Performance & Dev Ops

Episode 99 Implementing Responsive Images with Jason Grigsby

March 10, 2015

It's time to start using responsive images on our websites. You specify multiple files in your image HTML. Browsers download the best one for a user's screen size or context. Improve image quality. Save bandwidth. Make sites load faster. Jason Grigsby joins Jen Simmons to explain all the details.

In This Episode

  • Why do we need responsive images?
  • The HTML syntax
  • <picture> or srcset?
  • Declaring responsive images by width vs. device resolution
  • What does 'width' mean in this context
  • How to handle art direction
  • What to avoid
  • How we can start using superior image compression formats like WebP and JPEG2000 — today
  • Tools for Drupal and WordPress

Episode 95 Making The Web Ahead Website with Jen Simmons

February 11, 2015

After months of work, I've launched a new website for The Web Ahead, at Hear a saga of the agony, the ecstasy, the design and the build. How? Why? On what? A lot of geeking out about tech and design and some talk about future plans, too. The inimitable Jeff Eaton switches seats and interviews me, Jen Simmons, all about it.

In This Episode

  • Reasons behind creating this website
  • Jen's design process, designing in Drupal
  • Designing the audio player
  • Transcripts and Team Web Ahead
  • The server stack and deployment process
  • Figuring out branding and typography
  • Future plans for the show
  • Growing The Web Ahead into a business
  • How you can get more involved

Episode 90 Engineering the Front with Claudina Sarahe

December 16, 2014

Front-end development has changed a lot. What used to be simple text in files is now a deep stack of robust engineering tools. Is this a good change? What advantages do the power tools provide, and what might we be giving up in exchange? Claudina Sarahe joins Jen Simmons to debate.

In This Episode

  • The latest techniques and tools in front-end development
  • The evolution of website-making technology over 20 years
  • When is a more complex tool chain the right choice?
  • How front-end devs share open source code through such tools
  • Gulp, Grunt, Broccoli, Bower, NPM — what they do
  • Sass, Git, GitHub, GitTower, CodeKit, even Blogger… and a whole bunch of other weird words
  • Using the Command line vs. using GUI software tools
  • A discussion of how the tech industry is changing, debating ethics and money

Episode 89 Responding Responsibly with Scott Jehl

December 2, 2014

It's clear that responsive web design is the way to build a website in today's crazy world of mobile devices, but what's the best way to do so? How can you create a responsive site that's fast and snappy? Scott Jehl joins Jen Simmons to tell us about the latest in how to do RWD right.

In This Episode

  • Progressive enhancement: why, when, how
  • Making sites load quickly
  • Using inline CSS instead of external stylesheets for the sake of performance
  • Preventing jank — problems of things jumping around as the page loads
  • Building resilient websites
  • Content order in RWD (HTML source order)
  • Pros and cons of JavaScript frameworks. Which one is better?
  • How to work with folks who aren't convinced progressive enhancement is important

Episode 87 Delivering Typography with Jason Pamental

October 17, 2014

Using real typefaces on the web creates amazing design opportunities. But how do you deliver web fonts while not messing up the rest of the experience? Jason Pamental joins Jen Simmons to talk about tips and tricks for optimizing web font performance.

In This Episode

  • How to make fonts load faster
  • Pros and cons of different techniques for hooking web fonts up to a site
  • How to choose fonts that will work on different operating systems
  • How to choose a font vendor
  • How to test a font
  • Improving the experience before the font loads
  • Ways to do progressive enhancement with fonts
  • Which font formats to use when

Episode 40 Git with John Albin Wilkins

October 26, 2012

The Git version control system has become incredibly popular, with many people using it to collaborate on shared projects. John Albin Wilkins joins Jen Simmons to explain what Git is, how it works and how to use it.

Episode 29 Smart Responsive Web Design Implementation with Scott Jehl

August 7, 2012

Responsive web design creates a new set of development demands. How should we best implement complex sites to load quickly and meet the needs of a wide range of devices? Scott Jehl joins Jen Simmons to talk about the South Street toolset and other Filament Group discoveries of best practices.

Episode 26 Servers with Josh Koenig

July 20, 2012

What is going on with the infrastructure that runs the web? Server stacks have changed a lot in the past 20 years. Josh Keonig joins Jen Simmons to talk about what's happening with cloud infrastructures and hosting options over the years.

Episode 25 Responsive Images with Mat Marquis

July 4, 2012

What's the best way to handle responsive images? There's been a lot of discussion flying around over the last many months, big debates and fast changes… where have we landed? What's coming in the future? Responsive Images Community Group chair Mat Marquis joins Jen Simmons to sort it all out.

Episode 21 Process & Tools with Paul Irish

March 23, 2012

Front-end developer extraordinaire Paul Irish joins Jen Simmons to discuss work process, tools and best-practices.

Episode 16 Mobile Capabilities with Jason Grigsby

February 15, 2012

What can we learn from the capabilities of mobile phones to change the web as we know it? How are we in a rut when it comes to thinking about the web, because we are coming from the desktop? Mobile web strategist and author Jason Grigsby joins Jen Simmons to discuss mobile phones on the web, old design patterns, new possibilities and more, including site performance and web television.

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