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Smashing Daily #25: Accessibility, Security, Sounds

To start off the week we have some excellent presentations: one about pixels, one about avoiding problems, and we have some good tips on accessibility. Lots of good stuff about Responsive Design, and a classic article about people who put beans up their noses. We have the Museum of Endangered Sounds, and even more. Enjoy!

Web Accessibility with Reinhard Stebner and Refresh Baltimore1
Here’s a good list of accessibility tips distilled from a presentation that Reinhard Stebner gave a while ago. The most striking tip (for me) is the tip that you shouldn’t use links for you navigation! A good, easy read with some good insights.

Accessibility for Web developers. No more excuses.2
Here are some excellent accessibility tips for Web developers collected by David Corbacho. It really isn’t as hard as you might think—some simple logic gets you pretty far.


Responsive images: what’s the problem, and how do we fix it?4
Images can be a pretty big performance issue. This is especially true if you send big images (that are intended for desktop computers) to devices with small screens that may depend on a slow network connection. This problem is called responsive images and it’s very hard to solve in a good way, maybe even impossible right now. Matt Wilcox wrote this monumental article on this exact subject. He looks at all the existing and proposed solutions and explains the pros and cons.

Debunking Responsive CSS Performance Myths5
There are some persistent myths surrounding the performance of Responsive websites (like the idea that downloading CSS, which is not really used, will dramatically slow things down). Ilya Grigorik looks at this myth and explains how exactly the Webkit rendering engine handles these things. A good read for everyone who has to “defend” responsive design every now and then. Be sure to read the comments too, which include some very interesting discussions and insights.

Stop solving problems you don’t yet have6
Last week Rachel Andrews gave this excellent presentation at a Fronteers event in Amsterdam about making the right decisions during development to prevent problems from happening. The presentation was based on this classic article7 she wrote a while ago.

No problems8

Beans and Noses9
Here’s a classic article by Jared Spool about beans and noses. Everybody who gets frustrated every now and then by crazy decisions made by colleagues or clients should definitely read this. Hilarious and sobering at the same time.

zxcvbn: realistic password strength estimation10
What makes a good password? Is it just length? Are symbols and numbers important, or are there other influencing factors as well? If you want to know everything about this, then this article by Dan Wheeler is excellent (with some good comments, too!)

Password strength11

A pixel is not a pixel12
Now, what exactly is a pixel? You might think that the answer is simple, or you might actually know that the answer is complicated. Peter-Paul Koch explains the difference between a pixel and a pixel in this excellent presentation.

Mozilla Hacks Weekly13
Do you need more to read? Here are some assorted links by the Mozilla Developer Engagement Team.

Last Click

Museum of Endangered Sounds14
I know of people who have traveled through rural parts of the world just to record old people singing their songs. They do this in order to preserve these often ancient songs: when these people die, then these songs die, as the older people are the last ones to remember them. There are other kinds of sounds that are endangered, like the sound of a fax machine or the sound of a video tape that’s being injected into a video player. Brendan Chilcutt collects these sounds and curates them into the Museum of Endangered Sounds, where we can enjoy them. Great work!

Museum of endangered sounds15

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.

  1. 1

    Just for the Log: tested Smashing Daily with a tiny fever (37.7C – staying at home). Results proved that the enjoyment factor is the same. :)

    • 2

      Vasilis van Gemert

      June 18, 2012 2:48 pm

      Haha, that’s good to hear (about the results, not about your fever!)
      Get well soon!


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