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Shed No Tears for the Animated GIF

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If you've been following along with this blog so far, you've heard lots about various acronyms--for example, HTML5 and CSS3. I haven't written much about the technical details of each standard, beyond the fact that HTML5 is a powerful update to the Web's underlying language and that CSS3 provides extensive capabilities for styling and positioning the elements of a page.

Most of you are probably fine with that--especially if you use Internet Explorer 9, which handles the new standards with verve and grace. For the technically inclined, especially those with some grasp of HTML and CSS who haven't yet delved into the latest and greatest techniques, check out a brand-new book that's both informative and entertaining. It's called Hardboiled Web Design, and it's by Andy Clarke, the master Web designer some call "the ambassador of CSS."

Clarke's book advocates a back-to-basics approach to the new technologies, and this means tearing down all the legacy structures and habits that have turned the Web into a junk pile of half-solutions and kluges. In the new HTML5 era, he says, now that browsers finally agree on the standards and how to interpret them, it's time to take an "uncompromising look at how to make the most from modern design tools and browsers, up-to-date techniques, and processes." In short, it's time to design for the future rather than the past--especially now that the future is here!

To wit: Hardboiled Web Design, which depicts a blasé private eye in a slick looping animation rendered entirely using Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVG. SVG is perfect for cartoons and other line art. It's native to modern browsers, it renders instantly, and it is directly scriptable. While development tools are still a bit lacking, the day is at hand when SVG will kill off the animated GIF. I'd shed a little tear at the thought if I weren't feeling so thoroughly hardboiled.

This story, "Shed No Tears for the Animated GIF" was originally published by BrandPost.