Over a year in the works, I’m proud to announce the unveiling of a project that has been very close to me.
Picasso once said:
I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.
In January of 2006, I began experimenting with the idea of elastic layouts. I soon figured out that one of the largest—if not the largest—drawbacks to this technique is the proportion of images. You can forget about designing to a strict grid system with an elastic layout. Of course, there is a bit of a solution in sizing images with expandable units, such as ems or pixels. However, there are two downsides to this:
- Resizing images with HTML looks terrible.
- For image dimensions to be specified in resizable units, each image’s dimensions needs to be explicitly stated, either in the CSS or in HTML. In most practical scenarios, that isn’t feasible.
I showed the technique to Mark Huot, a good friend, colleague, and programmer extraordinaire. The next day, he returned with a tricked-out version with additional features, and the swfIR (SWF Image Replacement) project was born.
Without Mark, swfIR would not be what it is today. I have yet to encounter another human being that is as skilled and fast, yet exudes humility. There seems to be no limit to his abilities, and I have still to come up with a way to stump him. Maybe someone out there can. Someday.
Other invaluable contributors to swfIR include Jon Aldinger who helped with just about everything you can imagine, Kevin Cornell on the logo and site design, as well as overall art direction, Jason Santa Maria for great feedback along the way and use of his Daily Photo, and finally all of the Happy Cog folks who were always there for moral support and additional ideas and feedback.
Well, the suspense is even killing me, so, without further ado, check out swfIR! Feel free to sound off on whatever tickles your fancy about swfIR, or if there’s something that just gets under your skin about it. The comments area and the contact forms on either this site or the swfIR site are ripe for the writing.
On a related note, I begged the A List Apart staffers to let me write about my explorations, and many emails and fruit baskets later, I’ve got my first ALA submission. Feel free to check out “Semantic Flash: Slippery When Wet.”
There are plenty of opportunities for you to let me know what you think… have at it!