- The state of Web Components by Mozilla’s Wilson Page, who says that although there’s lots of disagreements, “the end is near”. Hopefully, now the end is near, we won’t see the vendors all singing “I did it MY WAY”. Time will tell.
- Meanwhile, in Re: Custom Elements: is=””, valiant Alice Boxhall fights the righteous fight for accessibility in Web Components v1 rather than v2. Or v3. Or never.
- Why we need some form of type extension (like <button is=”fancy-button”) for web components. In v1. (read 11.1-3)
- Github: “If “is=” is going to be dropped, we’ll probably… avoid custom elements for these use cases.”
- Web Decay Graph – Tim Bray graps the rate of link rot from his own blog
- </html> “I think HTML is done… Let’s down tools and focus on more important problems.” writes Tim “Mr XML” Bray (and my reply)
- Supercharging Jekyll with a ServiceWorker
- Opera Mini is here for your Windows Phone.
- Introducing srcset, our first step towards fully responsive images in Microsoft Edge
- CSS Box Alignment Module Level 3 (Draft) – so you can use
- Twitter and Medium Announce They’ve Invented Email
- 27 Amazing GIFs That Have Been Removed From The Internet
Tim Bray recently wrote an interesting post called </html> in which he stated
interest in work on “vocabulary” (by which they mean the actual angle-bracketed thingies that go into HTML) seems pretty lacking.
Me, I think HTML is done. Which doesn’t mean I think that the whole Web-programming platform is in a good state…
Let’s down tools and focus on more important problems.
I agree with Tim that fixing the web platform is more important right now than adding more elements to HTML. He cites fixing the things that jQuery, Backbone, Angular, Less, DART et al are trying to fix. Those too, but I’d also cite Service Workers, Web Manifest, device APIs as things that are urgently required to bring some level of feature-parity between web and native.
But I think it’s incorrect to claim HTML is finished. We’ve been there before, with HTML 4.01 published in December 1999 and then considered “finished”. HTML5 added lots more elements, some of which are well-used (20% of the top 100,000 sites use the HTML5 doctype, 12.% of those use <header>, for example).
Some of the HTML5 elements haven’t gained good traction. I’m inclined to agree with Matthew Thomas, who wrote (in 2004!) that new elements need to have some form of User Interface:
One way of improving this situation would be to reduce the number of new elements — forget about <article> and <footer>, for example.
Another way would be to recommend more distinct default presentation for each of the elements — for example, default <article> to having a drop cap, default <sidebar> to floating right, default <header>, <footer>, and <navigation> to having a slightly darker background than their parent element, and default <header>…<li> and <footer>…</li> to inline presentation. This would make authors more likely to choose the appropriate element.
Not every manifestation of UI is visual, however. There are still many gaps in the language that have to be patched with WAI-ARIA; on the webkit blog, James Craig writes
Steve Faulkner has a list of Aria roles and properties not available in HTML5. I’m not suggesting all should become elements or attributes, but it shows that what people make constantly outpaces the semantics available in HTML.
Since the WHATWG stopped adding new elements, we’ve seen the <main> element added to the language, which —although comparatively new— is used on 5% of the HTML5 sites in the top 100,000. Although it has no visual UI, it hooks into assistive technologies so that users can quickly get to the main content on a page.
Similarly, <picture> and associated responsive images attributes (srcset, sizes, x and w descriptors) have been added to the language.
Brian Kardell, Léonie Watson, and Steve Faulkner are working on a spec for a Panels and Panel Sets Extension that “defines elements and attributes for constructing a panel or collection of panels based on a single interaction paradigm.”
Elsewhere, attempts at adding other useful declarative features to the language are rebuffed. For example, <table sortable> was specified (with 9 years of anecdata from Stuart Langridge) to allow data tables to be natively sorted in the browser (a very common use-case), but implementation was rejected because “Instead of trying to bake so much into the platform someone should create a web components library that supports Hixie’s spec”.
I’m encouraged by the Extensible Web Manifesto which states
(Thanks to Steve Faulkner for crunching his dataset —ooh, matron— to provide use stats for <header> and <main>.)
- Please Update Picturefill – “If you’re using a version of Picturefill from prior to 2.3.1, please update right away”
- The Web is not Poor Man’s Native by Chris Wilson, and PPK’s reply Web vs. native redux.
- the average Chrome for Android user navigates to more than 100 domains per month (but apparently uses between 12 and 20 apps)
- Properties of Custom Layout – Houdini brainstorming begins
- Making websites that work well on Opera Mini – by ME!! Includes video of me looking hunky in a suit talking about emerging economies. Yes, ME!!
- androidtool-mac – “One-click screenshots, video recordings, APK installations for Android phones and smartwatches connected to your Mac”
- Helping Pakistani Women Fight Online Harassment: My chum Nighat Dad is named one of Time Magazine’s ‘next generation leaders’. Yay!
A 4 chord ditty that’s under 2 minutes but took ages to record; I moved it from acoustic guitar folk ballad to a chamber-style serenade (“a musical greeting performed for a lover… an evening piece, one to be performed on a quiet and pleasant evening”) because that’s what the lyrics are (kind of) about.
The girl in the room
talks at dusk of musk and sandalwood
Of warm winter mornings
and cool summer nights.
Telling tales without tomorrows
of her yesterdays and ancient times;
of a castle in the birch trees
in the calmness of twilight.
The girl in the room
is thunder-lightning: fiercely beautiful;
weighed down with words, then musical,
with her faces in her moon.
She asks if you could love her
and before you can recover
she needs to be somewhere or other.
Through the trees, the breeze sings tunes.
The girl in the room
talks at sunset in her box of text,
of monsoon rain and games and sex
and the ruins where bluebells bloom.
Lost in feelings like a forest,
there are no certain maps to happiness;
She spills wine on her Chinese dress,
and the breeze brings you tunes.
(Written in Barcelona and Cambodia, recorded in Birmingham, mixed in Santa Clara, California. No bluebells were harmed during the making of this song.)
Words and music © Bruce Lawson, 2015
Bah, five hours sleep. Bah overpriced breakfast (but nearest cheap, authentic diner is 5 miles away). Bah suburbia and freeways. Bah inescapable hum of air conditioning. Bah permatanned men named Chet and Dwight with immobile foreheads synergising over 7 am power breakfasts. Bah emails inviting me to meet Vladimir, director of sales, at booth 666 to discuss FelchCloud CDN, ‘our revolutionary cloud-based cloudycloudcloud, taking cloudycloudclouds to The Next Level(tm)’. Bah $4 bottles of water with a little tag printed “hydrate” without even a ‘please’. Bah shiny-toothed shiny-haired empty-souled TV news anchors talking about a lost dog in downtown Santa Nowhere. Bah ‘this life contains chemicals known by the state of california to cause sadness’. Bah “Democracy Boulevard”. Bah the George Bush Memorial Euthanasia Centre. Bah low-cholesterol omelettes made with egg whites. Bah 6 am joggers with bluetooth mobile phone earpieces. Bah.
- TOP OF THE POPS THIS WEEK: Facebook and the media: united, they attack the web – a jolly good piece on Facebook Instant by Baldur Bjarnason
- Media Session spec “enables web developers to obtain different levels of platform media focus and implicit access to platform media keys such as hardware keys found on keyboards, headsets, remote controls, and software keys found in notification areas and on lock screens of mobile devices.” It’s being prototyped by Opera, and we intend to send a Blink ‘intend to implement’ soon.
- Fixing the scrollTop bug
- text-rendering: optimizeLegibility is Decadent and Depraved by Matttttt Marquis, world expert on depraved decadence
- ARIA Examples – Some practical ARIA examples to enhance your application accessibility by Heydon Pickering, webmaster of all the haystacks in Bury St Somerset O’Groats
- Art-Directing SVG Images With The viewBox Attribute: How-To, Notes, Tips and Why We Need A viewBox Property in CSS by Sara Soueiadan, the world’s favourite Lebanese SVG blogger.
- What one may find in robots.txt – snooping around files disallowed in robots.txt by the Israeli government and others.
- Adults’ media use and attitudes (PDF) – UK communications regulator (OFCOM) report “on adults’ media use and attitudes … with a particular focus on online use and attitudes”. Chapter 1 compares 2014 against the first report in 2005.
- A Qualitative Study of Internet Non-Use in Great Britain and Sweden (PDF) (2012)
- Web Components vs Extract Widget patent – “Google Polymer and Mozilla X-Tags, are reusing the concepts of the patent” allegedly.
- In Defence Of WordPress – “I think there’s far too little appreciation for everything WordPress does.”
- Let’s Keep Helping Molly Holzschlag – funding drive for medication and living expenses for Molly who’s recovering after 2 rounds of chemo.
- The best dinosaur
- GOLD: Sex, Houdini and the Extensible Web – how the principles of the Extensible Web Manifesto speed up iteration of web standards, and how Project Houdini is bringing those principles to CSS (Disclosure: I commissioned and edited this.)
- Trainspotting: Firefox 38 – Yay for our chums at Firefox for the release of FF38 with <img srcset> and <picture> support. CUDDLES.
- An Introduction to Responsive Images — DrupalJam – a 30 min video of ME!! introducing Responsive Images
- The state of web components – a useful round-up of the blockers at the moment, by Mozilla’s Wilson Page
- Chat Wars – Microsoft vs. AOL – fascinating archaeological essay by one of the MSN Messenger Service programmers about the war of the protocols
- An Introduction To Graphical Effects in CSS by Sara Soueidan
- Mozilla adds -webkit prefix emulation to select sites in Firefox – I stand by my 2012 opinion of vendor prefixes.
- schema.org 2.0 for all you taxonomisin’ microdata/ RDFa/ JSON-LD-lovin’ ontologists out there
- Eric Meyer on the past, present and future of CSS
- Read and learn with Opera: Access free books and math materials from Worldreader and Microsoft Math on Opera Mini – Opera’s worked with worldreader to bring 15,000 books free to phones, even 10 year old feature phones. As a literature graduate, I approve!
- Nantucket: an accidental limerick detector – Natural Language Processing & tweaking Python algorithms to find accidental limericks in text
- Holograms used to berate people illegally parking in disabled bays – “A non-profit group in Russia is attempting to use hologram technology to teach people who wrongfully park in disabled bays a lesson by projecting an image of a disabled person explaining their difficulties”.
- Oh! Selector ♪ a ukulele homage to selectors by W3C’s @ourmaninjapan (with new rough’n’tough beard)
- Incognitube – The least watched Youtube videos
- Notes On Client-Rendered Accessibility by Marcy Sutton
- I wish I could pay for things on my mobile bill by Stuart Langridge; another post we’ve talked for years in the pub about
- CSS Form Styling Module – “A Collection of Interesting Ideas”. An attempt to begin identify the UI primitives that form inputs are made up of, and then provide styling hooks. Because it is, of course, vital that forms be in corporate goldenrod and peachpuff.
- Are Social Sharing Buttons on Mobile Sites a Waste of Space? – “Mobile users actually are 11.5 times more likely to tap an advertisement than they are to tap on a social sharing button.”
- I spent most of today making a Single Page App. Jeremy Keith on a revolutionary new way to make Single Page Apps that I’ve dubbed “Adangular”.
- It’s not what you think – a good post by @Cennydd on working on multi-million user products. Matches my experience at Opera.
- Anorak corner: first draft of Media Queries spec, 22 October 2000
- The Future of the Open Web by Peter “Blakey” Gasston. Peter writes “the single most important [new initiative] is the Service Worker API”. (I agree. See my Fronteers talk What the web needs next.)
- Chrome improves Add To Home Screen. Sorta by Sil.
- The problems with the device-adaptation spec by PPK.
- Enabling Pointer Events in Firefox (desktop) Nightly – huzzah!
- Opera for Android has automatic text-wrap by default, so no more horizontal scrolling if you zoom in. And a better Turbo mode for speeding up sites and saving data.
- Smartphone shipments to the Middle East and Africa saw unprecedented year-on-year growth of 83% in 2014 “Spurred by the increased availability of cheaper models and dual-SIM devices”.
- JSON-LD’s Big Day at Google.
- Dealing with SMS Spam from @PaddyPower by Terence Eden.
- Facepalm of the week: £1,215 raised to send “emergency homeopathic support” to Nepal.
- Opera’s work to reduce Chromium’s memory use - I wrote up what we've been doing to make Blink better on lower-spec devices.
- Apple's consolidated feedback on Web Components - and my thoughts on this.
- Web Components Viewpoint from the Microsoft Guy
- Does responsive web design make you more money? for the total bread-heads out there, man.
- IndexedDB and Limits – IE - it silently fails when the limit is reached. "this is still better (kinda) than mobile Safari, so, yeah, there’s that. 😉"
- Thoughts on migrating to a secure Web by David Baron of Mozilla.
- WebP Images & Performance. Pornelski strongly disagrees - see his blogpost How to compare images fairly.
- WebRTC Troubleshooter
- Idea: Extending native DOM prototypes without collisions by Lea Verou
- Google’s 'mobilegeddon' will shake up search results - "The update to the way Google ranks search results will take into account how mobile-friendly a website is."
- Extensible Web Summit - slidedecks and cut-out-n-keep pics of your fave extensible megastars
- Canada Loves the Poop Emoji - "A new report on worldwide emoji usage finds a new kind of national character." TL;DR: Canada 💕 💩, US 💕 🍆, Russia 💕 ❄, France 💕 💕. (according to Tiffany Brown, "In the U.S., 🍆 is emoji slang for penis, which makes that report all the funnier".)
- We put a chip in it! It was just a dumb thing. Then we put a chip in it. Now it's a smart thing.
- How to pronounce hexadecimal. Officially, 0xBBBB is pronounced “bibbity-bee bitey bibbity-bee”