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Making an Audio Waveform Visualizer with Vanilla JavaScript

As a UI designer, I’m constantly reminded of the value of knowing how to code. I pride myself on thinking of the developers on my team while designing user interfaces. But sometimes, I step on a technical landmine.

A few years ago, as the design director of wsj.com, I was helping to re-design the Wall Street Journal’s podcast directory. One of the designers on the project was working on the podcast player, and I came upon Megaphone’s embedded player.… Read article

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When to Use SVG vs. When to Use Canvas

SVG and canvas are both technologies that can draw stuff in web browsers, so they are worth comparing and understanding when one is more suitable than the other. Even a light understanding of them makes the choice of choosing one over the other pretty clear.

  • A little flat-color icon? That's clearly SVG territory.
  • An interactive console-like game? That's clearly canvas territory.

I know we didn't cover why yet, but I hope that will become clear as we dig into it.… Read article

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scrapestack: An API for Scraping Sites

Not every site has an API to access data from it. Most don't, in fact. If you need to pull that data, one approach is to "scrape" it. That is, load the page in web browser (that you automate), find what you are looking for in the DOM, and take it.

You can do this yourself if you want to deal with the cost, maintenance, and technical debt. For example, this is one of the big use-cases for "headless" browsers, … Read article

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A Super Weird CSS Bug That Affects Text Selection

You know how you can style (to some degree) selected text with ::selection? Well, Jeff Starr uncovered a heck of a weird CSS bug.

If you:

  1. Leave that selector empty
  2. Link it from an external stylesheet (rather than <style></style> block)

Selecting text will have no style at all. 😳😬😕… Read article

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Pac-Man… in CSS!

You all know famous Pac-Man video game, right? The game is fun and building an animated Pac-Man character in HTML and CSS is just as fun! I’ll show you how to create one while leveraging the powers of the clip-path property.… Read article

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Disabled buttons suck

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Two-Value Display Syntax (and Sometimes Three)

You know the single-value syntax: .thing { display: block; }. The value "block" being a single value. There are lots of single values for display. For example, inline-flex, which is like flex in that it becomse a flex container, but behaves like an inline-level element rather than a block-level element. Somewhat intuitive, but much better served by a two-value system that can apply that same concept more broadly and just as intuitively.… Read article

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Diana Smith’s Pure CSS Artwork “Lace”

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Working with Fusebox and React

If you are searching for an alternative bundler to webpack, you might want to take a look at FuseBox. It builds on what webpack offers — code-splitting, hot module reloading, dynamic imports, etc. — but code-splitting in FuseBox requires zero configuration by default (although webpack will offer the same as of version 4.0).

Instead, FuseBox is built for simplicity (in the form of less complicated configuration) and performance (by including aggressive caching methods). Plus, it can be extended … Read article

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