A List Apart



Anthony Colangelo

Anthony Colangelo is a developer from Philadelphia building things at Big Cartel. He’s a generalist through and through, who loves everything from front and back-end development, to building iOS and native applications. You can find him on Twitter talking about technology, design, development, and probably space, too.

Entries by Anthony Colangelo

  • Thoughtful Modularity

    What can we learn from the Mars rover about building the web? Anthony Colangelo describes NASA's new modular approach to mission planning, and suggests a similar strategy for our work on the web. The details of our work may change, but building with thoughtful modularity can help us reap the benefits of the future.

  • Knowledge vs. Intelligence

    About a week ago, I was running into major issues during development of one of my side projects. After a few nights working to resolve whatever was breaking, I was getting frustrated with my lack of progress.

  • Beyond You

    In client work, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our work lives beyond ourselves. Sometimes that means making sure the CMS can handle clients’ ever-changing business needs, or making sure it continually teaches its users. For clients with an internal development team that will be taking over after you, it means making sure the design system you create is flexible enough to handle changes, yet rigid enough to maintain consistency.

  • It Was Just A Thing

    A little less than two months ago, I wrote about the most dangerous word in software development: just. A lot of assumptions hide behind that seemingly harmless word, but there’s another side to it.

  • Awkward Cousins

    As users we switch seamlessly between the web and apps, yet as designers and developers we huddle in separate rooms. Wouldn’t this party be livelier if we mingled?

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once

    Not too long ago, I had a few rough days in support of a client project. The client had a big content release, complete with a media embargo and the like. I woke up on the day of the launch, and things were bad. I was staring straight into a wall of red.

  • The Most Dangerous Word In Software Development

    “Just put it up on a server somewhere.” “Just add a favorite button to the right side of the item.” “Just add [insert complex option here] to the settings screen.” Usage of the word “just” points to a lot of assumptions being made.

  • Longform Content with Craft Matrix

    Jason Santa Maria recently shared some thoughts about pacing content, and my developer brain couldn’t help but think about how I’d go about building the examples he talked about. The one fool-proof way to achieve heavily art-directed layouts like those is to write the HTML by hand. The problem is that content managers are not always developers, and the code can get complex pretty quickly. That’s why we use content management systems—to give content managers easier and more powerful control over content.

  • Apple and Responsive Design

    Apple has always had a funny relationship with responsive design. They’ve only sparingly used media queries to make minor visual tweaks on important pages, like their current homepage. Though a “handcrafted for all devices” approach seems like the “Apple way,” it’s almost as if they’ve avoided it because of the iPhone’s original pitch—giving users the ability to pinch and zoom their way through the “full” web, as opposed to being shuttled off to the mobile web.

  • On Styled Form Elements

    For almost 20 years, we’ve had the same input types and form elements we still use today: text fields and areas, password fields, select dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes, file fields, hidden fields, and the menagerie of button types including submit, reset, image, and plain old button.

  • Design Tools for Today’s Web

    There’s no arguing that the Creative Suite applications are powerful, feature-rich, and have the intangible value of being industry standards, but as browsers became more advanced and rendering shifted from images to native CSS, the old, established applications fell out of step. The time was ripe for an application that was built, from the ground up, focused on the new era of interface design. And that’s when I found Sketch.

  • Syntax Highlighting Outside Your Editor

    Whether you’re giving a talk, sharing work with your team, or presenting work to your clients, there comes a time when you’ll need to show code outside of a text editor. Copying and pasting code from a text editor to say, Keynote, is an easy process. The difficulties come in when you want to preserve syntax highlighting, which is crucial to bringing code to life.

  • Network Performance Testing

    It’s extremely likely that sometime in 2014, the number of internet users will pass 3 billion. Not surprisingly, the largest areas of growth are developing markets—predominantly Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. These markets are being flooded with mobile devices small and large, fast and slow, smart or otherwise.

  • Save Your Eyes with f.lux

    I never thought I felt eye strain from looking at big, bright screens all day—I thought my young eyes were invincible. Then I started getting sharp headaches at the end of every day, and I realized I needed to change something.

  • Using Embeddable Getty Images

    Last week, the world’s largest photo service, Getty Images, announced a new policy allowing their images to be embedded on websites for no charge.

  • Read the Docs, Faster

    As a developer, a large amount of my time is spent reading documentation. An even larger amount of time is spent finding said documentation. Or it was, until Dash entered my life.

  • Choosing Vanilla JavaScript

    When building something with a large amount of front-end code, like a robust site or application, jQuery is a powerful ally. However, if you’re building a small- to medium-sized library, you should seriously consider using vanilla JavaScript. Sometimes it makes sense to put down the power screwdriver and use some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

  • Finding Your Way with Sass Sourcemaps

    There are some great changes coming in Sass 3.3, one of which should have developers extremely excited: sourcemaps. Put plainly, sourcemaps are a way to map compiled code back to its native state. That may sound kind of odd, but sourcemaps will make every Sass-loving developer’s life a little bit better.

  • The Design of Code: Organizing JavaScript

    Issue 375 · 

    Well-designed code is much easier to maintain, optimize, and extend, making for more efficient developers. Three high-level, language-agnostic aspects of code design are key to achieving this nirvana: system architecture, maintainability, and reusability. All three may be attained via the module pattern, whose extensible structure lends itself to a solid system architecture and a maintainable codebase. Anthony Colangelo shows how to craft our code into well-organized components that can be reused in projects to come.

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