by Carwin Young

Front-end Rapport #4

Above-The-Fold CSS

Topics: CSS Performance

The advice offered by Google's PageSpeed Insights tool can speed up your site, but it doesn't offer much background for the tips. In this article, Ben Edwards dissects the recommendations, spells out the "whys" behind them, and explains how to optimize the delivery your site's most important CSS.

Our Take

This article is interesting for a variety of reasons, but primary among those is the idea of “The Fold” in the context of development rather than design. Emphasizing content that's “above the fold” is a holdover from print design, but prioritizing the delivery of content that's immediately visible actually makes a lot of sense. There are good techniques out there to make this performance enhancement a reality but, as the article states, the community at large is “…still working this stuff out.”

If you're looking for more about this sort of thing, Paul Irish's keynote from this year's Fluent conference is worth a watch.

Responsive, Equal Height Blocks With Flexbox

Topics: Flexbox

This magnificently clear article explains how to create equal-height blocks using the flexbox CSS layout method. Sadly, we’re still waiting for 100% flexbox support, so the article includes a jQuery fallback technique for older browsers.

A Look at SVG Text

Topics: SVG, Typography

This article covers the basics of manipulating text that lives inside SVG graphics. It covers individual glyph rotation, stretching, and custom positioning. Using SVGs for headlines is a nice way to get some fine-grain control over your design.

18 Surprises From Reading jQuery's Source Code

Topics: jQuery

This is one of the most interesting of the articles in this week's roundup. It covers some little-known facts about popular jQuery methods, and a few tricks you might never have come across. We don’t have time to Read the Source™ of everything we use, and articles like these do a great job of filling in the gaps.

What Happened Recently

  • Sass 3.4 RC1 released — @nex3
  • Compass 1.0.0.alpha.21 released with support for Sass 3.4 — @compass
  • Chrome Canary, the bleeding edge build of Chrome for developers, enables DirectWrite (for better font rendering) by default — @igrigorik
  • Native CSS feature detection via the @supports rule in WebKit nightlies! — @bear_travis
  • Full support of Web Components is coming in Chrome 36 (now stable) — @addyosmani

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