Talking of unicode, What’s new in Unicode 7.0 ? – Reversed Hand with Middle Finger Extended”, “Reversed Victory Hand” (British equivalent of the finger), and “Raised Hand with Part Between Middle and Ring Fingers” (live long and prosper) and “MAN IN BUSINESS SUIT LEVITATING” as well as many, many others
Streams API (Editors Draft) “provides an API for representing binary and string data in web applications as a Stream object, as well as programmatically building and reading its contents.”
Long Term Web Semantics by Alex Russell. “Something irks me about the phrase “semantic HTML”. TL;DR – semantic elements have to do something; Semantic Web is not going to happen; Web Components are the future.
If Molly Holzschlag has helped you (and if you’re a webdev, she has), please help her pay for her chemotherapy. And then have a think about the morals of a first world society that doesn’t provide this to its citizens.
Exposing privileged APIs to web content – similar to the above: “a discussion on the challenges we face in exposing privileged APIs to web content and a proposal for exposing such APIs to web pages by mitigating the risks inherent in doing so” by Rich Tibbett (Opera)
Enabling new types of web user experiences – “In the court of public opinion, the war between native apps and web apps appears to be over. Even though the web world is valiantly and consistently improving the web platform, the world seems to have moved on, embracing and rewarding native apps.”
What is EME (Encrypted Media Extensions)? asks (then answers) Mozilla’s Henri Sivonen: “soon the video DRM capability will be the only thing that Silverlight and Flash have but the HTML/CSS/JS platform doesn’t”
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.
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 src attribute.
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.
Font Hacking – “primer on extracting, deconstructing, altering and replacing letterforms”. With good jokes.
W3C Launches Web and Mobile Interest Group – “that is chartered to accelerate the development of Web technology so that it becomes a compelling platform for mobile applications and the obvious choice for cross platform development” starring Jo Rabin (John Steed), Marcos Caceras (Mike Gambit), Natasha Rooney (Purdey).
Responsive Web Design is Solid Gold by Jason Grigsby – “I’m now firmly on the side that there is no mobile context. We have abundant data that shows that people use their mobile devices indoors and for a wide variety of things.”
WebKit has (partially) implemented a new attribute to our ancient chum <img> called srcset that allows authors to send a high-res image only to browsers that have high-resolution displays. It looks like this:
This implementation doesn’t have the horrible “pretend Media Queries” syntax that sources close to Tim Berners-Lee* called “like, a total barfmare, man”, but this is potentially a great leap forward; it saves bandwidth for the servers, stops people downloading gigantic images that they don’t need, is easy to understand and has graceful fallback.
Let’s hope it turns up in Blink, Trident and Gecko soon.
* “sources close to” is UK newspaper code for “we just made it up”.
Graceful degradation of SVG images in unsupporting browsers
In The Downward Spiral of Microdata, nice Mr Manu Sporny predicts the death of “HTML5″ Microdata and the triumph of RDFa Lite now that both WebKit and Blink have dropped support for the Microdata API (which allowed JS access to Microdata).
GoldieBlox – a toy firm founded by Debbie Sterling, an engineer from Stanford Uni, to get girls interested in engineering. Of course, twitter conversations ranging from “Douche!” to “check your privilege” are of immense practical value in making tech industries less male-dominated. But getting up and doing something about it seems almost as useful.
PS: We just released a preview of Opera 16. Here’s a comparison video made by Austin Evans, a technology video producer on Youtube, comparing Opera 15, Firefox 22, Chrome 27 and IE 10. He tested the browsers’ speed, security and performance in a variety of ways.
If you’re in the UK and are interested in the Web, the Speak The Web conference will be in Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester this month, for a very small sum of money. What’s really surprising, of course, is that there is anyone outside Brighton who does any Web work.
What a week, eh? Some people called Kanye West and Kim Kardashian had a baby, and Instagram announced 15 second videos. And if that were not exciting – nay, dispruptively paradigm-shifting game-changing enough – check out these hot links!
Changes in rankings of smartphone search results – Google will spank you if you have faulty redirects (“when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website”) or App download interstitials
Grumpicon for SVG icons/ illustrations with PNG fallback for everbrown browsers