Smashing Magazine

For Professional Web Designers and Developers
  1. Cache Invalidation Strategies With Varnish Cache

    Phil Karlton once said, "There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things." This article is about the harder of these two: cache invalidation. It’s directed at readers who already work with Varnish Cache. To learn more about it, you’ll find background information in “Speed Up Your Mobile Website With Varnish.”

    10 microseconds (or 250 milliseconds): That’s the difference between delivering a cache hit and delivering a cache miss. How often you get the latter will depend on the efficiency of the cache — this is known as the “hit rate.” A cache miss depends on two factors: the volume of traffic and the average time to live (TTL), which is a number indicating how long the cache is allowed to keep an object. As system administrators and developers, we can’t do much about the traffic, but we can influence the TTL.

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  2. Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work?

    Pattern libraries are a great source of inspiration and education for designers. But common practice doesn’t always equal best practice. In this post, we’ll look at why many common tutorial patterns are ineffective and how you can leverage game design principles to increase user engagement.

    After the release of the first edition of Mobile Design Pattern Gallery, Intuit asked me to speak with its mobile team. I spoke at a high level about the value of patterns across industries (fashion, architecture, software and others) and how they are a useful teaching tool.

    The post Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work? appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

  3. After Editorially: The Search For Alternative Collaborative Online Writing Tools

    I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the best writers, be it your favorite authors or those that write for Smashing Magazine, don’t do it alone. Often, they work with an editor (or two), who will help them coalesce their words into something more compelling or easier to understand.

    Having worked with several editors — and having been a technical editor myself — I’ve really come to appreciate this aspect of the writing process. Refinement is an essential aspect of any creative process. As refactoring code can make a program more logical and efficient, editing a text can allow an underlying idea to be more clearly stated, or make a piece more enjoyable to read.

    The post After Editorially: The Search For Alternative Collaborative Online Writing Tools appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

  4. What You Need To Know About WordPress 3.9

    The latest version of WordPress named "Smith" was released yesterday which brings us another round of core changes. This time, the team worked mainly on the back-end editing and admin functions, such as a big TinyMCE (visual editor) update, gallery previews, media playlists, an improved widget UI and live theme previews (only to mention a few). Here's what you need to know about the major changes in WordPress 3.9.

    While the old widget interface set the standard for drag and drop UI when it was introduced, it was time for an overhaul. The developer team took the Widget Customizer plugin and essentially built it into the core.

    The post What You Need To Know About WordPress 3.9 appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

  5. Understanding CSS Timing Functions

    People of the world, strap yourself in and hold on tight, for you are about to experience truly hair-raising excitement as you get to grips with the intricacies of the hugely interesting CSS timing function!

    OK, so the subject matter of this article probably hasn’t sent your blood racing, but all jokes aside, the timing function is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to CSS animation, and you could well be surprised by just how much you can do with it.

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