The Rise of REM

As web designers and web developers we live in a world of pixels, such is the state of display technology. We also like to make things easier to work with and in a world of small and large viewports the pixel had to go. When we consider that the primary mode of the web is text it makes sense to size the internets around font-size. Some love the clarity of ‘px’ and some like the relative sizing of the ‘em’. Others must have thought it a bright idea to give us both so we get the ‘rem’. Problem solved. (*sigh*)

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No more windmills

To many battles and too little gain. They garnered respect in the web development world and that’s about it. On mobile they made some head way but the tide is against them. The switch to Webkit is an admission of defeat. Not as a company but as an innovator on and of the web because they swapped competition for a comity. Their vocal stance on web standards can’t be understated and I sincerely hope they will remain vocal, however, will they need too? They’re are commercial company after all and competing with standards is a bit like fighting windmills.

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Confusion up front

The Front-end is something that glues two well established disciplines together. Design and programming. Visuals and functional abstraction. Front-end development may overlap the two but that in of self doesn’t make it one or the other. Front-end development is a singular discipline with a clear goal and can be practised by a single person without conflict or ambiguity. Some consider the notion that it may not be that simple. Maybe, but I think it is.

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Leave the weak behind

The Google Apps team has had enough and has put a hit out on IE8. Even before IE 10 was released Google vowed to continue to only support the latest two versions of IE. We all know that auto updating is the way to go and those who complain, lookin’ at you Enterprise IT, can stick it where the sun don’t shine. The enterprise moves even slower than Microsoft and we can’t have that.

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Designer’s Debate Club

Now this looks like it could be fun.

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The Fake Battle for HTML5

Facebook has gone native on iOS. Their ‘app’ used HTML5 masquerading as a native app by using a native wrapper for the web view. That didn’t work out so well. Bye bye HTML.

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Forward motion

A large part of my work is creating web applications for the enterprise behind their firewalls. For dutch clients this means Internet Explorer. The current speed of change in CSS development is rather exciting because not only do I see active development on new features by the various browser vendors I can also see, in some cases, IE7 being dropped* by groups of end users. The fact that in a few cases I can target IE9 and fallback to IE8 at all is a huge win for creating clean cross-browser web applications. Just like I’ve been doing with public facing web sites for a while now.

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Preprocessing

It’s easy to see the charm of preprocessors like LESS and Sass. What’s typical and unfortunate is the dogma many developers get caught up in. Is one better than the other? Maybe, but the problem preprocessors bring has nothing to with syntax or robustness. It’s what they hide from you.

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Get off my grid!

Grids have become an integral part of design since humans figured out how to print stuff. Grids flourished in the age of reproduction. Discussing the sense and non-sense of grids is something that designers never seem to get tiered of. Responsive web design has added an extra dimension to this discussion. That’s a good thing because any argument for a grid based approach would also need to take responsive layouts in to account. So, how well do grids hold up on the open web?

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Whose prefix is it anyway?

It looks like there is a little bit of a panic about CSS -pre-fixes. Well, that’s just though. It’s a little late to start bitching about it now. It’s not that nobody knew that this was going to happen. History has this habit of repeating itself because we’re all stupid.

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