What we talked about March 11-15, 2013

Somewhat quiet week around here. Char’s obsession with Bootstrap continues, as does Jason’s with beer, and we all learned about new (to us) CSS length properties.

Odell's Easy Street Wheat
Image: Michael Fajardo

  • Jared found this extensive Advanced HTML & CSS guide that covers some fancier features and concepts like preprocessors, transforms, transitions and animations, and feature support and polyfills. (I don’t even know what that one means, so as usual the roundup is adding to my reading list.) Also this guide got Jason super jazzed about HAML, which may make another appearance here as we dive into it.
  • The New York Times is redesigning. See the prototype now. Everything is way simplified, but Jason is worried about the small size of the thumbnails on the floating header on the desktop version.
  • Auburn University in Alabama is offering a “master’s certification in brewing science” — basically an online beer-brewing course. Awesome.
  • Automatic is a little thingy that plugs into your car’s data port — the same one the mechanic uses to talk to the car’s computer to diagnose problems — and gives you feedback on your driving style, calls for help automatically if you crash, keeps track of where you parked, and knows when your check engine light goes on and why. Not shipping until July for iPhone and fall for Android, but it looks pretty cool. Char points out that with a $70 one-time cost, it’s cheaper than most of the error code readers that are already on the market.CSS FPS
  • This first-person shooter game is built with HTML5 and CSS3 3D transforms. It’s limited — there’s not actually a way to shoot yet — but as an experiment/proof-of-concept, it’s impressive. See also the blog post about how this was done.
  • Bootstrap 3 is coming! Char was running it locally and we all took a look. The only way to get it currently is to clone it from the Github repository and host it locally. They took down the release candidate preview for some reason. Here’s some more info on what to expect. The current design is very much in the flat UI style, and although it sounds like that’s actually going to change, Jared opined that they should just leave it “so no one can just slap default bootstrap on their site and not design anything.” Char’s response became our new blog tagline: “Let people get all chromed and bubbly if they want.”
  • On a similar note, Flatstrap is Bootstrap sans rounded corners and gradients.
  • We all learned a whole bunch about CSS length properties in reading the super useful “The Lengths of CSS,” though Jason complained that it killed the mystery for the Implementing Layouts using CSS workshop he’ll be attending at WebVisions.
  • I ended up spending a while on that site, and I also found and enjoyed “Viewport Sized Typography,” about sizing text based on the size of the viewport.
  • Respond to Voice is an experiment (Chrome only) that lets you control certain things about the page by talking to the browser. Interesting … I am curious about the practical applications of this.
  • The Less app has been updated and is now apparently CodeKit. Anyone looked at this yet?
  • Scott Berkun on the No-UI-is-the-best-UI debate which I did not even know was happening.

    [T]here is no perfect design for everyone … All designs fail someone in some situation. That’s what part of design is: picking who you will fail and how you’ll fail them. Any attempt to confidently average out a trend across all people and all situations is borderline idiocy.

What’s going on in your world?


  1. Sandra · March 22, 2013

    This month, we’ve chosen to move away from Bootstrap/LESS and experiment more with Foundation/Sass. I’ve been prototyping in Foundation for a long time and really love it — it’s painless and fast to roll out relatively look-and-feel-agnostic prototypes — so when the opportunity to choose a new framework came up, I put in my 2 cents on trying it out for production code.

    Before deciding, we did an analysis of a handful of responsive frameworks. Foundation came out ahead in many categories, thanks to its thorough documentation, clean code commenting/organization, UI elements, and cleaner grid. We’ll be putting all these things to the test over the next month or so to see how it holds up against Bootstrap (and the overwhelming visual Bootstrappiness that results from its use).

  2. Lauren · March 22, 2013

    Sandra, that’s very interesting. Looking forward to hearing how it plays out.