Apologies for the irregularity of the Reading List at the moment; September and October are autumn conference season and my schedule is bonkers.
A meeting at Mozilla Paris on how to solve Responsive Images, organised and summarised by Marcos Caceres concluded
- Browser vendors agree that srcset + DPR-switching is the right initial step forward (i.e., the 2x, 3x, etc. syntax).
- Agreement to then consider srcset + viewport size after some implementation experience (possibly drop height syntax from srcset spec). If not implemented, Width/Height syntax to possibly be marked at risk in srcset spec.
- Browser makers acknowledge the art-direction use case, but still think <picture> is not the right solution.
- Adding new HTTP headers to the platform, as Client-Hints proposes to do, has had negative impact in the past – so Client Hints might need to be reworked at bit before it becomes more acceptable to browser verndors.
So initially, we’ll use something like
<img src="normal.png" srcset="retina.png 2x" alt="otter vomiting">
Browsers that have “retina” displays will choose retina.png as they have 2 CSS pixels to one physical pixel. Browsers that aren’t retina, or don’t understand the new syntax, fall back to the good old
WebKit and Blink have implemented (but not yet shipped)
srcset, Mozilla is planning implemention now.
Meanwhile, an alternative “srcN” proposal has been put forward by Tab Atkins and John Mellor (excitingly, “John Mellor” was the real name of The Clash’s Joe Strummer). It claims to solve Resolution-based discrimination, Art-direction discrimination and Viewport-based discrimination usecases. Discussion here.
UK Government Web
The Cabinet Office’s Open Standards Board is recommending open standards technology. The first two to be approved are HTTP/1.1 and Unicode UTF-8. Francis Maude, the Minister, allegedly said “open standards will give us interoperable software, information and data in government and will reduce costs by encouraging competition, avoiding lock-in to suppliers or products and providing more efficient services”.
This may not be revelatory to those of us in the web world, but it’s a Good Thing for the nation.
I had the pleasure of hearing Paul Arnett (now of Twitter, previously of gov.uk) talking about the gov.uk initiative at From The Front conference a few days ago, and thought it was a sign of schizophrenia that the same government that can allow subject experts make a world-leading governmental portal is the same government that disregards experts and its own consultation in wanting to censor the web.
I realise now that it’s the old Tory DNA: the belief in encouraging competition by economic liberalism, reducing bureaucracy, while remaining socially authoritarian and reeling from one moral panic to the other. So no change there.
- Media Capture in mobile browsers
- Service Workers: Navigation Controllers, Minus Navigations, Plus New Shiny – goodbye Crappcache, au revoir Navigation Controllers, hello Service Workers!
- Responsive elements – a tiny JS library that “makes it possible for any element to adapt and respond to the area they occupy”
- Designing for iOS7: Perils & Pluses by Luke Wroblewski
- Embed Responsively – paste in a YouTube/ Vimeo/ etc URL, and get some cut-n-paste code that makes your embeds responsive
- Node school – “Install these choose-your-own-adventure style lessons and learn how to use node.js”
- NASA paywalls first papers arising from Curiosity rover, I am setting them free
- The Feynman Lectures on Physics in handy HTML format
- How Much Does The Internet Weigh?