Monthly Archives: November 2010

CSS3 properties you can already use in your projects today – A look at RGBA and HSLA

by admin

Today, I just want to give you a quick rundown which CSS3 properties we designers & developers can already integrate in our everyday work. Sidenote: IE-Browsers up to version 9 don’t support any CSS3!

So why not take advantage of these newly supported CSS3 properties and provide a better experience to your visitors today ? I want to kick this series off with the new ways in which you can manipulate colors using CSS3.


RGBA stands for Red, Green, Blue and Alpha (alpha-channel) which refers to the transparency of that color. Some might say: ‘But you can already use opacity to achieve a transparency effect!’ I say: ‘True, but the main advantage of using RGBA over opacity is that when using RGBA,the transparency isn’t applied to child elements and thus parents remain solid objects! Which also means that we don’t need to reproduce the transparency effect using semi-/transparent .png files anymore!’. Its much less of a hassle to use pure CSS-code instead of dealing with workarounds.

The syntax:

#element {
  background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); //fallback
  background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.5);

The first declaration is the fallback for our beloved friend IE, the second declaration is for all the other browsers.


HSLA stands for Hue, Saturation, Lightness and, you guessed right, the alpha-channel. Its a pretty cool, fast and a more intuitive way of changing colors! The first value (Hue) is for choosing the color done using degrees: 0º = Red, 60º = Yellow, 120º = Green, 180º = Cyan, 240º = Blue, 300º = Magenta (and but of course you will get all the colors in between two values).

The second value (Saturation) controls the amount of color we are using, 0% = greyscale and 100% = full color.

The third value (Lightness) tells us how bright the color is. 0% = Black and 100% = White.

The syntax:

  background: hsl(30, 50%, 80%); //fallback
  background: hsla(30, 50%, 80%, 0.5);

Go and have a play with Chris Coyier’s created nifty tool the HSLa Explorer


Whatever your preferences is when it comes to manipulating colors, CSS3 got some hot stuff to offer and in my opinion, it is about time to start integrating these newly supported CSS3 properties in your projects today!

Pics and slides from Shanghai Scrum Forum

by Sam

September the 27th was the first Shanghai Scrum Forum in our office. It was the opportunity for the company to share knowledge about Scrum in order to continuously improve our practices.

There were in total 9 presentations covering different topics (Scrum in general, Scrum masters and product owners roles, different aspect linked to the products business, Scrum and management, …). The event finished with an open space session. About the presentations I can mention “How little can we do and still call it Scrum” from Alan Atlas, “Getting to Done” from Vermon Stinebaker or “From Development Agility to business Agility with Scrum and Opportunity Engineering” from Julien Mazloum.

You can find here The NetCircle presentations slides and some pictures of the event. Blaise Iranyumviye and Mik Pathikirikorale presented Three years of Scrum at The NetCircle and Nils Weisensee presented Product Owners: Five mistakes that make your project #fail.

Zendcon 2010, here we come

by Boby

Just a small post to wish a good time to all the participants of Zendcon 2010 which starts today. Zendcon is THE PHP conference with 4 days of sessions and the presence of all the PHP scene.

And we are present there as well! Our ambassador, Alvaro Videla, will be giving a presentation on “Integrating PHP with RabbitMQ” tomorrow from 10 to 11am. He will talk about his experiences in deploying and running a messaging queue system on a high traffic website for one of our client. Don’t miss it!!

2010 ECUG Beijing debriefing

by Joseph

On October 16th and 17th three members of The NetCircle team hitchhiked their way to Beijing to attend the 2010 Effective Cloud User Group (formerly known as Erlang China User Group) conference. The conference brought in some heavy hitters in the Chinese software community to give talks that touched on a range of topics related to effectively scaling software applications and services for large numbers of users. There were several presentations from speakers working at well-known companies like Taobao, Shanda and MochiMedia, as well as our own software wizard, Alvaro Videla.

The range of topics included technical issues with deploying WebOSs, concurrency problems, Erlang game development, distributed storage and solving the C1000K problem (the C10K problem is so yesterday) from a hardware perspective. Bob Ippolito discussed how Erlang services are deployed at MochiWeb and some of the tools they use to develop, test and deploy those services.

Here is a quick recap of all the talks that went down.

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