Mobile First Frameworks

The philosophy is catching on, the market if catching up. Mobile First has taken root and for us developers things are getting easier. The Foundation framework by Zurb has adopted the principle in version 4, its latest incarnation:

“Mobile First: Now you can build for small devices first. Then, as devices get larger and larger, layer in more complexity.”

Next to follow is the very popular Twitter Bootstrap, when version 3 is released:

“Go mobile first. Responsive CSS is no longer separate and all responsive features are now compiled into the core bootstrap.css file. Separate files are no longer required, and have thus been removed.”

With these two productivity tools pushing the Mobile First mantra, we can expect the whole web landscape to start becoming a lot more responsive. This is a great opportunity for developers, and a great way to get left behind for businesses who don’t consider how important having the right site for the right device really is.

ken in copper canyon

Remotely yours; testing a lifestyle

I am currently engaged in a lifestyle experiment of sorts. Something I have always had an interest in doing, but never found the ‘right’ time.

Well, this isn’t exactly the right time either, but circumstances made it so and therefore the experiment began. I am riding my motorcycle through Central America, and plan to stay down here awhile and do some projects for some clients. Sounds simple, really. And simplicity is what made me think it was possible in the first place.

The reality has been that moving around and working just don’t go together. At least not at the pace we’ve been moving. Continue reading

Mobile First and the Three Minute Pop Song: Loving the Limits

The roots of popular music are firmly embedded in technological innovation — and limitation. Symphonic music, Opera and multi-verse ballads were all the rage around the time that Edison invented the phonograph. Edison’s invention used cylinders, and these allowed lengthy recordings as fit the style of the times, but they were superceded by the flat disc, which was easier to stack and package.

The earliest records were 10 inch shellac discs with wide grooves, that allowed 3 minutes of recording time per side. The popularity of this technology roughly coincided with the rise of radio, and the two technologies fit together perfectly. The demand for content to fit these 3 minute discs gave rise to a new art form: the popular song.

The 3 minute pop song remained a standard long after the technology had advanced beyond the initial limitations. When RCA introduced the 7 inch 45 in 1949, it was capable of holding 7 and a quarter minutes per side, but it wasn’t until 20 years later that there was any real demand for utilising that length. Instead, thousands of well crafted 3 minute pop songs continued to dominate the airwaves.

To this day songwriting ‘rules’ continue to be influenced by a technological limitation that ended 63 years ago. This is in part because of the legacy of all the great pop singles from the 50’s and 60’s, and because two generations of listeners have been ‘trained’ to appreciate a catchy, 3 minute ditty.

So what does any of this have to do with web development, and specifically mobile web development?
Continue reading