Smashing Daily #30: Advertising, Sorting, Pointing

The Smashing Daily starts the week with some very long (but excellent) articles about: giving critique, responsive advertising, sorting elements, JavaScript style guides, OpenType features and lastly, pointing at things. There’s also the best presentation about Responsive Design I’ve seen in a while, a responsive image technique (which I criticize) and a good tip about CSS generated content. Enjoy!

Responsive design: techniques and tricks to prepare your websites1
Here’s the best technical presentation about Responsive design that I’ve seen in a while. Andreas Bovens explains in detail all the current and future techniques you can use. You should definitely click through it, as it has the best explanation of all the meta-viewport options I’ve seen so far.

Responsive design explained2

It’s Not Working For Me: #crit3
Designers with an academic background have learned what critique is. They know how to give critique and how to deal with it, says Mark Boulton. He explains what academic and professional critique are and how important they are. He also explains why he thinks Twitter is a great place to give critique, but to distinguish it from trolling, he proposes to always use the #crit hashtag. A great read for all Web designers.

CSS generated content and screen readers4
Some screen readers do (and others don’t) announce CSS generated content: content that’s inserted with the :before or :after pseudo-elements. Roger Johansson explains what this means, and how you have to be careful with what you generate using CSS.

The state of responsive advertising: the publishers’ perspective5
One of the bigger issues with Responsive Web design is advertising—some might argue advertising is one of the bigger issues on the Web, but that’s another story. Matthew Snyder and Etai Koren wrote this lengthy article that clearly explains the current state of responsve advertising and outlines some possible solutions. A must-read for everybody who makes money with ads.

Responsive advertising6

Source shuffling—responsive images based on media queries7
There are many responsive image techniques. If you don’t really care about possible extra http-requests for every image on your website, then this technique by Jordan Moore might be just the thing you’re looking for. This technique (like most techniques) looks at the width of the viewport to decide what image should be used. I believe this is wrong: the size of the image in its context should decide what image is shown.

Sorting—We’re Doing It Wrong8
Be sure to keep this article as a bookmark somewhere, you’ll need it if you ever need to sort DOM elements (yes, you’ll probably need it someday). Rodney Rehm wrote down everything he found out about sorting, and it’s a lot! An incredible article. And even if this really isn’t your kind of thing, you’ll probably enjoy the video with the sound of sorting.

All about sorting, even how it sounds9

Tomorrow’s Web type today: Expert subsets for CSS in 12310
More and more OpenType features become available on more and more browsers every day. Elliot Jay Stocks explains how to use two of these features: old style numerals and real small caps. A must-read for all type nerds out there.

JavaScript Style Guides And Beautifiers11
Style guides are not just useful for design, but they are used for coding as well, where they serve as a set of rules that you and your team decided upon—they help you with writing consistent, readable and maintainable code. Addy Osmani wrote this excellent article about JavaScript styleguides. He looks at some more well known guides and explains how they work. A great read for all professional scripters.

Last Click

A pointable we12
Are digital things (or rather, things with a URL) more real than physical things? In this excellent series of articles Craig Mod takes the example of a great article in a magazine and explains that only if you can point at something it really exists. Pointing means that somehow you can share it, which most of the time means that it has a URL. A great read, especially for people who think simply emulating paper on digital devices is a good idea. Be sure to take your time and read part two13 and part three14 as well… they are really good!

Pointing is real15

Previous Issues16

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive17.


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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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