CSS Sprites are Stupid – Let's Use Archives Instead! (Firefox Demo) | kaioa.com
While CSS sprites offer nice performance benefits (less connections/overhead), they are troublesome in every respect. Putting lots of tiny images with different dimensions into one bigger image is fiddly and very hard – np-hard in fact. But that's the smallest issue. It doesn't need to be perfect after all. Deflate will happily squish all that extraneous white-space to virtually nothing. One of the real problems is CSS. It just isn't flexible enough to let you do everything you might want to do with your sprite sheet. For example repeating parts of the image isn't possible. And if you want to display a sub region of an image in the upper right of some element, it only works if that sub region is in the lower left of the sprite sheet. So, the best thing you can do is to use elements in the size of the sub region and use background-position to slide the image around, but that usually means extra markup for something that should be very simple.Our Best Bites: Single Serving Pie in a Jar
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