Funny the things you notice when watching Speed Code

Never mind that the icons are great, the site itself is a thing of beauty… (And even the way the repositories on Github are starred was another What’s that? moment. Anyway, Jan Kovarik gives his explanations at

Foundation Icon Fonts

Which then got me thinking… And looking! And Zurb has these also… (Does that sound American enough?)

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Colorzilla has a CSS/SCSS mixin generator, and can spit out multiple browser versions with solid colour fall-back : -)

This sort of thing:

// needs latest Compass, add '@import "compass"' to your scss
background-color: #f6e6b4; // Old browsers
@include filter-gradient(#f6e6b4, #ed9017, vertical); // IE6-9
@include background-image(linear-gradient(top, #f6e6b4 0%,#ed9017 100%));

or as CSS

Top Bar Gradients in Zurb Foundation

scss: gradient in $topbar-bg was identified as a requirement… and seems to have been addressed

E.g. $topbar-bg-color

@mixin gradient($color-gradient-from, $color-gradient-to) {
background: {
color: $color-gradient-from;
/* Safari5.1+, Chrome10+ */
image: -webkit-linear-gradient($color-gradient-from, $color-gradient-to);
/* Firefox3.6 */
image: -moz-linear-gradient($color-gradient-from, $color-gradient-to);
/* Opera11.10+ */
image: -o-linear-gradient($color-gradient-from, $color-gradient-to);
/* CSS3 Compliant */
image: linear-gradient($color-gradient-from, $color-gradient-to);

and then, the gradients are set as

bc, $color-gradient-from: #eeeeee;
$color-gradient-to: darken($color-gradient-from, 6.5%);
$color-gradient-border: darken($color-gradient-from, 13.5%);

This from the TXP SCSS repository on GitHub


<txp:smd_calendar />

Fullsize calendar works fine, but problem for

<txp:smd_calendar size="small" />

txp mag

Okay, so it’s a bit like casting spells, but when everything’s up and running (Windows or OSX, so cmd or Terminal, and got Ruby smiling on both …actually with OSX being the biggest pain to get the right version)


On OSX, best way to update Ruby is with RVM …which in turn requires Homebrew, installed with

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

…which is why, despite OSX actually shipping with Ruby (an old version), this presented a few challenges!

Need Bower, too:

[sudo] npm install -g bower grunt-cli

As per this video Getting started with SASS from Zurb

foundation new project_name --libsass

This is the preferred way with Foundation 5 because it’s faster… although the Compass instructions are even easier

foundation new MY_PROJECT

This is as per, although there’s some business around updating gems

Getting Compass to watch is as simple as cd-ing into the main sites folder and typing:

compass watch

That’s it!

SASS Overrides

For example, customizing the appearance of a navbar

Obviously the route is SASS …but where to put the customisations? It seems that the way is to use a separate partial called something catchy like overrides

@import "settings";
@import "foundation";
@import "overrides"; 

Actually, that’s not quite right, as I posted on the Foundation Forum

@import "overrides";
@import "settings";
@import "foundation"; 

Overrides needs to appear first!


We are a small, village school with a strong family atmosphere, catering for children aged 4 – 7 years with approximately forty children on roll. We provide a high standard of education where children enjoy a friendly and caring school life. Our school provides a stimulating environment in which all children can become well motivated, independent learners.

The children learn to take responsibility for themselves and to develop care and respect for their community. They participate in small learning groups, enabling both learning difficulties and high attainment to be provided for. We have very strong links with our village community and make extensive use of our local environment.

We hope you find our website of interest. Do contact us if you would like any further information about our school.

Julie Baldwin

  <!-- -->
  <div class="contain-to-grid">
    <nav class="top-bar" data-topbar>
      <section class="top-bar-section">
      <ul class="left">
        <li class="active"><a href="">Home</a></li>
        <li><a href="">About</a></li>
      <section><!-- close top-bar-section -->
    </nav><!-- close pageNavigation -->
  </div><!-- close contain-to-grid -->

Also a one-page primer on Responsive from “adamkaplan”

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Sounds like a Rush album, but getting into this again now… This is the future, and it’s already here. To ignore this any longer would be foolish indeed. In fact, I feel like I’ve been staring at the iPhone of the CMS/Blog world, and moaning about the lack of buttons!

Here’s my opening recipe anyway:

  • WAMP Server on Windows 7
  • The legendary 5 minute install (Really is – just flawless!)
  • Using ‘The Marsh’ site to build up content, so I’ve got a ready-made copy

Creating Custom Themes

The conversion process is also at the theme foundry, too

Post versus Page
…which points me to wards the fact the the equivalent of sections with pages is approximated as pages not posts as per the codex

How to Set page or link order in navigation

Static Page

Creating a Static Front Page

Custom menus


No-one likes it when you’re too successful.

Roger is a brilliant tennis player, possibly the best ever. He’s worth millions. And yet even here the feeling I get when I see him wearing a Rolex is one of wanting to poke him in the eye.

We’re all encuraged to lust after expensive things. A walk along Regent Street yesterday, and round the back it was the Nespresso shop… and yet if we can actually afford some of these things, it’s not something other people are going to enjoy watching us do/have/drink/drive/wear.

The (usually old!) guy drving the Porsche: yes, of course we feel happy to let him in the queue of traffic…

iOS7 was the latest (last straw?) in a series of things to have been upgraded/updated to something which I consider to be worse than what was there before…

This is a regular irritant to me: taking a really good design and making it different and ending up with something worse.

I remember how frustrating I found a new BMW5 series was to test drive (I’d driven three before. Lovely cars!), because the indicators didn’t work as expected! I’d signal left then in trying to cancel would accidentally signal right… then signal left cancelling that! All that beautiful German engineering rendered rubbish by a change in the indicator protocol.

Earlier this summer I actually struggled to start (or know I’d started!) a rental car in France.. because the key doesn’t have to go anywhere, no slot, nothing. And being a hybrid there was no reassuring sound of an engine being on!

“Is it on?”
“I dunno…”

What things have been malgraded for me this year?

  • Windows
    XP feels like the last version that was actually better. Vista was worse, 7 was (is) okay… but 8! Why would you? …except iOS 7 has given me the jitters around trusting Apple
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
    Photoshop and its friends no longer live as standalone products. I last bought the suite at CS3 which ran worse on my Windows 64 machine than the previous product on my 32 bit desktop
  • Adobe (Macromedia) Fireworks
    The last version I bought (CS5) crashes repeatedly, the one before that did the same… and the last happy time seems like the MX suite. Although I don’t remember version 3 (in 2000) doing many things wrong. And now, worse than subscription only service, it’s been discontinued.
  • Apple
    iOS 7 yuck! My wife’s iMac causes me problems with the back-to-front mouse. Am I meant to trust in Steve’s legacy, even though his guiding hand is clearly missing?
  • Sure Sports Antiperspirant
    They’ve changed the smell. I know, it’s trivial, but what do I do? I never asked for an upgrade…

Read some great stuff today, and it seems that whilst hiding in my cave, things have moved on for the better…

I think I was Googling the (latest) best practice for iPhone and related contraption styling, which I found a rich seam at CSS Wizardry

Which in turn led me to terms previously unknown to me viz. Sass and OOCSS

Anyway, I’ve often wondered how to make sense of big CSS files, with multiple, different naming conventions, including blind alleys such as microformats in the past, and here we go…

I was also nerdilly amused by Harry Robert’s CV format

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Kenny Dalglish has gone, but Stevie G is England captain.

WordPress has taken over the known universe, and yet Textpattern is making me smile again.

The first article I read from Kevin Potts about Communicating Design made me smile and I even got the jokes…

Ahh, it’s like meeting up with an old friend again :-)

And this is after I’d read the UNIX and Perl Primer for Biologists courtesy another TXP developer, jmd

There’s something about this yummyness that just makes me smile

A nice Kevin Potts Calendar tutorial

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The lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking… As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it