1. Issue #129 | CSS Weekly

"September 22nd, 2014

CSS Audits: Taking Stock of Your Code – Susan Robertson

A CSS audit helps to organize code and eliminate repetition for speedier sites. Susan Robertson shows how to sleuth out potential trouble spots, along with offering tips on tools, documentation, and ways to keep your codebases lean well into the future.

Getting Started with CSS Shapes – Razvan Caliman

Razvan Caliman shows how use CSS Shapes to create experiences that you have never been able to create on the web before.

Articles & Tutorials

Build Web Layouts Easily with Susy – Zell Liew

An excellent introduction to Susy (a Sass add-on that provides you with the tools to build your own grid layouts that match the needs of your website) by Zell Liew.

The Role of Utility Classes in Scalable CSS – David Clark

In this article David Clark attempts to define the CSS ‘utility class’ and examines its benefits and dangers, especially for large-scale projects.

A Quick Introduction to BrowserSync – Cory Simmons

In this quick video tutorial Cory Simmons introduces you to BrowserSync, an excellent tool that synchronises URLs, interactions and code changes across multiple devices.

Optimizing Webfont Selection and Synthesis – Ilya Grigorik

Ilya Grigorik explores if it’s possible (and smart) to optimize performance by relying on the browser to synthesize some font variants on your behalf.

Creating a Collection of CSS3 Animated Preloaders – Aaron Lumsden

In this tutorial Aaron Lumsden shows how to create a collection of pre-loaders for your web projects using nothing but HTML and CSS3.


Select-CSS – Select-CSS is an experimental technique that styles a native select consistently cross-platform with only minimal CSS.

Tablesaw – Tablesaw is a set of jQuery plugins that will help you deal with responsive tables.


Blend Mode Experiment – Gregor Adams

A very interesting (and hypnotising) CSS experiment by Gregor Adams. (Make sure your browser supports CSS blending modes before viewing it)."

The usual excellent css link selection from CSS Weekly. Check it out!

Smashing Magazine

2. Design Principles: Connecting And Separating Elements Through Contrast And Similarity | Smashing Magazine

“Similarity and contrast, connection and separation, grouped and ungrouped are all ways to describe the varying sameness and difference between elements. Based on the information they carry, we’ll want some elements to look similar, to indicate that they are related in some way. We’ll also want to show that some elements are different and belong to different groups.
Key to showing both is the visual characteristics of elements and their relationships. If two elements are related in some way, then they should show similar visual characteristics. If the elements are different, then they should look different.”


3. Shape Hover Effect with SVG

Shape Hover Effect


"If you have visited the fantastic new edition of The Christmas Experiments then you might have noticed the really cool hover effect in the Christmas calendar that uses a triangular shape.

The shape is made up of a triangle using borders and today I would like to show you how to achieve the same effect using SVG and Snap.svg.

The idea is to create a SVG with one path that represents the shape background for some caption and to morph that path into another one on hover.

There are many creative possibilities and today we’ll create three different examples. The nice thing of utilizing SVG is that we can adjust the shape size to their parent container’s size and make everything fluid.

The illustrations used in the demos are by talented Isaac Montemayor. See his original artwork on his website or Dribbble."


4. Create a wood texture in Illustrator | Veerle’s blog 3.0

Create a Wood Texture in Illustrator | Veerle’s blog 3.0

Pathfinder Birds

“As promised, here is a follow-up on my tutorial about using Illustrator’s Pathfinder to create symmetrical birds, which was based on these fabulous ‘Re-turned’-birds. This time we’ll give the birds their wooden texture, and we’ll keep it all vector-based. We’ll create 2 types of wood textures: one wood grain texture which we will apply on the darker brown, and one wood texture that has these typical curvy lines, which we’ll apply on the lighter colors. Both will be turned into seamless patterns in no time, thanks to Illustrator’s Pattern Maker feature.”

I don’t do Illustrator. So, I will have a look at my other graphics programs – Acorn – Pixelmator and see what I can adapt from the tutorial.

Apple Insider

5. Apple Says iOS 8 Already on 46% of Devices, Nears iOS 7 Distribution Levels

IOS8 Adoption 20140921

"As noted on Apple’s developer support portal for iOS App Store metrics, iOS 8 has enjoyed rapid adoption since its launch on Sept. 17, with some 46 percent of devices now running the mobile operating system.

The quick uptake means the number of iPhones, iPads and iPod touch units running the outgoing iOS 7 has dropped to 49 percent of the whole as of Sept. 21. Earlier versions of iOS complete the tally with a 5 percent share.

Apple’s iOS 8 is tracking well compared with previous version releases, including last year’s iOS 7 launch that managed to garner a 52 percent Web share after one week of availability, according to ad network Chitika. The firm monitored iOS 7 adoption over the past year and reported that distribution hit up to 90 percent for iPhones and 85 percent for iPads in the days leading up to Apple’s iOS 8 reveal at WWDC in May.

Helped along by brisk iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales, it appears Cupertino’s latest mobile OS is being welcomed by users eager to take advantage of all-new features like the HealthKit and HomeKit frameworks, access to iCloud Drive, interactive notifications and app extensibility, among others. "

Eat your heart out Android. iOS8 automagically appeared on my iPad. Unfortunately my iPhone 4 won’t go there. – UPDATE – Well, it appeared, but my best approach will be to install it with iTunes – i.e., plug it into my computer. It is backing it up and working on installation now.

Apple Insider

6. Apple Customer Service Hit By Massive Traffic Spike One Day After iPhone 6 Launch

"While Apple’s customer service team was able to cope with expectedly high traffic on iPhone 6 launch day, the company was apparently overwhelmed by callers a day later, causing wait times to increase to over 20 minutes.


Source: StellaService

According to statistics provided to AppleInsider by customer service analytics firm StellaService, Apple’s customer care team answered calls in 1 minute and 9 seconds on launch day last Friday, but that number fell to more than 20 minutes by Saturday. An exact figure is unknown, as the analytics firm cuts off time-to-agent metrics at 20 minutes per call."

Thinking back to my last big ISP crash – 20 minutes seems a mere instance.


7. PatterNodes – Parametric graphic patterns


  • Extremely flexible and powerful node-based interface.
  • Real-time updated tiled preview of the result while adjusting parameters.
  • Lots of different configurable shapes, lines, curves and file import options to build your pattern with.
  • Easily paste in vector or bitmap graphics elements to use in your pattern.
  • Automates making seamless pattern tiles.
  • Nondestructive randomization functions to randomly scale, rotate, move or adjust the color of the individual elements of your patterns.
  • Export the result as bitmap (JPEG, PNG, TIFF) or vector (EPS, PDF) graphics, or just copy it and paste it into some other application.
  • Extensive manual, inline tool tip help and warnings messages, sample patterns and tutorial files to help you get started."

Speaking of graphics programs, this is a different approach.


8. 7+ Frustrating Things in iOS 8 and What To Do About Them

“OS 8 is a really great improvement for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with a lot of changes, some big and some small, but let’s face it, there are a few things that are a little annoying too. Whether you just got a brand spanking new iPhone 6 and moved your stuff over, or simply updated to iOS 8 on an existing device, there’s a few settings you may want to toggle or adjust to your liking. For those who updated, some of these settings you may have turned off yourself a long while ago, but after the iOS 8 update they automagically may have turned themselves on again.”

Let’s face it, change is a difficult and resistant process. With modern operating systems you often don’t have to go ‘there’ all at once.

WP Tavern

9. Is It Maintained? Web App Monitors the Activity of Open Source Projects

“If you’ve ever wondered how well an open source project is maintained, you now have a quick way to get an overview, without scouring the project’s issues queue or trying to infer something based on its release history. Is It Maintained? is a new web app that allows you to check the activity of open source projects by plugging in the URL of its public GitHub repository.”

Check a GitHub Project

It’s worth a check on GitHub to get the user/repository input right. For example Varying Vagrant Vagrants is ‘VARYING-VAGRANT-VAGRANTS/VVV’.

WP Tavern

10. A Vagrant Configuration for Contributing to WordPress Meta

"Up until recently, there was no easy way to set up a local development environment for contributing to WordPress Meta. This created a hindrance for new contributors looking to get involved, according to team member Ian Dunn.

Setting up local development environments to contribute to the Meta sites can be an obstacle for those without access to the private subversion repositories or a sandbox, especially at a meetup or WordCamp contributor day, where time is limited.

That’s why Dunn created WordPress Meta Environment, a vagrant configuration based on Varying Vagrant Vagrants. It allows you to quickly set up a development environment that is already provisioned with everything you need to contribute a patch to any of the supported meta sites. The setup includes all the open source code and sample data, similar to what you would find on the production site."

Wordpress meta environment

Currently, the WordPress Meta Environment supports the following sites, with more planned in the future:

Setup is very similar to the instructions for Getting Started with VVV, except you’ll clone the WordPress Meta Environment repository instead. Once the setup is finished, you can visit http://wp-meta.dev for a list of supported sites and server tools.

The configuration will continue to evolve and add support for other official WordPress sites. Dunn received some helpful feedback after attending WordCamp Seattle’s contributor day. As a result, the project’s road map includes a number of priorities for future refinements that will make it a better turnkey local development environment.