Web Typography, Simply Smashing

Nov 20, 2010

Lists of resources in bibliographies, footnotes, endnotes and the like have long been commonplace in print. And in the academic world, citations are a must. But in the bad old days before the web, unless you had an insane amount of time on your hands and a large first-rate library nearby, as a reader, such lists were, as a practical matter, just that: lists. It could take you a day or a week or longer to track down the full text of just one citation depending upon how obscure the source.
Really, kids, that’s how it was. No Google Books. Imagine.

One of the amazing things about Hypertext is that nothing need remain obscure. The full text of any citation is now just a click away. (Or in these days of mobility, just a tap away. While love remains, as always, just a kiss away, kiss away. But I digress.) Instantaneity (that a word? it should be), meaning the ability to immediately retrieve the source of a citation, has given rise to a new genre born of it: the Hyperlink “roundup”.

Hyperlink Roundups

More than just a list with brief summaries attached – [think People Magazine’s “Top Fifty” lists and the like] – on the web, when done right, roundups deliver not just a world of information, but a full-blown solar system. Citations become, for the first time, a practical proposition. For anyone who’s used a browser for more than ten minutes, the process feels so natural that you don’t even pause for a “Wow!”. But a wow it deserves.
Now, if you’re into web design, you probably already know that nobody puts together roundups better than Smashing Magazine. It’s their specialty.

Web Typography: 100 Educational Resources, Tools and Techniques

Check out Web Typography: 100 Educational Resources, Tools and Techniques.  I found that just reading the titles and summaries helped put a finger to the pulse of where web typography stands today. But the real beauty is that there’s nothing preventing you from spending weeks, months really, following the links and absorbing all the information that orbits around a piece like this.

[BTW – I was both surprised and pleased that I garnered 2 out of the 100 citations: one was my article Web Fonts At The Crossing published on AListApart and another was Font Hinting Explained By A Font Design Master here at RW. Cool. I’ll take any shred of validation I can get, wherever I can get it.

Next. . .

Zoltan (User Agent Man) Hawryluk Roundups Ruby Text

Hey, “roundup” works as a verb, too! My confrere in things rasterizable, Zoltan “Du Lac” Hawryluk, wrote a piece on Ruby Text: Cross Browser HTML5 Ruby Annotations Using CSS. Ruby text is annotative text that hovers above the main text and looks like this:

With the Ruby annotation, now I finally know how to pronounce Zoltan’s surname. Slick.
First supported in IE5 – yup, IE5, ya can bitch all you want about IE but when it came to text handling features it was ahead of its time – Ruby text now has broad support. Bookmark it: along with many other typographic features, Ruby’s time is a comin’.
And if you’re into browser tech, User Agent Man is certainly worth a spot on your feed list.
Zoltan’s got the right stuff. Insightful.

Next. . .

Typedia Marches On

As I’ve written before, roundups on the Typedia Blog by Eric Vorhes and others continue to do a bang up job keeping geeks like me abreast of developments in web typography. Less time searching around, more time listening to Miles. I dig it.
Feed me, Seymour.

And a Happy Turkey to all.

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