Archive for March, 2011

Fantasy Formula 1

Monday, March 21st, 2011

As the 2011 season is almost upon us I’m once again encouraging you to sign-up for Mitch & Brooke’s F1 Fantasy Racing League at www.fantasyautoracers.com/f1_01/

This will be Mitch & Brooke’s F1 Fantasy Racing League 14th year in a row and my third participating. I encourage you to make your team to compete against ZERO Racing, my team. It makes the season that much more fun.

The deadline for the first race is 1 hour before race time on Sunday, March 27th. Go to www.fantasyautoracers.com and sign up now to make sure you get your team in before that deadline. The site looks like it could use a visual update… working on that. But I’m sure you can look past that.

To get you in the mood, here’s a great tribute to Ayrton Senna from Top Gear, featuring Lewis Hamilton. Can’t wait for the new season or to see the Senna movie!

Silk Icon set from famfamfam.com as CSS Data URIs

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I’m a big fan of famfamfam.com ‘s free icon set Silk. The Silk icon set contains over thousand simple icons that are free to use for any purpose. All those at famfamfam.com ask is that you include a link back to there web page in your credits famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/.

The icons are so simple as small that it makes a lot of sense to include them in your web site’s CSS file as Data URIs. Here’s my web page containing the Silk icon set as CSS/Data URIs.

Wikipedia has a good explanation of what Data URIs at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_URI_scheme . The Data URI scheme is a URI scheme that provides a way to include data in-line in web pages as if they were external resources, as opposed to linking to a file.

The other advantage of using CSS is that the images here are loaded as background images through CSS. An advantage for accessibility and other functional reasons when loading an image for decoration only.

Data URIs are the binary file data represented in Base64 encoding. It’s worth noting that Base64-encoded data is about 4/3s of the original data size, or about a third larger than equivalent binary images. Data URIs also my not be as aggressively cached.

With that noted, there are advantages to using Data URIs. Data URIs reduce the number of HTTP requests. Negotiating a new HTTP request is often the biggest bottleneck on a broadband connection. With small files (like these) the overhead of establishing a HTTP request can actually represent more transferred data than the image itself. These types of decisions reduce the number of round-trips and delay.