This extended category features articles on client-side and server-side programming languages, tools, frameworks and libraries, as well as back-end issues. Experts and professionals reveal their coding tips, tricks and ideas. .
Recently we’ve been receiving more requests for carefully selected, useful round-ups. We try to avoid round-ups on Smashing Magazine, but sometimes the format is useful and — if the resources are relevant — can be extremely helpful. Besides, we are glad to drive traffic to some obscure, yet useful resources and thus support the developers of these resources.
CSS3 is a wonderful thing, but it’s easy to be bamboozled by the transforms and animations (many of which are vendor-specific) and forget about the nuts-and-bolts selectors that have also been added to the specification. A number of powerful new pseudo-selectors (16 are listed in the latest W3C spec) enable us to select elements based on a range of new criteria.
Before we look at these new CSS3 pseudo-classes, let’s briefly delve into the dusty past of the Web and chart the journey of these often misunderstood selectors.
In the first part of this tutorial series, we built a simple brew timer application using Android and Eclipse. In this second part, we’ll continue developing the application by adding extra functionality. In doing this, you’ll be introduced to some important and powerful features of the Android SDK, including Persistent data storage, Activities and Intent as well as Shared user preferences.
To follow this tutorial, you’ll need the code from the previous article. If you want to get started right away, grab the code from GitHub and check out the tutorial_part_1 tag.
The discussion glosses over another important factor: the speed with which your pages are actually put together on your server. Most big modern websites store their information in a database and use a language such as PHP or ASP to extract it, turn it into HTML and send it to the Web browser.
So, even if you get your home page down to 1.5 seconds (Google’s threshold for being considered a “fast” website), you can still frustrate customers if your search page takes too much time to respond, or if the product pages load quickly but the “Customer reviews” delay for several seconds.
In 2002, Mark Newhouse published the article "Taming Lists", a very interesting piece in which he explained how to create custom list markers using pseudo-elements. Almost a decade later, Nicolas Gallagher came up with the technique pseudo background-crop which uses pseudo-elements with a sprite.
Today, on the shoulders of giants, we'll try to push the envelope. We'll discuss how you can style elements with no extra markup and using a bidi-friendly high-contrast proof CSS sprite technique (you'll find an example below). The technique will work in Internet Explorer 6/7 as well.
The Web is 95% typography, or so they say. I think this is a pretty accurate statement: we visit websites largely with the intention of reading. That’s what you’re doing now — reading. With this in mind, does it not stand to reason that your typography should be one of the most considered aspects of your designs?
Unfortunately, for every person who is obsessed with even the tiniest details of typography, a dozen or so people seem to be indifferent. It’s a shame; if you’re going to spend time writing something, don’t you want it to look great and be easy to read?
One of the main changes from HTML4 to HTML5 is that the new specification breaks a few of the boundaries that browsers have been confined to. Instead of restricting user interaction to text, links, images and forms, HTML5 promotes multimedia, from a generic
<object> element to a highly specified
Native multimedia capability has a few benefits. For instance, end users have full control over the multimedia. The native controls of browsers allow users to save videos locally or email them to friends. Also, HTML5 video and audio are keyboard-enabled by default, which is a great accessibility benefit.
CAPTCHAs, or Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, exist to ensure that user input has not been generated by a computer. These peculiar puzzles are commonly used on the Web to protect registration and comment forms from spam. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about CAPTCHAs. They have annoyed me on many occasions, but I’ve also implemented them as quick fixes on websites.
This article follows the search for the perfect solution to the problem of increasing amounts of human-generated spam. We’ll look at how and why CAPTCHAs are used and their effect on usability in order to answer key questions: what is the perfect CAPTCHA, and are they even desirable?