From Diary

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I’m Back! (Did I miss anything?)

Hello, I’m back online after a month of (almost) silence.

My operation had a few hiccups and one curveball for the surgeons, but I’ve come through the gauntlet intact. I’ve been recovering gradually over the last month — regaining my balance, healing the large scar on the back of my neck, regaining my strength — and I’m ready to start the process of getting back into the swing of things.

A lot has happened in the last month as I recuperated.

As I write this, I’m watching the WWDC keynote, and excited by what I’m seeing. It looks like Apple has finally done what they’ve needed to do for a while for Mac OS X and iOS:  think about the basic features and make them useful again (more on that later).

Did I miss anything else in the last 30 days?

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Hello, I Must Be Going — Why I’ll be Offline in May

I’m online.

A lot.

But for the month of May, I’m having to step back from the Internet and take care of a personal health matter. Without getting into a lot of messy details, I have an acoustic neuroma (A benign tumor), and it has to come out. Specifically, it will come out next Tuesday (29 April).

This will prevent me from writing, teaching, engaging with social media, and responding to emails or other messages. I’m in contact with a lot of people, and get a lot of emails from clients, students, and readers with questions, comments and requests, so I didn’t want to just disappear.

If all goes well — ever the optimist, me— I should be back in action by early to mid-June. If you haven’t heard back from me by then, feel free to ping me again.

Six weeks is a long time on the Internet, and I’m looking forward to waking up like Rip Van Winkle to the new wonders.

Is a new iOS Watch too much to expect?

Get my new book on CSS3 for $9.99 (cheap!)

Buy the eBook version of CSS3:VQS this week for $9.99»

CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide by Jason Cranford Teague
CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide

After months of research, coding and writing, my latest book—CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide—is finally in shops and available for purchase online. This book covers everything you can do with Cascading Style Sheets today, including the latest advances in design and interactivity. This is a particularly exciting time to be a Web designer: we are about to get a whole new set of tools for our Web designs. This book will show you how the CSS3 capabilities ready for prime time (or soon will be) that will explode your creativity.

CSS3: VQS is a slim concise volume covers the breadth of CSS3, much of which remains unchanged since CSS2/2.1. If you are an old hat at CSS, Here’s a brief peak of the new material I cover in the book:

  1. Borders –  Border images and rounded corners.
  2. Backgrounds – Multiple backgrounds can be added to a single element, backgrounds can be more precisely positioned, backgrounds can be extended clipped to the inside or outside of a border and backgrounds can be resized.
  3. Color –Color opacity settings, gradients in backgrounds, and HSL color values.
  4. Text – Text shadows, text overflow, and word wrapping.
  5. Transformations – Scale, skew, move, and rotate an element in 2D or 3D space.
  6. Transitions – Simple dynamic style transitions.
  7. Box – Drop shadows, boxes can be resized by user, overflow can be set separately in horizontal and vertical directions, outline offset allows you to set space between the outline and the border and box model specifications allows you to set how width and height are applied to the box.
  8. Content – Styles used to add content to an element.
  9. Opacity – Elements can be transparent.
  10. Media – Ability to style pages based on the viewport size, color, aspect ratio, resolution and other important design considerations.
  11. Web fonts – Updates and extends the ability to link to fonts for use in a design.

The book also includes:

  • Compatibility tables showing the exact browser version each CSS property is compatible with
  • Quick reference tables showing all property values, their compatibility, and default values
  • Quick fixes for common CSS problems
  • How to organize and debug your code
  • 33 best practices for CSS

A support Webpage where you can download all of the code from the book

For a limited time, you can buy an eBook version of CSS3:VQS directly from Peachpit for the low, low cast of $9.99. Get all of the advantages of the most thorough resource on the latest version of CSS3—with information on how you can apply these cutting edge techniques to your Web site today—in a convenient electronic format. This deal is only available from my publisher this week, so get it now.

Buy the CSS3:VQS eBook now for $9.99 and let me know what you think.

Blast From the Past: Me at SXSW2009

I was Googling myself today to see what images there are out there of me, and came across this video interview I did at SxSW 2009 for Austin Lifestyles. Wow! What a difference two years makes! This was taken shortly after I left AOL, so I was not working at the time. I still haven’t seen the last half of the final season of Battle Star Galactica, but I definitely know how Felicia Day is now and I’ve finished three more books since then.

Headed to Web Directions USA

The Web typography road show is heading to the southern USofA for the Web Directions USA Conference. Oddly enough, the conference was originally to be called Web Directions North, as a follow up to Web Directions in South, which is held in Australia. Someone must have pointed out to the organizers that any event with the word “North” in the title was not likely to draw a huge audience in Georgia.

Web Directions USA

A lot has been happening this years, and—now that I’ve finished my new book on CSS3—I’m turning my full attention back to Web typography. I’ve retooled and reworked my 2010: The Year of Web Typography presentation, expanding and enhancing information about Webfont service bureaus,and refining the slide layout and color scheme to make them a lot easier to read on those big brother style projectors we use to show our slides.

Web Directions USA isn’t free, but you can save a bunch of money using my discount code to get $100 off the ticket price. Just go to the Web Directions registration page and enter the discount code WDUSA-JCT.

But that’s not all! The day after the conference (Saturday) there will be a hack day event called Amped. I’ll be on hand to give 1:1 Web typography and CSS3 advice all day long:

Amped is the Hackday, reloaded, brought to you by Web Directions, happening in Atlanta this September 25. We’ve taken the traditional hack day, pulled it apart, thought long and hard about what’s great, what’s not so great, and how as many different kinds of web folks can come together for one intense 10 hour period of hacking, designing and making amazing things.
So come on out and say hello. See you in Atlanta.

CSS Summit Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated. Altogether, there were 75 entries, but there can be only 2.

And the winners are… @mthie and @sn0flke.

Let’s have a big round of applause for our contestants.

Of course, it’s not too late to get in one the CSS Summit goodness, learning from the top names in the industry. Register now for the low, low price of $149, and—if you act now—you can get a 10% (~$15) discount using the code CSSCRANFORDTEAGUE. You can also use the discount to get a meeting room ticket, getting 10% off the $449 price (~$45).

I hope to “see” you there.

CSS Summit

Win a ticket to the CSS Summit!

•••THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED•••

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks for me as I finish up my new book CSS3 Visual Quickstart for Peachpit, but I’m really excited that in just over a week I’ll be presenting at the online event of the year for CSS: The CSS Summit. The summit is an online only event lasting from 9am–5pm Central Time (10am–6pm EST) brining together some of the best minds writing about CSS today to give you the inside scoop on Web design.

In addition to my own teachings on fluid web typography, you can hear:

  • The wonderful Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis teaching the gospel of CSS and progressive enhancement.
  • My buddy David McFarland talking about CSS Animations.
  • The energetic Zoe Gillenwater helping you get effective and efficient design with CSS.
  • My sister from another mother, Desnise Jacobs helping you troubleshoot your CSS.

All of this for the low, low price of $149, and, if you act now, you can get a 10% (~$15) discount using the code CSSCRANFORDTEAGUE. You can also use the discount to get a meeting room ticket, getting 10% off the $449 price (~$45).

Wanna’ go? Of course you do, and I have two tickets to give away to two lucky readers.

How to Enter to Win Tickets

There are three ways to enter to win one of the two tickets.

  1. Follow @jasonspeaking on twitter and then tweet “I want to go to the #CSSsummit to hear @jasonspeaking» http://ow.ly/2cxRd” .
  2. Follow @fluidwebtype on twitter and then tweet “I want to go to the #CSSsummit to learn @fluidwebtype» http://ow.ly/2cxRd” .
  3. Add a comment at the bottom of this post with a link to a Web site that is using Webfonts (not using Flash or images) to create particularly inspiring typography.

Three ways to enter, and yes, you can enter all three ways once a day to improve your chances to win. The more you enter, the better your chances.

RULES: The contest starts at 12:00 PM EST, Friday, July 16th and runs through 12:00 PM EST, Tuesday July 20th. Winners will be announced later that same day. You have to be following @jasonspeaking or @fluidwebtype when the winners are announced OR have left a comment. This is the only way I will have to contact you. Only one entry per channel per day will be accepted. The judges decisions (mine) are final.

GOOD LUCK!

What Kind of Conductor are You?

I’m back from my whilrwind tour of Berlin and London, and still trying to process the great big bolus of knowledge I aquired during my travels. My own sessions went well, and I’ll be sharing more about those later. For now, you can view some of the photos I took , including more panoramic shots I’ve been taking on my iPhone with the remarkable application Pano.

I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks about Next10, but I had to start with what was surly the most remarkable and inspirational session I saw while there. A Noted conductor Maestro Itay Talgam spoke about what might seem like a non-sequitur at a tech conference—music conductors and their conducting styles. To be honest, I was very surprised how wonderful and useful this information was. I had not planned on attending this keynote, but after watching a few minutes of the live feed on my laptop in the main hall, realized I needed to see the rest in person. I’m glad a I did!. It starts a bit slowly, but what Itay has to say about the different methods conductors have to work with their symphonies, and by implication how good managers can best work with their team, should be required viewing for all managers. Here is his talk from Next10 in it’s entirety. There are two problems with this video. First, the audio is out of synch and second is they do not show the video examples he is using to illustrate his points—which does cut down on its effectiveness—but I think you will get the point.

Arriving in Europe

One thing I was dreading about this trip was the Jet lag. In my past visits to Europe, one of the most agonizing miseries I remember all three times was the unbearable fatigue I felt the first few days as my body got used to the lack of sleep. This generally followed a sleepless 8 hour trans-atlantic trip. This is my fourth trans-atlantic trip (averaging one a decade) and the first I actually got some sleep on. So I’m awakening, if not fresh and bright eyed, at least with the psychological sense that the night has passed and a new day has dawned.

Of course this also means that I didn’t get any work done on my Marriott 2.0 presentation, but, although I’m not done with it, I’m at least comfortable with the direction that’s taking. After watching several TED presentations I’ve decided that given the short format, it’s most important to tell a story, so that’s how I’m approaching this, and I think it will make a good one. The trick now is to integrate the why of the Marriott 2.0—which I think is what most of my audience will be primarily concerned with but makes a less interesting story—with the how—which can get more technical but will make a better story. I’ll let you know how the balance goes.

One thing I was dreading about this trip was the Jet lag. In my past visits to Europe, one of the most agonizing miseries I remember all three times wasa sleepless 8 hour trans-atlantic trip followed bythe unbearable fatigue I felt the first few days as my body got used to the lack of sleep. This is my fourth trans-atlantic trip (averaging one a decade) and the first I actually got some sleep on. So I’m awakening, if not fresh and bright eyed, at least with the psychological sense that the night has passed and a new day has dawned.

Of course this also means that I didn’t get any work done on my Marriott 2.0 presentation, but, although I’m not done with it, I’m at least comfortable with the direction that’s taking. After watching several TED presentations I’ve decided that given the short format, it’s most important to tell a story, so that’s how I’m approaching this, and I think it will make a good one. The trick now is to integrate the why of the Marriott 2.0—which I think is what most of my audience will be primarily concerned with but makes a less interesting story—with the how—which can get more technical but will make a better story. I’ll let you know how the balance goes.


One Week to Next10

Next10 in Berlin next week
Next10 in Berlin next week

Just a little less than a week until I’ll be in Berlin, spreading the good word about Web typography, and I’m finding I had to really rework my presentation for this audience. SXSW was full of techno and design geeks, who wanted to here the “how to’s.” I suspect the audience for Next10 are going to care a lot more about the “why’s and what for’s.” So, I’m skipping all of the code and just including an overview of what’s possible now in Web typography—web safe fonts and web font bureaus—then concentrating on what the different services offer, why Web typography is important for brand differentiation, and what to look for in good fonts.

This has been a great exercise, as it’s gotten me to think about Web fonts from a less technical and more tactical point of view, focusing on how to choose the best fonts. Also, since I only have 45 minutes to present, so had to radically cut down on my material, which I hope will have the overall effect of making this a much leaner and more focused presentation.  This is even more important since I just found out I only have 30 minutes to present at Voices That Matter in June (more on that later).

In addition to Web typography, I’m also going to be giving a brief presentation about Marriott.com, the work we did to create a “Game Changer” (the theme of next 10) for Hotel Web sites. I’ve been struggling a bit to find my focus and value add for this session. It may only be 10 minutes long, but that means I have to stay even more focused. I think I had a break through today, though. I’ll see if I still feel the same way tomorrow morning.