Iconic fonts

The world wide web and images have always made awkward bed fellows. Images are added to the document and are supplemental to text which is the primary mode of communication. So if you want to add an icon you have a number of choices. An image via an html tag, a background via CSS and a typeface via loading an external font. This is where things get mirky.

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The Web Devided

Fluid or rather its new name responsive web design is a typical paradigm of the web. It doesn’t really exist anywhere else, which in of itself is not surprising. Some industries like the publishing industry wants to get in on the act but are still busy defending their turf. They, like many other industries, won’t commit to a new way of thinking. The old world will not evolve into the new one because they put most of their energy in to what they still have. Incumbents are not saddled by such a burden. The prize is usually theirs for the taking.

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Patterns, breakfast of champions

Creating a website these days is a piece of cake, as simple as a bowl of cereal. It really is. A custom built enterprise behemoth of a web application, however, is a completely different kettle of fish. Each seemingly innocuous decision you make impacts the next and eventually becomes an avalanche of shortsightedness that kills you and the entire village. So, if you’re (un)fortunate enough to be involved a such a large project, watch your step. Getting the basics right might just save you and your kin.

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$CSS

Fronteers ‘11 was great conference, one of the best I’ve been to. Lots of passion and an eyeopener to the direction some seem to be taking the web.

Ruby technology has been making waves in the web dev space for years and it seems that it and others have indirectly influenced the front-end space. CoffeeScript and Sass have, due to their popularity, started the next wave of change. Dart and CSS vars as exhibit A. Great in many respects, however, Front-end is slowly becoming a pure IT job. It’s an easy bet that not everybody will be able to make the transition.

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Elusive Style

Molly’s has a ‘I wish I had…’ post and it reminded me of once wishing I had something like ‘invert’ just like the CSS values ‘auto’ and ‘inherit’. When I change a background colour I’d like not to have go and change the text colour as well. Usually it’s better to tweak the colour to get the best result but in some cases it doesn’t require such fine tuning.

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Plus one

Just in case you hadn’t heard: The web juggernaut Google has gone all social on us and Twitter has, after Facebook added their status timeline, yet another competitor to contend with. Twitter’s uniqueness is fading and its focus is shifting. Many users push tweets to Facebook and those that don’t may jump ship to Google+.

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The Web Stack is the next native platform

It is funny and fantastic to see all these dogmatic discussions on ‘Web versus Native’ mobile applications. It’s a strange argument to have because at the moment they don’t actually conflict very much. They do overlap but they’re currently not replacements of each other. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a native app that might as well be web based because it’s not utilising specific hardware API’s. An app is often native because you can have somebody else sell it for you in an app store.

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Class struggle

I’m irked by the fact that I keep running into web sites that use mark-up class names that follow the content language. The web and its mark-up are open to the world, to both humans and machines. For better or for worse in terms of mark-up English is the lingua franca and its metadata should at least also be in English. An ID on the other hand can be part of the content (ie fragment identifier) and when it is it ought to follow the content language of the current document. It can get a little messy, but there is method to the madness.

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Pay me

John Gruber posted Mike Monteiro’s view on getting paid and his view of dealing with contracts. However, I think it’s worth noting that here in the Netherlands you’re less likely to need a lawyer to negotiate a contract. This is in part due to the culture and how the justice system deals with contract disputes. That’s not that you shouldn’t have a lawyer look at how you deal with contracts and conditions.

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Google and the attack of the killer codec.

Google is dropping H.264 in favour of WebM. Google can do whatever it likes, it’s their product. Open this, open that, for the moment it’s irrelevant because whatever Google does H.264 is still the only practical choice to deploy video on the web.

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