We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.
Most people now know that modern web browsers use the GPU to render parts of web pages, especially ones with animation. For example, a CSS animation using the transform property looks much smoother than one using the left and top properties. But if you ask, “How do I get smooth animation from the GPU?” in most cases, you’ll hear something like, “Use transform: translateZ(0) or will-change: transform.”
These properties have become something like how we used zoom: 1 for Internet Explorer 6 (if you catch my drift) in terms of preparing animation for the GPU — or compositing, as browser vendors like to call it. But sometimes animation that is nice and smooth in a simple demo runs very slowly on a real website, introduces visual artifacts or even crashes the browser. Why does this happen? How do we fix it? Let’s try to understand.
In the past, we featured some exciting tools and libraries: PrefixFree, Foundation, Sisyphus.js, GuideGuide, Gridpak, JS Bin and CSSComb. All of them have been developed and released by active members of the Web design community as open-source projects. Today, we present LiveStyle, a plugin for live bi-directional (editor ↔ browser) CSS editing of the new generation! — Ed.
Tools for live CSS editing aren't new these days. You may already be familiar with tools like LiveReload, CodeKit and Brackets. So, why would someone ever need to create yet another tool and even call it a "live CSS editor of the new generation"?
The tool I'd like to introduce to you today is Emmet LiveStyle. This plugin takes a completely different approach on updating CSS. Unlike other live editors, it doesn't simply replace a whole CSS file in a browser or an editor, but rather maps changes from one CSS file to the other.
Images have always been the heaviest component of websites. Even if high-speed Internet access gets cheaper and more widely available, websites will get heavier more quickly. If you really care about your visitors, then spend some time deciding between good-quality images that are bigger in size and poorer-quality images that download more quickly. And keep in mind that modern Web browsers have enough power to enhance images right on the user’s computer. In this article, I’ll demonstrate one possible solution.
Let’s refer to an image that I came across recently in my job. As you can see, this image is of stage curtains and has some (intentional) light noise:
Optimizing an image like this would be a real pain because it contains a lot of red (which causes more artifacts in JPEG) and noise (which creates awful artifacts in JPEG and is bad for PNG packing). The best optimization I could get for this image was 330 KB JPEG, which is quite much for a single image. So, I decided to do some experiments with image enhancement right in the user’s browser.
In this post we present a new speedy way of writing HTML code using CSS-like selector syntax — a handy set of tools for high-speed HTML and CSS coding. It was developed by our author Sergey Chikuyonok and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers. [Content Care Dec/16/2016]
How much time do you spend writing HTML code: all of those tags, attributes, quotes, braces, etc. You have it easier if your editor of choice has code-completion capabilities, but you still do a lot of typing.
As a web designer you might be already familiar with the PNG image format which offers a full-featured transparency. It's a lossless, robust, very good replacement of the elder GIF image format. As a Photoshop (or any other image editor) user you might think that there is not that many options for PNG optimization, especially for truecolor PNG's (PNG-24 in Photoshop), which doesn't have any. Some of you may even think that this format is "unoptimizable". Well, in this post we'll try to debunk this myth. [Links checked February/10/2017]
This post describes some techniques that may help you optimize your PNG-images. These techniques are derived from laborious hours spent on studying how exactly the PNG encoder saves data. We'll start with some essentials about the PNG format and will then move to advanced optimization techniques.
You may want to take a look at the following related articles:
When people talk about image optimization, they consider only the limited parameters offered by popular image editors, like the "Quality" slider, the number of colors in the palette, dithering and so on. Also, a few utilities, such as OptiPNG and jpegtran, manage to squeeze extra bytes out of image files. All of these are pretty well-known tools that provide Web developers and designers with straightforward techniques of image optimization.
In this article, we'll show you a different approach to image optimization, based on how image data is stored in different formats. Let's start with the JPEG format and a simple technique called the eight-pixel grid.