Scott Vandehey's Blog

How we made the Metal Toad site more mobile-friendly with media queries

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Responsive Web Design, and in particular about CSS3 Media Queries. When our CEO recently asked me to make our site easier to view on his mobile phone, I jumped at the chance to retrofit our fixed-width layout using these new techniques.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
March 31, 2011

How to use @font-face to avoid faux-italic and bold browser styles

In this article, I’ll walk you through how to properly load your font files with @font-face in CSS to avoid the browser’s faux-italic and faux-bold styles.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
November 24, 2010

How to Add Theme Settings for Drupal 7

You know that list of checkboxes on the theme settings page that let you turn on and off parts of the theme like the logo or slogan? Well, you can add your own options to that list really easily in Drupal 7. In D6, this was kind of a pain, because you had to write all sorts of functions to save and load your settings to the database and handle everything properly. In D7, that's all done through the Form API, so the heavy lifting is done for you. All you need to do is tell it to add some form fields, and what the new setting is called!

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
November 4, 2010

I took it and so should you—The Survey For People Who Make Websites, 2010

I took it and so should you!

The annual Survey for People Who Make Websites from our friends at A List Apart has gone up, and I encourage you to take ten minutes to participate. This survey is the only source of information about our industry, and by taking it, you benefit us all. Here's what they have to say about it:

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
October 21, 2010

New York Times Claims HTML5 is a "Pandora's Box" of Privacy Risks

Alarmist rhetoric from news organizations about the web is nothing new, but today's front-page headline on the New York Times still caught my eye: "Web Code Offers New Ways to See What Users do Online." It's about HTML5 privacy risks, and it's a load of crap.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
October 11, 2010

What Makes HTML5 so Great?

HTML5 Design Principles

When the W3C started working on HTML again in 2007, they posted a set of guiding principles for the new version, emphasizing compatibility, utility and interoperability. I’d like to highlight four of these principles that I think are especially important.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
October 4, 2010

optimizeLegibility does not work with @font-face

Recently, twitter was buzzing with news of a CSS technique called optimizeLegibility that enables better kerning and font ligatures. It's enabled by default in Firefox above 20px text, so you may have already seen it in action. I'd noticed the effect on my Talk Like Warren Ellis site (warning: possibly not safe for work language).

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
September 20, 2010

Semantic Views is Awesome

Like any Drupal themer, I've done my share of grumbling about the frequently ridiculous level of nested divs with dozens of classes. I'd heard some people mention a module called Semantic Views, but I never really understood what it was for until I found this video. If you don't understand what the big deal is either, take the four minutes to watch. It's a total "ah-ha!" moment.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
August 31, 2010

How We Upgraded Metal Toad to HTML5 and Drupal 7

Our new site design is live, so if you're reading this in a feed reader, please click on through! In a nutshell, we wanted to redesign to take advantage of Drupal 7, HTML5, and dramatically improve the readability and usability of the site as a whole.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
August 13, 2010

How to Change the Content-Type Meta Tag in Drupal

I'm working on an HTML5 theme for Drupal 7 right now, and I needed to change the meta content-type tag. By default it looks like this: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />, and I needed the updated HTML5 version: <meta charset="utf-8" />. Normally, you can replace these things in one of the theme template files, but in this case, the meta tag was hard-coded in the Drupal source code somewhere, so I needed a programmatic solution. Here's what I found for both Drupal 6 and 7.

By Scott Vandehey, Front-End Web Developer
May 28, 2010