Val Head and Sarah Drasner have teamed up to offer a two-day workshop on web animation. If you have a chance to attend, do it!
Yummy wallpapers for your desktop, tablet, and phone, from NASA and ESA.
Adult training represents a way into coding for millions of women who never learnt when they were younger. Meetups such as those run by organisations such as Women Who Code and Codebar can introduce women to the collaborative, problem-solving world of programming.
Fortunately there’s a back-up on the Internet Archive, but this tale of Google’s overnight destruction of fourteen years of writing is truly infuriating.
When we use their services, we trust that companies like Google will preserve some of the most personal things we have to share. They trust that we will not read the fine print.
When you pitch your tent in someone else’s walled garden, they can tear down your home whenever they want.
The story of Science Hack Day …as told in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America!
(a PDF version is also available)
The trouble with overflow menus is that you didn’t actually take anything away, you just obnoxiously obfuscated it.
Words of warning and advice from Daniel.
Instead of prioritizing, we just sweep complexity under the rug and pretend that it doesn’t exist.
A cautionary tale of digital preservation.
.generation is a short film that intimately documents three millennials in the year 2054 - uncovering their relationships with technology in the aftermath of the information age.
The video of my talk on hypertext at the HTML Special before CSS Day. I’m pretty with my delivery here. There’s a bit of Q&A afterwards as well.
Jon introduces a new tool with a very interesting observation: up until now, all our graphic design tools have been imperative rather than declarative…
With our current tools we’re telling the computer how to design the vision we have in our head (by tapping on our input devices for every element on the screen); in our future tools we will tell our computers what we want to see, and let them figure out how to move elements around to get there.
I know exactly how Tim feels. It’s hard not to feel guilty when you’re reading something instead of spending the time doing “real work”, but it always ends up being time well spent:
Reading time can be hard to justify, even to oneself. There is no deadline. It’s not going to move any immediate projects forward (most likely). And it often feels like a waste of time, especially if your interests are diverse. But it’s important. Most great work is the product of collaborative thinking.
The newest Kirby Ferguson video looks at remixing through the lens of the newest Star Wars film.
Our Harry’s in the New York Times! Well, an article on dark patterns is in the New York Times, and Harry is Mr. Dark Patterns.
Prompted by the way Craig is handling the shutdown of hi.co, Glenn Fleishman takes a look at other digital preservation efforts and talk to Laura Welcher at the Long Now Foundation.
A time capsule is bottled optimism. It makes material the belief that human beings will survive long enough to retrieve and decode artifacts of the distant past.
Here’s the video of the talk I just gave at the Beyond Tellerrand conference in Düsseldorf: Resilience.
I particularly like Ethan’s Stop Making Sense era David Byrne suit.
This could be a handy replacement for some Google Charts images of graphs. It uses SVG and is responsive by default.
I bet it wouldn’t be too tricky to use this to make some sparklines.
A step-by-step walkthrough of how GitHub has tweaked its Content Security Policy over time. There are some valuable insights here, and I’m really, really happy to see companies share this kind of information.
I think the move away from side projects toward doing a startup day one is not all good. There was something great about the ability to experiment with an idea before committing to it and before sucking other people’s money into it.
Here’s an interesting proposal from ppk: use
requestAnimationFrame to gauge how performant a browser in behaving and then enhance accordingly.
I’m so happy that Ember is moving to a server-side rendering model. Not only that, but as Tom points out here, it’s crucial that the server-side rendering is the default and the client-side functionality than becomes an enhancement.
An immortal deer wanders the world of Grand Theft Auto for all eternity. It’s remarkably calm and relaxing.
This article on airships has my new favourite sentence in the English language:
During the First World War, Germany and its allies ceased production of sausages so that there would be enough cow guts to make zeppelins from which to bomb England.
Of course it was Simon who pointed me to this. Of course.
Some solid sensible advice on optimising performance.
A film about Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web. Details are scarce right now but watch this space.
This is really, really clever. You can’t use generated content (
:after) on replaced content. The
img element is replaced content …but only when the image actually loads. So if the image fails to load, you can apply specific fallback styles (using
The Buckminster Fuller Institute has put together this collection of resources which explain the ideas behind “comprehensive anticipatory design science.”
Seems especially relevant in light of the first issue of the Journal of Design and Science from MIT.
The legacy of the Black Mountain College lives on.
The full text of Adam’s excellent talk at EnhanceConf.
There’s that Acheulean hand ax again.
The first ever object to be designed by man 1.7 million years ago was a flint hand axe. Flint has the same molecular structure as a crystal and they both consist of silica. The project juxtaposes the flint hand axe with the latest crystal technology; Xero chaton the world’s smallest precision cut crystal measuring 0.6mm in diameter, smaller than a grain of sand.
A comprehensive overview of
rel="preload" which looks very useful indeed …I just wish it wasn’t (like “nofollow”) a nonsensical value for the
rel attribute: a resource can’t have a relationship of “preload” to the linking document.
This looks like it could be quite a handy (and relatively lightweight) script for attaching events—like animations—to an item’s visibility, so the events only trigger when the item is scrolled into view.
Science fiction as a means of energising climatic and economic change:
Fiction, and science fiction in particular, can help us imagine many futures, and in particular can help us to direct our imaginations towards the futures we want. Imagining a particular kind of future isn’t just day dreaming: it’s an important and active framing that makes it possible for us to construct a future that approaches that imagined vision. In other words, imagining the future is one way of making that future happen.
But it’s important that these visions are preserved:
It’s very likely that our next Octavia Butler is today writing on WattPad or Tumblr or Facebook. When those servers cease to respond, what will we lose? More than the past is at stake—all our imagined futures are at risk, too.
You can do anything with CSS these days.
A very handy tool for figuring out breakpoints for responsive images.
Upload an image in its largest size, play around with the settings, and then generate the breakpoints, the markup, and the resized images for each breakpoint.
Earth as seen on one day in 2015 from Himawari-8. Beautiful.
A clever technique by Emil to implement the “float label” pattern using CSS. It all hinges on browsers supporting the
:placeholder-shown pseudo-class which, alas, is not universal.
I was hoping that maybe
@supports could come to the rescue (so that a better fallback could be crafted), but that tests for properties and values, not selectors. Damn!
I love this. I really love this. Remy absolutely nails what makes the web so great.
There’s the ubiquity:
If the viewer is using the latest technology beefy desktop computer that’s great. Equally they could view the website from a work computer, something old and locked in using a browser called IE8.
Then there’s the low barrier to entry—yes, even today:
It’s the web’s simplicity. Born out of a need to connect documents. As much as that might have changed with the latest generation of developers who might tell you that it’s hard and complex (and they’re right), at the same time it is not complicated. It’s still beautifully simple.
Anyone can do it. Anyone can publish content to the web, be it as plain text, or simple HTML formed only of <p> tags or something more elaborate and refined. The web is unabashed of it’s content. Everything and anything goes.
I might just print this out and nail it to the wall.
If you sit back for a moment, and think about just how many lives you can touch simply by publishing something, anything, to the web, it’s utterly mind blowing.
I think I’ve shown great restraint in not linking to loads of think-pieces about Star Wars and The Force Awakens, because believe me, I’ve been reading—and listening to—a lot.
What Jessica has written here is about The Force Awakens. But more than that, it’s about Star Wars. But more than that, it’s about childhood. But more than that…
What I’m saying is: if you only read one thing about the new Star Wars film, read this.
How the Web Works: A Primer for Newcomers to Web Development (or anyone, really) by Preethi Kasireddy
This is a great reminder of the fundamental nuts’n’bolts of the internet and the World Wide Web: clients, servers, URLs, DNS, HTTP, TCP/IP, packet switching, and all the other building blocks we sometimes take for granted.
This is part one of a four-part series:
- A Primer for Newcomers to Web Development (or anyone, really)
- Client-Server Model & the Structure of a Web Application
- HTTP & REST
- Stay tuned…
A nice self-contained script for animating items into view as the document scrolls.
(I’m very confused by the tagline for ScrollReveal—”Easy scroll animations for web and mobile browsers”—eh? Mobile browsers are web browsers …”web” is not a synonym for “desktop”.)
A terrific analysis of industrial design in film and games …featuring a scene-setting opening that delineates the difference between pleasure and happiness.
We’ve got Space Ipsum for text. Now we have SpaceHolder for images.
A superb talk on performance, advertising, and the future of the web. No doubt a transcript will appear in due time on Maciej’s site and when it does, I will enjoy it all over again.
Trust me: you’ll want to watch this.
I always loved Matt’s light cone project—it was a big influence on the Radio Free Earth hack that I made with Chloe. Now it has been reborn as a Twitter bot. Here’s Matt’s documentation for his future self:
I haven’t made a habit of project write-ups before, but I’m taking an increasingly “long now” approach to the tech I make and use. How will I remember what I made in a decade? By reading this post.
Marco gives a run-down of the basics of getting accessibility right on the web. Nothing here is particularly onerous but you’d surprised how often developers get this wrong (or simply aren’t aware of it).
He finishes with a plea to avoid unnecessary complexity:
It really isn’t hard to get the basics of accessibility right on the web …and yet those basics are often neglected.
Here’s a handy shortlist to run through, HIKE:
- H stands for headings and semantic markup.
- I stands for images and labels.
- K stands for keyboard navigation.
- E asks for you to ACT with a little extra love for custom components and more.
(ACT = ARIA, Colour Contrast, Text Size)
The transcript of a great talk by Wilto, focusing on responsive images, inlining critical CSS, and webfont loading.
When we present users with a slow website, a loading spinner, laggy webfonts—or tell them outright that they‘re not using a website the right way—we’re breaking the fourth wall. We’ve gone so far as to invent an arbitary line between “webapp” and “website” so we could justify these decisions to ourselves: “well, but, this is a web app. It… it has… JSON. The people that can’t use the thing I built? They don’t get a say.”
We, as an industry, have nearly decided that we’re doing a great job as long as we don’t count the cases where we’re doing a terrible job.
A really nicely put together sci-fi short film.
The missing font generator for Mac OS X.
Very handy for subsetting fonts for the web. It doesn’t (yet) export WOFF2 unfortunately.
Quite a few moving parts in this technique from Emil, but it’s very clever.
A subset of one of my favourite sites on the web:
Explore the Arctic of the past from the deck of a whaling ship.
Choose your vessel and get transcribing.
The new style guide and pattern library for Buzzfeed.
It all looks pretty reasonable on the surface but if you poke around in the CSS, you’ll find 1157 uses of
The whole point of having an agreed-upon codebase in a pattern library is so that developers need never reach for nuclear options like
!important, so I’m afraid, for me, this is a demonstration of what not to do (in terms of CSS—the output of the HTML in the styleguide looks perfectly fine).
Solid uses immutable, atomic CSS classes…
CSS is “mutable”. By design. I don’t think we should be working against that.
A breathtaking overview of Cassini’s mission. The timeline video—matching up footage from Saturn with contemporary events on Earth—is a beautiful and haunting dose of perspective.
You can even watch a four hour video of every single one of the 341,805 images that Cassini has sent up till now.
A short feature on the 10,000 year clock.
Sara enumerates some handy tips aimed squarely at designers exporting SVGs. It focuses on Illustrator in particular but I’m sure a lot of this could equally apply to Sketch.
A lovely little script from Nat to create a nice montage of images. It works by progressively enhancing a regular series of images in the markup.
Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.
Echoing Margaret Atwood’s observation:
If we abandon hope, we’re cooked. If we rely on nothing but hope, we’re cooked. So I would say judicious hope is necessary.
There are Inception-like layers of nostalgia here: firstly, this web series of web pages made by Matt are a throwback to an earlier era, and secondly, the story being told goes all the way back to the birth of the ARPAnet.
A nice navigable timeline of historical events from Wikipedia.
Just like Nick, John Willshire has put his slides together with the audio from his gobsmackingly good dConstruct presentation on metadesign.
Nick Foster has put the audio of his fantastic dConstruct talk together with his slides.
It’s a terrific, thought-provoking presentation, superbly delivered …and it even has some relevance to progressive enhancement! (you’ll know what I mean if you watch/listen to the whole thing)
This is the best moment to write a blog post:
I just had my responsive images epiphany and I’m writing it all down before I forget everything.
Writing something down (and sharing it) while you’re still figuring it out is, in my opinion, more valuable than waiting until you’ve understood something completely—you’ll never quite regain that perspective on what it’s like to have beginner’s mind.
For almost a century and a half the West Pier has been Britain’s most iconic pier. Renowned for its wonderful architectural style, it has been visited and enjoyed by millions. Even today with its sculptural remains casting an eerie beauty over the seafront, the West Pier is still the most photographed building in Brighton.
A collection of cli-fi and cli-fact.
Alex recounts the sordid history of vendor prefixes and looks to new ways of allowing browsers to ship experimental features without causing long-term harm.
The video of my talk at this year’s Beyond Tellerrand. I was pleased with how this went, except for the bit 16 minutes in when I suddenly lost the ability to speak.
A wonderful, wonderful history of the web from Dave at this year’s Beyond Tellerrand conference. I didn’t get to see this at the time—I was already on the way back home—so I got Dave to give me the gist of it over lunch. He undersold it. This is a fascinating story, wonderfully told.
So gather round the computer, kids, and listen to Uncle Dave tell you about times gone by.
The death of the web has been greatly exaggerated.
There’s nothing else like it. It’s constantly improving. It’s up to you what you do with it.
The video of Richard’s great talk on responsive typography at the Up Front conference.
Kelli Anderson’s thesis on the Human Interference Task Force project set up to mark nuclear waste sites for future generations (a project I’ve referenced in some of my talks).
A detailed and humorous deep dive into motion design and spatial depth in digital interfaces.
A great presentation from Stephen. He takes a thoughtful look at our processes and tools.
This infographic offers a visual way to explore the various stages of the Earth’s history using a 12 hour clock analogy.
This is a deep, deep dive into responsive images and I can only follow about half of it, but there are some really useful suggestions in here (I particularly like the ideas for swapping out images for print).
Handy tips for creating, optimising, and using SVG on the web, be it in CSS or HTML.
I really like the way that Paul’s talk builds on top of ideas laid down by Ethan and Frank. Good stuff.
I’d like to do this for all Clearleft web projects.
How important is mobile for @nytimes? We’re blocking access to our home page on desktop in our building.
An up-to-date round-up of the various techniques available when you want to provide a fallback for SVG.
Did you know Google runs a free an open image resizing service?
I did not! This could be quite useful. Seeing as it’s an https endpoint, it could be especially useful on https sites that pull images from http domains (and avoid those mixed-content warnings).
A beautiful bit of design fiction.
I like this nice straightforward approach. Instead of jumping into the complexities of the final interactive component, Chris starts with the basics and layers on the complexity one step at a time, thereby creating a more robust solution.
If I had one small change to suggest, maybe
aria-label might work better than offscreen text for the controls …as documented by Heydon.
SmashingConf Oxford 2015: Richard Rutter on Don’t Give Them What They Want, Give Them What They Need
A great case study from Richard, walking through the process of redesigning the website for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
By far the creepiest type experiment I have ever seen.
A long-zoom look at life, work, and success.
I’m not usually a fan of portmanteau neologisms, but I really like Tash’s coining of the word longtrepreneur.
Primer, but Twitter.
Github’s pattern library.
As always, it’s great to see how other organisations are tackling modular reusable front-end code (though I can’t imagine why anyone other than Github would ever want to use it in production).
Beautiful use of CSS transitions and transforms.
Also: CSS is officially the new Flash—”skip intro” is back.
Always worth bearing in mind when some perspective is needed.
If it is possible that our future species will go on to create simulations of our civilisation forerunners (us), then it is far more likely that we are currently in such a simulation than not.
Interstellar travel time dilation and status updates: a clever narrative combo.
A beautiful website for ISS-based biology experiments.
Smart thinking from Sara on providing a PNG fallback to browsers that don’t support SVG. Although, actually what I like about this solution is that it’s less about providing PNG as a fallback, and more about treating PNG as the baseline and SVG as the enhancement (an approach that the picture element is perfect for).
A nice little pattern for generating a swish timeline in SVG from a plain ol’ definition list in HTML.
Ant told us this harrowing story in the office two weeks ago. I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to be in this situation.
This is a talk I gave at An Event Apart about eighteen months ago, all about irish music, the web, long-term thinking, and yes, you guessed it—progressive enhancement.
For people of a certain age, this will bring back memories of a classic screensaver.
If you had told me back then that the screensaver could one day be recreated in CSS, I’m not sure I would’ve believed it.
A cheap’n’cheerful way of monitoring uptime for domains.
But as people spend more time on their mobile devices and in their apps, their Internet has taken a step backward, becoming more isolated, more disorganized and ultimately harder to use — more like the web before search engines.
How to get Yosemite to display five-digit years. It’s a bit of a hack, but we’ve got another 7,985 years to figure out a better solution.
Yet another brilliant far-ranging talk from Bret Victor.
I’ve tried to get him to come and speak at dConstruct for the past few years, but alas, with no success.
Curiosity’s journey so far, nicely visualised.
Seb will be running this workshop again at the start of February—details here. I can’t recommend it highly enough—it’s so, so good!
This is quite beautiful in its simplicity: the hexadecimal colour value of the current time.
Scenes of space from sci-fi films.
With all my talk about extending existing elements instead of making new ones, I was reminded of one of my favourite examples of custom elements in action: Github’s extensions of the
Sounds like a cute idea, right?
In fact it’s the best thing you’re ever likely to read on Peruvian ursine immigration.
A fascinating look at how the humble password gets imbued with incredible levels of meaning.
It reminds me of something I heard Ze Frank say last year: “People fill up the cracks with intimacy.”
This strikes me as an eminently sensible idea by Emil: using the picture element to begin providing WebP alternatives to JPG.
Of course, picture-supporting browsers will have to adjust their decision-making algorithm to support this pattern.
A vision of humanity’s exploration of our solar system.
A friendly challenge from The Grey Lady for news sites to enable TLS.
Make a commitment to have your site fully on HTTPS by the end of 2015 and pledge your support with the hashtag #https2015.
A cute videolette on web standards.
A great primer on using
picture. I think I’ll be referring back to this a lot.
Tantek shares a fascinating history lesson from Tim Berners-Lee on how the IETF had him change his original nomenclature of UDI—Universal Document Identifier—to what we now use today: URL—Uniform Resource Locator.
Google has updated its advice to people making websites, who might want to have those sites indexed by Google. There are two simple bits of advice: optimise for performance, and use progressive enhancement.
Just like modern browsers, our rendering engine might not support all of the technologies a page uses. Make sure your web design adheres to the principles of progressive enhancement as this helps our systems (and a wider range of browsers) see usable content and basic functionality when certain web design features are not yet supported.
Patty Toland — Design Consistency For The Responsive Web (Smashing Conference Freiburg 2014) on Vimeo
Patty’s excellent talk on responsive design and progressive enhancement. Stick around for question-and-answer session at the end, wherein I attempt to play hardball, but actually can’t conceal my admiration and the fact that I agree with every single word she said.
I share the concerns expressed here about the “sizes” attribute that’s part of the new turbo-powered img element (or “the picture element and its associates”, if you prefer). Putting style or layout information into HTML smells bad.
This is a concern that Matt Wilcox has raised:
Change the design and those breakpoints are likely to be wrong. So you’ll need to change all of the client-side mark-up that references images.
I can give you a current use-case: right here on adactio.com, you can change the stylesheet …so I can’t embed breakpoints or sizes into my img elements because—quite rightly—there’s a separation between the structural HTML layer and the presentational CSS layer.
Following on from that post of Jason’s I linked to, Chris also emphasises that, for most use cases, you probably only need to use srcset (and maybe sizes), but not the picture element with explicit sources.
It’s really, really great that people are writing about this, because it can be quite a confusing topic to wrap your head around at first.
Jason points out that the picture element might not be needed for most responsive image use cases; the srcset and sizes attributes will probably be enough—that’s what I’m doing for the photos on my site.
You can catch a glimpse of my Daft Punk impression in this video of Seb’s frickin’ lasers.
Look, I would never usually link to a “listicle” on Buzzfeed, but this is all kinds of cumulative mirth.
A really nice little documentary about my friend Jeffrey.
Wonderfully creative use of CSS gradients, borders, box-shadows, and generated content.
Remember when I was talking about refactoring the markup for Code for America? Well, it turns out that Heydon Pickering is way ahead of me.
He talks about the viewpoint of a writer (named Victoria) who wants to be able to write in Markdown, or HTML, or a textarea, without having to add classes to everything. That’s going to mean more complex CSS, but it turns out that you can do a lot of complex things in CSS without using class selectors.
There are slides.
Here’s the very brief talk I gave about Indie Web Camp at Aral’s Indie Tech Summit here in Brighton a little while back (I was in the slightly-demeaningly-titled “stop gaps” section).
If you like what you hear, come along to the next Indie Web Camp—also in Brighton—in just over three weeks.
I can relate to every single word that Bastian has written here.
The longer I look at boilerplates, build tools, frameworks and ways to make my life as a developer easier, the more I long for the basics.
The image-stitching algorithm is trying its best.
Literally a library of patterns: y’know, for tiling background images. Old school!
Lighthouse are putting on their Improving Reality conference again this year. It’s the day before dConstruct. Come to both!
45 years ago today.
A look at the architectural history of the network hubs of New York: 32 Avenue of the Americas and 60 Hudson Street. Directed by Davina Pardo and written by her husband Andrew Blum, author of Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet.
These buildings were always used as network hubs. It’s just that the old networks were used to house the infrastructure of telephone networks (these were the long line buildings).
In a way, the big server hotel of New York—111 Eight Avenue—was also always used to route packets …it’s just that the packets used to be physical.
A short film about Claude Shannon and Information Theory — not exactly as in-depth as James Gleick’s The Information, but it does a nice job of encapsulating the fundamental idea.
A look at how the website for An Event Apart is using the picture and Picturefill …featuring Jessica as the cover girl.
Today, a basic HTML/CSS site seems almost passé. But why? Is it because our new tools are so significantly better, or because we’ve gone overboard complicating simple things?
He’s right, y’know.
A lovely little selection of loading indicators powered by CSS animations and transitions.
A profile of Demetrios Matsakis, keeper of time at U.S. Naval Observatory, America’s equivalent to Greenwich in its importance for timekeeping in the modern world.
This is a wonderful piece of writing and thinking from Frank. A wonderful piece of design, then.
A personal view on generalists and trans-media design
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.
A reusable set of responsive patterns and templates for UK councils.
A short video featuring Jason Scott and Brewster Kahle. The accompanying text has a shout-out to the line-mode browser hack event at CERN.
I like the way Aaron thinks. I also like the way he makes.
The alphabet illustrated with CSS.
Nice! A Yeoman generator for scaffolding your own pattern primer.
(Those are just words, aren’t they? Y’know, as opposed to a sentence that would actually make sense to most right-thinking people.)
This fun-looking short film—funded by Brighton’s Lighthouse Arts—is screening at the Duke Of York’s Cinema on Saturday, March 1st followed by a panel discussion with the director and science-comedienne Helen Keen.
Another front-end style guide for the collection. This time it’s from A List Apart. Lovely stuff!
This tool for building ScrAPIs is an interesting development—the current trend for not providing a simple API (or even a simple RSS feed) is being interpreted as damage and routed around.
Some sensible thinking from Tim on measuring performance gains.
Expanding on an exercise from last year’s Hackfarm, Brian and Mike have written a deliciously dystopian near-future short story.
The video of my closing talk at this year’s Full Frontal conference, right here in Brighton.
I had a lot of fun with this, although I was surprisingly nervous before I started: I think it was because I didn’t want to let Remy down.
John shares his concerns about the increasing complexity involved in developing for the web.
This was my favourite moment from the Handheld conference in Cardiff.
This is handy: a version of my pattern primer that can be run with Grunt.
This is the talk I gave at the border:none event in Nuremberg last month. I really enjoyed it. This was a chance to gather together some thoughts I’ve been mulling over for a while about how we approach front-end development today …and tomorrow.
Warning: it does get quite ranty towards the end.
Also: it is only now that the video is released that I see I spent the entire talk looking like a dork with a loop of wire sticking out of the back of my head.
The markup for the patterns that Mailchimp use on their products. I love getting a glimpse of how companies handle this kind of stuff internally.
A superb piece of hypertext from The Guardian.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
I heartily concur with Lyza’s mini-manifesto:
I think we need to try to do as little as possible when we build the future web …putting commonality first, approaching differentiation carefully.
It’s always surprised me how quickly developers will reach for complex, potentially over-engineered solutions, when—in my experience—that approach invariably creates more problems than it solves.
Simplicity is powerful.
A report from the BBC on this year’s Brighton Digital Festival including interviews with Honor, Timo, and Seb.
Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.
A timeline of technology.
Some examples to illustrate the UK Border Agency’s latest campaign.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
Alas, that clever SVG fallback trick I linked to a couple of days ago has some unexpected performance side-effects.
Improve your word power: here’s a timeline of terms used to describe male genitalia throughout history. And yes, there is a female equivalent.
A very, very clever hack to provide fallback images to browsers that don’t support SVG. Smart.
Surfin’ Safari - Blog Archive » Improved support for high-resolution displays with the srcset image attribute
WebKit nightlies now have support for
srcset. I’m pleased to see that it’s currently constrained to just handling the case of high-density displays; it doesn’t duplicate the media query functionality of
I’ve always maintained that the best solution to responsive images will be some combination of
picture: they each have their strengths and weaknesses. The “art direction” use case is better handled by
picture, but the “retina” use case is better handled by
Beautiful animated GIFs showing the lungs of our planet.
I like this theory!
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this classic documentary on graphic design, courtesy of its producer Edward Tufte.
The closing hot topics panel I moderated at this year’s Mobilism conference in Amsterdam, featuring Remy, Wilto, Jake, and Dan.
This is a really nice and simple idea: view photos from a specific place taken at a specific time. Voyeuristic fun.
The line-up for this year’s Improving Reality conference looks great (as always).
It’s the day before dConstruct so why not come on down to Brighton a day early and double your fun?
Oh, no! How horrid! Now Twitter won’t control the “user experience” of that widget!
Instead, the person who actually posted the tweets in the first place gets to decide how they should be displayed. Crazy idea, isn’t it?
A terrific case study in progressive enhancement: starting with a good ol’ form that works for everybody and then adding on features like Ajax, SVG, the History API …the sky’s the limit.
I gave the opening keynote at the Beyond Tellerand conference a few weeks back. I’m talked about the web from my own perspective, so expect excitement and anger in equal measure.
This was a new talk but it went down well, and I’m quite happy with it.
My presentation from the Industry conference in Newcastle a little while back, when I stepped in for John Allsopp to deliver the closing talk.
A terrific quiz about browser performance from Jake. I had the pleasure of watching him present this in a bar in Amsterdam—he was like a circus carny hoodwinking the assembled geeks.
I guarantee you won’t get all of this right, and that’s a good thing: you’ll learn something. If you do get them all right, either you are Jake or you are very, very sad.
Carousels are shit. Auto-animating carousels are really shit. Now proven with science!
A comprehensive look at the current state of things in the world of responsive design, with a look to possible future APIs.
A handy walkthrough of using icon fonts. The examples here use the excellent IcoMoon service
A lovely little highlight reel that Craig put together from the Responsive Day Out.
Some good thinking from Jason here. In a roundabout way, he’s saying that when it comes to responsive images—as with just about every other aspect of web development—the answer is …it depends.
A long-zoom data visualisation.
Some thoughts (and code) on responsive images.
A design fiction video depicting technology that helps and hinders in equal measure.
A beautiful short film on the amazing work being done at the Internet Archive, produced on the occasion of their 10 petabyte celebration.
Celebrating 125 years of National Geographic, this Tumblr blog is a curated collection of photography from the archives. Many of the pictures are being published for the first time.
Who knew? The reissue of the classic thirteen-part Star Wars radio series was the first appearance of a proto-Proxima Nova.
This powerful timeline illustrates how drone attacks have increased dramatically under Obama’s administration.
A really lovely piece on the repositories of information that aren’t catalogued—a fourth quadrant in the Rumsfeldian taxonomy, these dark archives are the unknown knowns.
Chris takes a look at all the different ways you can use SVG today.
Slides, videos, and links from Paul’s presentation at the Responsive Day Out.
A very hand tip from Ben on using SVG background images with a PNG fallback for IE8 and below.
Funny and painful in equal measure.
This is a pretty wacky experiment in altering font size based on the user’s distance from the screen (allow the page to access your camera and enable the “realtime” option for some real fun). I don’t know how much real-world application this has, but it’s a cute’n’fun exercise.
Everything you ever wanted to know about using SVG today.
A search engine for animated gifs. Oh, yes.
Communal satellite eyes. A Mac screensaver is also available.
I, for one, welcome our slime mould overlords.
The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.
Spimify your household with these bluetooth location stickers. Now you can google your shoes.
Gorgeous colour-processed images from NASA probes. I could stare at the fountains of Enceladus all day.
Lauren talks about The Shining Girls and the tools she uses to write with.
A well-written white paper on time travel. Alas, it relies a bit too much on semantic nitpickery to offer any real insight.
This off-canvas demo is a great practical example of progressive enhancement from David. It’s also a lesson in why over-reliance on jQuery can sometimes be problematic.
The latest project from Zooniverse is, as you would expect, an extremely enjoyable and useful way to spend your time: classifying animals that have captured in camera trap images.
The opening tutorial is a lesson in how to do “on-boarding” right.
A beautiful timelapse visualisation of code commits to Flickr from 2004 to 2011.
A gorgeous collection of experiments that showcase just how much is possible in browsers today.
A cute little service for mocking up pictures of your site being used on different devices. Just drag and drop a screenshot on to an image.
Excellent journalism combined with excellent art direction into something that feels just right for the medium of the web.
A well-reasoned argument for tackling image optimisation on the server, using content-type negotiation.
A short film about interaction design.
A really nice interactive timeline of data from ten years of scrobbling music to Last.fm.
Gorgeous pictures from the Suomi satellite, just released by NASA
Ethan’s excellent talk from last year’s An Event Apart.
In this session Ethan reviews strategies for handling trickier elements that would make even the most seasoned designer quail: stuff like advertising, complex layouts, deep navigation patterns, third-party media, and, yes, actual, honest-to-goodness content.
Don’t do it. Don’t click that button just one more time. Don’t.
This is my opening talk from Smashing conference a few months back in Freiburg, where I used to live.
This is a great free service for generating small subsetted icon fonts. Launch the app and have a play around — you can choose from the icons provided or you can import your own SVG shapes.
Nice touch: you can get the resulting font (mapped to your choice of unicode characters) base-64 encoded for your stylesheet.
A great in-depth description by Paul of how he optimised his site. More of this please!
You’ve probably seen this already, but it’s really worth bearing in mind: when you’re scaling up JPGs for retina display you can safely reduce the image quality by quite a lot—to the point of getting the exact same file size as a higher quality image that’s half the size.
The state of the art in animated gifs: full-screen and scrubbable. Kiss your productivity goodbye.
Peter Saville talks about the enduring appeal of his cover for Unknown Pleasures.
I like to think of all the variations and mashups as not just tributes to Joy Division, but tributes to Jocelyn Bell Burnell too.
This is the talk I gave at the Webdagene conference in Norway a few weeks back. I called it Responsive Enhancement but I think the Norwegian title translates as “Improvements Through Responsive Design.”
A one-stop-shop for browser-compatibility information. This is MDN, HTML5 Rocks, and Quirksmode all rolled into one.
A well-executed sci-fi short film on augmented reality and gamification.
It might seem like an obvious point, but what Tim is talking about here happens over and over again: a technique is dismissed based on bad implementation.
A great in-depth explanation by Aarron on why Mailchimp dropped their Facebook and Twitter log-in options. Partly it was the NASCAR problem, but the data (provided by user testing with Silverback) also brought up some interesting issues.
At least one of these will probably drive you crazy.
The kickass articles just keep on comin’. This one from Dave is a great overview of options for dealing with images in responsive designs.
A really great article from Paul that simultaneously takes a high-level view of the web while also focusing on the details. A lot of work went into this.
This is right up my alley: a timeline of the history of hypertext, starting with Borges.
A great collection of layout, navigation, and interaction patterns for responsive sites, delivered by Brad.
Note’s from Joanne’s presentation at Improving Reality.
The opening keynote from Warren Ellis for this year’s Improving Reality. I’d like to walk into space with this man.
This is a rather lovely history of the first two years of Lanyrd, starting with that honeymoon-turned-startup.
I really like the way that Lanyrd’s communications reflect the personalities of Simon and Nat: utterly brilliant, but also a little bonkers, with far more animals than would be reasonably expected.
The not-so-new-but-hella-fun aesthetic.
Tom describes his Foursquare ghost.
A short piece on the experiment that James conducted with Lighthouse in the foyer of the Cleareft office building, trying to show some kind of physical representation of coding.
A great article by Hannah, focusing on the Long Web—it isn’t about the quantity of data you’re publishing; it’s the quality. This builds nicely on the article I linked to recently about digital scarcity.
A nice visualisation of Apple’s transition From desktop to mobile over ten years, one Daring Fireball article at a time.
Oh, and happy birthday, Daring Fireball.
I’m going to be attending Seb’s CreativeJS and HTML5 course in Brighton on September 13th and 14th …and I strongly suspect that it’s going to be great.
A thoroughly addictive use of the Instagram API (along with Node.js and Socket.io): see a montage of images being taken in a city right now.
A little something to whet your appetite for dConstruct: Scott’s superb talk from this year’s Mobilism conference in Amsterdam.
Another beautiful timelapse video made from photographs taken from the International Space Station.
The music from Sunshine gets me every time.
This looks like a really handy tool for reducing the file size of JPEGs without any perceptible loss of quality (in much the same way that ImageOptim works for PNGs)—available as a Mac app or an installable web service.
A great talk on the nature of the web that Paul gave in Copenhagen recently.
Yet another brilliant technique from Dave. The only caveat is that it uses background images rather than img elements, but it’s still very powerful (and very clever).
The Old Aesthetic. It’s eighties-tastic!
This is how London looked on my birthday, as recorded by the stationary meatspace protrusion of James’s Ship Adrift.
Here’s a brainbuster for ya: a single file that renders both as HTML and as a JPEG. As an HTML page, it even contains an img element with a src of …itself!
Compare the “view source” output with the generated source output to see it’s being interpreted.
Aegir’s portfolio is a thing of a beauty on every screen size.
Aegir is doing some very smart image enhancement in his (responsive) portfolio. Here’s the explanation.
A nice timeline visualisation of recent history.
A beautiful short film about The Long Now Foundation’s Rosetta Project.
This resonates deeply with me. It is worth your heartbeats.
I didn’t count how many heartbeats it took to read this, but it was worth every single one.
I love Tim Bray’s idea for naming the response code for censored content on the internet in honour of Ray Bradbury.
This is sooo nifty: Chloe’s obsessive Summer music visualisation is a lesson in responsive design and progressive enhancement. It’s also pretty fascinating.
Wilto does an excellent job of summarising the current state of responsive images, highlighting Florian Rivoal’s compromise proposal that combines the best of the picture element with the best of srcset.
Some good practical advice on improving performance. This should all be familiar to you, but it’s always worth repeating.
This is rather wonderful: a DevFort project for navigating interweaving strands of history, James Burke style.
A nice round-up of the issues around responsive images and their potential solutions.
Some of these hacks created at the Science Hack Day in Eindhoven are seriously nuts. That’s “nuts” as in “brilliant”.
Beautiful time-lapse photography from Don “we’ve got a Dragon by the tail” Pettit, taken from the International Space Station.
If you’re adding some noise texture to your backgrounds, this little service might be handy. I usually base-64 encode these kinds of background images: it would be nice to see that added as an option here.
The way that Chloe has catalogued her music over time is fascinating. It’s like the Long Now opposite of This Is My Jam.
A fascinating insight into the psychological implications of animated progress indicators.
The lovely (and responsive) Great Discontent site has a lovely interview with Dan, who is lovely.
A run-down of the various approaches to the responsive images problem, concluding that this is something that needs to be solved in the image format.
Jason outlines the real challenge to every proposed solution for responsive images: they just don’t jibe with the way that browsers (quite rightly) pre-fetch images.
A well thought-out evaluation on responsive images from Bridget.
Trent offers some excellent advice for dealing with the effects of the iPad’s retina display on your websites. That advice is: don’t panic.
An idea for handling responsive images not with a new format, but with an existing one: progressive JPGs.
An in-depth analysis (graphs! data!) of how popular sites are using—or not using—compression.
Some practical advice for optimising your images on the web.
The Old Aesthetic.
This responsive image technique has a lot of moving parts but it seems pretty solid.
Wilto gives a thorough explanation of the state of things with responsive images, particularly the work being done at the Responsive Images Community Group at the W3C.
A fantastic taste of what you can expect in Seb’s Creative Coding workshop.
This is a beautifully heartfelt post from Timoni:
Every day, I feel things because of the internet, and that’s amazing. Humans have been using abstracted communication for thousands of years, but it’s never been so instantaneous, never so capable of bringing folks of completely different backgrounds together in conversation. This is a huge step. Good job us.
Tim has published the results of a whole bunch of testing he did on how different browsers deal with hidden or replaced images.
Sneaking in to climb the Shard at night.
In amongst all the shiny demos on this site, this one could actually be useful.
Beautiful, funny, and disturbing Gilliamesque animated .gifs.
Here’s a handy little tip for CSS animations: instead of changing position properties, use translate instead.
This serendipitous chronometer shows tweets that are mentioning the current time.
Anna goes through some of her favourite pattern libraries. It’s really, really great to see this stuff getting documented.
I really enjoyed Matt’s talk from Webstock. I know some people thought it might be a bit of a downer but I actually found it very inspiring.
Luke rounds up some of the alternatives to bitmap-based images—an increasingly important topic for “resolutionary” “retina’ displays (bleurgh!).
The video that was played at Jeffrey’s inauguration into the South by Southwest Interactive Hall of Fame.
The video of my talk from Webstock, all about wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff like networks and memory.
From Kornel, the genius who gave us ImageOptim, comes another Mac desktop tool for optimising PNGs, this time converting 24-bit PNG to 8-bit with full alpha channel.
Elliot jots down some of the issues discussed at the responsive summit.
A nice little bit of CSS for a page-loading animation. View source.
Frank has redesigned his site and it’s quite wonderful: a real reflection of his personality and outlook.
Oh, and it is, of course, responsive.
Photographs from the archive of the New York Times.
Here’s a great braindump from Paul following the Responsive Summit, detailing multiple ways of potentially tackling the issue of responsive images.
Josh goes through the talking points from the recent Responsive Summit he attended. Sounds like it was a great get-together.
Here’s a new angle on tackling the responsive image problem: what if the file format itself could specify multiple image sizes?
There’s a W3C community group now for looking at the responsive images question.
A terrific article from Wilto detailing the thinking that went into the Boston Globe’s responsive image techniques and how browser pre-caching is now throwing a spanner in the works.
Nik demos the neat interactions in Realmac’s latest piece of iOS software in this cute little video.
I loved this talk from Travis at New Adventures in Web Design, especially when he talked of the importance of Geocities and MySpace in democratising creative expression on the web.
We may have later bonded over that Ze Frank quote while in the toilet at the after-party …there may have even been hugs.
The video of my presentation on digital preservation at last year’s Build conference.
Our communication methods have improved over time, from stone tablets, papyrus, and vellum through to the printing press and the World Wide Web. But while the web has democratised publishing, allowing anyone to share ideas with a global audience, it doesn’t appear to be the best medium for preserving our cultural resources: websites and documents disappear down the digital memory hole every day. This presentation will look at the scale of the problem and propose methods for tackling our collective data loss.
Kyle’s paper skills are truly impressive.
Thanks to Jason Scott, every episode of The Sound Of Young America ever recorded is now stored on the Internet Archive. Get huffduffing!
Cute CSS animations illustrating the incredible rate of uploads to YouTube.
2951 images at 12 frames per second. Each image is the “related image” of the image before according to Google image search. The first image is simply a transparent PNG.
Some very interesting results from testing background image downloads contained within media queries or overridden with media queries: it turns out that, in iOS at least, the browser is getting smarter and smarter.
This is the talk I gave at An Event Apart through 2010. It’s all about interaction design with some examples from Huffduffer.
An incredibly realistic Photoshop simulator built in the browser—it feels exactly like using the desktop version.
A lovely timelapse tilt-shift video of Brighton.
Mashing up Angry Birds and spreadsheets to better visualise project time-tracking.
impress.js | presentation tool based on the power of CSS3 transforms and transitions in modern browsers | by Bartek Szopka @bartaz
An interactive timeline where we, the wise crowd, can add our predictions (although the timeline for the past, showing important technological breakthroughs, is bizarrely missing Cooke and Wheatsone’s telegraph).
A plea for more time.
We tend to think in 2 to 5 year scales, maybe we need to be thinking in longer time lines about our own careers and skills.
An in-depth look at browser polyfills: what they are, how they work, and how you can make your own.
The video of the opening keynote I delivered at the Breaking Development conference in Nashville earlier this year. It expands on the One Web presentation I gave at DIBI, focusing on the language we use to talk about our approaches to web development.
Among the proposed projects from the Shimizu corporation are a space hotel, giant lakes in the desert, and a ring around the moon to harness solar energy.
Gorgeous time-lapse footage from the astronauts in the International Space Station.
One of the opening lightning talks at Science Hack Day in San Francisco by Sean Herron of NASA.
A time-lapse video of Tokyo transportation.
This whole “supercut” thing …you still don’t get it, do you?
A very even-handed look at the time and data debacle in HTML5.
Lea documents a whole bunch of CSS animation possibilities.
A single-serving website expressing the frustration and bewilderment at Hixie’s unilateral decision to drop the time element from HTML.
If you live in the States, please, please, for the love of the internet, write to your representative at fightforthefuture.org/pipa
Sims who are on fire will no longer be forced to attend graduation before they can put themselves out.
While others recall Steve Jobs’s legacy with Apple, Tim Berners-Lee recounts the importance of NeXT.
Jason continues his look at responsive images techniques by diving into the nitty-gritty of the various options out there.
A visual representation of the design process.
An addendum to the excellent Everything Is A Remix series, focusing on the influences on The Matrix.
Future Timeline | Technology | Singularity | 2020 | 2050 | 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | 21st century | 22nd century | 23rd century | Humanity | Predictions | Events
A speculative timeline of future history.
This isn’t recommended as a robust means of delivering responsive images, but it’s still quite clever: using media queries to pass information to the server about the viewport size.
Jason takes a high-level look at tackling mobile-first responsive images (his next post will dig into the details). This is a really good summation of current thinking. Be sure to read the comments too: Andy chimes in with his experiences.
Performance matters. Here, the Washington Post compares its own weak performance (hampered by ads and tracking shite) to the optimised experience of porn sites.
A cute glanceable interface onto Foursquare that turns it into your own private railway station.
IM conversations between a cat and its so-called owner.
This is an excellent use of the Kindle as an undemanding screen. Really lovely!
A slick little video that goes behind the scenes of the Boston Globe site.
This is worth reading just for Andy Budd’s answer alone. Priceless.
I think I’m having a flashback and am in need of a bit of a lie down. Wake me up when 1998 is over. I didn’t like it much the first time around, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to suck now.
Unfortunately this article from PPK is flawed from the start: his first point (upon which all the subsequent points are based) is fundamentally flawed:
Right now responsive design is graceful degradation: design something for desktop and tablet, and remove stuff for mobile.
That’s not the way I’m doing responsive design. Responsible responsive design marries it with a mobile first approach (or more accurately, content first).
The story behind one of the winning photographs at this year’s Astronomy Photographer Of The Year that I was lucky enough to attend. This is beautiful.
Valuable advice from Slowtron on cooking perfect longpork.
I wonder if it’s the use of class names or jQuery that allows it to work here?
If you’re trying to retrofit an existing desktop-centric site for small screens, this server-side image-resizing technique might be useful but is definitely not the right tool for a content-out, small-screen-first approach.
This is something we’ve previously had to build from scratch at Clearleft so it’s nice to see an off-the-shelf solution.
Those lovely BERG chaps profiled in the New York Times.
Accidental camera drops serve a purpose as part of a larger narrative.
Jake’s talk at DIBI earlier this year was absolutely fantastic. It features a rape reference, a story about pissing, and a Human Centipede metaphor.
It’s also very, very informative. Watch this.
The video of my talk/rant at the DIBI conference in Newcastle/Gateshead earlier this year, for your viewing pleasure.
A very clever and tricksy way to sync up multiple devices so that when you refresh a URL or follow a link on one, it happens on all of them. It uses OS X’s Internet Sharing feature combined with locally-hosted Node.js. It’s positively McGyverian!
A great reminder from Bruce that we need to remember to use cutting-edge web technology responsibly.
John tells you everything you need to know about CSS animations and transitions, and then he gives you a tool to help you get started.
Performance shit just got real.
You can now sign up with Google to have your site pass every request through them and get your documents served up optimised.
Brighton hacker Jason Hotchkiss demos his music-generating lava lamps in this promo video for the Brighton Maker Faire taking place the day after dConstruct.
Another browser-based tool for viewing the same site at different sizes, but this one displays them all the same time, side by side.
Another browser-based tool for testing your responsive designs at different screen sizes.
Remy created this tool for resizing a viewport to figure out where to put the breakpoints in your media queries.
Here’s an approach to responsive images in the Expression Engine CMS …but I fundamentally disagree with the UA-sniffing required.
Once there’s better support for the CSS3 attr() function, this could be a nifty way of handling responsive images (although large-screen user-agents will download more than one image).
Responsive images right now — CSS Wizardry—CSS, Web Standards, Typography, and Grids by Harry Roberts
Another approach to responsive images, this time using background images. The disadvantage is that large-screen devices will download both images. Still, pretty darn clever.
What a wonderful idea! Create a zoetrope from an animated .gif.
A handy tool for checking page load times.
I agree with this. I like it. I plus one it. So to speak.
The story of the particle windchime—it turns subatomic particle collisions into sound—created at Science Hack Day San Francisco.
Jeff Bezos has put together a little site to give some background on The Clock Of The Long Now: soon to be open to visitors.
Nicholas and Nicole have unveiled the CSS companion to JS Lint. And yes, it will your hurt your feelings.
A wonderfully made video on the story of A Book Apart. Mandy should have her own show.
This dovetails nicely with my recent post about the spirit of distributed collaboration. Here’s a great little bit of near-history spelunking from Paul, all about styling new HTML5 elements in pesky older versions of Internet Explorer.
Josh explains the pros and cons of embedding background images in your CSS using base 64 encoding.
Hexadecimal colours and their corresponding dictionary definitions. Cute.
Animatronic rabbit ears powered by brain waves …in Japan. Of course.
A profile of those whacky Brooklyn Studiomates.
The humble animated .gif is turning into an art form.
Tom talks about “Things Rules Do.”
Kittens, puppies, and other baby animals on continuous rotation.
There appears to be an endless supply of subject matter for this.
A great presentation on contracts and payment by Mike Monteiro …and his lawyer.
Just imagine the world we would be living in if it weren’t for the warnings given to us by these film-makers.
A lovely bit of experimentation with prime numbers and multiple background images.
Testing ways of only displaying background images on large screens whilst ensuring that they aren’t downloaded for smaller screens.
On Public Objects: Connected Things And Civic Responsibilities In The Networked City.
A dataviz demo of creepiness: displaying the movements of Malte Spitz by correlating her phone activity and web usage.
A demo reel for the proposed solution to a very, very, very long term problem.
Andy just debuted this at An Event Apart—lovely stuff.
Brian Eno’s original essay on the origins of The Long Now Foundation. It is ten years old—a long time on the web and 1% of a millennium.
Humans are capable of a unique trick: creating realities by first imagining them, by experiencing them in their minds. When Martin Luther King said “I have a dream…” , he was inviting others to dream it with him. Once a dream becomes shared in that way, current reality gets measured against it and then modified towards it. As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently – as though that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our minds at least, we’re already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward. By this process it starts to come true. The act of imagining something makes it real.
A cute’n’nifty demonstration of transforms and animations in CSS that works a treat in Webkit.
Some of the more unusual moments in time that have been captured by Google Street View. There’s something very Gibsonian about this.
Timo Arnall has some fun mapping WiFi signal strength with long exposure photos.
I may have to start using this for placeholder images—it won’t be distracting, right?
Everything is worth preserving and protecting.
I answered a few questions right after giving my talk at the Phare conference in Ghent.
A short recap of last season’s Layer Tennis, including the Olly Moss vs. Tom Whalen match I commentated on.
Building a city with staples in thirty hours.
On 18 May 2010, the Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) Project deposited a time capsule in the vaults of datacenter, Swiss Fort Knox, in Saanen, Switzerland. It contained the decoding information for five digital file formats on media ranging from paper, microfilm and floppy discs to CDs, DVDs and USB sticks.
Hooky never looked so good.
This URL displays a picture of a sunset (from Flickr) taken wherever the sun is setting right now.
One potential nightmare vision of the future …that looks kind of cool.
Part two of Kirby Ferguson’s series focuses on films. Creation requires influence.
Frank Chimero is funding his book through Kickstarter. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
Things Rules Do is twenty minutes that looks at games of all forms, and the rules and systems that make their skeleton. It’s about the weird things that rules can do, beyond “tell you how to play”, such as inspire mastery, encourage deviance, and tell stories.
A great presentation by Andy on the use of progressive enhancement at Clearleft.
I should get out there and make a few drops in Brighton.
A gorgeous visualisation of Wikipedia data from History Hack Day. Watch the shape of the world emerge over time.
Brendan giving one of the “inspired sessions” at last year’s Flash On The Beach one evening in the Brighton Dome.
French schoolchildren are given technological tools that are less than thirty years old and asked to describe what they do.
A speech given by Isaac Asimov on the future of humanity in space.
Design fictional biohacking.
A Mac app for creating animations with canvas and video.
A gorgeous sci-fi short film with some fine interface porn.
My last 2,000 pictures on Flickr, assembled courtesy of pummelvision.com
A very cute Christmas message from Torchbox.
Matt encapsulates a lot of what I've been thinking about recently: the real-time web is all well and good, but let's not forsake the enormous potential for fulfilment in archives.
Some very smart ideas here for responsively enhancing image requests.
A very handy tool for planning intercontinental communication.
Dangerous Minds | Deconstructing ‘Gimme Shelter’: Listen to the isolated tracks of the Rolling Stones in the studio
A track-by-track deconstruction of Gimme Shelter. What a song!
An inspiring State Of The Web address by Tim Berners-Lee. He can't resist pitching linked data at the end, but it's mostly a stirring call to arms.
Look what Norm! built: it's another placeholder image service, but this is one that you can install and run on your own machine.
This W3C document is done and dusted: proposed recommendation. Every one of the guidelines for optimising for mobile also holds true for "desktop" sites.
Drag the text 'round for a bit of fun.
What a superb project! Forget Mechanical Turk — this is the way to harness the collective intelligence of humans: transcribing weather observations made by naval ships at the beginning of the twentieth century. It's all grist for the climate model mill.
A lovely idea, nicely implemented: time-conditional CSS.
James Bridle's dConstruct artefact is in the New York Times.
YouTube Time Machine: this is beautiful and fascinating. Set phasers to WWILF.
Colly shows the results of his dConstruct workshop: great stuff!
An oldie but goldie: time travel in the age of the internet.
The latest creation from Simon and Nat. It's surprisingly addictive and useful — play around with it for a bit and you'll see what I mean. Lovely stuff.
A nifty interactive video for Arcade Fire's "We Used To Wait." It claims to be built in HTML5 but actually uses XHTML 1.0 and HTML 4.01 doctypes throughout. *sigh*
New from BERG: superimposing historical events onto familiar landscapes.
Beautiful chemistry visualisations using canvas.
A clever technique to create the effect of multiple background images using the :before and :after pseudo-elements.
Beautiful mapping visualisations of crime data.
A new take on an old classic: how to make communion wafers zingier.
A (webkit-only) CSS3/HTML5 take on the Doctor Who opening titles.
A very handy GUI for figuring out the somewhat complicated syntax of border-image in CSS3.
This will be very, very handy for my day-to-day front end development work.
This makes my brain giddy. Dizzying stuff, clearly explained.
Finding the sweet spot between realism and abstraction in interface elements.
I'm kicking myself that I didn't know about this little Fireworks trick.
This is an interesting idea: paste in some markup and this will automatically generate CSS selectors based on your classes and IDs.
This is the reason why we chose Vzaar for hosting the videos on the Reprieve website.
Beautifully done with HTML5 and font linking.
Matt Jones on sociality, data, radio and time.
Finally, some debunking of the "paradox of choice" oversimplification.
A fascinating trip down memory lane to the birth of the IMG element.
The results of the second screen reader survey from WebAIM are, once again, required reading.
One of the more frightening things I've ever seen on the internet.
There is something utterly hypnotic and disturbing about these three-frame looping animations.
A microformats article by yours truly, reworking a blog post from a while back about the value class pattern.
Brendan Dawes pointed me to this wonderfully playful creation. It's Flash-free, believe it or not.
Dave has been experimenting with processing and documenting the results here.
A very pretty little Twitter canvas experiment accompanied by music delivered via the audio element. View this in a capable browser.
Anil Dash writes about the realtime web, calling it Pushbutton.
Awwww... wook at the poor aniwals.
Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad
A set of icons (in different sizes) from various trendy websites to use in your designs.
An example of just how messed up libel law in the UK is.
Eleven years old and more relevant than ever.
How to ensure consistency in time travel narratives.
Classic photographs recreated in Lego.
A proposal for decimal time and measurement. It'll never defeat inertia but I love seeing the thought process that's gone into it.
A visualisation of Twitter messages designed for display in public spaces. From the mad genius that is Cameron Adams.
Ethan follows up his Fluid Grids article with an equally excellent piece on resizing images.
Pictures of some prototypes of the clock of the Long Now.
This list of screenreader survey results is required reading. Conclusion: "there is no typical screen reader user."
A beautiful use of the Flickr API that allows you to browse photos with a colour picker.
This is the ur-spring: Tim Berners Lee's original proposal for "Mesh", later "World Wide Web."
Andy Baio gets his first by-line in a national newspaper (based on an article from Waxy.org).
A lovely shout-out to Clearleft from the BBC: "Along with other awesome UK companies like ClearLeft, we hope the work we're doing influences more web companies to adopt more best practice, like following the principle of 'progressive enhancement'."
Kevin does an excellent job of Fisking that ludicrous anti-Twitter article in The Times.
An even more speculative version of The Long Bet. Given a supposition (e.g. "What will the world be like when custom satellites are as easy to design and launch as your own website is today?"), you can add to a list of positive and negative outcomes.
Conway's Game of Life executed using the canvas element.
The Fair Use Project needs your help in defending Shepard Fairey. Have you seen other photographs similar to the iconic Obama "hope" pose? Send 'em to email@example.com.
The Possibility Jelly lives on the hypersurface of the present.
"I love this graph because in one small space, it shows the time of Sunrise and Sunset across the entire world throughout all Latitudes throughout the entire year of this tilted planet."
A great little Flickr slideshow from Phil Hawksworth.
When localisation attacks. This is like a more morbid Douglas Adams vignette.
Someone tried to mug James Duncan Davidson to get his TED pass.
Gez lays out the case for and against keeping the alt attribute mandatory in HTML5. If he's missed anything, add a comment.
Sue Schofield plugs Ada Lovelace Day while taking a long hard look at the sniggering sexism endemic to the IT industry.
A collection of Flash preloaders. Out of context, they make for surprisingly compelling viewing all together.
A super-simple lightweight PHP class by Kellan for calling the Flickr API and receiving back an array of results.
5k.org is dead. Long live 5k.org. The people nehind Brighton's Â£5 App have announced a competition to create an application using only 5K (5120 bytes) of code and resources.
On the tenth day of Newton, My true love gave to me, Ten drops of genius, Nine silver co-oins, Eight circling planets, Seven shades of li-ight, Six counterfeiters, Cal-Cu-Lus! Four telescopes, Three Laws of Motion, Two awful feuds, And â€¦
There are, apparently, entire subcategories of cuteness.
Garrett has launched his bug-tracking web app. Looks lovely.
An experiment in human storytelling, using a photographic heartbeat of 3,214 images to document an Eskimo whale hunt in Barrow, Alaska.
Interactive visualizations of what's happening right now.
Ztamp:s - RFID stamps that makes your objects come alive - Violet â€¢â€¢ Let All Things Be Connected
Reading through some of the things that peope have made with these RFID tags is making me itchy to hack something tangible.
The Napoleon Dynamite problem at Netflix: basement hackers and amateur mathematicians are competing to improve the program that Netflix uses to recommend DVDs â€” and to win $1 million in the process.
Mimi Ito talks to the BBC about the findings of a report into teens geeking out online.
John Resig offers an alternative user interface for selecting a time.
The slides from Simon's excellent full-length presentation at the head conference. Every web developer needs to be aware of these issues.
The last project from Simon and Nat is essentially a way of viewing groups (slices of activity) on Twitter ...and it exposes a security flaw in the JSON-P API too.
Here's a nifty little mashup from Simon: create Moo cards with book details from Amazon.
Animals and sports in serendipitous moments of FAIL.
The circlemakers work with vegetation. Andy Goldsworthy works with the landscape. Jim Denevan works with sand.
A collection of network diagrams and visualisations from the simple to the sublime.
A gallery of minimally designed websites. There are some lovely grid/type-based designs on view here.
An interactive, collaborative timeline of the history and development of virtual worlds, open for anyone to edit.
A good overview of the OpenID panel at OSCON: "Is OpenID a panacea, a placebo, or something in between? Opposing viewpoints took turns on center stage Wednesday afternoon at OSCON 2008. The session entitled "A Critical View of OpenID" started off â€¦
Mike Davis makes some conservative predictions about the near future.
A real time satellite tracking web application. Over 8000 satellites are tracked and can be displayed on the familiar Google Maps interface.
A really nice interactive infographic from the New York Times.
Simon's slides and demos from his half-day workshop at XTech.
Realtime visualisation of feelings on Twitter. I can't help but think that present continuous emotions would have yielded better results; loving, hating, thinking...
Simon Singh's newest book is released today. Huzzah! It's called Trick or Treatment? and it's all about "alternative" medicine. Somewhere, Ben Goldacre is smiling.
This is the very definition of an intimate gig: a song in the back of a London cab.
Friendlier HTTP errors.
New from GMail: send email back in time. "Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality." In all seriousness though, remember when GMail launched on April 1st, 2004 and everyone that it was a joke?
Now this is how to do the "find your friends" trick. For GMail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail, Flickr never once asks for your password. Bravo!
A handy little RESTful ping service to answer the eternal question: "is it just me or is my site really down?"
Andrew gave a peak under the skirts of The New York Times in his presentation at the Web Apps Summit. Here's a list of the demos he showed.
Translation From MS-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Joel Spolsky’s “Martian Headsets” [dive into mark]
Mark Pilgrim fisks Joel Spolsky. He's not greedy either: there's still plenty of straw men left in Spolsky's screed for the rest of us to skewer.
I'm loving the typography on this blog.
Coworking is on the radar of mainstream media. This article even includes a mention of Brighton & Hove's very own The Werks.
Garrett's bug tracking software is one step closer to completion.
The latest website from Derek Powazek allows artists and businesses to hook up. Nicely done.
Andy Baio does a nice bit of investigative journalism in exposing the social network spammer hired by The Times. The internet treats crass marketing as damage and routes around it.
The madness of the default behaviour in IE8 explained in a beautiful koan.
Create your own O'Reilly book cover. Maybe you have to be a geek to find this amusing. I find this amusing.
The timeline behind Microsoft's latest announcement.... as told by stuffed lemurs.
Chris interviews himself about portable social networks and distributed identity.
Looks like Flickr has some interesting plans around OpenID. Our reporter Simon Willison is on the scene.
A collection of beautiful illustrations scanned from a flight-training manual.
Tim Bray echoes my thoughts on conferences. "And let’s be brutal: at most conferences, there are two ways to get a talk accepted: submit an interesting talk, or bribe the conference organizer. Oops, sorry: I meant “be a platinum sponsor”."
This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy: the New York Times talking about microformats.
A very cute bit of e-commerce chicanery.
TIm Berners-Lee explains what the "graph" part of "social graph" means. I'm still not keen on the term but I really love the idea (although I also disagree about the building blocks required today).
A great little tool for creating favicons.
Alice got something strange in the post. So did I. Looks like an ARG.
Here's Dan's latest project (and of course it looks gorgeous). I've been testing it for a while before the official launch and it's really sweet. Best of all, there is no sign up. All the interaction happens through Twitter. Clever.
An article about Twitter focusing on one threatened suicide and one averted break-up. Leisa and her excellent phrase "ambient intimacy" are quoted.
Another sign up form that features hCard input (like Satisfaction). Choose a service (e.g. Flickr, Last.fm, Twitter) or enter your own URL.
Colly is being transfered from prisoner cell-block 1138.
Actually, maybe this is the best picture on the internet. Take this picture brother, may it serve you well.
Contribute to the pool of data by inputting how much time you've wasted watching the spinning beachball of death.
A new feature on Matthew Somerville's brilliant train timetable site. Just put /fares at the end of any URL to get the cheapest available fare.
What would happen if Google tried to apply SEO techniques to itself?
David Smith has written a brilliant overview of how the perception of the Web is converging towards Tim Berners-Lee original vision of a read/write environment.
Twitter introduces the ability to get alerted by phone or IM when keywords are mentioned. A nice little unobtrusive feature.
This blogging Tory MP is stealing someone's bandwidth for the photo in this post. Said photo has been subtly altered. Hilarity ensues in the comments.
Excellent news from the New York Times: no more charging for content. Finally, I can link to NYT articles from blog posts (and del.icio.us).
Tim Lucas is using machine tagging to aggregate Flickr pics from the "I work on the web" meme started by Lisa Herrod.
Continuing the tradition started at the Highland Fling. I love the way that Ribot wanders into shot like C3P0. Ribot robot.
This is quite clearly the greatest animated .gif in the history of animated .gifs. Nice one, Paul.
Looks like the iPhone has been unlocked. Jesus phones want to be free.
Sad, sad blobfish. Freaky, freaky aye-aye.
A really nice visual representation of just how isolated the Imperial system is.
In preparation for their move to Brighton, Simon and Nat have recorded a time-lapse video of their packing stuff.
Giger's alien made of vegetables, Arcimboldo style.
Crows is smart. And yes, I am using the "Bookmark this..." link at the end of the article.
Contribute to Cameron's experiment. Just choose: left or right?
Making the link between good product design and discouraging crime.
From the people who brought you Ficlets comes a nice app for creating personal timelines. Microformats and OpenID support included.
A browser-based IM client from AOL. You heard it here first folks.
The cawl for speling reform in the Inglish langwidge iz misguyded and franklee, kynd ov styoopid.
Yet more on the events I blogged about down the street, again from the local newspaper.
The Amateur Gourmet compares Remy's trials and tribulations in Ratatouille to the quintessential story of Jewish assimilation in the 20th Century.
Here's the local paper's take on the happenings on my street that I blogged about.
The somewhat lightweight BBC report of the incident I blogged about earlier. "Reports of a man with a knife threatening and chasing people": that's me (the reports, I mean).
Portable social networks are no longer just theory: Dopplr makes it a reality.
Multimap's API is now open and free as in beer (as long as the traffic is within reasonable bounds). This is good stuff. And they're all in with the Open Street Map guys too.
Pausing for breath is for pussies. Simon's slides illustrate how to pack everything including the OpenID kitchen sink into 45 minutes.
This is so so childish but here you go: rude place names on Google Maps.
This is the first picture of Earth taken from space, specifically from a V2 rocket 60 miles up.
HubbleSite - NewsCenter - The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme (04/24/2007) - Release Images
Another stunning image from the Hubble telescope. This image is heart-stoppingly beautiful.
A gorgeous 1923 specimen book from the American Type Foundry.
A new project from Idea Codes (Emily Chang and Max Kiesler): a tag cloud for Twitter.
Apparently I look like Lee Harvey Oswald and Keanu Reeves. Whoa! Cameron Adams, on the other hand, looks like a bunch of girls (a bunch of hot girls, admittedly).
Jason Kottke likes Twitter too.
The first public alpha release of Apollo is out. Grab the runtime and then play around with some of the sample apps (none of which are that impressive but it's the thought that counts).
An absolutely brilliant summation by Leisa Reichelt that nails Twitter's appeal: ambient intimacy.
Paul's voice has been sampled from his this'n'that magic trick and used for this stop-motion animation. Brilliant! I <3 mashup culture.
Gavin Bell has posted the slides from his excellent talk at BarCamp London 2.
Jason Kottke on the still-ludicrous imbalance at most tech conferences. This issue isn't going to go away. Conference organisers need to stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution.
A very cute short film that mixes computer animation with live action.
A nice collection of royalty free texture photos using the Flickr API.
A profile of Will Wright. I'm really looking forward to hearing him speak at SXSW this year.
Star Wars and Lego: two great tastes that taste great together.
Christian talks to Aral and Niqui about Flash and accessibility.
Dan has redesigned his site and it looks gorgeous.
Got Safari? Try resizing this page.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee and others call for the creation and recognition of a new discipline: "What we really want is for people around the world to start calling themselves web scientists."
Generate your own animated .gif for Ajax apps.
How to set up iChat to use your Gmail address for a Jabber account (useful for Twitter). I set this up a while back but recently a few people have been asking about this.
More about the microformats that can now be found on Last.fm.
This is just plain creepy.
Shaun is pushing the boundaries of CSS as an indicator of the passage of the time. I'm really happy to see this kind of experimentation: this is exactly why we want separation of content and presentation.
Brian Suda has a theoretical solution to real-time interplanetary communication: "I get on my tachyon voip phone and make a call from mars to earth at 9:00am it takes 10 minutes to travel there, but the tachyons travel backwards (so i think) that would be
I think Seurat would have liked the fact that all these pictures are made up of pixels. Digital pointillism.
Dan documents the process of adding microformats to Cork'd.
A recreation of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas using nothing but diet coke and mentos. Mesmerising.
From Dan Cederholm and Dan Benjamin: a lovely looking piece of social software all about wine. I've been trying it in pre-release and it's really, really nice. This is my kind of website.
Simon Singh talks about zero, pi, the golden ratio, the square root of minus one, and infinity.
Want to indicate that something is happening on a web page, like... oh, I don't know... an Ajax request or something? Here's a cornucopia of animated progress indicators.
This is a mashup of del.icio.us and easyutil.com.
It's an aircraft carrier. Made entirely out of Lego.
Writing a presentation on web accessibility? Tired of the usual "The power of the web..." quote?
Dan has redesigned. Or maybe that should be realigned. Either way, it feels just perfect. Talented bastard.
Simon sqeels like a little girl. Classic.
Anina, the blogging model, is told by her agency to stop blogging because "fashion and technology do not go together". Asshats.
This airtoons like animation demonstrates the correct usage of the magic cone.
Strange days indeed.
news @ nature.com - Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye - Potential readers can make snap decisions in just 50 milliseconds.
People enjoy being right, so continuing to use a website that gave a good first impression helps to 'prove' to themselves that they made a good initial decision.
Aaron uses image replacement on an image to provide one image for screen and another print. Very clever.
Unbelievable. Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime in the USA. Bye, bye, whistle blowers.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a blog.
Jonathan Ive is getting a CBE.
A fun debate featuring Tim O'Reilly, Esther Dyson, Malcom Gladwell, Clay Shirky and Moby.
The similarity is eerie.
Here's how you can set up iChat to work with Google Talk.
Google gets into instant messaging.
Bruce Sterling SIGGRAPH 2004 speech
Hilarious tech support animation.
The unstoppable rise of Trajan.
This is cool and frightening in equal measures. Eric uses the Google API to demonstrate the effect of nuclear detonations on American cities.
It's funny because it's true.
Dan's new book will be out soon. I predict it will be great: the subject matter is exactly what CSS coders need to know.