June 2008 - Broken Links Archive

IE8’s WebSlices — another practical Microformat

One of the new fea­tures already announced for IE8 is Web­Slices; essen­tial­ly, the abil­i­ty to sub­scribe to any part of a web page, even if it does­n’t have an RSS feed. It sounds some­what sim­i­lar to Fire­fox’s Micro­sum­maries fea­ture*, although it’s a) eas­i­er to imple­ment, b) more flex­i­ble, and c) not buried in the brows­er where no-one could ever find it.

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Immediate uses for Microformats

One of the hard­est things about Micro­for­mats is explain­ing their ben­e­fits to peo­ple. You can say “It’s a stan­dard­ised for­mat of mark­ing-up con­tent, which is both human and machine read­able!” until you’re blue in the face, but until you can show peo­ple a prac­ti­cal ben­e­fit they usu­al­ly remain unmoved.

Luck­i­ly there are a few tools out there which will help you show off the ben­e­fits of using Micro­for­mats, and involve lit­tle work from you.

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New features in Firefox 3.1 & beyond

While Fire­fox 3 is a real­ly fast & usable brows­er, I was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed by the (com­par­a­tive) lack of real­ly new fea­tures in the ren­der­ing engine; that’s not to say there aren’t any, as there are plen­ty, but that Safari 3.1 and Opera 9.5 have set the bar very high in their lat­est iterations.

So that’s why I was delight­ed to hear about the 3.1 release of my favourite brows­er, and dou­bly delight­ed when I found out which fea­tures the team are plan­ning to work on for inclu­sion in it:

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Grid alignment without frameworks

When build­ing a small site or blog tem­plate with a grid-based lay­out I find ‘CSS frame­works’ such as Blue­print and YUI Grids are overkill; they con­tain a lot of extra CSS rules which I don’t use. They are (in the ver­nac­u­lar) like using a sledge­ham­mer to crack a nut.

What I do instead is much sim­pler; I use an extra stylesheet just for test­ing, and a sin­gle PNG image tiled across the background.

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CSS3 selectors implemented in Firefox 3.1

Not only did I cor­rect­ly pre­dict Fire­fox 3.1, but one of my visions was that they imple­ment the remain­ing CSS 3 selec­tors — which has just been announced. My uncan­ny pow­ers are begin­ning to scare me.

What I saw at @media 2008

As is cus­tom­ary (or as cus­tom­ary as ‘twice’ can be), here is a quick round-up of the ses­sions I attend­ed at @media this year, with links to slides where avail­able (which, as I type this, is pret­ty much unavailable).

Ses­sions which I found par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing should be cov­ered in more detail lat­er, and I’ll update here as I find more presentations.

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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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