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Smashing Daily #33: Books, Type And Patent Art

Lots of news and niceties about type, some good advice about CSS, a clever solution for position fixed on mobile, the answer to the question about what element should be embedded in what element, a hilarious blog with patent art, and much more. Enjoy!

Responsive Design: The New Whipping Boy1
Here’s a very nice article about the mobile app that LinkedIn launched a while ago. Kirin Prasad, the lead designer on the mobile app, said that responsive design is nice for websites but impossible for apps. Brad Colbow explains that the real problem isn’t responsive design, it’s crufty features and just too much unnecessary content. An excellent read! I’d like to add the clever idea that Bead Frost described2 a while ago that a mobile website/app is a great beginning for a new, responsive website that will gradually replace the old, cluttered one.

A good idea for a fresh start3

“Future of Books & Publishing”
If you are interested in the future of books and publishing, then you definitely want to bookmark this page, which contains a collection of articles about the subject (curated by Craig Mod). And the great thing about this page is that you can actually download the whole thing, including all the articles, as an eBook!

Shady Characters » Miscellany ? 114
There’s a nice alternative take on the @-symbol which uses the “double story a” instead of the usual “single story a” found in this edition of the ever-entertaining Shady Characters blog. Apart from this symbol, there’s lots more to read about than just obscure characters (with a bonus link to a nice article about a bizarre hybrid monotype press).

Shady Characters5

Some (older) mobile browsers don’t support fixed positioning, which is a pity, since an often-seen pattern on small screens is a fixed tab-bar at the bottom of the screen. The problem with using position:fixed is that it doesn’t degrade gracefully on these browsers, and the fallback is definitely not what you want. Another issue is that it is very hard to detect support for position:fixed. But very hard doesn’t mean impossible, especially not if your name is Scott Jehl. Here’s a very clever position:fixed feature test.

Keep your CSS selectors short7
Here’s some simple but excellent advice about writing maintainable CSS. It’s been written many times before by many CSS wizards but it can’t be repeated often enough (since people seem to forget about it). Harry Roberts took his time to thoroughly explain why you should always keep your selectors short.

“Nested tags for italicized hyperlinks”
When you have a piece of text which is not only emphasized but also a link, “does the a go inside the em, or is the other way around a better option?”, asks Martin Sutherland. If you’re a front-end developer chances are high you’ve asked the same question a few times. Martin found the answer, with a little help.

Prevent background color bleed on touchscreens8
Here’s a nice obcure problem, with “background colors bleeding through on the edges of an element that also have a background image applied” while zooming in on some touch devices! Lennart Schoors describes it and gives us the simple solution.

Obscure bug9

Type News: Embooked10
Here’s the Type News by Typedia for May 19th, with lots of great new fonts and a long list of type news and entertainment (like the question at the bottom: “what was your first favorite font?”).

Last Click

Context-Free Patent Art11
I think patents suck. You might—for some weird reason—not agree with me, but you might agree that this collection of context-free patent art is probably the best thing patents have ever done for us.

Patents are good for the hilarious paintings12

Previous Issues13

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive14.


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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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