Go to the Yahoo Mail website on your iPad and you’ll see the new, fully juiced-up HTML5 version instead of the older mobile version.
Yahoo mail the world’s largest webmail site — it has over 275 million users — but the site lags behind second-runner-up Gmail when it comes to innovation with HTML5 on the iPad and other touchy-swipey browsing devices.
Still, the new Yahoo Mail looks pretty slick. Scrollable photo previews now appear inside e-mail messages, and it supports offline local cache so you can keep working even when you’re out of range.
The nascent Web Open Font Format (WOFF) is getting a boost this week thanks to some new initiatives being kicked off by the W3C, the web’s governing body.
The W3C recently created a working group to build a WOFF into a web standard, and that group will be holding its first face-to-face meeting at the TypeCon 2010 conference taking place this week in Los Angeles.
Representatives from the major browser vendors, several font foundries and web services providers will be in attendance. Also, a dozen or so select individuals will be participating in a series of presentations and panel discussions about WOFF throughout the conference. All the design industry folks in attendance will get a peek at the future of high-quality typography on the web. There are scores of topics on the program, but this year, WOFF is getting top billing.
The Web Fonts working group was formed earlier this year at the W3C, and the group has already released the first working draft of the specification that will eventually lead to WOFF becoming a recommended web standard.
WOFF works just like OpenType and TrueType — you use the @font-face CSS property to drop the fonts in — but the font data is compressed, so the files download faster, and you can include more fonts in your designs without worrying as much about payload bloat.
The W3C adds this bit: “The WOFF format is not expected to replace other formats such as TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format or SVG fonts, but provides an alternative solution for use cases where these formats may be less performant, or where licensing considerations make their use less acceptable.”
Support for WOFF is already strong — Google, Mozilla, Apple, Opera and Microsoft browsers either ship with or are building support, and the fast-moving foundries are releasing WOFF fonts — so why is the W3C’s involvement a big deal when the open source format is enjoying such success?
Standardization by the W3C is the best path to true interoperability. It will keep all the parties on the same page when it comes to things like accessibility, cross-browser compatibility, internationalization and search engine indexing. How much metadata to include and how it is handled are also big issues. Plus, fonts have taken an astonishingly long time to arrive on the web because of red tape around licensing, and a collaborative process for developing licensing infrastructures will go a long way toward convincing some of the more conservative type designers to make web-friendly versions of their creations.
The standard will take years to complete (the process is very slow — we’re guessing 2012 or so), and until then, we’ll see designers, developers and innovative service providers like Typekit and Google continue to feed the interest in fancy web fonts. Those not on the bleeding edge may be stuck in the boring world of “web safe” fonts for a while, but at least the future is bright.
If you’ve been building websites for a while, chances are you have some boilerplate code you use to jump-start a new site — perhaps some CSS resets, a basic HTML structure, and so on. You tweak and refine your boilerplate as standards evolve.
One of the best ways to improve your basic code is to see how other people do the same thing. We recently stumbled across HTML5 Reset, a set of templates and code that makes a great starting point for a sites that will be using HTML5 and CSS 3.
As the HTML5 Reset authors note, the code is by no means an “end-all and beat-all” set of templates. In fact, the code may not work for your project at all, but even you don’t end up using it as-is, you may be able to glean some good ideas from it.
For example, because I use Sass for developing stylesheets, raw CSS isn’t all that useful for my projects. However, HTML5 Reset has a very nifty class for clearing floats without extra markup, so I ended up incorporating that element into my own Sass-based boilerplate code. Take what’s useful and leave the rest.
There are a couple versions of HTML5 Reset — the “Kitchen Sink” version that includes nearly everything and has copious comments and a “Bare Bones” version that’s stripped down to just the basics. I recommend checking out the former unless you’ve decided to commit to HTML5 Reset. It’s always easier to start off by removing things you don’t need than trying to figure out what you need to add.
If you’re curious, head over to the HTML5 Reset site to learn more. HTML5 Reset is available under the BSD license. If you see bugs or have suggestions on how to improve HTML5 Reset, be sure to let the authors know.
There are two sides to every story, but photos only contain a single image. The dual-imaged diptychs from this week’s Shooting Challenge show us perspectives otherwise lost…along with a very strange trend/phenomenon. Can you spot it in the results? More »
Apple has a new toy. It’s a materials company called Liquidmetal, and everybody’s talking! Problem is, nobody seems too sure what they’re talking about. So, Liquidmetal: What is this stuff? And what does Apple want with it? More »
It runs in the browser, it doesn’t use Flash and it makes a whole lot of bleepy noises.
SamplePlayer, created by electronic musician and web programmer Almer Thie, is a musical keyboard, sequencer and signal processor embedded in an web app. To power SamplePlayer, Thie utilizes the experimental Audio API in Firefox — he’s running a special build of Firefox with support for the Audio API rolled into it, so most of us will have to settle for the video above.
All the sliders are jQuery creations. Plus — those duck noises? Awesome.