WebD posts

Firefox: Weird rendering with high contrast mode

I figured out why Firefox 91+ seemed to break some CSS rendering for me (as I blogged about a few weeks back): high contrast mode. I’ve used the accessibility setting “Increase Contrast” on Mac OS for some time to make it easier to see some interface elements. Apparently, via Firefox 91 release notes, “Firefox now automatically enables High Contrast Mode when ‘Increase Contrast’ is checked on MacOS”.

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Working with SVG Icons

At Cogneato, we’ve been using icon fonts for at least a couple years now. We recently started using SVG icons for a new part of our CMS that allows clients to pick icons from large collections for use in their content. Working with SVG’s is a bit different than with icon fonts, so I created some helper code to make it easy to get them in place, have proper accessibility, and

I like icon fonts fairly well, but there are some advantages to using SVG icons. For us, we were wanting to allow clients to pick from a large selection of icons from within our CMS. Requiring downloads of giant icon sets so they could have a large selection but only show a few on a page would be very bandwidth inefficient, and managing loading the set(s) a particular client wanted to use would be complicated. Unless they use a lot on a single site, cherry-picking each icon should use less bandwidth. This is easy to do with SVG’s.

There are many ways to use SVG’s, but when you need to be able to change colors based on context as we do, inlining SVG elements is the only (practical1) way. With them, you can use fill: currentColor; to use the text color of the container, which we need. Many SVG tutorials use SVG sprite-sheets and then inline spartan SVG elements that contain little other than the <use> element to reference icons from the sheet, saving size for repeated icons and potentially allowing the sprite-sheet to be cached. However, sheets have the same bandwidth management issues as the icon fonts. So I went with direct DOM insertion.

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Potential Freelance Group

I am very excited about this.  Last week I asked Nadia, a girl from my Web II class who is good with design, if she would like to form a freelance-like group with me.  She had mentioned earlier in the semester that she didn’t like the idea of going fully freelance, being totally alone.  She liked to have people to critique ideas and collaborate with, as well as to share expertise.  I had thought when she mentioned that to ask her about forming a group, but my shyness and unsurity made me wait.  I finally did it, and she said yes, and was excited about it as well.

We talked a bit (via email) and she wondered who else we could include in this group, so I mentioned Jason, another good designer from our class.  We asked him the next day of class, and he said yes.  He, of course, was also excited by the prospects.  And he has had experience with freelance design.

They are both very good at design, which I am not.  They can do flash and drawings and what not.  I am fairly good working with scripting and data, and have, and have some experience turning designs into HTML/CSS.  So we should complement each other well.  We seem to work together in class well as well, which will hopefully make things work smoothly.

So we’ve been talking a bit via email and class.  We have to figure out things such as what sort of business entity to become, how we will handle money (don’t want any disputes with this), what sort of contract we will use, etc.   We will probably want to become an entity like a partnership, with a separate name from our own, so that we have a brand and people can pay that single entity.  This will also make sense for tax purposes.

Part of the idea of this is to be like freelancing, but with the support and image of the other members of the group, so we don’t want it to start off as something complicated and expensive.  It is also going to be set up as something that can be done on the side of a full time job.  We want it to be easy for people to come and go if need be, and maybe even have only part of the team work on some projects.  Our entity and other choices will have to reflect this.

We’ve discussed where to find clients, and we may start with some free sites, such as for non-profits, to figure out how things will work and get a group portfolio going.  Those shouldn’t be too hard to find.

We will continue talking, get things going, and hopefully it’ll work out.