A Ridiculously Big List of Design Tools and Resources

The Ultimate List of Design Tools and ResourcesLately I’ve been working hard on my weekly newsletter Web Tools Weekly, which focuses on tools for front-end developers.

The newsletter was originally supposed to include design-related tools on occasion, then I changed my mind and kept it mostly developer focused. Unfortunately, this left me with a huge list of useful design, color, and typography related tools that I’ve compiled over the last 6 months or so.

So here is everything I’ve compiled, dumped into one big cheesy post for your artificial browsing pleasure. :)

A Data-based Analysis of the CSS Standards Approval Process

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CSS LetterI recently did a complete overhaul of my CSS Values info-app. The design is basically the same, with some minor adjustments. But the website is now using a MySQL database to store all the info (as opposed to throwing everything into plain HTML) and it now includes browser support charts for every CSS property.

Much of the info is probably in need of improvement, but there’s something significant I noticed when transferring the data from the HTML to the database. It turns out, a certain bias exists with the types of properties that the W3C has approved, and I think we can use this information to speed up the standards process in the future.

input.select() — What’s the Correct Behaviour?

input.select() behaviourSome things in the specs have behaviours that browser makers are required to adhere to. But other areas are a bit gray, where there is no definite guidance on implementation, so sometimes the behaviour is different from browser to browser.

Take a look, for example, at the select() method, which allows you to use JavaScript to select the text inside an input or textarea element.

Looking Forward to Reading: Smashing Book #4

Smashing Book #4The team at Smashing Magazine have come a long way. I’m sure many of us remember how they broke ground, paving the way for so many copycat websites. While they still have a place in their hearts for the occasional “round-up” post, they are now focused on publishing the best web design and development related content in the world.

In my opinion, now that they have branched out into print publishing and have drastically improved their review and screening process for authors and articles, I think they have overtaken the previous industry leaders and are now the #1 web development resource in the world. That’s not taking anything away from publishers like A List Apart, SitePoint, or others; those organizations have their niche, and they will continue to be big. But Smashing Magazine has, in my opinion, surpassed them all.

IE11 “Emulation” and Conditional Comments

IE11 EmulationSometime over the past week, my Windows 7 machine did some updates that, amazingly, included an auto-update of IE10 to IE11. This is great news. This is the first time I’ve heard of any version of IE being pushed out automatically as a “critical” update (which I assume is what it did, since I don’t ever do the optional updates and those don’t happen automatically).

Those who have checked out IE11 have probably noticed a visual overhaul to the developer tools. One particular thing I noticed is that the “document mode” and “browser mode” options that were present in IE10’s tools have now been integrated into something called “Emulation” (which you can open quickly by hitting F12 then CTRL-8).

Animating from “display: block” to “display: none”

Animating display: block to display: noneAs you might already know, CSS3 transitions and animations allow you to animate a specific set of CSS properties. One of the properties that cannot be animated is the display property.

It would be great if we could do it, but it’s not currently possible and I’m guessing it never will be (e.g. how would you animate to “display: table”?). But there are ways to work around it, and I’ll present one way here.

Vertical Percentages in CSS

Vertical Percentages in CSSI don’t think this happens very often. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever used a percentage value on a top padding/margin, or a bottom padding/margin value. Even for height values, I may have used a 100% value for a hack, but nothing else.

Nonetheless, using percentages on those vertical parts of a page are somewhat different in the way they are calculated, compared to other properties that take percentage values.

A CSS Book for Beginners

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Jump Start CSS BookThis year I had the pleasure of completing my second book, and the first book that I authored all by myself: Jump Start CSS published by SitePoint.

It’s part of their “Jump Start” series of shorter books that provide an introduction to specific web development and design topics.

SEO for Web Apps (Link Dump)

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SEO for Web AppsIn recent months, I’ve come across a number of links discussing the issue of Search Engine Optmization (SEO) for single page apps or similar complex JavaScript-driven web apps.

This certainly should be a key concern for anyone building these types of projects. So below I’ve compiled two categories of links related to this topic.