January 2013 - Broken Links Archive

The Modern Web, and The Future of Web Design

The cover of the book, The Modern WebI am delight­ed and very proud to announce my new book, The Mod­ern Web. It’s about the mod­ern open web tech­nolo­gies — HTML5, CSS3, SVG, JavaScript, DOM APIs, et al — that are required to build web­sites and appli­ca­tions in the new mul­ti-device era. Basi­cal­ly, it’s about the Web Plat­form, but my pub­lish­ers did­n’t think the word “plat­form” was sexy enough so I had to drop it.

It’s not quite fin­ished yet — I’m still in a final round of edits — but is planned for release in April. I’ll be fur­ther pro­mot­ing it near­er that time (of course), but if you’re inter­est­ed in pre-order­ing you can get good prices from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Or, if you pre­fer, you can pre-order “The Mod­ern Web” direct­ly from No Starch Press and get a 30 per­cent dis­count and a free eBook copy. It’s a great deal.

I’m equal­ly delight­ed to announce that I’ll be speak­ing at Future of Web Design in Lon­don, in May of this year, along with a great line-up of excel­lent speak­ers. I’ll also be giv­ing a one-day CSS3 Mas­ter­class before the con­fer­ence. Tick­ets are on sale now, and if you book before 1st March you’ll get ÂŁ100 off the total price. Anoth­er great deal.

Code as she is wrote

There is a famous Por­tuguese-Eng­lish phrase­book, pub­lished in the 19th Cen­tu­ry, with the title “Eng­lish As She Is Spoke”. It con­tains many unin­ten­tion­al­ly hilar­i­ous trans­la­tions of words and expres­sions, includ­ing such famil­iar phras­es as “that are the dish­es whose you must be and to abstain”, and “I not make what to coug­hand spit”. The author, Pedro Car­oli­no, had the best of inten­tions in pro­duc­ing this book, but suf­fered from one major draw­back: he did­n’t speak Eng­lish. The book was appar­ent­ly trans­lat­ed from an ear­li­er Por­tuguese-French phrase­book, using a French-Eng­lish dictionary.

The rea­son I bring this up is that I think this is a fair­ly com­mon prob­lem in cod­ing. Many peo­ple know how to write code in order to get a result, but they don’t know the lan­guage at hand in enough depth to realise that the result does­n’t always make sense.

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Opening up the media channels

To make it eas­i­er to get access to the posts I write here I’ve recent­ly set up pages on Face­book and Google+. I won’t beg you for a Like or +1, but if you’re feel­ing generous…

Of course, you can still sub­scribe to the RSS feed, or fol­low me on Twit­ter.

Bitmap Image Optimisation

Har­ry Roberts wrote a great arti­cle, Front-end per­for­mance for web design­ers and front-end devel­op­ers, which details var­i­ous tech­niques for improv­ing page load times. One thing he skips over, though, is image opti­mi­sa­tion. There are many ways to opti­mise images for load­ing per­for­mance, includ­ing using image sprites, icon fonts, and replac­ing bitmaps with SVGs. But when­ev­er you have to use bitmap images you should also opti­mise them before they make it to the page.

In this arti­cle I want to show a few sim­ple image opti­mi­sa­tion tech­niques I use, which are aimed at reduc­ing the file­size of the images, and there­fore speed­ing up your page load­ing times.

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Opera Ice and Branch

Two things hap­pened last week: news leaked that Opera are plan­ning to launch a new brows­er based on WebKit; and the new dis­cus­sion tool, Branch, came out of pri­vate beta. As an exper­i­ment, I want to talk about the first on the sec­ond, so I invite you to read and par­tic­i­pate in my branch Opera Ice: New brows­er for Android and iPhone com­ing Feb­rua….

Samsung Chromebook Series 3 Review

I’ve been out doing some free­lance work late­ly and my wife need­ed a com­put­er, so we bought a new Sam­sung Series 3 Chrome­book. They’re inex­pen­sive (£229), and as all she needs it for is inter­net access and light office work, it seemed a good fit. We’ve had it for a cou­ple of weeks now, which seems like a fair amount of time for me to write a review.

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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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