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Smashing Daily #27: CSS, Browsers, Color

The future of the Web, the future people of the Web, good CSS, an argument for dumber devices, browser and feature detection, an incredible color tool, and much more in the 27th edition of The Smashing Daily. Enjoy!

Stephanie Rieger presents Reset the Web1
Brad Frost took notes during a talk that Stephanie Rieger gave about the future of the Web and devices. He shares them on this page. If you’re interested at all in the future of the Web—of course you are!—you want to read these notes and click through the presentation.

Future of the web2

“A new generation of Web builders are coming—5 tips to be ready”
People today are wasting their time, says Jane Finette, but soon people will start making great stuff. I don’t agree with her first point (I think people are already making great stuff), but her tips for companies about opening up to the new creative hordes are very good.

Decoupling HTML From CSS3
Jonathan Snook gives some excellent tips about decoupling HTML from CSS. If you want more good tips about good CSS, you might want to buy his book about CSS4.

Simplifying CSS Selectors5
Do CSS selectors have an impact on performance? Yes, sometimes they do, explains Steve Souders. You can determine how slow a selector is by looking at the right-most selector. Why? Just read the article (it’s not that long).

CSS Performance6

All hail the humble component7
Not all things need to get smarter. Robin Sloan thinks that TV’s should even get dumber. I like the idea. It’s often the same with software: the smarter the software the less I like it. It’s better to be really good at one thing than to suck at many things. And be sure to read the comments, there are some good thoughts in there.

Detect private browsing mode in mobile Safari on iOS58
It’s actually possible to detect if a user is browsing your website in private mode on iOS5. Matthew Caruana Galizia shows how simple this is.

Content order on touch screens9
Content order, the exact order of the content in the HTML code, is not always the same as the visual order on the screen. The main navigation can be shown at the top of the page, but it might be located at the bottom of the HTML. Henny Swan explains why source order does matter.

Source order10

Detector [BETA] — combined browser & feature-detection for your app11
Sometimes you want to send different HTML to different browsers or devices, as it doesn’t always make sense to send the same thing to everybody. In those cases you might want to take a look at Detector, a server/client-based browser and feature detection library. It’s well maintained by Dave Olsen, so far, which is absolutely essential for a script like this to maintain its function in the (near) future.

Last Click

Color Hex — ColorHexa.com12
This tool looks like the Wolfram Alpha13 of color. Enter a color code (hex, rgb, hsl, whatever) or color name (like Papaya Whip, for instance) and it will give you all the information you can think of and more… it even has a color blindness simulator! Absolutely incredible.

An amazing color tool14

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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