James Hopkins


James is a web standards fanatic who works in London, UK. Being an advocate of progressive enhancement, he’s always seeking out instances where he can make use of cool new CSS3 properties and selectors. In his spare time he write on his site, Idreamincode where he blogs mainly on web standards and the like.

  • PIECES WRITTEN BY James Hopkins:

    Updated Working Draft Comments Date
    Styling scrollbars the Webkit way 16 comments

    March 22nd, 2009

    Apple publish updated proposals for Transforms, Transitions & Animations 1 comment

    November 25th, 2008

    Summary of the two current CSS Constants proposals 27 comments

    November 15th, 2008

    Recent news in the world of CSS 3 comments

    November 15th, 2008

    CSS WG publishes new Working Draft of Level 3 Backgrounds and Borders 6 comments

    September 10th, 2008

    Level 3 features in the wild 16 comments

    July 3rd, 2008

    Latest Webkit nightlies now support CSS Variables 17 comments

    June 23rd, 2008

    Webkit provides implementation of CSS-based gradients 26 comments

    April 15th, 2008

    Webkit introduces ‘background-clip:text’ 21 comments

    March 21st, 2008

    Webkit now up to 92/100 on Acid3 15 comments

    March 16th, 2008

    IE8 Beta Released 15 comments

    March 6th, 2008

    MS reverse decision on IE8’s opt-in standards compliancy mode 10 comments

    March 4th, 2008

    Tooltips with CSS3 70 comments

    February 28th, 2008

  • COMMENTS WRITTEN BY James Hopkins:

    • As far as I know, Windows 2000 isn't supported anymore which means it would be pointless for Apple to support this OS Posted to " Apple releases Safari 3 Beta " by James Hopkins June 14th, 2007
    • Going by IE's own test suite I can confirm that there is undocumented support for two additional pseudo-classes - :first-child and :lang(). :lang() test case :first-child test cases Posted to " CSS3 features in IE8 " by James Hopkins March 12th, 2008
    • @Neal G - From the spec- "This document may be updated based on implementation experience, but no commitment is made by the authors regarding future updates. Authors would like the proposals contained in this document to be discussed in the CSS Working Group for open standardization under W3C Process." Posted to " Latest Webkit nightlies now support CSS Variables " by James Hopkins June 25th, 2008
    • There is as of yet undocumented support for the :first-child and :lang() pseudo-classes, using the new IE CSS test suite as an example. :first-child pseudo class As I can't post more than one URL at a time in a comment, you'll have to find the :lang() test case yourself Posted to " CSS3 features in IE8 " by James Hopkins March 13th, 2008
    • As Peter pointed in one of his comments, let's not forget what this news really means. The simple fact of the matter is it's a measure for how quickly standards are being adopted- this is a positive thing, so let's not go trying to turn this great news into something that comes across as negative, because of blatantly misinterpreting the information that David presented to us. Posted to " Opera overtakes Safari in Acid3 race, reaches 100% " by James Hopkins March 28th, 2008
    • Thanks Brad for highlighting my typo- don't know how that got in there! [note to self] - avoid writing posts when it's late in the day... Posted to " Tooltips with CSS3 " by James Hopkins February 28th, 2008
    • Stifu, thanks for pointing out my silly mistake- should've thought twice before posting! Posted to " CSS3 features in IE8 " by James Hopkins March 13th, 2008
    • @Peter:- What Facebook has done is create a platform-specifc UI as opposed to a browser-specific one (check out the Mozilla property prefixes in the stylesheet), although AFAIK Safari is the only browser available on the iPhone for the time being at least. Although it's pure speculation I can't help think that third-party browsers will be on their way to iPhone soon (what with Mozilla prefixes in the stylesheet already), although this all rests on the iPhone SDK agreement (an interesting article on the subject). One interpretation of part of the SDK agreement that is discussed in the aforementioned article, talks about third party apps possibly being restricted to using the Webkit engine, rendering (excuse the pun) Firefox and any third party browser, useless. However, Mozilla has already posted a concept video demonstrating the concept of Firefox working on iPhone, and there's also an interesting quote from Opera further down the article. In conclusion, I wouldn't rule out third party browsers appearing on the platform, but obviously it's still all speculation. @Steve:- Perhaps we should try and get the Web Standards.org lot to fit it in between Acid 2 & 3 and make it a target for IE8 to render properly! :) Yes, the iPhone UI is certainly cleansed of all the ads you get and invites; I would use it instead of the main site, but it looks every so slightly too stretched in my 1920x1200! Posted to " Level 3 features in the wild " by James Hopkins July 3rd, 2008
    • @ Madis: Not true - if you read http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/ie8whitepapers/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=568 they detail there intentions of supporting CSS3. If you look near to the top of the comments list, you'll notice in one of my previous comments I detail a list of additional CSS support, including CSS3. Posted to " CSS3 features in IE8 " by James Hopkins March 6th, 2008
    • Thanks Julien for pointing this out - you're right, I should have been more specific Posted to " Opera overtakes Safari in Acid3 race, reaches 100% " by James Hopkins March 28th, 2008
    • @Sam: "Either these errors are bugs in the browser, after all it’s only beta, or I’m doing something wrong when writing my code." Leave your code as it is- at this stage (Beta Pre 1) in it's life-cycle, I'd only recommend using the browser for evaluation purposes. The guys at IE8 will no doubt have a lot of bugs to fix between now and when it goes to general release. My personal opinion is that IE8 won't even be close to Opera/Webkit etc in terms of CSS support, even when it does goe to RC. Please let IE prove me wrong! Posted to " MS reverse decision on IE8's opt-in standards compliancy mode " by James Hopkins March 6th, 2008
    • In response to some of your comments. I guess it's best to think of my method as a proof of concept rather than something that can be immediately deployed- I always knew that this method was going to create a conflict with the user-agent behaviour of the title attribute, which is currently the most semantically correct attribute to use in this instance. With the future working drafts of XHTML 2.0, it's possible that there will be additional instances (suitable attributes) that the method can be used in conjunction with. When I first came across the content property all that time ago, I was very hesitant as to me this blurs the line between separating content and style, especially in the case of using a text-string value (a possible option if you were to remove the title attribute). However, I feel the attribute function makes for an elegant value, since you're only using CSS to grab already-generated markup, rather than hard-coding content directly to make up the value. @ Cory - thanks for the heads-up; I've updated my post accordingly. @ Madis - if you are wanting to use tags within the tooltip, then yes, you would need to look at a more traditional solution, like Emil is describing. Posted to " Tooltips with CSS3 " by James Hopkins February 28th, 2008
    • @Covarr - sorry I was being a bit sarcastic; I blame the frustration of the IE8 score for my comment! It scores 17/100 @hmm - I don't currently have access to the latest build, but thanks for the update. I'll update the post a bit later with the result Posted to " Webkit now up to 92/100 on Acid3 " by James Hopkins March 16th, 2008
    • That was v funny - like everyone else, I believed it until clicking on the link at the bottom! I hope Chris doesn't look at this post - it might give them ideas! Posted to " IE9 to include alternative 'CSS.2012' standard " by James Hopkins April 1st, 2008
    • @ BOLK - 'filter' isn't a valid CSS property and is a proprietary CSS extension that only IE recognizes- therefore it's use isn't recommended Posted to " CSS3 features in IE8 " by James Hopkins March 6th, 2008
    • @Paul - Done Posted to " Webkit introduces 'background-clip:text' " by James Hopkins March 21st, 2008
    • @Dot. - Thanks for the sharing that useful resource @Stifu - They must have written the announcement literally minutes after I posted this article. Thanks for pointing it out; I'll update the article a bit later on Posted to " Webkit now up to 92/100 on Acid3 " by James Hopkins March 17th, 2008
    • I would like to reiterate Tim's comments. I think too much attention is being given to the score percentage itself, rather than the smooth rendering and pixel-for-pixel likeness to the reference rendering (although judging by the screenshot David provides, it looks pretty spot on), that is required to pass the test. Even though the internal build passes all 100 tests, Opera are obviously aware of some additional issues that need to be ironed out- to quote David, "There are still some rendering issues, but things are well on track to passing the test". @Ed: As I've mentioned before, neither David or Tim suggest that Acid3 has been passed; David has merely indicated that all 100 tests that are part of Acid3 have been passed. If the guys over at Webkit release a nightly that passes all three criteria, before Opera release a public build incorporating Acid3 support, then I would deem Webkit to be the winner. Still all to play for, I think. Posted to " Opera overtakes Safari in Acid3 race, reaches 100% " by James Hopkins March 26th, 2008
    • @Anon: I strongly disagree with your suggestion that this was a stunt by Opera. As I've mentioned before David merely pointed out the fact that an internal build has passed all 100 DOM tests, NOT that they'd completely passed Acid3. He sums it up quite nicely,"I’m sorry if people can’t read correctly." Posted to " Opera overtakes Safari in Acid3 race, reaches 100% " by James Hopkins March 27th, 2008
    • Sorry for putting a stopper to the string variations of the name David! @David Smith: If you're after Level 3 selectors, then you'll be disappointed with the news that there is no planned implementation of them in the IE8 RC, in case you didn't already know. It's nice to see that a number of vendors are taking the initiative to implement properties included in the Basic UI module, even if they do involve using vendor-specifc prefixes. As I mention in an article I wrote mainly about the box-sizing concept but also go into some detail about the current module status. It is also worth mentioning that on top of having to find a new owner (that's if Tantek doesn't want to be reinstated) and a test-suite being created, there are also several features that are at risk of being removed from the module before it exits CR. So in this sense, I would think of the module as being fairly unpolished although it's been a CR since mid '04. Posted to " CSS 2007 snapshot, CSS3, and Acid 3 " by James Hopkins March 30th, 2008
    • @David Smith: No, I personally find it extremely annoying. This is far from ideal, and I would personally never use JS for this purpose. As for CSS3 selector support in JQuery, Peter Gasston recently posted an article announcing news that JQuery is losing support for many Level 3 selectors. Posted to " CSS 2007 snapshot, CSS3, and Acid 3 " by James Hopkins March 30th, 2008
    • @David Storey: Windows-based FF builds (not sure about Linux but not Mac) support the appearance property when the -moz- prefixed is attached to it. MDC document Posted to " CSS 2007 snapshot, CSS3, and Acid 3 " by James Hopkins March 30th, 2008
    • Ahhh, the 'come-down' from all that Acid3 hype and excitement! On a serious note though, I think it's worthwhile noting (for those that aren't already aware) that the guys at Webkit have been innovating yet again and have now come up with CSS Reflections and CSS Masks. Also worth mentioning is that a Last Call Working Draft of the Snapshot '07 has been published, along with CSS Namespaces moving to CR. That along with a proposal from Daniel Glazman being published regarding CSS Variables OT: Peter, do you have that group photo from @Media with you, David and I still about? I vaguely remember it being taken in that Italian restaurant, but due to my beer consumption that night I can't be certain. Did you and David manage to spend all of Joost's beer money? :) Posted to " Slow times for CSS 3 news " by James Hopkins June 4th, 2008
    • @David - I agree with you about iPhone sites being short-sited. The main point behind this site, as I see it, is to replicate iPhones UI. I share the same opinion as yourself and Peter in that we shouldn't be going down the route of creating platform-specific sites; instead, as Peter pointed out, developers should be building interfaces designed for a wide array of mobile browsers. However, I think we need to define a 'platform-specifc UI'; I think it's a bit over the top to try and match colour palettes/gradients to a specific UI, but instead I feel that the design be brand-focused. If Facebook however were using fundamental CSS properties (same could apply to JS) that were specific to WebKit, which in turn meant that the site broke in other browsers, then as far as I'm concerned, that would be going down the wrong path. Regarding your comments about the use of WebKit specific rules, if or when vendors such as yourselves are allowed to develop browsers for the iPhone, that the devs at FB will update their CSS accordingly - as I've already mentioned there is at least one instance of '-moz- in there somewhere, so they're obviously anticipating that browsers other than Safari will be or are already using the site, and why include the standardized 'box-sizing' property if Webkit only support their own vendor-specific extension? I'm also unsure as to what you mean when the site will break in Mobile 9.5? So far as I've seen, 'box-sizing' is probably the most crucial layout property that is used and as I've mentioned already, they've included this in the form of the standardized property (which Opera supports) in the stylesheet. As to the other Webkit-specific properties; I'm guessing they've added these either because the property itself isn't stable enough to be implemented at this stage, therefore sticking to their own version of the property makes sense for the time being, or purely for the progressive enhancement aspect (border-radius, border-image). Edit @David, I'd also be very interested to hear more about this iPhone quirks mode you speak of? Posted to " Level 3 features in the wild " by James Hopkins July 4th, 2008
    • "But variables, that’s a good thing. IMO, it should be finalized and implemented in all major browsers by end of 2009." Yes, in an ideal world they should be. However, in reality they won't be; what Daniel has come up with is only a simple proposal. After enough feedback has been received (that's even if the WG receive enough positive feedback to warrant it going any further), it needs to go through four levels of stability to make it to a REC; Namespaces was considered stable enough (although technically it's still only a CR) to be included in the '07 Snapshot, nine years after it was proposed (although it's been implemented interoperably for many years). I'm not trying to say it's going to take that long for Variables to make it to REC, but I honestly don't think a time-frame of a year and a half allowing for Proposal to REC & browser adoption is realistic. Add to this there is no inherent fallback, and you are left with a feature that, from a cross-browser perspective (but depending on your targeted browsers), isn't likely to see the light of day for many years to come. Posted to " New features proposed for CSS " by James Hopkins April 11th, 2008
    • Cheers Stifu, We are aware of some issues such as these, but I'll echo these particular ones back to the relevant people. Posted to " RGBa in action and further CSS3 reading " by James Hopkins November 13th, 2008
    • @Jake - Yes, you would need to download a nightly version of Webkit Posted to " Webkit provides implementation of CSS-based gradients " by James Hopkins November 15th, 2008
    • First I've heard of this change too. Posted to " RGBa in action and further CSS3 reading " by James Hopkins November 6th, 2008
    • Hi Lrbabe, Thanks for letting us know - I've emailed the webmaster, so it should be up fairly soon. Or if it's urgent, you can send it to me at [email protected] and I can forward it on to the relevant people. Posted to " Meyer and Resig on CSS3 " by James Hopkins December 30th, 2008
    •  @Gustavo - check http://www.css3.info/wp-content/themes/new_css3/css/ie6.css. It uses the proprietary Filter property combined with AlphaImageLoader. Posted to " RGBa in action and further CSS3 reading " by James Hopkins November 6th, 2008
    •  Welcome Suzy. Posted to " Suzy waves to readers of css3.info " by James Hopkins August 13th, 2009
    • Welcome Chris, I haven't had time to respond to your email yet, but will do this weekend. Posted to " CSS3.info - New Owner, Same Great Site " by James Hopkins July 17th, 2009
    •  Great idea. I was unaware that Gérard has taken it upon himself to review test cases from designers in this way - well done, that man! However, what's stopping authors from simply submitting tests using [email protected] as is done at the moment? Posted to " Join the CSS Quality Assurance Team " by James Hopkins January 7th, 2010
    •  "Well this public mailing list should be easier to discover, maybe sounds weird but it should be promoted in some way" Agreed, as an interim solution until a more author-centric submission system has been established. "Tests like ACIDs and the selector test on css3.info are popular. Something in that direction have to be done." Popularity musn't be a factor to determine how suitable a testsuite is. I'd recommend you read one of Elika's articles to understand why Acid tests are far from adequate, and why the selectors test here at CSS3.info is unsuitable too. @Elika. Since several CSS3 modules have reached CR recently, could you give us a quick update as to where the Working Group is at with establishing a testsuite for each CR module? Does the Working Group require help in the same way they do currently with CSS21? ASIDE: it might be an idea to ascii-obfuscate Gérard's email address in your post :) Posted to " Join the CSS Quality Assurance Team " by James Hopkins January 8th, 2010
    •  "Can anyone give me an example of a good, useful test suite that is also dead simple for a web user to figure out how to run?" http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/CSS2.1/current/ :) All tests have an intuitive pass/fail criterion which can be understood by anyone, regardless of whether or not they are familiar with the specification. Posted to " Join the CSS Quality Assurance Team " by James Hopkins January 9th, 2010


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