- Web Sensor API: Raw and Uncut – Boris Smus writes “Sensors found in smartphones define the mobile experience … I’ve had to step away from the web as a development platform, in part because of the poor state of sensor APIs. In this post, I will describe some of the problems, take a look at sensor APIs on iOS and Android, and suggest a solution in the spirit of the extensible web manifesto.”
- Bringing APIs for experimental hardware/software to the Web (et seq) – interesting discussion on W3C webapps mailing list
- HTML5’s “Dirty Little Secret”: It’s Already Everywhere, Even In Mobile – “The dirty little secret of native [app] development is that huge swaths of the UIs we interact with every day are powered by Web technologies under the hood” says Tom Dale, who got a new camera for his birthday and is pretty damn pleased with it.
- Enabling Multiscreen Tracking With Google Analytics
- VP8 and H.264 to both become mandatory for WebRTC by Andreas Gal of Mozilla
- Style Invalidation in Blink – the gory details from Rune at Opera
- Google makes image recognition advance – “Scientists at Google have created artificial intelligence software that can describe the contents of photographs far more accurately than ever before.” Doesn’t mean you can get out of writing alt text, though!
Archive for the 'reading list' Category
- ARIA 1.1. “text” role (first draft) by James Craig, Apple’s nice man.
- The Responsive Images Community Group: What Comes Next – by Matttt Marquis. TL;DR: Element Queries – “a method of handling layouts within specific elements based on the dimensions of the elements themselves rather than the viewport size alone”.
- Notes From Behind the Firewall: The State of Web Design in China < excellent article, practical advice
- The App Bubble Burst: The Coming App Economy Correction – “The bubble bursting does not mean an end of the sector, but instead a realignment similar to that caused by the dot com bubble burst. The shake out will leave a more sustainable market.” by MIDiA consulting
- Kind of related: Monument Valley game gets new levels, but one-star reviews for charging – “Despite its rapid growth and explosion in creativity, the mobile games market has moments that would make any sane person hammer palm to face repeatedly.”
- Yes, Isis exploits technology. But that’s no reason to compromise our privacy – excellent Guardian piece on GCHQ: “Mr Hannigan then switches tack in vintage I-say-Biggles-these-fiends-are-devilishly-clever mode.”
- Internet Architecture Board Statement on Internet Confidentiality – “The IAB urges protocol designers to design for confidential operation by default. We strongly encourage developers to include encryption in their implementations, and to make them encrypted by default. We similarly encourage network and service operators to deploy encryption where it isnot yet deployed, and we urge firewall policy administrators to permit encrypted traffic.”
- W3C Highlights – October 2014 – digest of the annual TPAC meet-up etc.
- Web standards for the future cute non-techy 2 minute video from W3C about why standards are important. I like it to show my kids and NGMs what I do, which is basically helping to build Skynet through the medium of mailing lists.
- Opera CEO goes Bollywood dancing to celebrate 50 million Mini users in India. When I started with Opera, we had 50m users world-wide. Now it’s 50m just in India, and 350m globally. Here’s a video of our CEO, Lars Bollyson, dancing.
- Talking of which, Thanks to Microsoft, Opera just got 100M potential new mobile browser users – Microsoft feature phone users are being transitioned from Nokia Xpress browser to Opera Mini. The top three countries for the Xpress Browser are India, Indonesia and Brazil. (Note: 100m potential new users; not everyone will “transition”, of course.)
- HTML5 Accessibility – “information about which new HTML5 user interface features are accessibility supported in browsers”. TL;DR: “Firefox and Chrome are beating the pants off IE!”
- Tenon “is a one of a kind accessibility testing tool… which can be seamlessly integrated into your existing toolset…This ability to test early and often allows you to catch and fix accessibility issues before they happen, not after, and allows you to release accessible code from the beginning.” < in free public beta. Disclosure: made by Karl Groves, a friend of mine
- Confused corner: Why you should worry about HTML5 mobile apps – “New research demonstrates that, unlike native apps, those written in HTML5 are susceptible to code injection attacks” because of “middleware” like WebView or PhoneGap “that is susceptible to malicious code injection”. Unlike those totally secure native apps.
- Internet Xmas Party by Luke and Charlotte – for London-based freelancers, homeworkers & other just-pants-all-day folk
- Understanding Millennials—How do Potatoes Fit into Their Lives? – thrilling press release from The United States Potato Board. Take a moment to read it; people spent some of their short time on this planet to write this. Bonus points for the stock photographs, too. I know these people; they’re Norwegian.
- Named WebSockets – Dynamic binding, peer management and local network discovery for WebSockets. Spec and proof-of-concept implementation by Rich Tibbett
- The Permissions API: W3C Unofficial Draft. “man, it’s not ready to even be looked at” says editor Mounir. But it is being thought about and worked on.
- Opera Mini 9 for iOS compresses video as well as text and images. Free and gratis.
- Opera Mini on your Chromebook for fun and bandwidth – fun hack to get Opera Mini running on a Chromebook
- Responsive Images in Practice – masterful article by @etportis showing the kind of data savings using responsive images gives your visitors. And data savings = speed = conversions.
- Blink: Srcset resource selection use a geometric mean to determine resource. Previously, Blink chose the srcset image that was bigger than the allowed space; now it chooses the one closest to that number of pixels and – if it’s smaller – upscales it slightly, reducing download size.
- pseudo-element “alt” property. New to me:
-webkit-altCSS property sets “alt text” for icons in generated content. Apple’s good guy, James Craig asked for it to be added to CSS draft.
- JAWS and NVDA tests – Russ Weakley asks “Ever wondered what pages sound like in JAWS and NVDA? Here are a wide range of simple tests.”
- Progressive enhancement: How to create pages that work regardless of browser capability by gov.uk
- A Comparative Evaluation of Current HTML5 Web Video Implementations (PDF). “differences between browser interfaces and show that even simple software solutions may still need third-party plugins in today’s browsers”
- A New Way to Test Internet Explorer on OS X, iOS and Android. Needs a Microsoft account (2 mins to set up), better than 45 days of virtual machine arseing-about. Seems to be a bug rendering webfonts, though (but it’s early days)
- Form Usability: Getting ‘Address Line 2′ Right – interesting look at this usability micro-subject.
- Proposed Draft Unicode Technical Report #51: UNICODE EMOJI – “Unicode Version 8.0 is adding 5 symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human emoji.”
- Windows 93
- The ride to 5 HTML5 Doctor article by @stevefaulkner, with quotes from the great and the good, including me. And Timbo.
- HTML5 is done, but two groups still wrestle over Web’s future – Stephen Shankland’s Cnet report
- W3C: Making Payments Easy on the Web – “the payment landscape is quickly changing, and new challenges are appearing. For instance, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 72% across all devices, and 97% on mobile.”
- Web Payments: What you need to know – Introductory overview slidedeck
- Axiomatic CSS and Lobotomized Owls – interesting article by Heydon Pickering
- Formal Objection to advancing the HTML Image Description document along the REC track – W3C says “GTFO” to Apple’s objection to the
longdescextension to HTML5 (it isn’t actually part of full-fat HTML). Of course, if Apple don’t implement it, most developers are unlikely to use it; they haven’t used it much in the last 15 years.
- HbbTV 2.0 details revealed, release expected this year – “personalisation and recommendation of content for users, notably in a multi user environment, and the synchronisation of broadband with broadcast content onto one or more screens”
- Why Microsoft matters more than we think by Christian Heilmann. I agree with him. There are far more secretive players around.
- Bringing Interoperable Real-Time Communications to the Web Microsoft-flavoured ORTC API for WebRTC coming to IE. Jacob Rossi of the IE team writes “we’re working on ensuring an API subset is shared between the specs, Google started co-editing & calls it ‘WebRTC 1.1′”
- Excess XSS – “A comprehensive tutorial on cross-site scripting”
- Getting touchy – An introduction to touch and pointer events – Patrick Lauke’s “War And Peace”-esque day-long workshop slides.
- Making custom widgets accessible with ARIA by the jolly super Léonie Watson (how fast is her screen reader?!?)
- Opera and Telenor partner in Burma – free access to wikipedia (and Facebook Zero, whatever that is).
- W3C releases Code of Conduct. So no more “Fuck you, cocknose, go & read the spec!” mails on the lists. End of an era.
Microsoft wrote a spec called Pointer Events API that unifies touch, stylus and mouse inputs, and implemented it in IE11 (partially in IE10). Firefox are implementing it too. After initial enthusiasm from Google, Chrome announced that it won’t support it, after all.
- HTTP 203: Pointer Events – 4 min video in which Jank Architect and Longpoll Lewis explain why Chrome thinks the Pointer Events API smells.
- Jacob Rossi of Microsoft disputes the claims (G+ link, sorry).
- More discussion about the Pointer Events Smell video from @SlexAxton, @davemethvin (jQuery): “It all boils down to ‘Why is Chrome+IE+Firefox not enough for Pointer Events, but Chrome+Firefox enough for Touch Events extensions?'”
Other standards ‘n’ shiz
- Preloading and deferred loading of scripts and other resources – Hixie suggests stuff like
<script src=.. needs="previous-script" load-policy="optimistic">
- Building for mobile? Don’t forget that 2G is still “a thing”… a big thing, in fact. says Ilya Grigorik. (Google+ link, sorry)
- Status of Promises in gUM discussion – now gUM is being “moved” to the snappily-named
navigator.mediaDevices.getUserMediaand will use Promises, should “legacy”
navigator.getUserMediacontinue to use callbacks? Yes, in my opinion – there is a lot of stuff already out there.
- Brum Tech Scene – Stuart Langridge interviews @SusannahGoh of Birmingham Science City about health, data, and innovation. Having just returned from Fronteers conference in Amsterdam, I confirm Susannah’s assertion that stroopwafel is a biscuit made of superglue.
- anonabox : a Tor hardware router to anonymise all net use and bypass censorship, easy to hide/ destroy if the Secret Police/ Mullahs are at your door.
- Should getUserMedia and Geolocation continue to work on non-HTTPS sites? asks Anne van Kesteren, who adds “localhost is an authenticated origin, as are file URLs. I also expect developer tool overrides.”
- 2059 Opera commits to Blink/ Chromium/ v8. The second thousand took half as long as the first. Yay.
- CSS: It was twenty years ago today — an interview with Håkon Wium Lie – I interview Håkon, who proposed CSS on 10 October 1994, when it looked very different.
- Fun times with Appcache – “If you are using appcache, the best way is to have a separate webpage with the manifest and wrap it in an iframe. The main advantage of this is that it ringfences the cache… Who says enterprise software can’t do HTML5?” asks Matt Machell.
- To Picturefill, or not to Picturefill asks Scott Jehl. Should you polyfill responsive images and risk users without JS getting no images at all? He tends to “yes”, I tend to “no” for philosophical reasons. Commercial pressures outweigh those, natch.
- On a similar subject: Polyfills and products by Jeremy Keith
- HTTP/2 Frequently Asked Questions
- IndexedDB on iOS 8 – Broken Bad – “Apple may have screwed up their implementation of IndexedDB” says Raymond Camden.
- Chromium “focus should cycle from named anchor” accessibility bug getting some love.
- What Would Bruce Lee Do? The Tao of the Extensible Web by Brian Kardell, a fine and noble chappie who’s realised that, in all matters, Bruces know best.
- The Extensible Web Report Card – Documenting the state of the extensible web
- Text Email Newsletter Standard (TEN Standard) “is designed to ease navigation of plain text email newsletters by all readers, including those using special access technologies.”
- Paying on the Web with Manu Sporny – podcast on Web Payments. Transcript (Yay, Jen Simmons)
- Is autoplaying media always an accessibility no-no? muses Henny Swan, after usertesting the BBC iPlayer.
- Relative URLs in Web Components. My heart sinks a bit if even international spec brainbox @Anne van Kesteren says “this is a hard problem”. Later: “The lack of encapsulation is major hassle… Doesn’t really feel like it deserves to be called components. It’s more like assets.”
- HTML5 does not have a new best friend on why Apple “are some way behind Chrome and Android.”
- 4 billion people in the world don’t have access to Internet—India accounts for 25% of them.
- Flexbox: changes since the previous spec
- Don’t use <picture> (most of the time) by Jason Grigsby. TL;DR: if you just want resolution switching (smaller image to non-“retina” devices, big image only to high-dpi screens), just use
<img src="lores.jpg" srcset="hires.jpg 2x">
- Using ServiceWorker in Chrome today and, indeed, other Chromium browsers. Excellent article by Jank Architect.
- Better @font-face with Font Load Events by Zach Leatherman
- The initial work for Manifest in Chromium M39 is done, and will hopefully be in Firefox OS 2.2. (Explainer article.)
- A Greater Voice for Individuals in W3C: Tell Us What You Would Value
- Primary Key issue on iOS8 implementation of IndexedDb. “when you have two different object stores in the same indexeddb, primary key values appear to be “shared” across all stores.” hurray.
- Accessibility issues with html5 <footer>: not exposed; should be exposed with an IA2 footer role and xml-roles/implicit aria role of contentinfo in some circumstances – fixed in Chromium.
- Brum Tech Scene – That nice @sil came round to my house and videoed me answering his questions about the Birmingham tech scene and biscuits.
- When can a High Court grant an injunction to trade mark holders against ISPs to block access to “infringing” websites? – Open Rights Group on an important test-case
- Support the independents “If you use a product that has a free version and a paid version, paying out for that “pro” or commercial license even if perhaps you could get away with not doing so, puts cash into the company, helps to ensure the survival and development of the product” says Rachel Andrew.
- LULZ: “JSONx is an IBM® standard format to represent JSON as XML.” – for those who want the joys of JSON with the piquant frisson of XML. Who doesn’t?
- EXTRA LULZ: Even Apple didn’t want my iPhone 6 Plus – unusual satire piece from The Verge, spoofing a cryPhone user whose emotional rollercoaster (caused by the new device being slightly bigger than his other one, which is why he bought it) culminates with the hilarious “I spent all this money on something that I thought would make me happy, and instead I felt like trash”. Genius.
- Web Components punch list – “Considerations for web component and custom control design: If your control has the stuff below covered, excellent! If not then please implement it before shouting to the world about it being the next big thing.” by Steve Faulkner
- Brum Tech Scene – On Monday, Stuart Langridge launched a series of interviews and conversations with interesting people doing interesting things in the Birmingham tech community. First is Simon Jenner, Head of Oxygen Startups and co-founder of Silicon Canal. He videoed me, too; coming soon.
- Who is “Joe Developer”? asks @johnfoliot. The background is the “living standards” vs “W3C snapshot” holy war. It’s a good question.
- What next for HTML? – now HTML5 is a W3C Proposed Recommendation, how should the language be further developed? Put your questions to editor Robin Berjon for an HTML5 Doctor interview
- The URL mess on the competing standards for defining how URLs work, by Larry Masinter
- Chromium: Web Application Manifest implementation chugs along (@marcosc & I wrote an explainer)
- All You Need To Know About Vertical-Align – “vertical-align can be a real scumbag sometimes. I set myself the target to clarify the behavior once and for all”
- Opera Mini to be pre-installed on all upcoming Micromax Android devices available in India, Russia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal
- Getting Started with Sass by Laura Kalbag
- iOS 8 and iPhone 6 for web developers and designers: next evolution for Safari and native webapps – they kept it quiet, but there’s a new phone and OS from FruitCo. Maximiliano Firtman does some testing so you don’t have to.
- Life Changed Much? – “Occasionally, new technology changes lives. But mostly it doesn’t.” by Tim Bray
- Chromium: <picture> nearly ready for the debutate’s ball – so coming soon in Opera, Chrome and Firefox too. Yay.
- Apple’s formal objection to reintroducing longdesc to HTML. Among accessibility consultants, opinion is divided. Patrick Lauke and Steve Faulkner tend to agree with Apple; John Foliot and Shelley Powers don’t. I agree with Steve.
- Whither Pointer Events? Browsers, Developers and Pointer Events Meeting Notes – Blink: “If we had Apple on board with PE, we’d still be on board too. The equation has shifted for us.” So Pointer Events wither?
- Google’s retreat on Pointer Events makes life harder for web developers. Yup.
- goog Prefixed Features – Blink-dev discussion about an API
googVendor Prefix which only works some of the time in Chrome (1% of Chrome starts, randomly, according to Tab Atkins.)
- Fortune 500 firms in 1955 vs. 2014; 89% are gone, and we’re all better off because of that dynamic ‘creative destruction’ – 89% of 1955 Fortune 500 companies are gone. This is why the Web & codecs should never be in the hands of one company.
- Opera: Second quarter 2014 presentation (PDF) – 100 million Android users (most in India, followed by China, Indonesia, Russia and Mexico), 4 million iOS (up 30% year on year), Opera Mini now default on Microsoft’s feature & Asha phones, pre-installed on all Micromax Android devices (India)
- Opera Mini for Android delays large downloads until you’re on WiFi – ” Opera Mini detects if you are downloading a file that is larger than 15MB, then asks if you want to download it now or wait until you are on WiFi. Later, when you get to your favorite coffee spot and connect to WiFi, Opera Mini will resume the download and notify you when it’s all done.”
- 10 Questions: Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera – Fortune magazine. “We at Opera want to help ensure that this industry is not dominated by a few large players. We want to secure the industry by being an independent player.”
- Fibonacci Flexbox Composer
- 0.25% of page views click on the Twitter or Facebook share buttons on Web pages says Luke Wroblewski. Is it worth the potential performance hit of such buttons?
- Preloading and deferred loading of scripts and other resources – @Hixie writes an email longer than War and Peace
- Most smartphone users download zero apps per month. Once you have social media, Spotfify, Skype, maps and a fart app, what more do you need?
- A Magna Carta for the web – Timbo’s TED talk to celebrate 25 years of the Web.
- A failed experiment: How LG screwed up its webOS acquisition – “LG had a policy in place to reward managers with bonuses or even promotions if their features were part of the final product. The result was a constant feature bloat, as everyone tried to add on one more thing.”
- The <picture> Tag Is Coming – what happened when Reddit users heard about responsive images. lulz. and omg.
Standards ‘n’ all that jazz
- HTTPS as a ranking signal – Secure sites to be ranked better in Google search results. Related Mozilla discussion: Switch generic icon to negative feedback for non-https sites. As I recently had to get a new credit card sent to me after inadvertently buying a ticket for Sagrada Familia over non-secure HTTP (on the official site), I like the Firefox idea.
- After 5 – “As we approach the point at which HTML5 will become a Recommendation, it is time to think about how HTML would best be handled next.” by Robin Berjon of W3C
- W3C Workshop on the Web of Things – Workshop report
- The Viking & The Lumberjack celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 20th/24th/25th Anniversary
- Apple objects to an HTML extension for longdesc. In March 2011 I wrote “if I read any more about bloody longdesc in #html5 I’m gonna set fire to my scrotum”. Bloody longdeZzzc.
- Understanding SVG Coordinate Systems & Transformations (Part 3) – Establishing New Viewports by @SaraSoueidan is (er) egg-cellent.
- User-agent string changes for Internet Explorer 11 – the fun continues.
- Looking for a Job? How’s Your COBOL? – “salaries for COBOL programmers are going up. The salary for top talent can reach six figures”
- Slug Solos – “Some guitarists’ solo faces look like they’ve just realised they’re holding giant slug creatures”.
- Meanwhile, on Craigslist, “You Farted During “Boyhood”“
French joke corner
Heard about the French chef who killed himself? He lost the huile d’olive.
“Coders and hackers, ready to change the world, and the hackathon is the perfect place. But things don’t always go as planned…” by @ourmaninjapan