A quick tip for improving the accessibility of CSS sprites: instead of using sized backgrounds, use the
:before pseudoelement. Sprites added with
:before will still show up in Windows high-contrast mode, whereas backgrounds are eliminated.
I was looking for a way to easily add a link to the iOS Simulator in my
~/Applications folder, but every explanation that worked for Mavericks seemed unnecessarily complicated to me. Here’s what I figured out myself:
- Open Xcode and launch the simulator as normal
- Control-click on the simulator icon in the dock, and select
Options → Show in Finder
- Open a terminal, and type
- Drag the simulator icon to the terminal window
- Drag the destination for the link to the terminal window, and hit
CSS Colours presents all the standard CSS colours in nice large swatches. Mouse over the swatch for hex and RGB values.
Colors provides much nicer versions of a subset of the default CSS colours. They’re a bit less saturated, the black isn’t pure; generally it’s more like something you’d actually use in a design. You can grab the values from the page itself, or grab the stylesheets and source files for a variety of CSS preprocessors from github.
David Kadavy writes up tips to point the less the aesthetically skilled on the road to an attractive app or web page. If you want more from David, he has a book and an email course called “Design for Hackers”.
Grid covers the absolute minimum you need to know to get started with creating responsive web pages. If you stopped here, you’d still be creating layouts that work great on a variety of devices.
After my post yesterday on Flappy Bird, my brother pointed out that a big part of the attraction was the punishing difficulty level, and bragging rights. If need a really hard game that’s insanely addictive, you can’t do better than Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon.
You control a triangle dodging rapidly rotating walls in a hexagonal pattern. The controls tight and responsive, and are well suited to a touch device. The game is $2 on the app store. You can try the original game jam version on Cavanagh’s site.
And in a lovely bit of serendipity, I just saw that Cavanagh has posted a Flappy Bird clone called Maverick Bird that borrows from Super Hexagon’s aesthetic. (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.)
The big news this week amongst nerd circles seems to be the disappearance of Flappy Bird from the App Store. I never tried it, so I don’t get the attraction to such a simple and kind of ugly game. For folks mourning the fact they didn’t get on Flappy Bird in time, I’d like to offer two similar suggestions that I think are much better.
Jetpack Joyride puts you in the role of Barry Steakfries as he tries to escape from some kind of evil genius’ lair. In the basic configuration, you tap to fly, but different power ups will change the mechanic. You can control a dragon, put gravity-reversing boots, and pilot a giant robot. Like Flappy Bird, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the game, it just gets more challenging as you get further in the lair. Jetpack Joyride is free, with in-app purchases, but the game is really fun without dropping a cent.
Badland isn’t free, but it is currently on sale. Badland is one of the best looking games I’ve seen on the iPad. In addition to the art style, Badland’s big selling point is the multiplayer. Up to four players can play on the same iPad, turning it into a kind of party game. At $2–the proverbial “cup of coffee” price point–this game is deserving of your time and money.