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    Archived pages: 40 . Archive date: 2012-12.

  • Title: Calcium | Thinking about how people use the web, playing around with code, that kind of thing
    Descriptive info: .. Calcium.. Thinking about how people use the web, playing around with code, that kind of thing.. Skip to content.. Home.. About.. Legends.. Services.. Font Looper online mapping tool for icon fonts.. Posted on.. Friday 5 Oct, 2012.. by.. Davey.. So I m a big fan of icon fonts in css, but they can be a little unwieldy to work with.. The biggest issue I ve faced with them is how impractical it can be to determine which character maps to which icon.. I ve seen some good examples of how you can re-map a font in a font-editing application to make life easier.. That s a good approach for a lot of projects, but I felt there needed to be a quick fix solution for those cases where it isn t practical to add another application to your work flow.. So I ve spent some time playing around with the File API and some borderline-hairy js and css, and I ve made.. Font Looper.. , a web project that aims to make it dead handy to see which character you need to insert to display the desired icon in a font.. So far it works two ways.. The first way is that you can map a font that s on your local machine.. The magic happens client side, so you don t need to upload anything, which would be annoying, and a potential legal issue if you re using a font with a restrictive license.. You can also provide the url of a font on a server, be it on localhost, a networked development server, or any location on the web.. Keep in mind though, this technically constitutes hotlinking, and a site might not serve you a font if it the referring url isn t part of that site.. So be nice.. Have a play with it and do make suggestions.. You can make suggestions in the comments here, of if you prefer, my twitter account for Calcium projects is.. @davey_calcium.. And if you want to play with the code on your own machine, it s up on github:.. github.. com/daveycakes/font-looper.. Posted in.. Css.. ,.. font-face.. |.. Leave a comment.. EMI Paint a Ridiculous Picture of How Irish People Consume Music and Use the Web.. Monday 19 Dec, 2011.. And They Want To Fuck With Our Shit.. EMI Ireland s digital department having a board meeting.. Unless things change soon, EMI and other multinational distributors are going to successfully bully our government into introducing unprecedented censorship to our internet access.. To date, the only comparable action was Eircom s voluntary blocking of the Pirate Bay, a result of an out-of-court settlement with distributors.. While the whole country, or even continent, is distracted by economic upheaval, a corporation is taking it s chance to change our laws to tell private citizens what they can and can t download, but only in the context that it affects them.. There are no morally defensible considerations of blocking content that s harmful to any society here.. It s just about protecting profits.. What They Want.. They want the government to block sites that are accused of allowing people to download films and music illegally.. There is no indication anywhere of what that constitutes.. Chances are, anything from hosting a copy of a movie on a server to providing a link to a torrent file will fall under the law.. That s a lot of assuming, all I have to go on is how utterly pathetic the Irish Government have been in relation to all things internet-based, and what would be the best possible solution for EMI, which is what they ll probably get.. Why is that Bad?.. Censorship is, and should be, a controversial subject every time it s rolled out.. In countries like China and Iran, people aren t allowed to view sites that promote civil liberties or female emancipation, or criticise the government.. In Ireland, if the new laws come in, you may not be allowed view a site that somebody once used to post a link to a download of Click, starring Adam Sandler.. Citizens free access to information will be subject to the protection of the interests of multinationals.. Their Argument.. They say that in the last 6 years, piracy has cost them €60,000,000 in CD sales.. Their Evidence.. They haven t provided any.. Now I m not thick, and I know there are people out there who will download music instead of buying a CD.. Some people will even do this exclusively.. Another part of not being thick is being aware of services like iTunes, Amazon, Play.. com.. People are buying CDs online from abroad because it s easier, and perhaps to an extent because shopping somewhere like HMV has the leisure appeal and personal touch of getting groceries in Aldi.. Also, people are buying downloadable albums instead of CDs because, let s face it, CDs are a bit shit in this day and age.. What s that? You want to me to pick up a physical object that stores one album on it and put it in something? And which Flintstones dinosaur gag plays this music?.. CDs are on the way out because they are now a sub-standard way to experience music, with.. flacs and.. mp4s offering better-than-CD music quality, unrivalled mobility and, vitally, not taking up half the shelves in your sitting room.. Davey you condescending bastard, EMI know all that!.. You re right, they do.. They act like they don t, because it suits them, but they do.. They know that we do things digitally now, so of course they ve altered their strategy to meet the demands of the modern consumer.. For a shining example of their great digital strategy, let s got to the wonderful,.. emimusic.. ie.. Please, open it in a new window, so you can read this at the same time, and we can enjoy it together.. Isn t it beautiful! Look at all the information, look at all the music, why, there are ten whole albums being promoted! Seriously though, here s a list of criticisms:.. There s almost no content, ten tiny bits of info, and three tiny news articles.. If you click on the covers of the ten albums, 7 of them will bring you to a 404 error page, because they weren t written properly.. Not only were they too fucking lazy to make proper links, they were too fucking lazy to see if they worked.. The copyright date hasn t been updated this year, see bottom left.. Hey EMI! I thought you were going to marry copyright some day.. Doesn t look like it.. Ha! Just noticed the huge Pink Floyd link is broken too.. Stupid cunts.. It looks like shit.. The Best Bit.. Now, under those ten albums you see a bunch of links, Buy.. Click on them there now.. Where do they take you? The Bosco one goes to the RTE shop.. The other nine ALL.. GO.. TO FUCKING.. ITUNES.. Surely EMI, so protective of CD sales, would be providing us with a list of brick and mortar stores where we can go and buy shiny discs packed full of about an hour of music? Are they not doing everything they can to protect CD sales? No of course they aren t.. If I wasn t such a diplomatic lad, I might say something like the following:.. EMI are a bunch of lazy, greedy bastards.. They can t be bothered to do digital right and they can t be bothered to drum up business for music retailers in the Republic who actually stock their wares.. Rather than get their shit together, they want to fuck with our internet instead.. They d rather just shut down all the filesharing services than even pretend to try to provide a better alternative.. They should not, and must not, be allowed to fuck with our shit.. Any government official who complies with their demands is either completely incompetent when it comes to the web, or hopelessly resigned to protecting the rights of corporations over the rights of citizens.. In either case, they aren t fit to do their job.. The original article that got me angry is here on the.. Irish Times.. Web Culture.. Adobe drop Flash for mobile browsers: What it really means.. Sunday 13 Nov, 2011.. So, during the week Adobe announced that they were discontinuing support of the mobile browser version of their Flash plugin.. Some people think it s a triumph for the open web.. Some think it s a vindication of Apple s former vilification of Flash.. Some people think it s the beginning of the end for Flash.. In my opinion, it s not really any of these things, though it is a sign of the times.. Here s why.. Flash Player in the mobile browser, and it s significance.. Flash in the mobile browser didn t happen.. It never became a de facto standard, like Flash in the desktop has, for rich web content.. You still don t get rich content in mobile browsers, by most people s standards of what that means.. A video is just a video, a song is just a song.. Rich content means something more like an application, running as part of a website.. There are some pretty cool sites out there than run on smartphones and do fit that description, but visually or audibly, there s nothing in them that couldn t be displayed in a normal web page, once you leave aside some motion effects and the asynchronous loading of content.. Flash in the mobile browser never took off.. Is it really because it was just rubbish? Is that the standard of Adobe s output to date?.. Nobody developed flash for mobile browsers, because you d automatically be splitting the mobile audience in two.. Certainly, there were other considerations.. Optimisation requirements would be strict, and even some of the mobile browsers that supported Flash wouldn t automatically load flash content, opting instead to give you a place-holder button to play the flash.. Those are two of a list of things you d have to take seriously.. In practice though, it never came to addressing such issues, because half the audience just wasn t there.. If you look at some.. mobile web stats.. you ll see that these days, iOS and Android, to name the two main smartphone players, are about neck and neck.. That s after Android spending quite some time catching up.. If you developed something in Flash for mobile browsers, maybe 40% of your intended audience would actually see it.. For that reason, nobody was using it.. Adobe weren t seeing a return on their investment in mobile browsers.. This is why I say that mobile browser Flash never really happened, and it s also why the plugin couldn t really be considered a pillar of Flash in general.. The plugin for mobile browsers is a failed venture, and it never became more than an appendix of the Flash project.. From a technical perspective, there s nothing to say they can t develop it more.. Commercially though, it s pissing in the wind.. Steve Jobs vs Flash.. Winning doesn t make you right.. In the tech press, there have been some frankly bizarre headlines about how the demise of the plugin has vindicated Steve Jobs opinion of it.. Wired had a headline, Jobs Was Right: Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash, Backs HTML5.. The problem with this is that it assumes that Adobe dropping the plugin proves that the opinions the late CEO gave on it were all correct, and that s why it s untenable.. I ve already shown why that isn t the case.. Secondly, it suggests that Adobe weren t supporting open standards before now.. That s completely wrong.. For years Adobe have produced the definitive wysiwyg html editor, Dreamweaver.. For most professional coders, it s definitively horrendous, but that s the problem with wysiwygs.. In reality, Adobe have been a member of the W3C since 1994.. It s THE organisation that promotes open standards for the web.. Check the.. list of member organisations.. While you re there, look for Apple.. Or Google.. Or Microsoft.. Let me save you time.. They aren t there.. Safe to assume, Adobe are familiar with web standards.. They ve also been developing a new application, Edge, for a while, which is pitched as the Html5 + Javascript + Css equivalent of Flash.. The Guardian had a more telling headline: Adobe kills mobile Flash, giving Steve Jobs the last laugh.. This wasn t a vindication, it was a victory.. Mobile Flash didn t die because it failed to evolve, it died because Apple refused to allow it on their platform.. Sure, there was lots of PR spin, pointing out flaws in Flash, some real, some imagined, some exaggerated.. But  ...   of a month, but I m not going to assume they do it on 5 different browsers.. New Figure: 120,481 (but it s using a divisor that I made up, it could be higher or lower).. How do we chop this down then, while we re spoiling all the fun? Well first of all, this is visits to twitter.. It s not visits to the login page.. So we re talking about a figure for readers as well as active tweeters.. So what s the ratio? This is pretty tricky.. I d say of all the people I know who would read somebody s tweets, maybe one in four would have a twitter account.. This might be generous, I work in the web industry.. But that doesn t mean the total is one quarter of the figure above.. According to twitter themselves, 78% of tweets are made through their website, not a client or sms.. 22% of the tweets involve not using the site, but do these people never use the site? This introduces a variable that s very hard to guess.. So I m not going to.. If none of the client tweeters use the site, we could generously do the sums this way:.. (120481/4)*1.. 2 = 36,144.. If half of them do, it s a bit lower:.. 1 = 33,132.. I think this one is more realistic.. So, using educated guesses, pure opinion and spurious analysis, I reckon:.. but don t take my word for it.. You can do your own sums with this form, add the values that you estimate yourself.. Enter your own figures and the estimate will appear beneath the form.. Total Visitors.. (To twitter.. com, from Ireland, according to Google).. Unique Cookies.. (Average number of cookies, per user per month).. Percentage of Tweeters.. (Percentage of visitors to the site who actually tweet).. Estimate:.. 000.. Irish People Tweet Regularly.. ((Total Visitors) / (Unique cookies)) x Percentage of Tweeters.. I d be interested to hear what values other people would use, so if you want to add your estimate to the mix, use the comments section for that.. Uncategorized.. Chrome drops h.. 264, provokes a storm in a teacup.. Friday 14 Jan, 2011.. This week Google have announced that Chrome will stop supporting h.. 264 in the video tag.. This has provoked a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, wholly out of proportion with what it means for the web.. It doesn t upset me for these reasons.. It s good for the web.. One of the best things brought about by the W3C is the creation of an even playing field.. In the absence of a standardised video codec, Google bought and open-sourced WebM.. It s free to use forever, for software developers, web designers and the general public.. It gets us one closer to being able to say, this is a web video.. While some have drawn attention to how low the royalties will be for h.. 264 when they come into effect initially, there are two things to take into account.. Firstly, a couple of cent per download is fine if you make much more from each software license, for example, but what if you want to avail of the increasingly popular freemium model.. If one in a hundred users is buying a paid-for version of my software, they have to cover the costs of one hundred royalty payments.. Another problem with h.. 264 is how the licensing costs appear to be the same worldwide, and so is disproportionately expensive to those in the developing world.. The cost of a days production in Ireland and the cost of a days production in India are at odds, so the licensing cost of h.. 264 would punish an Indian developer much more.. WebM, on the other hand, is free to both, and so creates an environment for innovation and competition on a level playing field, globally.. 2.. The detrimental effects have been grossly over-stated by an insular tech community, hooked on iOS.. It doesn t matter how nice they are, iOS devices are not the sum total of internet-enabled devices, neither are they the future of the internet.. In fact, they account for a tiny fraction of web use.. Let s use.. StatCounter.. s numbers, to illustrate.. If 4.. 1% of web traffic is on a mobile device, 23.. 57% of mobile web traffic is on iOS devices, what percentage of trafic happens on hardware made by somebody who refuses to support WebM? Less than 1%.. In the scale of things: Not.. That.. Important.. Don t forget, this is the world-wide web we re talking about, not the EU-wide web, not the US-wide web.. The real global web community doesn t consist entirely of well-paid early adopters who run out and buy the best gadgets available.. That s the tech writing community, and too many of them seem to believe that an injury to iOS users is an injury to all.. It really isn t.. In fact, it s what they signed up for.. Also, Apple could implement WebM tomorrow if they wanted to.. And eventually, it looks like they ll have to, when the dust settles.. 3.. The overwhelming majority of good browsers support WebM.. There are a number of good browsers out there, the makers of which have committed to WebM already.. The 3 most prominent of these, Firefox, Chrome and Opera, are the browser for 47% of web traffic.. Safari has a bit under 5%, and the rest is almost entirely taken up by Internet Explorer.. I ll tell you right now, the day the development community takes Internet Explorer seriously as the browser that sets the standard is the day I decide I d rather be milking cows.. That put to one side, the speed of upgrading among the IE-using community is slow.. Really slow.. It s taken over 2 years for IE8 to be used by 2/3 of IE users.. 2/9 are still on IE7, and 1/9 are still on IE6.. So good luck waiting for h.. 264 to become a de facto standard for html5 video.. That Said.. Most video content creators would benefit from h.. 264 being the standard, rather than WebM, because the former is so well-supported in video applications.. You could output nice h.. 264 video in your editing program, ready for the web.. WebM isn t at that stage yet.. But then, neither is the web.. People are lamenting the death of a standard that never was.. If you d like h.. 264 to be the standard, don t ask Google to make it happen, it s actually beyond their control.. What you should do is start lobbying Apple, Microsoft and other owners of MPEG-LA, who control h.. 264, and ask them to make their codec free forever, just like Google did with WebM.. They can afford it.. Chrome.. Google.. h.. 264.. WebM.. Safari breaks a custom carousel, then Cycle breaks on IE when it s used as a replacement solution.. Sunday 9 Jan, 2011.. A project required a navigation-controlled carousel, and I found a nice working solution using jQuery.. Safari had problems with it in a bizarre way, so I had to use the Cycle plug-in instead.. IE had problems with that, so I had to use both solutions, in a browser-detecting conditional statement.. The goal is to have a carousel containing five elements, with the elements being switched using a control outside of the carousel.. They are to scroll from left to right, depending on which link is selected.. The quickest way for a developer to make this happen would be to use something like.. jQuery Cycle.. , it s a great plug-in which does some really nice things, and it s highly configurable.. We ve used it on a lot of projects.. However, in the interest of having a smaller footprint, I thought I d see if I could quickly come up with something small that does the same job, as there was very little required of the feature in it s execution.. The css set up all the slides (class= slide ) to be aligned horizontally inside #slides which is set in css to be the exact width of all 5 slides.. This is contained inside #slides-outer, which has overflow:hidden, and the width of just one slide.. #slides-outer{ height:330px; width: 690px; overflow: hidden; } #slides{ position: relative; height:330px; width: 3450px; }.. slide{ width: 690px; float:left; height: 200px; position:relative; }.. The javascript (jQuery having been loaded), recognises the rel value of each link in the nav, these are set in html, and when each one is clicked, it changes the right value of #slides, which has position:relative, and jQuery is used to animate the change.. In psuedo-code it goes as, when a controlling link is clicked, get the number assigned to rel, multiply it by the width of a slide, and change the right value of #slides, moving the whole lot left by the appropriate amount of pixels :.. var psxoutercontainer = "#slides-outer"; var psxcontainer = "#slides"; var psxconwidth = $(psxoutercontainer).. width(); $('#nav a').. click( function(){ var psxpage = parseInt($(this).. attr('rel') - 1,10); var psxposition = (psxconwidth * psxpage); $(psxcontainer).. animate({'right' : + psxposition + 'px'}); return false; } );.. Html:.. div id="nav" ul li a href="#" rel="1" Link /a /li li a href="#" rel="2" Link /a /li li a href="#" rel="3" Link /a /li li a href="#" rel="4" Link /a /li li a href="#" rel="5" Link /a /li /ul /div div id="slides-outer" div id="slides" div class="slide" [content] /div div class="slide" [content] /div div class="slide" [content] /div div class="slide" [content] /div /div /div.. I tested it out and it was working well, until I checked it in Safari on a Mac.. And it worked.. Then a colleague told me that in Safari on their Mac, it didn t.. I checked on several different machines, and found that on some computers with the exact same version of Safari, on the exact same version of OS X, it would work on one and not the other.. Incredibly frustrating, but there was no obvious way to fix it.. Lots of googling turned up no solutions to the problem.. So I swallowed my pride and commented out my code, instead pulling in the aforementioned jQuery Cycle, I had to change the width of #slides to 750px (why not 690px? because it didn t want to happen that way.. ) and used the following code:.. $('#slides').. cycle({ fx: 'scrollLeft', timeout: 0, speed: 500, pager: '#nav', cleartype: 0, easingIn: 'easeOutBounce', easingOut: 'easeInBack', pagerAnchorBuilder: function(idx, slide) { // return selector string for existing anchor return '#nav li:eq(' + idx + ') a'; } });.. So that had it working fine in everything, and I could be happy again.. Except that IE was getting jealous of all the attention Safari was getting, so it decided that it didn t want to play nice with Cycle.. There was a gradient background behind the slides, and for whatever reason, IE was displaying a flat colour behind the slides, and it looked awful.. A bit of googling revealed that this was because of the Cleartype option being set in Cycle.. Helpfully, they have a parameter for disabling this built into their plug-in, so I used that as part of the javascript.. It can be seen above (cleartype: 0).. That fixed the background problem, but caused a new problem, the text was now horribly pixelated in IE.. So in this instance, Cycle wouldn t do on IE, not before I tried a bunch of different hacks or after.. Then I thought, well, if I have something that works for each of these weird cases, I can put them in a conditional statement, detecting Safari, or not.. So the final javascript looked like this:.. if($.. browser.. safari){ $('#slides').. css('width','750px'); $('#slides').. cycle({ fx: 'scrollLeft', timeout: 0, speed: 500, pager: '#nav', cleartype: 0, easingIn: 'easeOutBounce', easingOut: 'easeInBack', pagerAnchorBuilder: function(idx, slide) { // return selector string for existing anchor return '#nav li:eq(' + idx + ') a'; } }); }else{ var psxoutercontainer = "#slides-outer"; var psxcontainer = "#slides"; var psxconwidth = $(psxoutercontainer).. animate({'right' : + psxposition + 'px'}); return false; } ); }.. Finally, I had good-looking solution that worked perfectly in every browser worth worrying about.. It was a uniquely weird situation, and I m putting it up here in case it happens anyone else, so their web searches may be more fruitful than mine.. In case anyone is wondering, the original code workied fine on Chrome, so it wasn t anything to do with Webkit, as far as I can tell.. I never found out what was causing the highly unusual browser behaviour in Safari.. Search for:.. Recent Posts.. Recent Comments.. Davey on.. don.. on.. Archives.. October 2012.. December 2011.. November 2011.. February 2011.. January 2011.. Categories.. Meta.. Log in.. Entries.. RSS.. Comments.. WordPress.. org.. Calcium.. Proudly powered by WordPress..

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  • Title: About | Calcium
    Descriptive info: I m a ux developer who has worked in agencies and corporations, and currently I work as a research assistant in a fairly specialised CS discipline, where it s my job to make things easy to use.. I m starting this blog to record my experiences and elaborate on my ideas, where they relate to my trade.. I ll probably use it to show readers (should they manifest themselves) related  ...   code, the ratio depends on what pops up.. There are two reasons for this, one is to make myself sit down and think about what s involved in a way the work alone doesn t trigger, to make me better at my job.. The second reason is that I hope to discover and create information that others like me find useful, eventually building into a good chunk of stuff worth reading..

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  • Title: Legends | Calcium
    Descriptive info: People and sites that have made my life easier, as far as it involves websites.. Stack Overflow.. the best source of code help I ve ever seen, really nice site, works well.. The longer you ve been coding, the less likely it is that you haven t seen this site already.. BADmd.. commandlinefu.. , showed how to pull up all email passwords stored in Plesk, using the command line.. Saves a lot of messing..

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  • Title: Services | Calcium
    Descriptive info: Coming soon.. Comments are closed..

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  • Title: Font Looper – online mapping tool for icon fonts | Calcium
    Descriptive info: This entry was posted in.. Bookmark the.. permalink..

    Original link path: /blog/2012/10/05/font-looper-online-mapping-tool-for-icon-fonts/
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  • Title: Davey | Calcium
    Descriptive info: Author Archives:.. The biggest issue I ve faced with them is how impractical it can be to determine which character maps to which.. Continue reading.. And They Want To Fuck With Our Shit Unless things change soon, EMI and other multinational distributors are going to successfully bully our government into introducing  ...   comparable action was Eircom s.. Some think it s a vindication of Apple s former vilification of.. W3C_Validator = W3C Markup Validation Service W3C-checklink =.. I recently saw an estimate as high as 150,000.. I don t agree with.. It doesn t upset me.. IE had problems with that, so I..

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  • Title: Css | Calcium
    Descriptive info: Category Archives:..

    Original link path: /blog/category/css-2/
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  • Title: font-face | Calcium
    Original link path: /blog/category/css-2/font-face/
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  • Title: EMI Paint a Ridiculous Picture of How Irish People Consume Music and Use the Web | Calcium
    Descriptive info: Font Looper online mapping tool for icon fonts..

    Original link path: /blog/2011/12/19/emi-paint-a-ridiculous-picture-of-how-irish-people-consume-music-and-use-the-web/
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  • Title: Web Culture | Calcium
    Original link path: /blog/category/web-culture/
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  • Title: Adobe drop Flash for mobile browsers: What it really means | Calcium
    Descriptive info: EMI Paint a Ridiculous Picture of How Irish People Consume Music and Use the Web.. and tagged..

    Original link path: /blog/2011/11/13/adobe-drop-flash-for-mobile-browsers-what-it-really-means/
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