- People are turning on ad blockers because of data-consuming ad tech – “Ads take up just 9% of the space on a web page, but are accountable for 54% of the load time”.
- 1 in 4 online adults have used a VPN – especially high use in Indonesia, UAE, Thailand, Saudi, Taiwan
- Washington Post introduces new Progressive Web App .. or does it?
- Related: Regressive Web Apps – by Jeremy Keith. “”What does it profit a website to gain app-like features if it loses its soul?”
- Web Progressions videos from the day-long Web Progressions conference I co-organised with Appelquist and Natasha Rooney
- Proposal: Promote SVG Viewbox to a CSS propery, extend to all transformable elements
- LRNZ SNGLRT “is a minimalist and energetic entry for JS1k 2016 showing twisted Lorenz attractors with ambient occlusion, soft shadows, a strong beat & clean design.” By Opera’s p01.
- Take the GOV.UK 2016 assistive technology survey
- Smartphone by default – OFCOM qualitative report on 16% UK population (up from 6% in ’14) whose majority net use is on devices
- Ad blocking and site settings come to Opera for Android beta – so that’s built-in ad blocking in Opera Desktop, Opera Mini and (soon) Chromium-based Opera for Android.
- Uber knows customers with dying batteries are more likely to accept surge pricing – “Uber can detect when a user’s smartphone is low on battery, and therefore willing to pay more to book a ride”
- Is the Tech Bubble Popping? Ping Pong Offers an Answer – “Sales of tables rise and fall with the startups that love them”
Archive for May, 2016
I’m writing this as a short commentary on Stuart Langridge’s post The Importance of URLs which you should read (he’s surprisingly clever, although he looks like the antichrist in that lewd hat).
I approve of the Lighthouse team’s idea that you don’t qualify as an add-to-home-screen-able app if you want a URL bar
Opera’s implementation of Progressive Web Apps differs from Chrome’s here (we only take the content layer of Chromium; we implement all the UI ourselves, precisely so we can do our own thing). Regardless of whether the developer has chosen
display: standalone or
display: fullscreen in order to hide the URL bar, Opera will display it if the app is served over HTTP because we think that the user should know exactly where she is if the app is served over an insecure connection. Similarly, if the user follows a link from your app that goes outside its domain, Opera spawns a new tab and forces
display: browser so the URL bar is shown.
But I take Jeremy Keith’s point:
I want people to be able to copy URLs. I want people to be able to hack URLs. I’m not ashamed of my URLs …I’m downright proud.
One of the superpowers of the Web is URLs, and fullscreen progressive web apps hide them (deliberately). After our last PWA meeting with the Chrome team in early February, I was talking about just this with Andreas Bovens, the PM for Opera for Android. We mused about some mechanism (a new gesture?) that would allow the user to see and copy (if they want) the URL of the current page. I’ve already heard of examples when developers are making their own “share this” buttons — and devs re-implementing browser functionality is often a klaxon signalling something is missing from the platform.
When I mentioned our musings on Twitter this morning, Alex Russell said “we’ve been discussing the same.” It is, as Chrome chappie Owen Campbell-Moore said “a difficult UX problem indeed”, which is one reason that Andreas and I parked our discussion. One of Andreas’ ideas is long press on the current page, and then get an option to copy/share the URL of the page you’re currently viewing (this means that a long press is not available as an action for site owners to use on their sites. Probably not a big deal?)
What do you think? How can we best allow the user to see the current URL in a discoverable way?
- Golden link: I’m a fucking webmaster – “We need to remember that at its core a web page is simple. That’s the beauty of it.”
- Delivering Octicons with SVG – Github replaced its icon fonts with SVG, referencing Seren Davies’ slide deck about dyslexia Death to icon fonts. If you want to do the same, read Sara Souiedan’s article Converting Font Icons to SVG.
- Optimizing for the Next Billion Users by World Bank CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)
- Job: Product Management Director – Opera Mini Tell ’em I sent you so I get brownie points.
- We know where you live – “From location data alone, even low-tech snoopers can identify Twitter users’ homes, workplaces.”
- Houdini – Demystifying CSS – Interesting intro article by Surma
- Google : End Of The Online Advertising Bubble – “a big chunk of ad spending is being stolen, plain and simple … The whole ecosystem is at risk of turning from growth to decline, overnight, in a rerun of what happened in 2000-2001.” long report by Kalkis Research.
- An Open Letter to Members of the W3C Advisory Committee on DRM, and “a compromise that both DRM advocates and opponents should be able to live with”
- Arduino-powered gloves that translate sign language into spoken English
- Women of colour in tech – stock photography you can use, e.g. in presentations, with a CC-BY license.
- Achieving Diversity in Tech – a monthly London meet-up to discuss improving diversity in the technology industry
- First Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology – Accra, Ghana Sept 13-14
(Last Updated on 19 May 2016)
Here’s the keynote talk I did at Render Conference, Oxford in April. (Slides.)
All the other talks are available. Yay!
I told the nice organising types that I wouldn’t accept the speaker fee because public speaking is my job. Rather than just pocket the money, they suggested we donate it to a worthy cause, which is very good of them.
So I asked them to send it to a rural school in Cambodia, where a friend of mine has been volunteering. They’re building a computer lab to train kids and the local people. In one of the poorest countries on earth (average salary is $80/ month) a second hand laptop at $250 is still a luxury. As someone who was a primary teacher in Bangkok, this ticks all my personal boxes: education, S.E. Asia and the web.
Thank you, Ruth and all at Render Conference.
- WebExtensions in Firefox 48 – “Chrome add-ons can now be run in Firefox with no manifest changes”. Chrome extension architecture becoming a de-facto standard for extensions seems like a good thing for devs & users.
- Talking of which… For A Better Extensions Ecosystem – Opera, Mozilla, Microsoft propose common packaging format and core APIs for extensions. (Mail to the Community Group.)
- Combining Typefaces – Tim Brown’s guide to great typography is now released for free.
- Caching best practices & max-age gotchas by Jank Architect
- Reducing JPG File size – excellent article by Colt McAnlis of Google
- The end of a mobile wave – interesting piece by @BenedictEvans on slowdown in Smartphone sales.
- How Chinese Typewriters Led Way to Predictive Text on Smartphones
- Front-End Performance: The Dark Side – “I focused on security-sensitive situations in which performance can actually be a bug rather than a feature” by Mathias Bynens
- Web accessibility will now be the law of the land in Europe – EU Directice requires all EU governments’ websites to be accessible.
- Inside “Emojigeddon”: The Fight Over The Future Of The Unicode Consortium – “And yes, obviously a burrito emoji will be more in use than medieval punctuation.”
- How Dell plans to grow its PC business in a declining market– “to cater for a new mostly-millennial workforce that wants to work wirelessly”
- A Do-It-Yourself Revolution in Diabetes Care – Diabetes patients design their own ‘artificial pancreas’ using a Raspberry Pi. Design and code are open-sourced.
- Headline of the week: Indonesian villagers mistake sex toy for angel