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GitHub now links to the 64px images (at least on devices with hidpi screens, such as a MacBook Pro with Retina display) and displays them in a 20px box.
It appears the 64px images are in this repository, but they're not being used on http://www.emoji-cheat-sheet.com/ ? This makes them look pixelated on hidpi screens:
fyi: This screenshot is not enlarged, nor is the OS or browser zoomed in any way. This is a straight screenshot from my screen. It looks inflated on 1:1 pixel ratio displays due to the higher pixel ratio.
Yeah, it time to fix this.
We currently generate a sprite on deploy, each emoji is 22x22 px in that sprite. I am going to double this and hope the sprite file size doesn't get to enormous.
Hm.. how does that work though? Displaying a 64px crop from a sprite in a <= 32px background area.
I've abandoned sprites long ago in favour of data uris, especially when it is in a built script (since data uris are even worse than sprites to deal with manually, but that's irrelevant when it is done automatically).
The build script would read them from disk, base64 encode it and embed it as data URI in the stylesheet. Gets you the best of sprites without the restrictions of sprites, and all together after gzip is even smaller and saves one more http request (the one for the image).
See also the CSSMin library of MediaWiki's ResourceLoader, which does this (you may be able to borrow some logic from it if you need):
[#84] Retina sprite
* Generate a extra retina sprite
* Use media queries to select witch sprite to use
Interesting, I haven't worked that much with data-uri. Need to checkout those more.
I made it so a double resolution sprite is also generated and then I use media queries to select which sprite is going to be used. The retina sprite gets kinda big right now, gonna see if I can optimise it
Aha, background-size to the rescue. Nice.
btw, any idea why Gzip compression/encoding is not enabled? I thought that happened on GitHub pages by default. That should reduce the size a lot. It's several megabytes now.