On August 19th this year I returned to work after being on maternity leave for over a year.
It didn’t feel weird. I think I was lucky: I knew my team was looking forward to my return; I knew I’d have plenty of things to catch up on but I also knew the ropes. Things change in one year, but a lot of things stay the same.
My talk focused on the work that we’ve been doing at Canonical in the process of retrofitting our main site, ubuntu.com, to be responsive. We thought it would be cool to share our process, as we had a feeling that, like us, many designers and developers don’t have the luxury of being able to start responsive projects from scratch.
Before I get to my main point, I must mention (once again) the phenomenal quality of the hand-picked articles that are featured on the Give Me Something To Read website, the source of the piece I will be referring to in the following lines.
The article “The Architect Has No Clothes“, by Michael Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros, explores why modern architecture feels so cold and inhospitable and how that might be easily explained by a phenomenon called “architectural myopia”. The authors describe how this consequence likely has its causes in how architecture is taught and how the methodologies used in the classroom deprive future architectures from any empathy with those who will in the future live and use their creations.
It’s not my goal to provide a summary, as the article does a much better job at explaining this fascinating theory. But I started thinking about whether it would be fair to conclude us web designers might sometimes suffer from a similar malady. I also found it interesting that this profession I hear mentioned so many times as so established and as the ideal model to follow is, like our own, still finding its own ways.
I wanted to call your attention to The Pastry Box Project, which started this year on 1st January, and aims at collecting thoughts from 30 individuals that are “influential in their field”, one thought per day — I can say I’m happy to have been asked to participate (and do visit my thought’s page).
After a restless start to the year, I finally had time and head to sit down and read through the first few weeks of thoughts. Some are longer than others, but invariably there is something alluring about diving in so quickly and for such brief a moment into someone else’s mind.
Sitting right at the top of my CSS wishlist was always the implementation of the calc() function. With it now being supported by not only Firefox 4 but Internet Explorer 9, I think it’s time for a quick overview on how useful calc() can be and why it would be great to see more usage of it.
CSS frameworks have a tendency to be dismissed by many CSS authors; code bloat and non-semantic class names are usually at the top of the list of reasons why. Even without ever using one, I shared the same opinion, but that might have changed after trying a few of them out while doing some research recently…
I’ve started using LESS a few months ago on a few projects. LESS allows you to extend the way you write CSS, letting you use variables, nested selectors, operations and mixins. It sounds great — and it is great — but there are a few things that can make it work against you. These are some of my thoughts on LESS.