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Smashing Daily #12: Weblove, Future History, Life

This issue of The Smashing Daily is for everybody who works on the Web, for all those people who love their job because they work for the Web. Designers, developers, old browser fetishists, future historians, font nerds and even marketers, you’ll probably find something that interests you. Enjoy!

Why I love working on the Web1
There are many, many reasons why working on the Web rules. Matt Wilcox names a few, most importantly the people. And I have to agree. I learned everything I know about Web development from people who just publish and share their knowledge and who help you out if you just ask them.

Device-Agnostic Approach To Responsive Web Design2
Responsive design should be about optimizing the design of the content, it should not be about optimizing the layout for certain viewports. Thierry Koblentz explains why and he gives a practical example (including lots of code) of how to build a responsive website. A must read for people who think there are only a few common resolutions.

Cross Browser Styling of HTML5 Forms—Even In Older Browsers.3
Zoltan Hawryluk, AKA User Agent Man, specializes in cross browser front-end development and he prides himself in getting new stuff working in old browsers. Here’s an article in which he explains how to style HTML5 forms, even in old browsers. You might understand that things get a bit complex, but now you know where to go when you have a project that somehow needs full browser support.

Make everything work in all browsers4

Sidetracks—Wolf’s Little Store5
Here’s a good article by Johan Ronsse about tools and learning in which he explains that, yes, as a designer you should know HTML and CSS, at least what they can do and how they work (but no, you are not forced to design in the browser). That way you understand what works and you’ll be able to talk to nerds. And he says we need better tools… I couldn’t agree more.

Adactio: Journal—Of Time and the Network and the Long Bet6
A while ago I thought about photos and the fact that right now I consider a photo to be real only if it exists on the internet. Before digital photography I considered a picture to be real when it was printed. A print is available only in my house (in a show box, probably), but an online image is available via a URL. Jeremy Keith rightly worries about the sustainability of URLs and he even made a bet about them. In the long run, my printed photos might be more sustainable, but we’ll see in 2022.

For future historians7

Responsive Web Design: Missing the Point8
In this post Brad Frost answers the question: Do you really need to serve your “mobile” visitors a different layout based on your current content? The short answer is no, but the long answer is much more interesting.

What the web will look like9

Icon fonts can be very handy11, but how do you make one? Here’s a script that turns a folder with SVG files into an SVG font. You’ll need some terminal commands to run it. Not used to the command line? This is a good day to learn it.

The $144,146,165 Button12
Everybody is always looking for success stories about interface changes that somehow caused enormous growth. Here’s a nice little story by Joshua Gross about a new interface for paying in New York City cabs which resulted in $144,146,165 of additional tips per year.

Last Click

Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers13
What you see when you die if the world is completely owned by lawyers and marketers. Hilarious and scary at the same time, this short film is by Tom Scott.

Life, by lawyers.14

Previous issues

You might be interested in the previous issues of Smashing Daily:

Previous Issues15

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive16.


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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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