a weblog by Ed Eliot

Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity. - Michael Johnson

This weblog is the online home of Ed Eliot, an experienced developer, architect and technical manager based in London, UK.

  • Vote for my SXSW 2009 panel proposal

    5 years, 8 months ago

    Stuart Coville, Nicole Sullivan, Stoyan Stefanov and myself have put forward a panel proposal for SXSW 2009 - Practical Website Perfomance. We'll be covering a number of frontend techniques aimed at improving site performance, discussing how the way browsers work affects performance and generally discussing what we've learned about developing high traffic websites.

    If this interests you please take a moment and head over to the SXSW panel picker to vote for our panel.

  • Source code for version 2 of CSS Sprite Generator

    5 years, 9 months ago

    Stuart and I have just released the source code for the latest version of our CSS Sprite Generator. As mentioned in my previous post the code has undergone a major refactoring and support for Image Magick has been added which greatly improves the quality of the images produced. Additionally there are options for tweaking the number of colours used in the output image, the image quality and for compressing images through OptiPNG.

    Download a tar.gz of the source or check out the Bazaar branch.

  • Version 2 of CSS Sprite Generator released

    5 years, 10 months ago

    Stuart and I have just released a new version of our CSS Sprite Generator. We've given it quite a major overhaul and it now uses Image Magick to generate sprite images instead of GD. This produces much higher quality images and fixes all of the related bugs filed. Additionally we've added options to control the number of colours used in the sprite image for PNGs and GIFs and the image quality for JPEGs. Finally we've added an option to pass sprite images through OptiPNG to compress the output when using PNGs. This frequently results in at least a 50% decrease in file size and should save trips to Image Ready to post optimise your images.

    Behind the scenes we've completely restructured the code and heavily commented it to make it easier to understand. We'll be updating Launchpad with this latest version of the code in the next few days. Stay tuned.

    The addition of these features has meant we're missing a number of translations. If you think you can help us fill in the gaps for your language please drop us a line or visit our translation help page for more information.

    As you can imagine CSS Sprite Generator is very CPU intensive and therefore requires a fairly high quality hosting environment. To help support future development and hosting costs we're now selling a couple of small graphical button ads along side the text links we've sold on the site up until now. We've tried to ensure these have been added as unobtrusively as possible so hopefully they won't impact your experience whilst using the tool. If you're interested in advertising we've got a page which gives all the details of the options available.

    For the future we're mulling over a number of ideas for new features. One in particular is the addition of a REST based API (returning JSON and serialised PHP). We'd love to hear what you think about this and your thoughts on what else we should add to the tool going forward.