Engadget RSS Feed - Weekly Technology Technology TechnologyHere’s why we only did three deals last year6 hours ago TechnologyHomo Sapiens 2.0? Work in vector if possible, but otherwise work however you best work and Ill make it work for our system. Every plugin described in this article works with every syntax PostCSS can parse — CSS, SCSS, Less and syntaxes created by PostCSS plugins. Let’s start with plugins which cover most of the use cases when dealing with images in CSS. Sometimes you need to size elements or size the background itself based on the dimensions of the image you are using. Say we have a star icon that we use in ten different places with different colors around our site. There are still some reasons you might want to use the kind of image sprite where all the images are combined together into one larger image. It finds every image in CSS (filtering is possible), creates a sprite, and outputs the correct background-position to get there. Despite postcss-sprites support for retina images, it doesnt quite give you production ready code. Sometimes we need really simple images (like geometric shapes), but still find ourselves opening a graphic editor, creating the image, exporting it, putting it in the right place, optimizing it, and using it in CSS. Circles are a bit easier, but postcss-circle may save you a few lines of code and add more readability. If you still need to support browsers which doesn’t support SVG, but you like to use SVG, postcss-svg-fallback can help you. Inlining images might bloat output CSS, but there is a solution: postcss-data-packer can extract embedded data URLs into a separate file.
Before PostCSS, we did a lot of tedious manual work: copy and pasting things, duplicating things, or manual calculations. Along with all the same great features they have always had like themes (total design control!
I attempt to make the case that creating content in Markdown is a good plan for you and your team, now and especially in the future. Last week I saw Una Kravets give a very inspiring talk at Generate Conf about using CSS Filters and Mix Blend Modes. I was pretty excited about this idea and got to thinking: could we create visual regression testing with just one line of CSS?
The above pen shows that the text block of our layout only changed slightly but the button has been modified more dramatically, and the illustration had small triangles that were altered.
To make things even more interesting, I was pointed to this post by Franklin Ta which might be patient zero to this whole idea and it beautifully explains the concept behind creating visual diffs with CSS. Una then took all of this one step further and created a tool that we can use in the browser to readily create visual regression diffs without a lot of scripting, called Diffy. I’ve seen some folks describe Runner as if it’s Sketch’s version of Spotlight or Alfred, as effectively their goals are one and the same: to speed up and organize your workflow. Once youve downloaded it, you can start Runner inside Sketch by hitting cmd + and then tab to move through each section, like _Export_ or _Run_.

If you’re interested in finding more plugins to tie into Runner, there’s an official list of all the Sketch plugins available.
Lingo is an app from the Noun Project team that groups images, icons, SVGs, and illustrations into a single place.
I work a ton with SVGs and icons, so Im always trying to find ways to reduce friction between different software and editing processes. Tooltips need to be particularly self-aware, so they dont stick out someplace where they cant be read. The project page doesnt say this, but creator Federico Zivolo showed me how its also friendly with React, because you can render the tooltip element itself within the component and it just stays where it is. Modals seem so hard to get right from an accessibility perspective, Im not proud to say Ive never tried. The latest poll around here kicked off asking how you prefer spell this job we all do around here: frontend?
I asked because 1) I didnt know if there was a "right" answer 2) Even if there is a right answer, it doesnt seem adhered to.
The term “front-end” is correct when used as a compound adjective, and the term “front end” is correct when used as a noun.
When nouns are grouped together to behave like an adjective, they use no hyphens if they are at the terminus of a sentence.
I had extra options in there for capitalization differences too, as I was thinking that since its kind of the _name_ of a thing and sometimes used as a _title_, maybe its supposed to be always capitalized? Still a good amount of votes for "frontend", but I think we might have to throw in the towel on that one and admit its not a word.
Save the file in this particular folder named "icon-NAME.svg" with this exact set of options.
I will not describe how to use PostCSS itself, because there is already an excellent article by Drew Minns. For example, if color should change on hover with a transition, there is no convenient way to do this because transition will not be applied to background-image. The image inside the button needs a specific image size and also needs to change color on hover. For one, it is known that mobile phones decode inline images slightly slower than regular images. For example, it doesnt give you media queries to target high-density screens to actually use those images.
We might run into a problem if were using far out expires headers, and the users browser is hanging onto that image in cache. For example postcss-svgo can optimize inlined SVG with SVGO, the best SVG optimization tool. This plugin generates PNG fallbacks for SVG in you CSS (both inlined and linked via url()) and adds additional rules in CSS for old browsers.
One demo in particular got my attention because Una showed us how we could overlay two layouts on top of each other and use blend modes to spot all the differences between them. It lets you browse them quickly, and then you can drop them into another application without any hassle.

One might think that the answer to this couldnt be more software, but Im really enjoying Lingo. This is unlike most tooltip implementations that move the tooltip element around the DOM (probably making it a direct descendant of the , to make positioning easier), which could easily be problematic in a React environment. Something like moving focus to the modal when it opens and moving focus back to where it was when the modal closes seems like a particularly tricky thing to get right. Designers create new icons, they tweak existing ones, they have ideas on what they want the icons to do. Make sure to optimize what you can in Illustrator first, like combining paths and reducing points. We may not even realize it, but there many be a lot of manual work involved this with that could be made a lot easier. Even better, the syntax for it is text, meaning we can edit them without heavy tools like graphic editing programs.
The later is sometimes known as "inlining" images, which accomplishes one of the major advantages of image sprites: combining HTTP requests. The output CSS will be bigger because of code duplication, but it doesn’t matter because of Gzip!
You can do triangles yourself in CSS, but its not exactly straightforward and gets harder when you want to do different types of triangles. For example, by typing “vertical” into Runner then you can vertically align text much faster than moving your mouse to the button and clicking it. In fact, there was a funny quote from someone a few years ago on Twitter, (my memory is too spotty to remember who said it) "Fun Fact!
In the conversation that happened around the poll though, it seems like there really is a right answer and thats probably good to cover first. When a new one is ready, run `gulp svgstore` from the project root, that will ready the icon for production.
Im going to be showing you a variety of PostCSS plugins that are specfically designed to help with working with _images_ in CSS. This is a beauty of PostCSS ecosystem — there are many plugins which do only one job, and you can combine them for solving more complicated problems.
Seems like the bible for that kind of thing is the AP Stylebook, but you have pay to even see that, which kinda makes me not even care what it says.
Make commits to the project pertaining to new icons separate from blah blah etc you get the point.
I’ve created a CSS file with 100 different selectors and add an inline icon in every ruleset with a random color for the fill. You can even use variables if you are using another plugin or preprocessor that offers those. And it might not say anything at all, since this seems more like a rule than a specific case.

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