WD @media talk subject change

I recently changed my Web Directions @media talk title & abstract to something more specialized. Instead of discussing under-hyped CSS3 features in general I will only focus on one CSS3 feature (more hyped than the ones I was planning to show, but all the hype is only about very basic use cases): CSS3 Gradients:

Mastering CSS3 Gradients

With most browsers adding increasing support, and the simplicity of providing fallbacks for those that don’t, CSS3 gradients are something we can start to use right now. They benefit our users with faster websites and ourselves with more time in our hands to spend in other things, since they are easy to create, edit and update. A very powerful feature that can also be utilized for a surprising number of design effects, even ones that don’t resemble gradients at all. In this talk, Lea will explore CSS3 gradients in great depth and it’s almost guaranteed that no matter your expertise level, you will walk out having learned new things.

I tested a draft of this talk with a meetup group in Oslo (Framsia) and it went very well. I got reviews like “I was amazed that you managed to speak almost an hour of CSS3 gradients and still keep the crowd interested” (thanks Legendre!). Even Bruce Lawson, who happened to be there, told me he didn’t know like 70% of the material presented! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m looking forward to it since it’s a topic I’m passionate about, and I hope to see you there! Don’t forget that you can use the coupon code WDVEROU when registering to take ยฃ50 off the current price.

PS: I don’t like the title very much, so if you have anything more witty to suggest, feel free. ๐Ÿ˜‰

News Personal

I’m speaking at @media Web Directions โ€™11!

Just a quick note to let you know I’m speaking atย this year’s @media Web Directions conference, which will take place during May 26โ€“27 in London, UK. I’m very excited about this, since I always considered @media one of the top front-end conferences in the industry ๐Ÿ™‚

The title and abstract of my talk is as follows:

CSS3 at the Outer Rim

By now most of you know how to use the core CSS3 features in your designs to embed custom fonts and easily create rounded corners, drop shadows, and scalable designs with media queries. But there is still a large area of CSS3 that remains unexplored by most web designers and developers. In this talk Lea will present many CSS3 features that are useful but underrated, as well as uncommon ways of utilising the CSS3 features you already know about, in order to do much more with even fewer images and less code.

Although itโ€™s on the design track, I expect it to appeal to both developers and designers.

You can use the coupon code WDVEROU to take ยฃ50 off the current price. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope to see you there! ๐Ÿ˜€

Personal Rants

Yet another redesign

I had grown sick of my previous blog style and its various bugs (since it was put together in just a few hours), so I decided to make a new, more minimalistic one. Best viewed in browsers that support CSS gradients, like Firefox, Safari and Chrome. I also finally got around to making a logo for myself, although I’m not sure I’ll keep it. I also switched to HTML5, using Toolbox as a base.

I want to make a few more changes, but I have to go to sleep sometime :p

I also started using DISQUS for the blog comments. I like it when a blog I read has it (since it offers a few features I find convenient, like comment editing for instance), so I wanted to offer it to my readers too.ย It’s a shame that in some of their buttons they haven’t added the standard CSS3 border-radius declarations, but only the prefixed proprietary ones, so they’re square in Opera (and probably IE9). I’m fed up with seeing this in websites, TOPSY‘s widget also does it. However, their carelessness will backfire soon, when browsers stop supporting the prefixed versions *evil grin*

Apps & scripts Original Personal

My FT2010 slides and CSSS: My presentation framework

Screenshot of the first slideAbout a week ago, I was in Warsaw, Poland to give my first talk at a big conference, Front Trends 2010. As every first-time speaker, I was extremely nervous and worried that everything would go bad. That my talk would be boring or too basic or that I would just freeze at stage, unable to say a word. It was a 2-hour talk with a break in between, so I was also terrified that nobody would show up the second hour.

Contrary to my fears and insecurities, it went better than I could have ever hoped. The feedback on twitter and in general was enthusiastic! There wasn’t a single negative comment. Even people I look up to, like Tantek ร‡elik, PPK, Jake Archibald or Robert Nyman had something good to say! And instead of nobody showing up the second hour, the audience almost doubled!

At this point, I would like to thank Christian Heilmann for helping me become less nervous before my talk by going through all my slides with me and offering his invaluable advice for every part (I forgot to follow most of it, but it really helped in my attitude). I can’t thank you enough Christian!

News Personal

Lea Verou @ Front-Trends 2010

Just a quick note to let you know that I’m speaking in this year’s Front-Trends conference, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland on October 21-22. Front-Trends is a new conference (starting this year) but the organizers have managed to put together an impressive line-up (Crockford, PPK, Paul Bakaus, Dmitry Baranovskiy,ย Tantek ร‡elik, Robert Nyman and more).

My talk will introduce many aspects of CSS3, some of them in good depth (eg. selectors). Here is the official abstract:

Pragmatic CSS3

With browsers constantly adding support for CSS3, especially now that even IE jumped in the game, it’s quickly becoming a necessary tool of the trade. CSS3 offers exciting possibilities and changes the way that we design and develop websites.

In this 2-hour practical session, full of real world use cases, you will learn:

  • Everything you ever wanted to know about CSS3 selectors
  • Transparency and new color formats, including RGBA
  • New ways to work with backgrounds, including CSS gradients, multiple background images and natively supported CSS sprites
  • Rounded corners and border images
  • Box and text shadows
  • Transforms, transitions and their potential downsides
  • New values, including calc(), attr() and new units
  • Browser support information and techniques to take advantage of the exciting new stuff with respect to browsers of the past, to create experiences that are enjoyable for everyone

Tickets are very cheap (Just โ‚ฌ198) but they’re selling quite fast, so if you want to come, hurry up!

Articles Original Personal

Organizing a university course on modern Web development

About a year ago, prof. Vasilis Vassalos of Athens University of Economics and Business approached me and asked for my help in a new course they were preparing for theirย Computer Science department, which would introduce 4th year undergrads to various web development aspects. Since I was always complaining about how outdated higher education is when it comes to web development, I saw it as my chance to help things change for the better, so I agreed without a second thought.

This is one of the main reasons I didn’t have time to write many blog posts for the past months: This activity took up all my spare time. However, it proved to be an interesting and enlightening experience, in more than one ways. In this blog post I’ll describe the dilemmas we faced, the decisions we made and the insights I gained throughout these 6 months, with the hope that they’ll prove to be useful for anyone involved in something similar.

Table of contents

  1. Content
  2. Homework
  3. Labs
  4. Personal aftermath



Was about time, wasn’t it?

I wanted a simpler, more minimalistic (and wider!) theme for a while now. The other one was too restrictive. I had designed it when I had absolutely no content, and few changes were made to it afterwards.

So, today that I was too sad and furious to do anything productive, I spent a few hours redesigning the blog (creative venting…). Please note that it’s just a few hours’ work (with no mockup), so it’s bound to be a bit rough around the edges. I will refine it more as time goes by.

(and just like the previous one, it’s best viewed in more CSS3-supporting browsers, like Firefox, Chrome or Safari. If we can’t use the latest bells n’ whistles in our personal blogs, where can we? ;))

Here’s a screenshot from the previous theme:

Screenshot of the old theme

R.I.P. my first wordpress theme.

PS: Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. I have started lots of posts, but didn’t finish any. I hope I’ll have something complete to post soon.

Personal Tips

(byte)size matters

Yesterday, I was editing a CSS file and I was wondering how many bytes/KB would a particular addition add to it, in order to decide if it was worth it. Since, I had found myself wondering about the exact same thing multiple times in the past, I decided to make a simple standalone HTML page that would compute the size of any entered text in bytes, KB, MB, etc (whatever was most appropriate). It should be simple and quick and it should account for line terminator differences across operating systems.

About half an hour later, I was done. And then it dawned on me: Someone else might need it too! Since .com domains are, so cheap, hey, let’s get a domain for it as well! There are several sites with a domain that are way simpler than that anyway. A friend that was sitting next to me suggested “” as a joke, but as it turned out, was free, so we registered it. And there it is, less than a day after, it’s aliiive. ๐Ÿ˜›

Any feedback or suggestions are greatly welcome!

For instance, should I implement a very simple minification algorithm and display bytesize for that as well, or is it too much and ruins the simplicity of it without being worth it? [edit: I did it anyway]

Should I implement a way to compare two pieces of text and find out the difference in byte size (could be useful for JavaScript refactoring)? [edit: I did it anyway]


Help me: take the color survey

If you are a creative professional, or just passionate about colors, please take my survey:

It will greatly help me to make a future project of our company more usable (some of its features at least) and it only takes a few minutes (it contains 10-19 questions, depending on your responses).

Any suggestions, corrections, questions etc are of course welcome.

Thanks a lot in advance to everyone that takes the survey! ๐Ÿ˜€

Of course, when it ends and I find the time to analyze the results, I’ll post them here for anyone interested. (Hint: That means that if you are interested in the results, you can promote the survey yourself as well, since more responses = more accurate results)

News Personal

CSS3 colors, today (MediaCampAthens session)

Yesterday, I had a session at MediaCampAthens (a BarCamp-style event), regarding CSS3 colors. If you’ve followed my earlier posts tagged with “colors”, my presentation was mostly a sum-up of these.

It was my first presentation ever, actually, the first time I talked to an audience for more than 1 minute ๐Ÿ˜› . This caused some goofs:

  • When introducing myself, I said completely different things than I intended to and ended up sounding like an arrogant moron ๐Ÿ˜›
  • I tried not to look at the audience too much, in order to avoid sounding nervous, and this caused me to completely ignore 2 questions (as I found out afterwards)! How embarrasing!
  • At a certain point, I said “URL” instead of “domain” ๐Ÿ˜›

Also, I had prepared some screenshots (you’ll see them in the ppt) and the projector completely screwed them up, as it showed any dark color as black.

Apart from those, I think it went very well, I received lots of positive feedback about it and the audience was paying attention, so I guess they found it interesting (something that I didn’t expect ๐Ÿ˜› ).

Here is the presentation:

Please note that Slideshare messed up slide #8 and the background seems semi-transparent grey instead of semi-transparent white.

By the way, I also thought afterwards that I had made a mistake: -ms-filter is not required if we combine the gradient filter with Data URIs, since IE8 supports Data URIs (for images at least). Oops, I hate making mistakes that I can’t correct.

Here are some photos from my session. If I did it correctly, every facebook user can see them. If I messed things up, tell me ๐Ÿ˜›