i3dTHEMES interactive

i3dTHEMES://interactive 21

We’re re-branding our “weekly recaps” as i3dTHEMES://interactive, where we take a few minutes to share with you what we’ve been working over the last week in our design and code labs.

When Colin first started i3dTHEMES in 2001, i3d was short for Interactive 3Designs, the name he did business under.  His designs were interactive in a way that most small business and personal websites had never been before.  They were also predominantly 3D in feel, with bevels and shadows.

After business took off in 2004, we had a logo made for i3dTHEMES that used a sort of marble for its design.  In late 2004 we incorporated as Lucky Marble Solutions and here we are some 12 years later.  But we held strong to the i3dTHEMES brand, as that was what our clients were familiar with.

As we head into our sixth month of doing these weekly live streaming videos, we thought we’d really call them for what they are — interactives.  Yes, that’s a new term, that I’m making up.  They are interactives, where we share what is important to us, and what we’re doing, and encourage you all to watch and comment, and share, and like.

And so we are here, it’s Friday, and what a week it has been.  In the code lab, Colin has put a tremendous amount of work into the RASA website design.  The home page is virtually finished.  For the first time he is using SVG graphics as shapes for some of the containers and headings, which will allow for faster loading and fewer requests to the serve as fewer graphic files need to be loaded.Next week is tidy up, and we’re hoping that we’ll be looking at a February 7th launch.  In addition to his work on RASA, just like the rest of January, he’s also taken on a number of new website setup and content transfers this week.

In the code lab this week has seen some incredible advances with the Accelerator google page speed optimization systems.  We have major upgrades that are going through beta testing that we are going to implementing on sites starting next week.  One of them is a new javascript deferral mechanism.  We developed it in response to a very unsual situation that experienced multiple versions of jQuery on the same page.  It turns out this new mechanism is more robust than the previous version.

An addition to that, we also developed a new way of building the critical CSS for a web page.  It’s faster, and it’s cross browser compatible.  The first version of our critical css builder engine worked great in some, but not all browsers.  This new version is also uses a technology that we had never worked with before called “Node.js”.  It’s a pretty geeky coding platform that runs on the server.  And it’s awesome.

So with those two major updates to Accelerator being deployed in the next two weeks, as well as some other interface improvements, Accelerator will be considered out of beta.  We have some pretty big plans for it in the coming months, with some additional functionality — but with the completion of these two features, we will consider the core rock solid.

So there you go!  Another week of code and design at i3dTHEMES.