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Smashing Daily #36: Privacy, Buttons, Nonsense

Warning: This posting includes two scripts with an exceptional licence you have to agree with before you may use them! You should also be warned (or at least, be aware) that when you’re publishing things on the Web, there might be some privacy issues with the things you say. And of course, we have links to articles about preprocessors, learning stuff, usability testing and much more. Enjoy!

My (Current) Take On CSS Preprocessors1

Some people don’t understand why others don’t use CSS preprocessors, while others don’t understand why some need them. It turns out that this is one difference between programmers and designers. An interesting article by Jordyn Bonds.

Who needs preprocessors2

We Know What You’re Doing… A Social Networking Privacy Experiment3

Not everybody understands what it means to publish something on the internet—it means that everybody is able to see it, but also to do stuff with it. Like collecting possibly harmful Facebook statuses, like “I hate my boss“, “I’m hungover“, “I smoked weed“, etc. An interesting privacy experiment by Callum Haywood.

Thoughts On Inspiration And Open Source

Ian Coyle taught himself how to code by looking at the source of other projects (like many of us did). This is so important to him that he doesn’t want to obfuscate or minimize his code, and so now he’ll be open-sourcing most of his personal projects. Great thoughts.

Sweep The Sleaze4

Every website needs social media buttons—at least that’s what the social media networks and gurus want us to believe. Oliver Reichenstein explains why you should never use these buttons on your websites, and he’s right. Now, go ahead and remove them!

We don't need buttons5


Browsers sometimes download CSS files with media queries that don’t match, and that can be an unnecessary performance issue. Scott Jehl wrote this script that solves this issue by only loading the CSS files if the media query matches. If you really, really need this you might want to use it, but I do think there are some drawbacks to it (even though Scott doesn’t mention any): you create a JavaScript dependency for layout, and you have to use noscript as a fallback, even though there are use cases where both the script and the noscript will be ignored. And then there’s also this article about CSS performance myths7 which explains that this might not be as big an issue as one might think.


There are many bogus scripts out there. Here’s an interesting one called HTML7 which allows you to contain tags between greater than and less than signs, and which adds some extra tags like >delightfulrustic<. Well, it doesn't really allow you to use these tags, so be sure to read the Death and Repudiation License. Funny!

The HTML7 syntax is, erm, interesting9

Usability Testing With Children, Part 1

Here’s an interesting article by Anna Debenham about everything she learned while she was usability testing with young children.

Mozilla Hacks Weekly10

So you need more to read? Here’s a collection of links by The Mozilla Developer Engagement Team.

Last Click


Don’t know how to write JavaScript, but still want to use your crappy script anyway? Here’s a very handy little JavaScript library by Matt Diamond that helps you to ignore those errors. Looks pretty mature to me, there’s just one item left on the to do list12. Be sure to read the license13 before you use it though.

A script that helps you not giving a shit14

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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