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Tagged “howto”

Teabag on a spoon technique

At work today I mentioned Mr Scruff’s tip for quick tea-making. My teammates laughed and said they felt like they were on an episode of Would I lie to you? I had to prove I wasn’t talking rubbish and went looking for the tip online. It has all but disappeared from the web but thanks to Wayback Machine I was able to find a cache of the page from 2007.

So here is the tea-making tip, listed in full for posteri-tea! (Sorry…)

How I use as my JAMstack CMS

Here are my quick links and tips for creating a markdown-file-based blog post using only and no CMS. I’ve put these on this site so that they’re on the web therefore I can access them wherever I am.

Why do I create posts this way? Because I’ve tried (now Tina) and Netlify CMS and I no longer have the time or inclination to maintain their dependencies, load their JavaScript or make ongoing updates as they evolve. I’ve also found them a little flaky. So instead let’s see how this lo-fi approach works.

This post is mainly for my own reference but who knows, maybe it’ll be useful to someone else too.

Saving CSS changes in DevTools without leaving the browser

Scott Jehl recently tweeted:

Browser devtools have made redesigning a site such a pleasure. I love writing and adjusting a CSS file right in the sources panel and seeing design changes happen as I type, and saving it back to the file. (…) Designing against live HTML allows happy accidents and discoveries to happen that I wouldn't think of in an unconstrained design mockup

I feel very late to the party here. I tend to tinker in the DevTools Element Styles panel rather than save changes. So, inspired by Scott, I’ve just tried this out on my personal website. Here’s what I did.

Collected web accessibility guidelines, tips and tests

At work, I’m sometimes asked accessibility questions or to provide guidelines. I’m with Anna Cook in considering myself an accessibility advocate rather than an expert however I have picked up lots of tips and knowledge over many years of developing websites. So I thought it’d be useful to gather some general web accessibility tips and tests in one place as a useful reference.

Caveats and notes:

  1. this is a living document which I’ll expand over time;
  2. I’m standing on the shoulders of real experts and I list my references at the foot of the article; and
  3. if I’ve got anything wrong, please let me know!

How I subset web fonts

On my personal website I currently use three web fonts from the Source Sans 3 group: regular, italic and semibold. I self-host my fonts because that’s a good practice. Additionally I use a variety of special characters to add some typographic life to the text.

When self-hosting it’s important from a performance perspective to minimise the weight of the font files your visitors must download. To achieve this I subset my fonts so as to include only the characters my pages use but no more. Here’s how I do it.

How to hide elements on a web page

In order to code modern component designs we often need to hide then reveal elements. At other times we want to provide content to one type of user but hide it from another because it’s not relevant to their mode of browsing. In all cases accessibility should be front and centre in our thoughts. Here’s my approach, heavily inspired by Scott O’Hara’s definitive guide Inclusively Hidden.

How to manage JavaScript dependencies

Managing JavaScript dependencies is about as much fun as a poke in the eye. However even if—like me—you prefer to keep things lean and dependency-free as far as possible, it’s something you’re going to need to do either in large work projects or as your personal side-project grows. In this post I tackle it head-on to reduce the problem to some simple concepts and practical techniques.

$$ in the DevTools Console

I learned something new today when developing in the Firefox Dev Tools console (although this applies to Chrome too)—something which was really useful and which I thought I’d share.

Basically, type $$('selector') into the console (replacing selector as desired) and it’ll give you back all matching elements on the page.

Definitive web font @font-face syntax

These days, whenever I’m about to use a web font on a new site I generally find myself running a google search for the latest “definitive @font-face syntax” that covers all modern browser/device needs.

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