, and that style keeps proving more powerful.

Highlights of the interview include:

  • CSS3 brings big changes in font capabilities, letting you send fonts to users [discussed at the 2:30 mark] and sites putting those improvements to work [15:50].
  • The many options can make choosing a set of parts seem difficult [discussed at the 4:21 mark], but JavaScript shims that add support for CSS properties can make it easier to use properties even if browsers haven’t come around to them [6:08]
  • Which of your features are like rounded corners? Will progressive enhancement let you worry less about those? [Discussed at the 6:55 mark.]
  • More and more CSS modules apply its declarative approach to behavior, and changes over time. [Discussed at the 8:28 mark.]
  • The new stuff that really has Eric excited? Layout improvements, using pieces designed for explicit layout rather than turning floats into a layout system. [Discussed at the 12:36 mark.]

You can view the entire conversation in the following video:

Related:

September 06 2012

Four short links: 5 September 2012

  1. DIY Spectrometry KitThis open hardware kit costs only $35, but has a range of more than 400-900 nanometers, and a resolution of as high as 3 nm. A spectrometer is essentially a tool to measure the colors absorbed by a material. You can construct this one yourself from a piece of a DVD-R, black paper, a VHS box, and an HD USB webcam.
  2. Mind-Controlled Drones — Chinese demo of EEG to Bluetooth to laptop to wifi to UAV.
  3. Pac-Man in Javascript — in-browser loving recreation of a bunch of original Pac-Man games, with source on github. Cf this article on building Atari Arcade in CreateJS. (via Javascript Weekly)
  4. Source Sans — Adobe’s first open source typeface.

May 31 2012

May 16 2012

March 30 2012

Four short links: 30 March 2012

  1. TypeConnection -- a game that teaches you how to match fonts and why successful matches work. (via Sacha Judd)
  2. Lessons Learned Building Open Source Software (Mitchel Hashimoto) -- the creator of Vagrant talks about the lesson he's learned building a great open source project.
  3. Kickstarter Post-Mortem (Ze Frank) -- excellent dig into the details of his campaign, what worked, what didn't, and how he structured it.
  4. In Lulz We Trust (Gabriella Coleman) -- her excellent Webstock talk about Anonymous.

March 08 2012

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