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Matt Emery
23 followers -
Web Developer & Modern Hybrid Caveman
Web Developer & Modern Hybrid Caveman

23 followers
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If you want to stay up-to-date with frontend development or the fast-paced web browser world, I've curated two Google Reader bundles for you. (Also available as OPML)

* Frontend bundle. 258 feeds HTML/CSS/JS developer heaven. Lots of Javascript.
* Standards and browser dev bundle. 49 feeds

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"I would like to make you more insecure, more uncertain -- because that's how life is... When there is more insecurity and more danger, the only way to respond to it is by awareness. ... In your unintelligence you feel secure -- all idiots feel secure. In fact, only idiots feel secure. A really alive [person] will always feel insecure. What security can there be? Life is not a mechanical process; it cannot be certain, it is an unpredictable mystery. Nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment. ... a secure life will be worse than death. ... Life is full of uncertainties, full of surprises -- that is beauty! ... When you say you are certain, you simply declare your death; you have committed suicide ... an intelligent [person] always remains uncertain."

The quote above is from a book titled Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously by Osho (http://tinyurl.com/3pgqy2e). I'd never heard of him, and I haven't read the book, but I ordered it on Amazon and opened it this morning. I can tell I'm already going to like it from this little bit in the preface.

Though I'm pretty sure he wasn't thinking about business, I think these thoughts would be useful for CEOs as well. I'm always amazed at CEOs that pretend like they know everything. Did you know Steve Jobs said there would be no 3rd party apps on the iPhone when it launched? He changed his mind about six months later. :-)

PS: I took this photo in Oahu, Hawaii on the hike to Manoa falls. If you're like the image, try clicking on the photo to make it bigger, then mouse over "actions" in the bottom right and click "download photo" -- you can see a lot more detail with the larger size of the photo. :-)
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Pixar lost a visionary CEO, too

Here's their good-bye image:
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"Here's to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO!"

RIP Steve Jobs.
We may never be able to measure his omniscient influence on not just technology, but culture itself.

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I was asked about base64 vs a sprite image in CSS...

Both techniques are better than multiple images as they reduce the number of http requests. A sprite image requires 1 additional request, base64 doesn't.

Some point out that base64 increases the file size of the image by 25% (slightly more if padding is needed). Base64 represents 6 bits of data as a character. Characters in utf8/ASCII are 8 bits, so that's where 25% comes from. However, gzip recovers a lot of that. I took a 411 byte image which base64'd to 548 bytes, but gzipped back to 469 bytes. In this case the increase is more like 10%, which is nothing to worry about at these sizes. Also, since gzip is BLACK MAGIC the increase may be less when it's in a css file.

With base64 the image data is in the css file, meaning it gets downloaded even if it isn't needed. Eg, if you're using media queries to optimise image usage for mobile, base64 doesn't help.

The browser has to download the full CSS file before it can render anything, having imagery in a separate request gets you progressive rendering, whereas with base64 the CSS and image data has to download before anything is displayed to the user.

WIth base64 you'll need to provide a url fallback for IE6/7 as they don't support base64 url, so experience there is particularly bad as they have to download all the image data twice & get hit by the separate http requests.

Aside from the delivery method, using base64 is the same as using separate image files. This means you can tile the image, which you can't do with a sprite yet. In the future we'll be able to use something like https://developer.mozilla.org/en/CSS/-moz-image-rect or http://www.w3.org/2008/WebVideo/Fragments/WD-media-fragments-spec/#naming-space (I much prefer the mozilla idea).

A sprite image is smaller than the sum of its parts as compression works across all the components of the sprite and you only have 1 set of PNG headers. A sprite image will be smaller than a set of base64 urls.

I'm an advocate of building sprite images manually, automated tools tend to create more images than needed and don't get the most out of compression. A major drawback of this is when working with others & version control. If 2 people are on feature branches and each add to the sprite, it won't merge. You don't get this problem with base64.

Personally, I use a sprite image except for images that need to tile. For tiling backgrounds that are only a few bytes I use base64 with a fallback url for IE6/7.

I strongly recommend running sprite images though http://pornel.net/imagealpha then http://imageoptim.pornel.net/ to get the most out of compression. And of course, use http://www.spritecow.com/ to get the positions and dimensions of the sprite components :)

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This is a great interview for you to read if you want to get a strong feeling for the philosophy that drove the Panda algorithm, and the implications of that philosophy going forward.

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