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Louis Lazaris is a freelance web developer and author based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs about front-end code on Impressive Webs and curates Web Tools Weekly, a weekly newsletter for front-end developers.
Right up front, I’ll offer some simple advice: In production, your code should be as performance-friendly as possible. This means, Gzip’ing, concatenating and minifying as many assets as possible, thus serving the smallest possible files and the least number of files.
I don’t think anyone would argue that these suggestions aren’t best practices (even if we don’t implement them in every project). Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how can we use white space in development code to ensure that our files are as readable and maintainable as possible?
Shopping. Social networking. Emailing. Reading. Finding directions. Banking. Researching. Those are some of the most common tasks people perform on the World Wide Web. You've probably done all of these things yourself at some point. So if you're like many people, you probably do these things every single week (and many of them even every day).
This blog you're reading now, Smashing Magazine, normally publishes content that's intended for graphic designers, Web designers, and Web developers of varying skill levels. But today, this article is for the rest of you—the non-programmers, the everyday Web users.
Because of how far certain Web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 have brought us, many would say that—from a Web platform perspective—the future is now. Sounds like a cliché, I know. At the very least, it feels like the future is starting to bubble up to the surface... but it's just not quite there yet.
When we use new DOM features, HTML5 APIs and the latest in CSS3, the possibilities that open up are astounding. These new technologies help us easily build Web applications with less reliance on hacks, plugins, images, and bloated scripts. This makes life easier not only for Web developers (for both building and maintaining these projects) but also for the end user who gets a faster and stronger overall experience.
We’re well into 2012, and many designers and developers around the world are planning their travels for the year, which may include attending one of the many Web design and development conferences that will be held in the upcoming months.
To help you out with your plans, we’ve once again put together a list of conferences and events that you might want to consider. As always, this post covers events taking place in about a seven month timeframe that ends in early September.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Content is King”? Being a Web developer, and therefore having a job that’s often linked to content creation, it’s likely you have. It’s a fairly overused but true statement about what draws visitors to a site. From a Web developer’s perspective, however, some may argue that speed is king. More and more, I’m starting to favour that stance. In recent years many experienced front-end engineers have offered their suggestions on how we can improve the user experience by means of some performance best practices.
We spend a lot of time learning and thinking about the designs we see online, yet what we miss quite often are practical insights into the design process and workflow of our colleagues. This is why conferences are great for our industry. We meet people who think very much like we do and most probably struggle with similar problems; and perhaps they've found a solution which can inspire others.
We learn how our colleagues work and what they have experienced; we can exchange our thoughts and ideas directly — something that we might struggle finding time for on Twitter or via email. Networking is great, and it's powerful. And this is why every now and again we present an overview of upcoming conferences on Smashing Magazine.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on various Web design blogs, you’ve probably noticed that the :before and :after pseudo-elements have been getting quite a bit of attention in the front-end development scene — and for good reason. In particular, the experiments of one blogger — namely, London-based developer Nicolas Gallagher — have given pseudo-elements quite a bit of exposure of late.
To complement this exposure (and take advantage of a growing trend), I’ve put together what I hope is a fairly comprehensive run-down of pseudo-elements. This article is aimed primarily at those of you who have seen some of the cool things done with pseudo-elements but want to know what this CSS technique is all about before trying it yourself.