All posts tagged ‘Humor’

File Under: Browsers, Humor, Visual Design

It’s the End of the ‘Blink’ Tag as We Know It

The end is nigh. Image: Almita Ayon/Flickr.

Mozilla developers are currently debating how to drop support for the much-maligned <blink> tag.

With Opera moving to Google’s new Blink rendering engine, which, despite the name, does not support the blink tag, Mozilla finds itself in the strange position of having the only rendering engine that does in fact parse and display blinking text like it’s 1996.

Originally conceived (and implemented) as a drunken joke, blinking text isn’t just bad usability — usability guru Jakob Nielsen famously called <blink>simply evil” — it can potentially induce seizures. Even if you aren’t prone to seizures, blinking text is downright annoying.

But while few may mourn the passing of the <blink> scourge, really, where would we be without it? Despite never being part of any HTML specification the blink tag managed to take the early web by storm, driven especially by the design prowess of early Geocities homepage creators.

Indeed without <blink> would there have been a Geocities? And without Geocities would there have been a MySpace? And without MySpace would there have been, well, let’s stop there.

Sadly, the end of the blink tag will not mean the end of blinking text on the web. It will ruin this fabulous Twitter Bootstrap theme we’ve had our eye on, but there are still plenty ways to get text to blink — CSS and JavaScript are both, regrettably, up to the task.

So far there’s been little protest about removing <blink> support from Firefox. There’s been some debate as to where or not the CSS 2.1 text-decoration: blink; rule should go with it (yes!), but the tag itself is most likely headed for the dustbin of web history.

File Under: Humor, JavaScript

What if Hemingway Wrote JavaScript?

Papa don’t code. Image: Wikimedia.

It’s unlikely Ernest Hemingway would have thought much of programming. Staring at a screen all day hammering out Perl doesn’t seem like something Papa would have enjoyed. A typewriter in the Cuban sun was more Hemingway’s bag.

But what would it have looked like if Hemingway had cracked open Vim and written a few web apps? Angus Croll, an engineer at Twitter, has one answer in a great post that looks at how some famous writers might have written code. Here’s Croll’s take on how Hemingway might have written JavaScript:

Code reduced to its essentials with no word or variable wasted. It’s not fancy; maybe it’s even a little pedantic — but that’s the beauty of Hemingway’s writing. No need for elaborate logic or clever variable names. It’s plain and it’s clear and it does what it has to — and nothing more.

The whole post is funny and well worth a read, particularly if you happen to have come to programming from a background in liberal arts. Other authors Croll covers include Shakespeare, Dickens, Bolaño and my personal favorite, surrealist Andre Breton. Also be sure to check out Croll’s JavaScript blog.

File Under: Humor

Jokes for Nerds: HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS

4... 3... 2... 1...

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless proliferation of responsive grids, adaptive images, HTML boilerplates, CSS frameworks and JavaScript whirligigs then what you need is the HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS.

To install HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS just “attackclone the grit repo pushmerge, then rubygem the lymphnode js shawarma module — and presto!”

If you’re wondering what H9RBS.js actually is, well, you can abandon any hopes of one day being hip. But if you must know, H9RBS.js is a “flexible, dependency-free, lightweight, device-agnostic, modular, baked-in, component framework MVC library shoelacestrap to help you kickstart your responsive CSS-based app architecture backbone kitchensink tweetybirds.”

The hilarity continues on the official HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS website, and there’s a GitHub repo of course. Check out the issues page (“Need unrealistic micro-benchmarks”).

You can read a bit about what inspired developer Louis Lazaris’ pitch-perfect web development parody over at his site, Impressive Webs.

File Under: Humor, JavaScript

There’s Nostalgia in the Waters of Lake.js

Lake.js: It's lakes all the way down. Image: Lake.js

Remember when the best way to align table cells was with a one-pixel gif? For that matter, remember tables?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far the web has come in the last decade, which is why we like the otherwise somewhat useless Lake.js. Lake.js is a JQuery plugin that creates a shimmering reflection of an image, an effect that dates from the days of Geocities — back when the web was nothing but one pixel gifs and under construction banners.

The appeal of Lake.js isn’t just about nostalgia though, it’s also a nice reminder that the web no longer needs to rely on terrible Java applets (the main source of cheesy lake reflections in the early days), or any other proprietary technologies to build shimmering lake effects. Today web standards like HTML, CSS and JavaScript can pull off not just lakes made of <canvas>, but things that were, until very recently, almost inconceivable.

Sure some of the web’s most common tools might still be hacks (CSS floats anyone?), but at least when we want cheesy rippling water we don’t have to download a 120 MB “applet” anymore.

Also, the first person to port Lake.js to pure CSS… please e-mail us when you’re done.

File Under: Humor

Samuel L. Ipsum: Pulp Fiction Placeholder Text

Really you should be designing for the content, a practice that pretty much precludes the use of placeholder text. That said, our new rule is, if you’re going to use placeholder text, use Slipsum — Samuel L. Ipsum (probably NSFW).

Sure it defeats the purpose of Lorem Ipsom entirely by being distractingly, hilariously readable, but sometimes when you’re slogging through a boring project you need a little humor.

Slipsum comes in two varieties, regular, NSFW Pulp Fiction quotes and Lite quotes without the swearing.

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