This edition of Smashing Daily has interesting links for everyone (as always), but also some highlights for typography nerds, CSS writers, developers, creative coders, responsive designers and people who make snow sculptures. I hope you like it!
“Tomorrow’s Web Type Today: The Fine Flourish of the Ligature”
Type on the Web is mostly awful. It can be beautiful, though. Elliot Jay Stocks started this new series about “future-facing techniques to do with typography on the web.” This first article is about ligatures (i.e. a character consisting of two or more letters). If you care about type, then definitely read these articles.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on techniques that we can use in the (near) future. Chris Coyier shows us how to use CSS regions to fold content in a more clever way than our current techniques allow.
“Application Cache: Douchebag”
One of the absolute highlights of the excellent Mobilism 2012 conference was this talk by Jake Archibald about the application cache; hilarious but also extremely well researched. Be sure to read the accompanying article (you’ll need it when you start working with AppCache) and the AppCache diagram. (And be sure to attend a conference where he will be giving this talk.)
“Getting Started With getUserMedia”
A group of people think the Web should catch up with “native,” and one of the things you hear most is that accessing the camera to do cool stuff should be possible. Well, you can, and here’s a simple tutorial (with a lot of links to more info).
“Devices, Devices, Devices”
Testing your responsive website on smartphones is pretty easy; most of them have a fairly decent browser on them, so things usually work just as you expect. That’s not the case on feature phones, though. Martin Sutherland argues that this simple observation should be an important part of your strategy when thinking about what test devices to buy.
“It’s Time to Treat eBook Developers as Developers”
In this lengthy article, Baldur Bjarnason explains how hard it is to test your eBook design; there is little or no documentation (some documentation is even secret), and the documentation that exists is not good enough. On top of that, getting ahold of some eBook readers outside of the US is impossible, and even if you have one, testing books on them is very hard. If you ever catch yourself complaining again about how hard it is to test your website on all of the browsers out there, just think of this article.
There was a row in Responsive Image Land yesterday, and I linked to it in the heat of the moment, something I usually try to avoid. If you wait a while, things get much clearer. In this case, Jeremy Keith published an excellent brain dump that clearly explains the situation, the ideas and the (current) solution. You should read it if you build websites.
The Cost of Knowledge
One of the things I love most about our industry is that everyone shares their knowledge freely. Imagine if every link I posted here directed you to a store where you could buy a paper. That wouldn’t help you much; you wouldn’t gain knowledge as quickly as you are doing right now. In academics, this problem is common: articles get published exclusively in expensive magazines and are not freely available, which means that gaining knowledge is harder. This, of course, is contrary to what universities are all about, and it clashes with the idea that publicly funded research should be freely available.
“Snowdecahedrons: Temporary Public Art”
I’m not sure what the weather is like at your place, but here in The Netherlands, winter has not ended yet. It’s not snowing, but it feels like it might. In that case, I’ll try to make one of these snow decahedrons. And if the weather turns good, I’ll just cut down a tree and copy this beautiful idea.
For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive.
Vasilis van Gemert is the Principal Front-end Developer at Mirabeau in The Netherlands and a board member of Fronteers. His aim is to close the gap between design and (front-end) development. He believes the excess of knowledge he has can be better used by others, by more creative and smarter people. You can follow him on Twitter.
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