Breaking up CSS for progressive rendering

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

CSS blocks rendering, so the user is left looking a white screen until all-of-my-sites.css fully downloads.

It's common to bundle all of a site's CSS into one or two resources, meaning the user downloads a large number of rules that don't apply to the current page. This is because sites can contain many types of pages with a variety of "components", and delivering CSS at a component level hurts performance in HTTP/1.

This isn't the case with SPDY and HTTP/2, where many smaller resources can be delivered with little overhead, and independently cached.

Jake Archibald explains how to get a progressive render in Firefox, Edge/IE, and—once it has adopted the same method as Edge—Chrome.

Visiting Pluto

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

From Clyde Tombaugh’s Wikipedia page:

A small portion of his ashes were placed aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The container includes the inscription: "Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's 'third zone' […]".

What an incredible sendoff. Here’s one of the many photos New Horizons sent back.

Mote of dust

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

A visual response to Carl Sagan's famed 'Pale Blue Dot' monologue, where he muses on our planet's appearance in a photograph taken by the Voyager 1 space probe. The most distant photograph ever taken of Earth.

Beautifully illustrated & animated, it's well worth watching.

Faster layer renaming in Photoshop

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

The fastest way to manually rename a bunch of layers in Photoshop is to double-click / run your keyboard shortcut for “Layer” → “Rename Layer...” (in my case Shift+CMD+R) on one then use the tab key to apply the new layer name and jump to the next visible layer. I’ve known about this shortcut for a good long while now.

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My iOS to Mac screenshot workflow

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

I have long found it amusing that after all this time, messaging ones self a set of screenshots is still the most practical way to go about transferring them from iOS to OS X. For a while I had a better solution but we decided to stop working on Ember for iOS, so I went back to Messages.

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Creativity has to start somewhere

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

We dare to attempt these stories, but we don't get them right on the first pass. This is as it should be. Creativity has to start somewhere, and we are true believers in the power of bracing, candid feedback and the iterative process—reworking, reworking, and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its through line or a hollow character finds its soul.

— Ed Catmull, Inside the Pixar Braintrust.

Microblogging with Typed.com

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

In recent weeks, a small community has started to gather around the idea of microblogging on personal sites rather than services like Twitter (or at least cross-posting from personal sites to Twitter). From what I can tell, Manton Reece is at the source of it. That was certainly where I first came across the idea anyway.

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Games & UX designers

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

Raph Koster summarises the difference between the UX design of games and the UX design of apps & websites in an excellent one-liner:

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