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This Week on the Web: March 10, 2014

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This week on the interwebs brings us stories of the increasing complexity of managing topical content in publishing and the evolving toolset used to manage that content. Meanwhile the folks at 1910 Design and Communicationmeditate on the antediluvian state of interface design in e-mail clients. In the world of design criticism, Justin Reynolds pens a manifesto of liberation for web design, Chris Coyier brings us up to date on some newly supported markup in Chrome, Michael Martinez reminds us that only an idiot would host a blog on WordPress.com and some crazy lunatic named Welling Guzman jury rigs a python-based code highlighting tool to work within the context of a WordPress backend. (Dude, that’s some crazy, ganja-induced craziness you’re doing over there… Keep doing it!)

>>  Let’s get down to it:

On A List Apart, a fellow named Jeff Eaton writes a very technically meaty piece about solving the conundrum of managing editorial data on the web. Basically, the problem is this: how do you supply a content management staff with both user friendly yet powerful ways to flexibly create and manage data which changes daily and from story to story? If you’re tasked with making or bettering a tool which non or marginally technical editors need to use in the backend of their publishing platform, what would that tool look and feel like? Jeff goes for the very conceptual to the very granular here. Put on your thinking caps.

While we’re juggling big picture and small picture concerns, Brad Barrow addresses the task of making the default CSS classes used by the popular front-end framework, Bootstrap, more semantic by using the @extend directive in Sass. I’ve been putting off picking up Sass; this very straightforward task Brad outlines left me less daunted. Here’s his post.

Chris Coyier clues us into some marvelous news that the Chromium browser has introduced support for the srcset attribute. (Remember, kids, ‘today’s Chromium is tomorrow’s Chrome…) This is great news, as ‘srcset’ allows for the inclusion of differently-rezzed versions of images, for the purpose of loading different sizes according to resolution.

Switching to matters of theory, Justin Reynolds shares his ennui about that ‘samesie’ disease afflicting the world of web design and looks to the Brutalist school of architecture as inspiration and antidote to the knee jerk practices common in website design. Here’s Justin’s article. Moving along to more criticism, the folks at 1910 Design and Communication ponder the redesign of something related to email. But they’re not talking about the outlandish lack of support for modern standards in email clients but, rather how poorly designed the interfaces of modern email clients are. They offer suggestions for an overhaul here.

In SEO/internet marketing land, the Moz Blog brings us back to basics in an article entitled “12 Ways to Increase Traffic From Google Without Building Links.” And, finally, Michael Martinez re-reminds us that any client or small business that chooses to host a blog or website on WordPress.com is a damn fool. And here’s why...

Oh, and one last thing. Website developer Welling Guzman writes a story about his search for the perfect syntax highlighter for use on WordPress sites led him to an unlikely place. Namely, an application that isn’t built off PHP (as WordPress is) but, rather, Python. His mildly-insane-but-brilliant solution to overcoming this seemingly insurmountable obstacle is here.

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