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Hello dear Smashing Magazine fans!
As many as you have already noticed, the team over here at Smashing Magazine has rolled over the new design two weeks ago. They’ve done their best to improve the design, make the content more accessible and improve your overall experience on the site. On behalf of the entire team, we want to kindly thank you, dear fans and readers, for your encouraging feedback and bug reports. Please do know that the final design wouldn’t have been possible without your help!
I’d also like to thank two particular fans, Simon and Florine who have invited me to Singapore and took me to a fantastic tour throughout the city. I’d love to meet you all at our next meetup on Monday (30.01) in Basel, Switzerland. We’re very happy to welcome Denise Jacobs and Francis Chouquet as guest speakers and also thank our kind sponsors Magnolia CMS and i-net basel once again — food and drinks are free of charge!
Hurry up and sign up to the meetup now and don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet my lovely Smashing team members! We all look forward to seeing you there!
— The Smashing Cat, *meow*
01. Color Palette Generator: Color Thief
02. Notification Control: Fighting Email Notifications
03. Showcase Of Typographic Posters
04. Exploring The Power Of Command-Line Tools
05. HTML5, Please
06. Too Busy To Read A Book?
07. Facebook And jQuery Bootstraps: Strap Those Boots
08. Cut The Rope: An Addictive HTML5 Game
09. New on Smashing Magazine
10. Smashing Highlights
Starting a new design concept takes creativity, talent and special skills. Sometimes all your new client gives you is a single picture, from which you have to create an entire color palette. Due dates are always too soon, and you would always like more time to invest in conceptual development. Does this sound like a common predicament? How about easing the process with the help of Color Thief?
Created by Lokesh Dhakar, this tool uses a script to identify the dominant color from a picture and the adjacent colors with which to compose the palette. Try incorporating this little service in your workflow next time and you’ll find you have more time for creative brainstorming sessions. (tt)
We’ve all been there: email notifications from popular social networking websites keep polluting our inbox, informing us of new messages, birthdays, recently uploaded images, random acquaintances and unsolicited invitations to groups, circles and games. Unfortunately, most websites don’t make it particularly easy for users to turn off all email notifications at once, so just deleting the message itself rather than going into the settings to disable each notification category often seems easier. Well, not anymore.
Notification Control is a little service that helps you get rid of notifications in a few clicks. The website essentially presents a list of pointers to notification settings pages on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Forrst and other websites. Take a couple of minutes to actually go through the links, tick off some settings and make your inbox a bit cleaner in one fell swoop. (vf)
When the subject of typography comes up, the first things that come to most people’s minds are text, fonts and arrangement of space. Indeed, the main function of typography is to make language visible and understandable. But this function can also be applied to expressive artwork.
Good examples of how type and art can come together well can be seen on Typographic Posters, curated by André Felipe, a graphic designer who loves typography and its unorthodox uses. The project features literally hundreds of posters, a great resource that could be either a new platform to show your talent or a reference for your next design project. (tt)
Command-line tools can make both simple and complex tasks a lot faster to perform, eliminating the hassle of switching back and forth between desktop applications. Bang is one such tool; it lets you create tickets right in your code using Twitter-style tagging. It’s an ideal to-do list for individuals and small projects.
Glue is another great command-line tool, this one for generating CSS sprites. It includes automatic generation of all required PNGs and CSS as well as optional LESS output.
And if you’re looking for a command-line interface for WordPress, look no further than wp-cli. It’s a set of tools for controlling WordPress installations right from the command line. Now you’ve got an arsenal of quick time-savers that will surely boost your productivity! (cc)
With all the excitement surrounding new HTML5 and CSS3 features, perhaps we sometimes overlook the problems some of them might introduce as well. HTML5 Please is a resource that offers us the collective knowledge of professional developers who have worked deep in the trenches of HTML5.
Are you one of those readers who has had the same book on the nightstand for five months now? You probably just haven’t had time to read a whole book. Well, DailyPag.es enables you to read a book bit by bit. Currently, you can sign up to receive the occasional chapter from one of eight eBooks.
Read Machiavelli, Aristotle or J.R.R. Tolkien, and catch up on the work of some of the last millenium’s great authors. DailyPag.es drops a chapter into your inbox and lets you subscribe to reading groups to find like-minded people. Mixing in some off-topic reading with your daily chores will help free your mind for the tasks at hand. Sign up in seconds to enjoy a good read, or directly download entire books. (sp)
If you have been looking for a toolkit to get your Facebook app development rolling, consider Fbootstrapp by Clemens Krack. The toolkit helps you develop iframe apps at appropriate sizes, and it includes the basic CSS and HTML that you need to match the typography, forms, buttons, grids and navigation to Facebook’s style.
You might also want to look at the jQuery UI Bootstrap. Its live preview feature lets you see buttons, file inputs, error messages, sliders, progress bars and calendars in the style of jQuery UI. Download the stable version to start building your apps, or get in the game and help develop the Bootstrap theme further. (sp)
If you’ve got some work to do, you should probably skip this post and move right along to the next one. But if you do have time to spare, make sure to check out Cut the Rope, an HTML5 game developed by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer development team, Pixel Lab and ZeptoLab (which created the original game for iOS devices) to showcase advances in Web standards. The game features canvas-rendered graphics, browser-based audio and video, CSS3 styling and WOFF fonts.
The developers also provide an interesting case study on how the game was ported from Objective-C to HTML5. In fact, the browser version contains about 15,000 lines of code. Now that’s an effort worth our appreciation! (cc)
We sincerely appreciate your time and your support. The next issue will be sent out on the 7th of February. See you next time!
The Smashing Family
The authors of this newsletter are: Stephan Poppe (sp), Cameron Chapman (cc), Talita Telma (tt), Vitaly Friedman (vf), Iris Ljesnjanin (il), Lisa Lang (ll).
The Smashing Newsletter Team prepares bi-weekly newsletter issues with lots of love and appreciation for the good ol' Web with the latest tips and tricks for designers and Web developers. Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine's editor-in-chief, started this project back in early 2010. Today, we can't imagine a better way of informing and communicating with our fans and readers!
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