Links of the day 12/11/2012

I have been just sharing links these last few posts, and sadly, today is not the exception. I am aware there are a few posts that need to be written, and I need to continue on that series that I started about building AIR Apps, but time has just not been too kind with me lately. Anyway, I hope this links can keep you busy.

Javascript: – Just a quick intro to document fragment. – Javascript defer for a cleaner code. – Getting started with three.js – Plugins VS Components. Interesting. – Namespaces are old school, use modules. – A look into why AMD is better than commonjs modules. Is it?

VIM: – Improved VIM status bar. Nice!

HTML 5 – The phone link protocol. – The vibrating API. Lets hope it does not get abused.

WordPress: – Quick and easy way to force SSL on wordpress sites. – WordPress security best practices.

Interior Design:

Ubuntu – How to create Ubuntu packages. (Spanish)

Design: – Free icon sets.

Ruby: – A ruby tutorial that I have not yet followed, but I share in case you are interested. (Spanish)

Other: – Nice explanation on how to create twitter cards. – Black and white backgrounds. Mostly pictures, and some of them are not really B&W, but still interesting. – Twitter keeps track of the sites you visit. And how to stop it. (Spanish) – A postcast about development tools. – A website that seems to offer good deals on resources for web professionals.

Enjoy the readings, and don’t hate me for posting nothing but links these last few rounds.


Links of the Day – 11/24/2012

I’ve been reading some interesting articles these last few days. Unfortunately I hadn’t had time to share them here, but I decided that today was a good day to do it.

Useful Links – Via a title on hacker news I learned about this site for finding cheap flight. I might try it next time I’m planning a trip. – If you don’t have time to read the papers, this is the perfect site for you.

Programming – Interesting article. I recommend you read it if you like to see programming from different perspectives. – A very interesting article, although, not as much as the Bret Victor’s talk that it links to. Nonetheless, I highly recommend you read this article, and as you do, follow the links on it. They are highly interesting too. – A very well written view into extremist programming, and why the wrong tool is sometimes the right tool.

Developer Stories – If you like math, and graphs, you will like this post.

Development – You may or may not agree with all that is in this article, but one thing is true, if you want to stay relevant as a developer, you need to stay up to date on the new technologies.

Design – Consistency in icon design is one of those posts that tell you nothing that you don’t already know, yet reading it can refresh your memory, which is always a good idea. – Great Article on how to choose a more effective color for your website. – Batch is a very nice icons set. I think I might use it on some of my designs.

Tech – A self-filling water bottle. Seriously, if you need more than that to read this article, you have no curiosity at all, and you’ve died inside.

Mobile – I don’t get too excited by mobile, but if you do, you might enjoy this post where they talk about jolla, which is yet another mobile OS.

Other – Personally I’ve never been a fan of Steve Jobs, but I still read most articles that I find about him, providing they are not written by brainless mac fanboys that idolize him to the bone. Funny enough, I’ve found out that the more I read about him, the more I dislike him. – Definitely my favorite post of the day when I read it. It talks about the quiet car in Amtrak, and how it has become the one place where quiet people have taken a stand. I think I like the post because I can relate to the people who ride the quite cars. – If you send news letters for your website, you need to know about sendicate.

All of this links were found via hacker news.

Would You Please Learn How to Design Websites

I’d like to start by saying that I am not, nor do I pretend to be a graphic designer. I don’t do beautiful illustrations, logos, or graphics. I am not in the business of creating nice business cards, or great corporate identities. I do web.

I see a lot of graphic designers who develop wordpress themes, and other kinds of web related designs. I want to concentrate on wordpress themes, because that is what I’ve been dealing with lately. It really makes me tired, bored, sick, and it frustrates me when some guy who has been doing graphic design all his life comes to me and tells me: “The sidebar looks 2 pixels to the left on IE6.” The web is like that; dealt with it.

The beautiful web is more and more populated with sites that use too much resources. Websites nowadays load a stylesheet for modern browsers; one for IE7; another for IE6; another for hand-held devices; and tons of javascript to force their own font and to add shadows to sucky IE version. Seriously, that is not the way to do web.

I blame the guys who like everything with tons of eye candy. Those people who think it is really cool to have a stupid menu flying around are the ones destroying the precious web. What ever happened to sites that just worked? That were beautiful, functional, user friendly, and resources friendly. I admit it, it is pretty cool to have webGL, CSS animations, canvas coolness, and other tons of nice features, but you don’t have to use them all at once. Those tools should be only that: tools, but instead, they’ve become the website itself.

The root of the problem, I believe, is graphic designers, and graphic designer wannabies that once learned about jQuery, or some other of those toys. They thought, “look, I can make a big poster that moves!” I would like to salute them all with a huge facepalm.

When real web designers design, magic happens. We think in elements, not just colors and lines. Real web designers have a pretty good idea, not only of what is possible, and what is not, but of the amount of work and resources that something would take. We don’t think about an animation in terms of $(‘#elem’).animate(), but in terms of timeouts, loops, calculations, site repaints, usability, and accessibility. How does this animation help the user? How does it not help? What happens if the user is blind? What happens if the user has some kind of body movement difficulties? What happens if the user has and old computer? What happens if the user is using an old device/software? What happens if the user’s computer is doing some sort of heavy computation? At what point do we stop this animation and fall back to a more resources friendly version of the site? There is much to consider to have time to worry about 2 pixels on the sidebar.

Real web designers know their site won’t look the same everywhere. This shadow won’t come out on IE6, but that is OK, because I’ve designed the site in such a way that even without the shadow the site looks beautiful, and more importantly it works. Real web designers know that it is more important to save an http request and a few KB than to force that shadow to appear on IE6. The website will not look the same everywhere, and real web designers know that. This is what allows them to designs websites that look beautiful everywhere, even if they don’t look the same. We build for the user.

You are more likely to receive a complaint saying “Your website takes ages to load,” than one that says “on firefox the sidebar looks 2px to the right.” Please, learn how to design websites.