July 2007 - 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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