Link o’the week: Get Static – “If you are in charge of a web site that provides even slightly important information, or important services, it’s time to get static…health departments (and pretty much all government services), hospitals and clinics, utility services, food delivery and ordering”
Apple’s attack on service workers – “I very much hope that Safari devs will be reasonable and not go ahead with the drastic hobbling of service workers that they’re planning”
Making Sure Content Lives On… – Uncle @briankardell came up with an interesting service which will tell the wayback machine to take a snapshot of a newly-published article using RSS or an HTTP Post. Any WordPress plugin gurus want to add this to the ‘publish’ process?
Proposal o’the week: Focus Traversal API – “a proposed feature that would allow an author to better understand and manipulate the Focus system within a web page. This includes support for computing the next and previous Focus targets for any given element, moving the focus forward or backward programatically from an element without knowing the next focus target, and other focus related features.”
Using the HTML title attribute – Updated March 2020 Uncle Stevo says “If you want to hide content from mobile and tablet users as well as assistive tech users and keyboard only users, use the title attribute”. Basically, it’s only useful for labeling iframes.
Do Not Touch Your Face – “Using your webcam, you train a machine learning algorithm (specifically Tensorflow.js) to recognize you touching your face and not touching your face. Once it’s trained, it watches and alerts you when you touch your face.”
Anorak Corner: The History of the URL – “all that matters is adoption. If you can get people to use it, however slipshod it might be, they will help you craft it into what they need. The corollary is, of course, no one is using it, it doesn’t matter how technically sound it might be.”
MDN Browser Compatibility Survey – “We know from past surveys that browser compatibility is a very common pain point, and we would like to get a better understanding of these pain points. This survey will take you approximately 10 minutes”
Google users in UK to lose EU data protection – “Google is planning to move its British users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them under U.S. jurisdiction instead, sources said. The shift, prompted by Britain’s exit from the EU, will leave the sensitive personal information of tens of millions with less protection”
[css-device-adapt] Remove @viewport – CSS Working Group proposes to deprecate this spec. (it shipped in Opera Presto and IE Trident, but those have joined the choir invisible)
Scroll To Text Fragment is coming soon (to Chromium browsers), even though its syntax is even uglier than me. So you can link to any text in a page, even though there’s no ID to add to the URL. Hope they fix its accessibility before it gets released, though.
Squarespace, Wix, & Weebly: Accessibility Review – “For accessibility, avoid Weebly. Both Squarespace and Wix are capable of creating accessible sites, but the user has to be looking to do so—it isn’t gonna happen by default. Wix seems to be taking accessibility a bit more seriously than Squarespace, so I’m inclined to recommend Wix as the better option”. Disclosure: I do occasional consultancy for Wix on accessibility and standards.
Toward Responsive Elements – Uncle Brian writes about the work going on in @csswg to give us Element queries that can actually be implemented, are compatible with CSS’s architecture today and are “webby”.
Click-Away Pound Survey – “In 2016, the survey found that more than 4 million people abandoned a retail website because of the [accessibility] barriers they found, taking with them an estimated spend of £11.75 billion. In 2019, that lost business, the ‘Click-Away Pound’, has grown to £17.1 billion.”
Prince 13.1 adds support for CSS variables in @page rules and margin boxes; changes the @page rules to inherit from the document root element; extends -prince-pdf-tag-type to support the Artifact and Table values; fixes Thai line-breaking support.
Mastercard chief says breaking up global payments system is ‘stupid’ – Concerns about data integrity help explain why Mastercard pulled out of Libra”. “every time you talked to the main proponents of Libra, I said ‘Would you put that in writing?’ They wouldn’t. .. “when you don’t understand how money gets made, it gets made in ways you don’t like”.
Masonry layout – Interesting (and very well thought-out) proposal to extend CSS Grid to allow ‘masonry’ layout, and discussion of whether masonry is conceptually an extension of Flexbox or a new display type
Hello, you divine diplodocus! Here’s the best of my reading from the last 2 weeks. Last week I was sunning myself in Marbella, Spain, at Forum for the Future, as a guest of the Joomla community. (I’m on their Open Source Matters Advisory Board.)
Anyhow, here we go!
Link o’the Week: Roles and relationships absolutely golden post by @codingchaos on the ARIA needed for those gnarly composite widgets (and very timely for a project I’m starting soon)
Opera: Phantom of the Turnaround – 70% Downside – If this report about Opera’s “pivot into predatory short-term loans in Africa and India, deploying deceptive ‘bait and switch’ tactics to lure in borrowers and charging egregious interest rates ranging from ~365-876%” is true, it would make me very sad
Snowpack – “With Snowpack you can build modern web apps (using React, Vue, etc.) without a bundler (like Webpack, Parcel, Rollup). No more waiting for your bundler to rebuild your site every time you hit save. Instead, every change is reflected in the browser instantly.”
Reverberations – “how come a church organ doesn’t sound like a chip tune, which is also built up from simple waveforms? Well, actually it will, if you remove the church. And if you connect a Commodore 64 to a loudspeaker in a large hall, it will sound like an organ.”
city roads “This website renders every single road within a city” using OpenStreetMap and WebGL
The Guardian view on the gig economy: stop making burnout a lifestyle – “”Uncertain work is becoming the norm, with the result that unemployment statistics look better than the way Britons feel .. We ought to work and have careers that enable us to focus on our relationships and have soul-enriching pastimes. It cannot be socially good to consider leisure time as a lost commercial opportunity.”
Putting devs before users: how frameworks destroyed web performance – “So creatives, stop being so focused on your CV or personal convenience. Stop putting your own interests above those of your users, and wasting hundreds of kilobytes on stuff no one cares about. You are likely not Facebook or Google, and you shouldn’t be designing or building things as if you are.”
Rhasspy “(pronounced RAH-SPEE) is an open source, fully offline voice assistant toolkit for many languages that works well with Home Assistant, Hass.io, and Node-RED .. intended for advanced users that want to have a voice interface to Home Assistant, but value privacy and freedom above all else.”
Making GOV.UK more than a website – using schema.org structured markup allows “meeting users where they are, meeting user needs at the point of need”, for example on Voice Assistants or in Google OneBox search results.
Why <details> is Not an Accordion – “HTML really needs <accordion> , <tabs>, <dialog>, <dropdown>, and <tooltip> elements. Not more “low-level primitives” but good ol’ fashioned, difficult-to-get-consensus-on elements”
CSS Guidelines – High-level advice and guidelines for writing sane, manageable, scalable CSS, by Harry Roberts
Why WeWork went wrong – “The office-space startup took a tumble when investors tired of its messianic CEO and lack of profits. But why were its backers – the House of Saud among them – so keen to pour billions into it in the first place?”. Long, and fascinating article.