- Dark corners of Unicode – “Yes, it turns out that Unicode decomposition also decomposes Hangul (the alphabet used to write Korean) into its sub-components” (but you probably knew that already)
- CSS Font Rendering Controls Module Level 1 Unofficial Proposal Draft – featuring
font-display:optional– use the font if it’s cached, else use a fallback & cache it for next time
- The Performance of Houdini Paint by Ian Kilpatrick (Google)
- WebKit start implementing Shadow DOM – “The feature will be enabled by default without prefix on trunk on Mac and iOS ports and disabled elsewhere by default.”
- WordPress Patches Serious Shortcodes Core Engine Vulnerability
- Facebook “likes” will be used to serve ads. I assumed they always had been, actually. They’re already used by police in Thailand to monitor “subversives”.
- The toxic side of free. Or: how I lost the love for my side project (part 1/5) < important stuff by Remington Sharp
- Xerox scanners/photocopiers randomly alter numbers in scanned documents – “Because of a software bug, loss of information was introduced where none should have been … For PDFs that were scanned with the named Xerox devices during the last 8 years, it cannot be proven what characters were on the original sheet of paper”. According to a BBC report, Xerox Vice President Rick Dastin “said that oil rigs, the military … were among the owners most likely to have switched their copiers to the setting”
- Fuck the Internet of Things – Tim Severien
Archive for the 'accessibility web standards' Category
[The stage is bare. A single spotlight snaps on. Into it walks Bruce, in a black turtleneck top]
Are you ready, folks? [Apple WWDC-style whoops and squeaks]
Are you READY folks? [Shouts of “Yeah!” and “Righteous!”]
Do you want your websites to work EVERYWHERE? [people faint with excitement]
Are you ready to have your PARADIGMS SHIFTED? [Not a dry seat in the house now]
Today, we’re introducing a brand-new paradigm-shifting design methodology called…
Logo: “Beard” By iconsmind.com
What is “Anachronistic Beard”?
It’s a revolutionary way of making websites so they look good in iOS 9 with external fonts turned off, work well for Opera Mini’s 250+ million users, and in Chrome, Opera, Firefox, IE, Edge, whether you’re using a computer, a phone, a tablet, a phablet (you’re not, are you?), with or without assistive technology.
How can I leverage these game-changing synergies, going forward?
Glad you asked! Here are the technical details.
Why is it called “Anachronistic Beard”?
A previous version of Anachronistic Beard has been available, built into the very design of the web, for decades. But it was called “Progressive Enhancement”, which is boring, and it didn’t have a logo.
So, encouraged by the success of things like Moustache, it’s been rebranded by a team of expensive Birmingham-based Consumer Insight Engineers. With this new name, those of us who are too old to be hipsters can legitimately claim that we were doing Progressive Enhancement, before it was cool.
Join our revolution, before everyone else hears about it. Happy Bearding!
My conference season kicked off with State of the Browser 5. I’d been accepted after a blind call for papers to present the snappily-titled Ensuring a performant web for the next billion people.
The venue was Conway Hall, which I’d heard of but couldn’t remember the context. It turned out to be the HQ of the Conway Hall Ethical Society, “the oldest surviving freethought organisation in the world”. So a historic venue (for bleeding-heart Guardianistas like me) with great acoustics and “To thine own self be true” inscribed above the stage.
State of the Browser this year had a wide variety of talks; from Seb Lee-Delisle amiably talking about lasers to Martin Jakl talking about WebKit’s garbage collection bugs on Raspberry Pi, with animation jank, keeping learning and modular design in between.
I enjoyed all the talks, but there were some standouts for me (not because any talks were “better” but some were more immediately useful to me in my browser geek-end of the spectrum). I want to congratulate Laura Elizabeth, who did her first ever public speaking with assurance and aplomb that suggested much more experience. There were shocks, too: for example, non-Jake Archibald people talking about Service Worker.
I was particularly agog/ aghast at Edd Sowden’s talk on what makes a <table> not a <table> in assistive technologies. There are lots if heuristics baked into browsers to guess which are data and which are layout tables.
background-color makes it a table,
border-collapse stops it being a table,
display:block stops it being one (except in IE…). More than 20 rows, or zebra striping in CSS makes it a table, etcetera.
Here’s the video (and here are his slides):
Isn’t it tremendous that the UK government cares about assistive tech users on its new web properties?
I also learned a lot from Ada Rose Edwards who surprised me by explaining that reflowing text, if you animate widths of things that cause the browser to re-layout lots of words, is really slow – because of kerning, hinting etc. See her slides for more (video coming soon). I’d assumed because text is small (eg, 1024 letters of Latin text is 1K) that there’s no performance hit. But laying it out isn’t trivial. Throw justification into the mix, too (but please don’t) and you have a recipe for a hot phone battery.
There were lots of old chums in the audience, and new chums like Seren Davis and Claudia. Synergies were leveraged, too – I’ve got an Opera bug moving after being gently prompted by an attendee. There was even a party afterwards, with a free bar, and all for £30. So go next year!
State of the Browser is organised for love by the London Web Standards crew: Morena Fiore, Nick Smith, Dave Letorey, Ginestra Ferraro, Steve Workman, Rupert Bowater and Marco Cedaro. Morena wrote up the day too. Thanks very much to all of them, and all who came to listen.
- Opera Mini 11/Android’s new compression mode – what devs need to know, some secrets of Snowdoo and a fun fact
- Up Front Mini conference – 6 Oct, Manchester, only £35
- Please complete the 8 question Front-end Development Tooling and Frameworks Survey (Interim results)
- Mobile-friendly web pages using app banners Google: “After November 1, mobile web pages that show an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page will no longer be considered mobile-friendly.”
- European Advertiser Mobile Audit Report – “Over half of retail brands have a transactional mobile site, however just a quarter have a transactional mobile or tablet app.” (from the linked PDF)
- The future of layout with CSS: Grid Layouts but remember that Adrian Roselli told you that Source Order Matters.
- Announcing VP9 support coming to Microsoft Edge
- 20 Lessons from Making an API at NewsCorp
- The “Psychological” Speed of Mobile Interfaces
- Idealism and what successful open source looks like – lots of good stuff in this short essay/ talk by Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire
- Is the web platform getting too big? by Nicholas Zakis. Another post inspired by PPK’s “moratorium” suggestion, this one supporting the wish.
- Porn app took secret photos of users then locked device & displayed a demand for $500. As Ed Everett said, “I guess this settles the app vs web debate then.”
- Talking of pr0n: One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography – “Pornography is the canary in the coal mine of free speech”. You might disagree, but the piece is brilliantly written and worth it for the LOL at the end if the tiger-sex anecdote.
- Screen Reader User Survey #6 Results by my chums at WebAim. Highlights: the screenreader market is more dynamic than ever; longdesc is “a very unpopular option” to get more info about a complex image (as with all things longdesc, this is contentious, whereas the most popular “optional text, available on the same page but only if I request it” smells like HTML5 <details> to me if you rephrase “follow a link” to “activate a control”); 63% of screenreader users sometimes/ often/ always use landmarks/ regions (so add them, or I’ll spank you).
- upup – a teeny weeny script to add Service Worker shizzle to your site
- The Visual ARIA Bookmarklet “allows any sighted person to physically see the use of ARIA upon any public website”
- CSS Grid and The Box Alignment Module – “The Box Alignment module will allow us to centre all of the things with CSS” says Rachel Andrew
- Update: Responsive Image Support for Core – WordPress
- Feeling Like An Unwelcome Guest on medium.com – “I made the choice to visit your website, and you not respecting that choice leaves me feeling like a very unwelcome guest” by Peter “Not ‘Alf!” Gasston. And a reply from a Medium product manager.
- Alliance for Open Media to “pursue a new, open royalty-free video codec specification and open-source implementation … Day one founding members are Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix.”
- Talking of which, Microsoft Edge to support .webm video
(so, presumably, Ogg Vorbis audio too?)but no Ogg Vorbis, just Opus (hat tip @stopsatgreen) so I’m not sure how many current .webm files Edge will actually be able to play – but it’s excellent news, nevertheless.
- ARIA in HTML – Living Document by Steve “Living Doll” Faulkner
- Chrome improvements for a faster and more efficient web by co-ordinator of Project Trim (of which Opera is a member)
- Houdini Task Force meeting report by Yours Truly (Paris, last weekend)
- jQuery Foundation and Dojo Foundation to Merge
- Doing Science On The Web – sinister mastermind Alex Russell on Prefixpocalypse and how to enable authors to test experiments without pollution
- Post Mortem: #100DaysOfSpec – Melanie Richards is a graphic designer who decided to read and take notes on the HTML specs for 100 days.
- Why You Hate Google’s New Logo or more accurately “Why I hate it” by an Olympic-standard over-thinker
- [whatwg] How to add html5 browser support – Someone wants to implement a browser from scratch; @tabatkins advises
- Interviu cu Bruce Lawson – Open Web Standards Evangelist la Opera (Romanian interview with me)
- Modern CSS Layout, power and responsibility – Rachel Andrew makes the important point that if CSS Grid Layout loses subgrid, visual tools will produce flat HTML structures so everything is a direct child of the grid, thereby damaging HTML semantic quality (especially important as Grid Layout is the most natural, designer-friendly way to lay out pages)
- Mozilla’s Firefox extensions are changing to be “largely compatible with the model used by Chrome and Opera”, perhaps including some Opera extras like sidebar API. Although they’d “like add-on development to be more like Web development: the same code should run in multiple browsers”, Mozilla will use their own .xpi format and require (unspecfiied) “small changes” to Blink extensions rather than using the vendor-neutral .nex format Opera proposed and uses, because apparently they’re “skeptical of the benefits of standard packaging“.
- Mobile Browsing Around The World by Peteypoo Gasston
- Responsive Images Pt. 2 with Yoav Weiss – Yoav puts on a funny voice and draws really fast in this five-minute video
- Where to Put Your Search Role – by Adrian Roselli. TL;DR, not on a <form> element, as that overrides its native semantics
- Making radio buttons and checkboxes easier to use by UK Government Digital Services
- User Agent Intervention – a discussion document by Dmitri “Web Components” Glazkov on what to when “user experience gets so bad that the User Agent is compelled to intervene”
- Using requestIdleCallback, a “new performance API for scheduling work when the user is idle”, says Paul “Idol” Lewis
- Houdini / CSS Face to Face meeting notes (day 1)
- What Open Data can do for Africa’s growing population
- Opera’s “Web on Wheels” brings free Wi-Fi to 20 Indian cities – to celebrate our 20th birthday, we’re taking a car around 20 cities for 10 months, bringing free, unlimited WiFi
- EU’s new VAT rules forcing thousands out of business article on VATMOSS – mad EU sales tax changes on digital sales
- WordSafety.com checks your product name against swear words & unwanted associations in 19 languages – caveat emptor, though; it didn’t flag up “Boobie Nob” and “TwinkSpank” for me
- Stems: new open file format for music with separate tracks for drums, vocals, bass, harmony, and also the full stereo song for fallback in non-Stem software
- The Slow Web by Cole Henley, is a well-written musing on the rather badly-written article by Hossein Derakhshan. Paul Robert Lloyd wrote and interesting follow-up, too.
- Opera is twenty years old
- Stop pushing redux – in which PPK argues against me and Jank Architect arguing against him.
- Optimizing Performance – some excellent advice on Google Web Fundamentals by some heavy-hitters
- Understanding critical CSS
- Laying Out A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox
- CSS element() function – “this function renders any part of a website as a live image.”
- CSS dropcaps and initial letters – wrapping text around the *ink* of a drop cap, rather than its box (editors draft)
- Big List of Naughty Strings “which have a high probability of causing issues when used as user-input data”. For QA purposes, of course.
- The End of the Internet Dream – I thought at first this was another dull medium-hosted “the web was better before the hoi polloi came along” getoffmylawnist lament, but the more I read the more I agreed
- On PPK’s moratorium on new browser features by me ‘n’ my homies
- If we stand still, we go backwards – Jank Architect’s take on the moratorium
- SLICE: the web – Paul “The new Cilla” Kinlan on the positive aspects of the web as a platform for users and developers
- Fast-forwarding the Web Platform another take on PPK’s article, by Nicolas Bevacqua
- Mobile Web Isn’t Broken, Yet and another, by Mariano Viola
- Ramblings on New Browser Features, Interoperability, Craft, and the Future of the Web – Aaron Gustafson of Microsoft weighs in too
- Considering the Users of Internet Standards IETF draft by Mark Nottingham (him off the W3C Tag) “mandates end users as the highest priority constituency for Internet standards.”
- Say no to 10 years for file sharing – @OpenRightsGroup petition
- BLCK4777 by p01 – Winning 1kb intro released at Assembly 2015. Turn on speakers and wait for a few seconds. Made by Opera’s Mathieu ‘p01’ Henri
- This App Is Cashing In On Giving The World Free Data – “Mobile data costs up to 10% of a person’s average wage in Brazil, Eagle says, and more than a third of someone’s income in Africa, while in the U.S. it’s more like 1% to 2%”
- The picture element is happening say Your Friends In Redmond
- Opera 31 released: CSS multi-column layout, scrollingElement, ES6 computed property names, Web Audio API++, and more. For consumers, it starts up to 70% faster – great for those on slower/ older hardware
- Modern CSS Layout, power and responsibility by Rachel Andrew
- Pointer Events now in Firefox Nightly – so Opera, Chrome, Microsoft, Firefox. Who’s missing, I wonder?
- Google+: I’ve concluded that it’s time for a “pivot” – “can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well”. Note *quite* well. Oof. I never used G+; the way it tied to YouTube was like 2 dogs stuck after sex – neither could move properly and it was very undignified
- Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook has deeper analysis, but no dogsex similes
- Non-blocking Asynchronous JSON.parse Using The Fetch API
- Behavior of <iframe> in vertical writing mode – interesting question now the web is finally getting better support for non-latin scripts
- Tying ecosystems through browsers by David Baron of Mozilla
- Hackers manipulate self-aiming rifle into shooting different targets – your occasional reminder that Internet of Things security is lamentably poor yet vital because, unlike web sites, things can kill you
- How your phone’s battery life can be used to invade your privacy
- Building a smart meeting room w/ LoRa and Physical Web
- Mozilla FlyWeb – “Instead of phones interacting only with the cloud, they can discover and interact with electronics around them that are running empty web clients, such as TV’s, projectors, game consoles, etc. The electronics come to life when connected to phones. The key here is that either the phones serve web apps to these electronics, or the electronics serve web apps to the phones.” (More: Fly Web – A Unified Strategy for the Web on Smart Devices)
- Android Fragmentation Visualized (AKA “Android Strength & Diversity Visualised”) – “We have seen 24,093 distinct devices download our app in the past few months.”
- Making and Breaking the Web With CSS Gradients by Mike “Chicken Legend” Taylr (Mozilla)
- The adblocking revolution is months away (with iOS 9) – with trouble for advertisers, publishers and Google
- Is polyfilling future web APIs a good idea? and Brian Kardell’s reply (TL;DR – “prollyfills are better”)
- Advanced CSS filters
- Position an element relatively to another element from anywhere in the DOM – Web Platform Incubator group: CSS feature request. (As requested by Matt “GRRARRRRGGGHH” Wilcox, 7 years ago.)
- Confidence of Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists hits two-year low – “Silicon Valley’s venture capital community is starting to get a little bummed out”. My heart bleeds for them, it really does. I’m going to start a kickstarter to send them some flowers. Who’s with me?
- Sorry Soylent dudes: After the revolution the clueless tech elite will be doomed “Technology is revolutionary, it has changed our lives for the better, but the boosting and veneration of the giant babies of Silicon Valley, both the ones that live there and the ones spawned by its ideology, is a net negative for humanity.”
- Vendor Prefixes And Market Reality on specifying webkit-only vendor prefixes, and (presumably) Mozilla finally following Microsoft who followed Opera to alias -webkit- prefixes.
- On that subject, in CSS Vendor Prefixes, ex-Chair of the CSS Working Group, Daniel Homme de Glaz suggests a way to rid us of this scourge.
- Proposal: Generalized Cascading Sheets Lea Verou proposes that Houdini expose”syntax, parsing, cascade & specificity rules of CSS *as a language framework*”.
- Turn on <link rel=preconnect> support by default so devs can tell browser “You will need this resource so connect asap to avoid delay when you actually need it.” According to Yoav Weiss, “Up to the max connection limit of the browser, it should be beneficial (assuming you’d actually use all these hosts later)”
- Understanding Proxy Browsers: Architecture – first in a series by Tam Kadlec
- Talking of proxy browsers: The Philippines — from text-messaging capital to most “social nation” – “The number of Opera Mini users on Android devices grew by 91% in the Philippines”
- The fastest-growing mobile phone markets barely use apps
- Will Patents Kill H.265 or Will H.265’s Patents Kill WebRTC?
- Update on standardizing shadow DOM and custom elements by Anne van Kesteren (Mozilla)
- Service Worker meeting highlights by Ben Kelly (Mozilla)
- Web components Face to Face meeting notes, July 2015
- Declaring performance bankruptcy – “we do care about performance. We care about it SO HARD that we’re publicly declaring performance bankruptcy.”
- ATAG 2.0 – version 2 of the Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines. Because disabled people need accessible web-based CMSs, too. (Related: Earlier this year, the US Department Of Justice mandated that edX makes their CMS accessible.)
- 3D Xpoint memory: Faster-than-flash storage unveiled
- Mobile Safari’s Performance is Not the Problem (lack of features is)
- Got half an hour to spare? Matt Marquis’ TXJS talk Smaller Faster Websites is an excellent time investment. (Slides)
- An Open Letter to Microsoft’s CEO: Don’t Roll Back the Clock on Choice and Control” by Chris Beard, Mozilla’s CEO
- and Benjamin Kerensa, a Mozillian, accuses Chris Beard of Unnecessary Finger Pointing
- How to change your default browser on Windows 10
- Stop pushing the web forward – PPK wants “a moratorium on new browser features for about a year or so.”
The reading list – a day early as I’m off to the taverns and love-dungeons of Brussels for the weekend to teach Belgians how to drink beer.
- Where the Internet Lives – world map with countries scaled based on the number of internet users they have.
- W3C Geofencing API Spec Ready for Comment & Contribution – includes Service Workers for extra zeitgasms
- [selectors4] Features to Defer native CSS
:has()“parent selector” deferred until 2078.
- 20 Home Pages, 500 Trackers Loaded: Media Succumbs to Monitoring Frenzy
- Stop Gratuitous UI Animation
- Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It IoT security is a major challenge when Things can kill you.
- Startup lands $100 million to challenge smartphone superpowers Apple and Google – loads of ex-Mozillians set up “H5OS”, a commercial fork of Firefox OS, funded with Chinese government money.
- The Chinese Firefox OS fork is all about control writes PPK, continuing “this story is definitely worth following — but from a political angle, without the HTML5 openness ideological blah” which, in the absence of more information, I tend to agree with, although Xiaomi’s Mi OS based on Android Open Source Project or Alibaba’s Yun OS (also based from AOSP) may be better candidates for a “state” Operating System, if such a thing is planned
- European web law developments < 30 min talk by Heather Burns at WordCamp Europe, June 2015
- Small Pieces Loosely Tied Together With URLs – ““The Network is the Democracy.” Our revolution is under attack from reactionary forces. We must storm the barricades.”
- At the limit of Moore’s law: scientists develop molecule-sized transistors – “A red blood cell is a 36,000 times bigger. Even a strand of DNA is 15 times bigger”
- nice nice JPG – “The only image placeholder service on the web bringing you nothing but Vanilla Ice jpgs.”