Why CSS buttons aren’t used enough

I know CSS buttons exists, are really faster and not enough sites are using it. Let me try to explain on the different point of views. I am a Web UI Developer in situated in Singapore. I do tons of frontend work.

UI Designer

They care the most on the look and feel of the button. They add shadows, a gradient and a beautiful texture. It’s the perfect button, in PNG. Well they send you in PNG, they design it in Photoshop. They most likely wouldn’t know CSS. They send you the button as part of a larger image to slice and implement. Their job is to make the UI look great, not to be concerned with speed of page rendering and assets delivery. They believe someone will take care of it.

Web UI Developer

Our interest is to finish up the task and make it look like the design. We could implement a button with CSS but we don’t know the shadow and border radius involved. We could ask the UI Designer but that takes an email and we might have to tone down the UI Designer’s button design. It’s a lot easier to deliver the button in an image format than to go through the hassle. We are slightly more concern with the speed but we don’t want to compromise on other’s work.

QA Engineer

This person is there to make sure that the Web UI Developer implements stuff correctly. That means the design of the button must look right in various browsers and platforms. The image format would look exactly like the mockup, it’s something QA Engineers would prefer. QA’s priority is to make sure the button is implemented as specified. Often speed of delivery is not in the specification.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer will look at the page and scan through and announce that image compression is needed to speed up the delivery of the webpage. He or she will then announced that after compression, the website is now 23% smaller and provide advice on compress images and CSS during the build process. The CSS button issue will fade away because everyone things compression is good enough a solution.

How to make it work better

The UI Developer probably has to step up and advice the changes being the interface between all parties. Perhaps they can be incentives towards better speed and performance. It’s a metrics that is not emphasized.

Instagramming during a fire

I had this brief discussion with a friend. In an event of a fire, why do people Instagram?

The answer really is just because it is eventful. How many times will you see a fire? How many times will you see a sushi? Given that, don’t you think fire is more worth taking pictures of than food?

That obviously is missing the point, I imagine you would retort. Fires could be dangerous, sushis only delicious.

But isn’t that the whole purpose of Instagram — to take record all things eventful? Yes, and that is why we take pictures during fires! Because our minds are trained to record this and share with our friends our experiences. Maybe they shared you a picture of a devastating building collapse in vintage filters before.

So it perhaps is quite foolish to be expose of the risks of a fire but at least we proved it happened and we were there. I instagram the shit out of things, crosspost it to Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook and my Tumblr no one reads. And the journalist in me is going to take another video, paused with segments, using Vine. I am also going to take a Blair Witch Project kinda video while running and upload it to YouTube after applying toy camera effects.

The question people ask is why. The question I ask is why the hell not.

Birthday cards in the workplace

The human resource manager does this in some workplaces, they passing the birthday cards around hoping someone writes some birthday wishes for on a birthday card. That is nice but what’s totally unnecessary is hiding the card.

We all know we are going to receive the card in due time but the card is always hidden from us. We don’t write our own cards but we aren’t supposed to see our card? So our birthdays are now surprises?

The odd things in the office.

List of fare from Singapore to Dominican Republic

All prices in USD.

Fare Breakdown

  • Airfare: 1,554.00 USD
  • U.S. Customs User Fee: 11.00
  • International Surcharge: 532.00
  • U.S. Immigration User Fee: 14.00
  • U.S. APHIS User Fee: 10.00
  • September 11th Security Fee: 5.00
  • Singapore Passenger Service Charge: 11.40
  • Singapore Passenger Security Service Charge: 6.50
  • Singapore Aviation Levy: 5.00
  • Dom. Republic Airport Authority Fee: 30.00
  • Dom. Republic Airport Infrastructure Fee: 32.60
  • Dominican Republic Departure Tax: 20.00
  • U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 9.00
  • Per Person Total: 2,240.50

Look at the charges!

APHIS charges are user fees to recover the costs of providing the following goods and services:

  • Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection (AQI) services
  • Export certification of plants and plant products
  • Veterinary services for imports and exports of live animals and products
    • Imports
    • Exports
  • Veterinary diagnostic goods and services

So many miscellaneous charges.

Tiny notes over a sense of belonging in Singapore

I am convinced that most Singaporeans are prouder to be in Singapore than I am. There’s this sense of belonging most Singaporeans have that didn’t seem come as natural to me as it did for others. It got me thinking about leaving Singapore experience what it is like working overseas because that’s what people tell me — you go overseas few years la then sure you miss Singapore one.

So someone from the US pointed this out to me yesterday that in his country, ignoring the party lines, there are people who would just bitch and bitch about America and then continue to be proud of USA. And how it works is that they have the sense of ownership over American and this gives them to right to critique about her.

And my mind’s just blown, although save yourself from imagining that, I know you love to see that. There are two separate things really:

1. A sense of belonging VS a sense of ownership

Ah, the word play. It seemed like, at least to me, that I belonged to Singapore and that would somewhat imply Singapore owns me. This is opposed to what the American dude thinks, he likes they it’s their America, they collectively owned America. I would previously never dare say sense of ownership to describe anything Singapore, it felt brazen.

All this while I am searching for things that make me feel I belong to the country and it takes a conversation to make me realize I don’t have to, I own the country. It is my country. So get off my lawn, will you? Okay, mow it before you leave, thanks.

2. The relationship between criticism and ownership

Supposed I am a fashion designer, I design and manufacture these shirts and blouses and pants and everything. I wear my own clothes and I let others wear the clothes I designed too. Once in a while I would sit and reflect, hey, the white buttons gotta go it’s really ugly. I feel I have the right to say that because I make the clothes. If others were to tell me the white buttons aren’t pretty enough, I will get offended. I think that really is what People’s Action Party (PAP) thinks for many years. (PS: I love the white outfit.) When people start complaining about Singapore being the way she is, her designers felt betrayed.

But, it’s a good thing to critique. And if you feel you own the country, it leaves little wrong to criticize. I would also go a step further to say that the more you critique the more you feel that this is your country due to the time invested on babbling away at common areas. People will have the perception that Singapore mattered to you a lot and you in return have to live up to the impression that you have created. Criticism ends up reinforcing your sense of ownership.

Side note: The Hong Lim Park Speakers’ Corner speech of February 16, 2013

I do not agree with the points discussed. I do however like that people are sharing their opinions and listening to each other. This is yet another critical milestone for my country. All I see is love, baby, all I see is love.

Interesting discoveries #05

It’s been a while since I did this. Been busy needless to say. Here’s a list of random discoveries that didn’t make into an individual blog post.

1. The meaning of Empire State of Mind

God I love this song. I sang this song at karaoke in Topone KTV with Terence and totally ruin the rap parts. But what’s the meaning of the song? Rap Genius explains it here. Very useful. Know what you sing.

2. Accessories for Backbone.js framework

It doesn’t just stay there does it? Backbone.js already an established JavaScript MVC framework has accessories and frameworks built atop it. Let’s see. For a short list there still is:

  • Aura.js – A scalable, event-driven JavaScript architecture for developing widget-based applications.
  • Chaplin – Web application framework on top of Backbone.js.
  • Marionette – Backbone.Marionette is a composite application library for Backbone.js that aims to simplify the construction of large scale JavaScript applications.
  • Thorax – Strengthening your Backbone. By Walmart.

I’m currently exploring Marionette and seeing how it can be adopted to an existing Backbone.js application.

3. What’s wrong with airports

BoardingArea has an interesting article written in response to Seth Godin’s writes about 10 things organizations can learn from airports.

Both articles are interesting reads.

4. Tesla’s thorough assessment on The New York Times review

This marks a new kind of fact checking really. The New York Times and Top Gear reviewed the new Tesla Model S negatively and Tesla is able to provide evidence that both papers haven’t done their tests fairly at all. Read more about it here.

Tesla left little out and this time both publications ought to examine their review process. On a separate note, Tesla cars supports REST API used by their Android and iOS applications. The Atlantic Wire gave a review of Tesla’s review of The New York Time’s review. And there’s also a response from The New York Times.

Now that’s the journalism we are proud of. Great work from everyone. People make mistakes but people are also willing to forgive.

5. Opera is moving to WebKit

So Opera announced that they are moving to WebKit. This is a good thing for them. They can concentrate on the user experience of the browser itself. The browser itself has really matured to the stage that progress is just about integrating features with the cloud basically. That’s not unwelcomed though.

I love to see what would be of the Opera that no longer has to care about their rendering engine Presto. Perhaps more interesting bits of technology would emerge to improve on the browser and services that they support.

What the news?

Was reading this Channel News Asia article and found it slightly amusing:

SINGAPORE: A Bangladeshi cleaner was on Wednesday sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment for cheating his fellow countrymen of their work permits.

Fellow countrymen? Can news get more poetic than this?

Shobhan Haider Rupu Ayoub Ali, 29, admitted to 30 counts of cheating in January this year. Prosecution proceeded on eight charges.

I never understood this really. So he cheated 30 times but he’s charged 8 times? So what’s the charge again?

Shobhan’s modus operandi was to deceive fellow Bangladeshi workers that he had jobs for them at Marriott Hotel.

Latin? Argh! I have to check the dictionary for modus operandi. Usage of Latin in news should be deemed actus reus (a prohibited act). (Hey, at least I bothered to explain yea?)

The cleaner would ask the victims for their work permits in order to exchange them for security passes at the hotel.

Oh! So the story is that the cleaner get hold of their work permits and sell it? This just isn’t clear in the beginning of the news article!

Court documents showed that he sold a total of 30 work permits for S$2,500 to another man in the Kallang area.

Ah okay, so now the numbers tally. His 30 counts of cheating comes from selling away 30 work permits illegally? Wait, what? He sold it to another man in Kallang? When’s the first man mentioned? Was he from Joo Chiat?

Shobhan could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.

Warning of the severity of the crime that will benefit none of Channel News Asia’s targeted audiences. That’s just an odd article. I generally found Channel News Asia articles both too short and hard to digest. I might have better luck reading from the bottom. Maybe I should go back to reading picture books.

Random observations during Chinese new year

I’m always a little slow in blogging. As you already know, it’s lunar new year or Chinese new year or maybe the super long weekend for some.

I visited some of my relatives and made some random findings and observations.

  1. Everyone’s playing Candy Crush Saga
  2. Kids call my red wine Ribena
  3. Shoes can get stolen while you’re doing visiting
  4. BMW cars need to be opened twice from the inside

1. Everyone’s playing Candy Crush Saga

Oh my god, really? I have so much to talk about this game I could spend 20 minutes just babbling how truly lame the game is. I cannot reiterate how much I hated this game’s weariness factor. Today’s games have this terrible formula of tiring you out and eventually getting you to pay some pennies to make your life easier. Your life could very well be easier had you not started on the game. The motive of the game itself is profit and the moment I learnt of this I feel manipulated.

Candy Crush Saga is a Bejeweled-like game. I will get you a screenshot soon, I couldn’t figure out how to get the screenshot thing done in Windows and I have a degree in information systems and ignorance. Here you go:

Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush Saga


I was stuck at level 35 for so long I uninstalled the game in spite (of?). Chloe advanced my level past that only to have me now stuck in level 37. Well done, KahWee, well done.

2. Kids call my red wine Ribena

The kids are adorable. They call my red wine Ribena. I nodded, red-faced.

3. Shoes can get stolen while you’re doing visiting

I shan’t reveal the name of the victim but my brother lost his shoes during the visit to my uncle’s house. Everyone felt terrible and he was sulking over his loss.

Listen, if you bring expensive new shoes, beware of losing them. Don’t leave them outside the gates. Monsters steal shoes, not the ones from Pixar, the fucking horrible ones which looks human. You would think — or I imagine you would think — who would steal a pair of shoes during Chinese new year?! We stopped brooding over the question as it’s time to move on.

As I suck at cheering people up, my brother went home with slippers and major sadness.

4. BMW cars need to be opened twice from the inside

WHY does the door take two times to open? Okay here’s my theory.

It’s to make sure the owner has a chance to say oh it’s the first time you been in a BMW, BMW always requires you to pull open the door handle twice.

What’s up with that distinction? Some secret code?

The only right reply to people who say that to you is: Sorry, I always had my BMW doors opened for me, I’m caught ignorant again!

Clapping in planes

Did you know that in America, when the plane lands successfully, there are almost claps all the time? (On side note, if the plane fails to land, no one will be able to clap. Hurhur, humor gets dark.)

Anyway, I ask the passenger next to me to get an explanation. They just felt thankful that it’s landed safely or smoothly. “Wow! We don’t really do that in my country,” I added. And he asked, “no claps? then what’s there?”

“I don’t know. Everyone just turns on their phone, or something. Or grab their baggage. Or try to be the first out of the plane.”

Really it’s about expressing appreciation. I think there’s not enough people doing it here in Singapore. The clapping of hands in the plane is probably not even heard by the pilots in the cockpit. I’m certain the passengers weren’t simply clapping to congratulate the pilot for his or her smooth landing. The Americans — at least some are — are just genuinely pleased that they’ve had a safe flight and are showing their unreserved appreciation to the crew in general.

Even if the pilot doesn’t hear it, the crew members might just praise the pilot, adding that there were claps. This form of encouragement goes a long way and it’s ascertains what you are doing is right. Do that more to please others when they deserved it, compliments are free.