Portfolio

Does Google maps hate Birmingham?

Monday 15th of August 2016

I read something recently that suggested good content had provocative titles, which on closer inspection boiled down to phrasing them in the form of a question. That way you can also get away with titles that are complete lies, but draw people in, such as "does Facebook poison orphans?". I think I may have a promising future ahead of me in tabloid journalism.

Anyway, back to the point. Have you ever noticed how Google maps at certain zoom levels displays some places but not others? Have you ever wondered how they decide which places to show? Well, okay, probably not, but I have, so let's have a look at that.

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The cost of sharing your website on social media

Sunday 7th of August 2016

I built a webpage recently. It was mostly just SVGs and text, so I checked the total page size with developer tools and was pleased to discover it came in under half a megabyte. Efficiency and small page size! The Holy Grail of all frontend developers (it should be, anyway).

Then I remembered I had to add some social media sharing buttons. For historical reasons with the client, I chose Shareaholic's sharing buttons. Then I checked the page size again.

  • Initial size of page: 445 KB
  • Size of page after adding Shareaholic share buttons: 1504 KB

What. The. What.

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Am I too old for this? An hour in Skyrim, part three

Thursday 7th of July 2016

Spooky and foreboding. Definitely worth a look.

I'd previously played an hour of Skyrim to see whether I'm getting too old and too cynical to enjoy gaming anymore. Join me for part three, in which I give up on hiking aimlessly through nature and blunder haplessly into the game proper (you can find part one and part two here).

One of the things that appealed to me about Skyrim in the first place was the setting. Not the mystical fantasy land full of trolls and dragons and magic and whatnot, no - the fact that it was all set in a mountainous, snowy wasteland. I like snow. I particularly like it in games when the developers remember to put in the sound effect of walking through snow, that wonderful soft crunching/creaking sound. I'd pictured myself exploring midnight, snow-covered forests, my soft footfalls the only sound as I crept through the gloom with my sword drawn, frost glittering on the blade. But so far all I'd done was wander through lush green fields and been attacked by wolves.

So I resolved to climb a mountain.

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How to make segmented circles in CSS

Saturday 14th of May 2016

It's been possible to make circles, semi circles and quarter circles using only CSS ever since the border radius property came along. But what if you wanted to make a circle with more than four segments?

I've seen it done but only occasionally and in a very fixed way. If there was a way of generating a single segment of a circle based on a mathematical formula, would it be possible to write a CSS mixin to generate a circle containing any number of required segments? Short answer: yes.

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