Today’s Readings

AppPresser: Add a set of plugins to your existing self-hosted WordPress site, configure, export your site using AppPresser, upload the resulting files to the PhoneGap Builder (also news to me!), and you get native apps that you can upload to the Apple and Android app stores… The plugins they offer include camera, geo, touch-swiping, e-commerce and more, that just connect to the native features on devices. That’s pretty f-ing slick!

Bounce.js lets you create CSS3 animations using a web-based interface, then just export all the fancy code for pasting into your CSS files. Awesome!

SVG-time again!!!

Students from the University of California at Riverside have developed a smog-absorbing roof tile. They coat roof tiles with titanium dioxide, which helps break down nitrogen oxide into less harmful components. Huh.

Could the much-maligned manifest be making a come-back?

Got grunt? Many of us do. But looking at code samples and comparisons of gulp have got me seriously considering a switch. Anyone else?

I hadn’t heard of the will-change property before, and initially it sounded really good! But as I started reading more about it, I wondered why I have to tell the browser about the possible change? Doesn’t the CSS itself already do that? Using an example from the above article:

.element {
	transition: opacity .3s linear;
/* declare changes on the element when the mouse enters / hovers its ancestor */
.ancestor:hover .element {
	will-change: opacity;
/* apply change when element is hovered */
.element:hover {
	opacity: .5;

Shouldn’t the CSS engine (and thus the browser) already see that the opacity is going to change if the .element is :active? Why should I have to tell it??

I see I’m not alone in my thoughts

What will the future look like? No one knows, but that doesn’t stop people from predicting it! (The sound of the microphone improves after a couple minutes, and the real meat-and-potatoes starts at about 5:30.)

Cache-busting static files has been a common practice since very shortly after browsers started caching them for us… suggests a really great way to set-up cache-busting for background-images from within Less.

Staying with Ben and Less for a moment, let’s do a little Thinking About Strings, Quotes, Tokens, And Tildes In Less CSS.

And in case you’re more of the Sass mindset, here is a method for managing your z-indexes with Sass.

Now it’s only fair that we do one more Sass article too, so here’s one about sharing data between Sass & JS, via JSON

Even if you are strictly into Less or Sass, check-out all four articles, I’m sure you can figure out a way to do one inside of the other…

Nice presentation regarding some advanced uses of Chrome DevTools. Not only are the tips great, but the energy of the room is very uplifting! :-)

Four options for optimizing images for WordPress, although only two of them actually use WP in the process, and only the other two get good enough results to be bothered with… Never-the-less, you get smaller images, so it’s good…

20 underrated web design tools. I don’t know if I would classify HTML5 Boilerplate or BaseCamp as underrated, but really all of these are great tools, and I will guarantee there is are least 2-3 that you either already use and love, or will find interesting enough to try!

And finally, a Star Wars two-parter: Every word from Star Wars, alphabetically, and with counts (I really think they could have skipped words like “a”, though…); and who wouldn’t want an R2-D2 Kitchen Timer???

Happy reading,

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