July 2007 Archives - Broken Links Archive

SVG in background-image

Update: There’s a more practical look at this subject in a later post, Using SVG in background-image.

If adopted widely, the use of SVG in <img /> and background-image could be responsible for some big changes in website design.

Take a look at this example of images in SVG (you’ll need an SVG-capable browser), which displays four photos at random positions and sizes on the page. Images could be pulled at random from Flickr (or wherever) and rotated, resized, and placed in the page as a background. Combined with multiple images, you could create layers of effect, almost like collages… pretty revolutionary.

div { background-image:
url('layer1.svg') left top,
url('layer2.svg') left top,
url('layer3.svg') left top;

It looks like Opera will be first to implement this feature with their 9.5 release, previews of which should be available soon. No definitive word on whether they’ll implement multiple backgrounds, but I’m hopeful.

Safari/WebKit confusion

KHTML and WebKit look set to unfork, and WebKit have recently announced a set of project goals (and non-goals), which include the statement:

WebKit is an engine, not a browser.

Which does beg the question: why is their blog called Surfin’ Safari, and prominently feature the Safari logo?

CSS 2.1 Closer To Full Recommendation Status

The W3C’s announcement that CSS2.1 has moved to ‘Candidate Recommendation’ status has been met with a muted response from the community — presumably because most people think they’re using it already.

As it’s inching closer to becoming a full recommendation, there are no new features introduced; a few, however, are in danger of being dropped when the CR process is over as they aren’t in common use. These include:

  • ‘armenian’, ‘georgian’ and ‘lower-greek’ values for the ‘list-style-type’ property;
  • support for multiple id attributes; and
  • the ‘quotes’ property

I’ve never used any of those features, and never seen the need for multiple id attributes, so from my point of view none of them will be a loss.

As the majority of CSS 2.1 rules have been in common use for a long time, I’d hope that this becomes a full recommendation as soon as possible, and that we can look forward to seeing CSS 3 become the sole focus of attention.

Font Aliasing: Managing Expectations

Last week, we delivered some designs to a client who had asked us to refresh the content areas of their website. We worked hard on getting the typography clearer & more readable, and when they saw the printed designs they declared themselves ‘thrilled’ and couldn’t wait to see the styles applied to the website.

Today we went back to the client and showed them the coded pages; to say they were disappointed would be an understatement. I’d worked hard on the typography and was very deflated by their reaction; the fonts appeared too jagged to them; the printed designs we’d shown had aliased fonts, and when I’d tested them on my Mac they looked fine; even on Windows, with its different aliasing, they’d still looked good to me. Obviously we’d commented beforehand that the fonts wouldn’t look the same on screen as they did on paper, but it was still a shock to our client.

Read the full article

Exploring The Web Developer Toolbar

If you use Firefox and Chris Pedrick’s invaluable Web Developer extension, this should be very useful to you: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Web Developer Toolbar. I hadn’t seen the ‘View Color Information’ option before; it’s amazing!

Flock 0.9: Powerful, Complex, Not For Me

After what seems like an eternity, the latest version of the Flock browser has been released. It features a new user interface, and integration with a wider number of media services, YouTube being a notable example, as well as a new feature called My World, which displays your feeds, news and media on one page.

I think they’ve made a tremendous effort to harness the energy of the social web, but I think this release just reinforces that this is not a browser for me. I blog, I use flickr and del.icio.us, I read lots of feeds, so on paper this should be perfect for me. In fact, the reason I use these services is because they’re web-based, and having their functionality implemented into the browser just doesn’t provide an advantage for me.

It also feels like there’s been an extra level of complexity added; when you first load up, there are a bewildering array of options available to you. Again, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it just doesn’t provide any incentive for me to use it.

If you’re heavily invested in the social web or web-based media, you’ll probably find lots to like in Flock. While I admire the planning and thought processes that have gone into making it, I can’t find a single outstanding reason for me to quit Firefox just yet.



I’ve updated my Speaking page to include more conferences, more videos, and a little on my speaking requirements and preferences. I’m planning to cut down on the number of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to interesting offers and opportunities, so please get in touch if you’re organising an event.

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