✻ In The Ever-Evolving Spectrum of the Web, Geoff Graham looks at how we label certain types of design and development activities:
I remember a time when my job was to "lay out" web pages in Photoshop and send them off to IT for implementation. Many of us would chuckle at that workflow today, but it was a reality then and a sharp contrast from modern workflows. Where design and development used to be in stark contrast to one another, we now have more shared tasks.

✻ And in I, Website Chris has made an homage to a famous essay by Leonard E. Read:
How are these words delivered to you? Massive networks of wires! Fiber-optic undersea cables line all the oceans and seas and grip the Earth like a hairnet. A single cable crossing an ocean costs hundreds of millions of dollars to install. Imagine the slowly plodding boats, embedding these cables into the seabeds. Who captains these vessels? Who turns the crank releasing more cable to the depths. Who prepares the pork and beans? Who scrapes the barnacles from the boats hull? These legions are among my antecedents.

What we’ve been reading, listening and watching

Last week two design tools were announced: Framer and Origami Studio

Framer.js is an open source JavaScript framework for rapid prototyping and Framer is the app designed on top of it. Framer has a side-by-side interface showing us CoffeeScript code we can use to program an interface alongside a preview of what we are building. It allows for prototyping complex interactions across devices. 

Origami was originally designed by the Facebook design team as a series of exploits and patches built on top of Quartz Composer. Now it’s being redesigned from the ground up as its own app for OSX. Unlike Framer, in Origami Studio you don’t write code next to the development of the UI. Instead you tie “patches” up with one another where you pipe inputs and outputs together to get the results you want.
Are these tools vying for the same job? Or are they designed for different use cases? It will be interesting to find out where they fit in the design-tool ecosystem.
In other news around the web
A note from the archives

Ever needed to use a special character like & or © on the web?

Probably best to encode that character. We’ve made a page that with loads and loads of these characters (you might call the "symbols" or "glyphs") and how to use them.

Need a pilcrow?
  • You would need  or ; in HTML.
  • You need .pilcrow::before { content:"\00b6"; } in CSS.
  • In JavaScript, alert("\266"); will get you there.

We got you with our reference page: Glyphs

What have you learnt this week?

Chris Coyier: I hadn't heard of Framer until Robin linked it up earlier this week. I hadn't heard of Origami until Robin wrote it up in this newsletter. I was the one who chimed in in the link post with some thoughts about all this design tooling. Design tooling is hot hot hot right now. Lots of different companies, of all sizes, are trying to tackle it from lots of different angles. 

I suspect we'll see a lot of fragmentation. Different teams using entirely different sets of design tools. Just as we see now with our tech stacks and web development tooling.

I think that's fine. As a front end developer, I'm not sure I care how design is presented to me. I'm more concerned that the designer feels productive and confident with what they are producing. I should be able to digest what is being presented to me and use my front end skills to make it happen.

Until next time!
Team CSS-Tricks
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