Author Archives: arobson

Fixing your terminal (Unix) history command

The history command in the terminal is very useful. We can’t, and shouldn’t, need to remember all the commands we use, some of which are voodoo.

All software engineers use $ history and as a front-end engineer I’ve relied on it heavily every step of my career. But the history command’s defaults are inadequate, and need to be manually fixed. Continue reading

Our responsive images solution, we have

Images are the bulk of what we move around the web; they comprise over 60% of the average web site’s payload. (Latest HTTP Archive stat: 61.3%)

Different use cases would ideally be served different image resources (“responsive images”). For example, a 27″ iMac plugged in to a company network can make use of a large HD image, but a Blackberry in a desert with a spotty wireless signal can’t. If you serve a large image to the Blackberry in the desert, the user might not get anything.

And what if the person with the Blackberry is bitten by a snake and needs to identify it as poisonous by sight? He finds the page of poisonous snakes but the photos are too big for his phone and connection. Maybe he sees one or two poisonous snakes, but not the deadly one that bit him. He dies. The man dies!!!! Continue reading

Three options for sharp, responsive logos

Web developers and graphic designers don’t like to see blurry logos, like we often see on retina displays. Generally, we will “fix” a unsharp logo by serving a PNG that is twice the resolution. This is a decent solution, but not an ideal one. Rasterized graphics will always be resolution dependent. Logos, in particular, wants to be what they are: vector, or line art. Here are some suggestions for making a logo crisp and responsive: Continue reading

New Proposed Tests for YSlow

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YSlow is one of my favorite open source projects. It tests web pages against a list of web performance best practices, and it can be run in a number of ways: as a browser plugin, from the command line, and as a bookmarklet on mobile devices. Also, it can be entirely customized for our needs; we can set the weights of tests to match our standards for a specific product, and we can add our own tests. Continue reading