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The Snowballing of Practice

I really want to be a better musician. Someday, I will be. I know what it takes: practice.

I want to get really good. I want people to hear me play and say to themselves "hey that guy really knows how to play." I want to be able to sit down with other musicians and make things happen. I want to understand music in a lot deeper way than I do now. That's going to take a boatload of practice.

Say the day comes I'm really motivated about this. My life has morphed such that this is my top priority. I'm gonna get good at this. I'm gonna do whatever it takes.

There is a weird barrier in my way. I can't practice eight hours a day. I'm not good enough to practice eight hours a day.


Accelerated Mobile Pages Project

New Google thing, aimed at unsucking the "mobile" web:

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an initiative to improve the mobile web and enhance the distribution ecosystem. If content is fast, flexible and beautiful, including compelling and effective ads, we can preserve the open web publishing model as well as the revenue streams so important to the sustainability of quality publishing.


GreenSock MorphSVGPlugin  

Greensock really knocked it out of the park with this one. You know shape morphing? It's a cool effect with loads of uses ranging from practical to artistic. SMIL can do it, but the future of that is in jeopardy. Other JavaScript libraries can do it, but they are bound by the same limitation as SMIL: they need to have the same number of points. This new Greensock plugin isn't bound by that, meaning you could morph an apple into the word apple (!).

Beyond that, you can control what they call the shapeIndex, which controls which point on the previous shape moves to which point on the new shape, which has drastic impact on the way the animation plays out, so you can make it smooth and intuitive rather than awkward and forced. Not to mention that can convert your typically-non-morphable shapes into a morphable shape for you.

They have a collection of examples to check out. You have to be a member of Club GreenSock to use it in production, but you can play with it for free on CodePen. I have a simple template to get you started.

A List Apart Live Panel: The State of Front End Dev  

I'm going to be moderating an online panel (Google Hangouts) on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 with Jina Bolton, Una Kravets, Rebecca Murphey, and Marco Rogers all about front end stuff. We held a little planning and prep session for it the other night and a lot of interesting discussion was had, so I bet y'all will enjoy it.

Creating a CSS Sliding Background Effect

The "trick" of sliding backgrounds in CSS is not new. In fact, the first time I came across it might have been a couple of years ago on the Valio Con site (the current design doesn't have it anymore). I happened to notice it on a couple of new sites I visited today, however, and thought it would be worth sharing.


Sponsor: An Event Apart  

I love An Event Apart conferences, and I bet you would too.

It's where ideas like responsive design and mobile first were launched, and where this year's attendees are already learning how grid layout, CSS shapes, and other advanced techniques will fundamentally change…well, everything.

San Francisco is coming up November 2-4. If you can't make that, they just released the 2016 schedule with cities all over the U.S., including a first-time visit to Nashville and an extra-special Orlando event at Disney.

I have a sneaking suspicion you'll be seeing a bit more of Dave Rupert and I doing things like this.

Project Comet  

Speaking of in-development software targeted at screen design. Also check out the videos in Khoi Vinh's post. The repeat grid demo is pretty compelling.

Defining and Dealing with Technical Debt

We're all familiar with debt, right? It's that concept where an amount is owed from one person (the borrower) to another (the lender). We often use it to describe financial situations. For example, I borrow money from a bank. I now have debt with them in the amount of how much money they lent me (plus interest!) and expect me to repay it.

Debt isn't always about money. In fact, we run into it as front-end developers all the time and may not even know it. We call this term technical debt and will be exploring what that means in this post.


#141: Getting the Images and Numbers for Responsive Images

You know about responsive images. It's about the image syntax in HTML. If you give it the right information in the right syntax, you can get the browser to download just exactly the right image it needs, without giving it too much or too little image data. It's fantastic for performance.

You know that to get the most out of responsive images you should polyfill it with Picturefill. You download it, you include it on your page.

You have …

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