A discussion of Swift - Murray


It's early days for Apple's new programming language, Swift. Technically, it's not even really shipped 1.0 yet (we have to wait for "fall"), but that doesn't mean people aren't writing lots of articles about it. Most that I've read have been very positive and excited, so it's good to read something that's a bit more muted in it's response.

What even is utf-8 - Murray


Despite dealing with utf-8 throughout most of my programming career I don't think I've ever really known how it worked. I knew that it was a variable width byte encoding, and that meant it was backwards-compatible with ASCII, but I'd never thought about how those multiple byte characters were encoded. Thankfully, James Coglan knows this stuff really well and has written up a pretty straightforward explanation, so now we can all know it too!

GSS - Murray


CSS can often feel like an inelegant tool, especially if you've ever tried to vertically align something. Often the only way to really understand what the selector and rules are trying to do is to open it up in a browser and see how they're interpreted. Grid Style Sheets is a attempt to provide an alternative way of describing where elements will live on a page using a constraints based approach, rather than the explicit approach of traditional CSS. It's quite a new project, and right now it relies on a JS engine to actually layout the elements on the page, but it seems like an interesting approach and worth investigating.

PageLayers - Andrew White


This seems a useful tool for web designers:

Page Layers is a website screenshot app for Mac OS X. It converts web pages to Photoshop files with separate layers for all page elements. It enables you to open web pages in Photoshop and saves you lots of time when re-designing or improving existing web page designs. Just open any page in the embedded browser and save the page as PSD with layers or as plain PNG image. Every web page element (every image, link, block, ...) will be rendered as separate, named layer. Layer groups will be created according to the site structure. It is the only Mac OS X browser screenshot app you will ever need, unique in its capability to capture web pages with layers.