Web Wishes (Unofficial Draft) – “This specification defines a mechanism for Web applications to register themselves as being able to handle certain specific types of services (“grant wishes”) with a user agent.”
How fast is PDF.js? – MozHacks article about Opera and Mozilla collaborating to make PDF.js faster. It’s good fun collaborating with Google et al on Blink, Moz on PDF.js and contributing to WebKit too.
HTML as Custom Elements “Custom Elements is a bedrock API. We should be able to build all HTML elements with it.” (Should we? Why?)
Security changes in Opera 21 – on reworking of the Address field, to cope with some situations which could have caused confusion. (Opera 15-20 obscured some of URL, Opera 21 ships with a setting to always show it in full.)
Related-ish: The ebb of the web by Boris Smus (Google) “By dropping the notion of THE WEB (singular), and ushering an era of specialized browsers, we can split our universe of devices into subsets and increase the baseline greatest common denominator.”
The inital target of $10,000 has been reached, but don’t let that deter you from contributing – it means Yoav can work for longer, and maybe even have a break for a coffee and a piss now and then. (Coders, eh?)
Confessions of a CSS Expert – “Before long, I’d gotten into the hard stuff. I was putting multiple classes on any one element… Soon enough, sites in production were using <div>s for everything: buttons, headings, checkboxes, whatever. It was like Drupal, but even more obsolete.”
A Proposal for Credential-based Login – “There is a growing need for digitally verifiable credentials on the Web. Being able to prove that you are who you say you are is important when paying or receiving payment.”
CSS Aliases (Draft) – “This specification defines methods of defining “aliases” for long or commonly-used values in several CSS features, reducing repetition in the stylesheet.”
‘Censor my internet please!’ – a Pakistani blogger writes “The Government in Pakistan does not censor the web – rather it follows a strategic covert control model… When a stance for the opening up of a video portal is equated with blasphemy, how many can be expected to speak up?”
The HTML Landscape – “This document captures the differences between various HTML specifications.”
Peer5 Downloader – a JS-only embeddable peer-to-peer downloader that uses WebRTC Data Channels, Filesystem API, IndexedDB and other fancy stuff. Caveat emptor: I haven’t tried this – I just think the tech is interesting.
Separate is Not Equal – “Safeway used to have a separate text-only site. The site was designed to help blind people but it did not have all the information on it that Safeway’s main site had. Now Safeway has one website that everyone can use.”
Installable web apps by PPK: “The mobile browser “bookmark” function should become “install” and place an icon on the home screen. This icon starts up the web page or web app; likely from local memory.” Good article, though I disagree with the idea that the web app is a local copy – that’s re-inventing Widgets. It should be the live, instantly-updatable web site, “offlinerificated” with Service Workers.
The state of standalone apps on iOS – “we examined 360 web applications that claim to be capable of running “standalone” in iOS (i.e., the web application asserts that it’s usable outside the context of iOS’s default browser). We put those claims to the test by manually checking if the apps could, in fact, be used as standalone.”
Service Worker + Push API – “outlines an API which integrates with the Service Worker to enable delivery of push messages to applications which do not have visible tabs”
Media playback restrictions in Blink – “Blink and WebKit have a setting for requiring a “user gesture” to play or pause an audio or video element … this gets in the way of reasonable use cases like games or playlists, and developers are not impressed … as an experiment we’ve removed the restrictions in Opera beta for Android. However, I’ve also found a workaround for current browsers.”
CSS Regions Considered Harmful by Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie. I don’t share all his concerns, although I find the CSS Regions spec “smells funny” (I can’t articulate it any more coherently than this) although I completely agree that the need to be able to fragment text across separate boxes is something that needs solving.
HTML is too complex – “unless there is an immediate visual or behavioural benefit to using an element, most people will ignore it”. Some real food for thought in this sentence.
A World Managed By Apps Is Closed For Those Without A Smartphone – “Every time you make a service or device that can only be managed from an app, you are basically adding to a systematic poor tax. You make it easier for those comfortable, with great smartphones in their hand, to get shit done, while not spreading that benefit to those without the magic box. You deepen economic entrenchment.”
[HTML Imports]: Sync, async, -ish?. If you’re importing a web component (you hypercool ninja, you) should the whole render be blocked until the component can be drawn? Of course not, argues Jank Archibald persuasively. Elsewhere he writes, “Instead, we should follow the default behaviour of <img>. An <img> doesn’t block parsing or rendering, the image appears when it is loaded. The developer can reserve an area for the image to change the reflowing behaviour.” Not as daft as he looks, that Jake.
will-change: a CSS hint to browser that you know its appearance will change, so it can make any optimisations, eg paint it to another layer immediately for faster animation. Replaces hacks like translateZ(0) and -webkit-backface-visibility: hidden.
As Mike Taylr points out, “Scampi Bug Yeti” is an anagram of “Spec Ambiguity”. Sometimes, people moan that the specification process of web standards is grindingly slow and laborious with too much detail etc. But the reality is that specs that are amibiguous or not tightly defined cause problems with interoperability. For example,
Articles that I’ve tweeted this week. Not necessarily fact-checked, or endorsed.
CSS Books “defines features often used when printing books or magazines. Using this functionality, documents written in HTML can be presented in a book-like manner, either on screen or on paper”. Includes footnotes, running headers, baseline rhythms, leaders, page groups and floating images into named page areas.
A Rational Web Platform by Dimitri Glazkov (Google’s Mr Web Components) on blink-dev list. H e writes, “HTML is a UI toolkit, written on top of DOM”. Maybe, if the Web were only browsers. Ruminating. May be some time.
CSS Object Model (CSSOM) Editor’s draft. “The core features of the CSSOM are oriented towards providing basic capabilities to author-defined scripts to permit access to and manipulation of style related state information and processes.” (Co-edited by my Opera collague, Simon Pieters). Also CSSOM View Module “provide authors with a way to inspect and manipulate the visual view of a document. This includes getting the position of element layout boxes, obtaining the width of the viewport through script, and also scrolling an element.”
VP9 codec demo clip in WebM format. VP9 gives “video quality that is slightly better than HEVC (H.265) and is 50% better than VP8 and the best implementations of H.264 high profile” says Google. Compatible with Chrome, Opera 16+ and Firefox 28+.