Monday, August 27, 2012

Crisp image edges in web browsers, howto

Sometimes, website creation frontend work involves extracting images from pages rendered by browsers. These pages may be wireframes, for instance.

Of course, it is appropriate that web pages (displayed in a browser) contain some blurring for good looks (which becomes plainly visible if blown up to 1600% by Photoshop, etc.)

Of course, it is appropriate also that some images of a wireframe (such as icons) be blurred, because icons are created normally by a dithering process.

Although image blurring (for demonstration purposes) is appropriate and has a good look, such additional blurring is bad when images are extracted for reuse on a webpage, because the blurring will then happen twice (a doubled blurring will result).

To avoid this double-blurred problem, and for pixel art, the following method will set up for you a web browser which does not blur images:
  1. Download and install the latest SeaMonkey web browser:

  2. For your particular operating system, locate your profile folder by reading:

  3. Immediately below your profile folder, make sure a folder exists named, 'chrome' (not the Google browser), and that a file exists in the chrome folder called, 'userContent.css' (or create them).

  4. Append to userContent.css the following lines: all are for resampling of images by the desired (in this case) nearest-neighbor method:

    (Note: I leave intact (below) some other browsers' settings for this, just in case you want to add these lines to your particular browser, in whatever way.)
Gecko (Firefox & Seamonkey)
Webkit (Chrome & Safari)
img {
image-rendering: optimizeSpeed;             /* Older Gecko */
image-rendering: optimize-contrast;         /* CSS3 draft proposal */
image-rendering: -webkit-optimize-contrast; /* Webkit */
image-rendering: crisp-edges;               /* CSS3 draft proposal */
image-rendering: -moz-crisp-edges;          /* Gecko */
image-rendering: -o-crisp-edges;            /* Opera */
-ms-interpolation-mode: nearest-neighbor;   /* IE8+ */

Copyright (c) 2012 Mark D. Blackwell.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Simple webserver for troubleshooting, howto

Here is an extremely simple web server to use in troubleshooting your code, derived from Yohanes Santoso's wonderful Gnome's Guide to WEBrick.

It serves any directory tree you're working on (including HTML properly) without any complexity arising from Rails, Sinatra, or any other web frameworks. (Isolation is a good thing when troubleshooting.)

Just place this in your tools directory (e.g., ~/t/serve-files — making sure it's executable):

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'webrick'

program_name = $0
puts "#{program_name} #{ARGV.join ' '}"

puts "Running Ruby #{RUBY_VERSION}"

include WEBrick

options = {
  :BindAddress => '',
  :Port => 3000,
  :DocumentRoot => Dir.pwd,
server = options

%w[INT TERM].each{|e| trap(e){server.shutdown}}


Copyright (c) 2012 Mark D. Blackwell.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fern Hill, choral work by John Corigliano

I just heard a marvelous choral work by John Corigliano on WQXR's Q2 Music's program, ' The Choral Mix With Kent Tritle'.

It is Fern Hill, set to the poem by Dylan Thomas, composed in 1959 when he was 21.

This performance (directed by Kent Tritle) starts one third of the way into the program. (Press the Full Player button; find the August 5, 2012 program; click 'ADD THIS'.) To position to Fern Hill: pause the WQXR website player; wait awhile for buffering. Then click just left of the host's last name (in the series title).

There's a review of a previous performance in the New York Times.

Copyright (c) 2012 Mark D. Blackwell.