Managing Sprite Graphics

April 14, 2008 posted in Web Technology

If you deal with a website that has any sizable amount of content, you understand that asset management can quickly get out of hand. I’m guilty of this, and I’m here to come clean: I have a junk drawer, and it’s name is the “images” folder. A quick look at my “images” folder reveals multiple formats of a background, some rounded corners, and a bunch of ornamental images. So it was a joyful occasion when I discovered Yahoo’s method for managing images that are reused throughout a site: massive sprite graphics.

Typically when I create a graphic with multiple visual states I use a single sprite with the sliding door technique. Yahoo simplifies the process by creating only one graphic for all sprites. When new graphics are added to the site, they can be appended to the bottom of the existing master sprite graphic without interfering with existing x-y reference points.

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