Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I’ve just come off stage at An Event Apart San Francisco where I delivered ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’, my talk about CSS3 animations, for the last time. The talk uses a a mad, mad, mad, mad manimation as vehicle to explain CSS3 animations and encourage people to use them (and other emerging CSS properties) for more than for cool, edge case demonstrations. For everyone not at An Event Apart this year, I’ve uploaded my slides on Speaker Deck.

Madmanimation was a joint effort between me, Anthony Calzadilla and Geri Coady. Anthony animated, Geri designed and I progressively enhanced.

When I first delivered Smoke Gets In Your Eyes in April, browser support for CSS3 animations was very limited. At first there were only Webkit-based browsers, then came support in Firefox. Finally, Microsoft added support in Internet Explorer 10. This makes me happy and I’m convinced that designers and developers like Anthony Calzadilla helped made this happen, in part, by showing what’s possible.

I’ve enjoyed this year’s An Event Apart, and my other speaking engagements, enormously. It’s a privilege to share the stage with professionals at the very top of their game and I never forget what an honour it is to be given a platform to share my ideas.

What many people don’t realise when they watch speakers, is that speaking can take a very personal toll. None of the people you’ll hear at events like An Event Apart are professional speakers, so getting up on stage involves rewards and risks. Rewards can include pride in a talk well delivered, good comments or feedback. But it’s risky too, especially for fragile, creative egos.

Rewards must make risks worthwhile and recently, for me, they haven’t. That’s why, after delivering fifty talks since my first in 2005, I won’t be speaking in 2012. I’m taking a year off (except for one event), to recharge and refocus on my own projects, so that I can talk about them in 2013.

I hope I’ll see you then.


I’m available for hire to consult on and design products and websites. Based in North Wales, I travel regularly to work with clients world-wide.

Available from January 2020

Talk soon

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