- 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.
- ING open sources Lion: A library of performant, accessible & flexible Web Components “a white-label, open-source, framework-agnostic component library”, “allow for accessibility & extendability”, “Stay as close to native semantic HTML elements as possible”
- 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”.
- Mozilla lost the browser wars. It still thinks it can save the internet.
- Tech Startups Are Flooding Kenya With Apps Offering High-Interest Loans – “App-based lending has become synonymous in Kenya with predatory practices .. Last summer newspapers reported that a 25-year-old man from a tea farming village north of Nairobi had hanged himself after defaulting on a $30 loan from an unspecified app.”
- How Microloans Bring Financial Reliability to People in Kenya by Opera Software (tucked away in the investor part of the site)
- Why Google Did Android by Tim Bray
- 2020 State of Malware Report (PDF) “the average number of threats detected on a Mac is not only on the rise, but has surpassed Windows—by a great deal.”
A new song. It’s inspired by numbers stations, “a shortwave radio station characterized by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which are believed to be addressed to intelligence officers operating in foreign countries. Most identified stations use speech synthesis to vocalize numbers”. This got me thinking about clandestine communication and betrayal.
I heard chatter on the network.
But I couldn’t crack your code.
I was waiting defenceless
for your bombshells to explode.
If you’re here, there is a reason.
Your ciphers are all known.
To everything there is a season.
Now you’re here, your cover’s blown.
I don’t recall why we are enemies.
I don’t understand what we are fighting for.
I forgot my ideology,
half way across the bridge
in this cold, cold war.
You walked down to the checkpoint.
I saw graffiti on the wall.
You presented your false papers,
and the wall began to fall.
Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production and bass guitar: Shez of @silverlakemusic.
Here’s another old song that my band The Lucies used to gig, mixed last Wednesday. I’ve no idea what it’s about—I was in a “special state of mind” when I wrote it. “Yakamoz” is a Turkish word which is used when the moonlight shines on the sea, ocean etc.
there is only half an hour til daybreak
You leave me too soon
Stay a while and I’ll watch your heart break
Through all the tears and the rage
This is our golden age
Through the silver rain
I see you wax and wane
I’ve been torn apart and reassembled
Here in this room
I can see the stars that you resemble
Turn off your mind
turn down your radio
I hear angels singing all the time
Shut down your shadow
slow down your heartbeat
Why do your eyes shine?
I see you glow on tranquil seas
Your flowers are in bloom
lilies, fuchsia, rosemary
Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production: Shez of @silverlakemusic.
- Link o’the Week: Old CSS, new CSS – fun article about the very early days of CSS and web development. You young’uns don’t know you’re born.
- 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.”
- Testing aria-live support by Zoë Bijl
- Responsive Type and Zoom by Adrian Roselli
- Hydration – Jeremy Keith on why Server-Side Rendering “has a whiff of progressive enhancement to it but none of the user benefits.”
- Inclusive Design for the Immersive Web – proposal for a W3C Community Group to come up with guidelines to ensure accessible XR (virtual reality and augmented reality)
- The WebAIM Million Update: A 6-month accessibility re-analysis of the top 1,000,000 home pages – image alternative text errors decreased by 2.2%; Implementation of HTML regions and ARIA landmarks is on the rise; significant increase in ARIA usage; Pages with ARIA present have 27 more detectable errors (65% more errors) on average than pages without ARIA.
- 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.
- Why are HTML links called ‘Anchors’? – Sir Uncle Timbo answers my question on Twitter.
- Google admits it sent private videos in Google Photos to strangers – yikes.
- 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”.
- Open source beyond the market – by David Heinemeier Hansson, Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp
- The Ragtag Squad That Saved 38,000 Flash Games From Internet Oblivion – “But while beneficial for internet safety at large, losing Flash came at a cost. The vibrant digital artifacts created using the technology would soon become obsolete.”
A very old song that I wrote when I was about 17, inspired by melodic pop-punk of Buzzcocks and The Undertones. Shez and I gigged it in a school band, then I forgot it. When Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks died, I remembered it, so recorded it. My old chum Shez played bass when we were in a school band, and mixed it yesterday, 37 years later!
She just loves to be loved.
She just needs to feel needed
And you know she will tear you in half in the end.
She just likes to feel liked
And it doesn’t really matter who by
And you know she will break your heart, my friend.
Don’t ask her does she love you?
You’ll get a vague reply.
So what, she said she needs you?
Would she look you in the eye?
And when she upsets you
Don’t let her see you cry.
She feeds on your emotions
She’s gonna bleed you dry.
You thought that you’d got her to keep.
She says the novelty wore off after a week.
And you know she just loves to be loved.
She’ll love you for ten days
and then she won’t remember your face
And you know she just loves to be loved.
And now that you are just her ex,
and you see she’s moved on to her next.
And you know she just loves to be loved.
Everyone knows she just loves to be loved.
Words and music © Bruce Lawson 1983, all rights reserved.
- Understanding the “Initial”, “Inherit” and “Unset” CSS Keywords
- India is now a larger smartphone market than the US – “India overtook the US to become the second-largest market, with 158 million phones shipping to the country in 2019.”
- 4 CSS layouts without using media queries with explanation for the Flexbox-challenged people like me
- 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
- How to find CFPs for developer conferences by @philnash
- Norway’s Opera acquires Estonian startup PocoSys to expand its fintech operations – Hmmm.
- ICE Uses Open Source to Violate Human Rights – “Every open source dependency listed here (updated nightly) is used in Palantir’s software and supports ICE in its systematic human rights violations.”
- There are already Chinese components in your pocket – so why fret about 5G gear? – “This is literally the whole point of standards”
- Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! – fascinating and funny 17 min talk by Ernesto Sirolli, an aid worker, on listening to people and enabling their entrepreneurial spirit.
- What font should you use on the cover of your pulp novel? – a cracking thread by @pulpLibrarian
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
- New browser on the block: Flow – Mr PPK interviews Piers Wombwell about a new rendering engine, Flow.
- HTML attributes to improve your users’ two factor authentication experience by Phil Nash
- My Priority of Methods for Labeling a Control – excellent post with actionable information
- Intent to Deprecate and Freeze: The User-Agent string – farewell, browser sniffing!
- 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.”
- A list of everything that *could* go in the <head> of your document (there’s a LOT)
- W3C Advisory Committee Elects Technical Architecture Group – Once again, we have a good @w3ctag with people I trust to steward standards the right way.
- Letters to Young People Who Inspire Us, by Madeleine Albright, Michelle Bachelet, Tim Berners-Lee and More – Sir Uncle Timbo’s letter to the girls at the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
- 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
Happy Nude Year, you perfectly pouting porcupine!
- 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.”
- Why You Should Choose HTML5 article Over section, by l’il old me, helped by the resplendent @LeonieWatson
- Progressive Web Apps in 2020 by Maximiliano Firtman
- The $70B opportunity in India’s emerging social commerce sector – “Over 90% of the small and medium businesses we surveyed sell directly through WhatsApp in India — more than 4× the number who sell on Flipkart and Amazon.”
- Guiding Development of Contribution and Community Strategies in Open Source Software Requirements Engineering – PhD thesis by Johan Linåker
- Understanding Async Await by Sarah “Drazzo” Drasner
- TikTok boom: US Army bans squaddies from using platform on government-issued phones – As the first globally successful Chinese social property, TikTok has attracted scrutiny. Army spokesperson Lt Col Robin Ochoa described the app as “a cyber threat”.
- 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.”
- HTML is a living language – 11 minute podcast by Chris Ferdinandi
- China’s success at AI has relied on good data – But cheap labour has also played an important part: “a data supply chain using cheap labour at Chinese data factories no one has ever heard of.”
- 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.”
- Which emoji scissors close? – important research here
- CSS 3D transformations & SVG – “Resolving the co-evolutionary branches of HTML, CSS and SVG – and why it matters”
- If you ARIA label something, give it a role says Marco Zehe, screen reader user and Accessibility Lord of Mozilla.
- 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
- Understanding the PDF Tags Tree
- Vivaldi browser pretends it’s Chrome so websites don’t break – “it spotlighted baseless browser incompatibilities with Google search, Google Docs, WhatsApp and Netflix. It also said it’s got problems with Medium, Microsoft Teams, Twitch, Github, Abc Go, AT&T TV Now and Shopify”
- An adventurer’s guide to W3C specs – How do all the accessibility specs and guidelines fit together?
- A Remote Tanzanian Village Logs Onto the Internet – “The Danish company Bluetown installed a hot spot in Sagara B, with download speeds fast enough for Netflix and for local life to change.”
- China is making more of Africa’s phones than you think – “Chinese companies dominate Africa’s phone market”
- Another reason Prince Andrew is a disgrace – Buried in the T&Cs of his Pitch at Palace venture is that he takes 2% of your business for zero cash for 3 years after the pitch.
- 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.
Merry Consumerfest, and a Happy Nude Year!
- The CEO of Twitter and Square says he’s moving to Africa for at least 3 months next year because the continent will ‘define the future’ – I can’t say I agree with Jack about much, but here I do.
- State of European Tech report – “in 2019, 92% of funding went to all men teams, a similar level to the figures which shocked readers last year. When you break down the data by race, age, education and socioeconomic background, we see more problems emerge”
- How To Ease Your Team’s Development Workflow With Git Hooks
- Web Components and the Accessibility Object model (AOM) by Watters (Léonie Watson)
- The business case for inclusive design: The Big Hack study findings – The ‘Purple Pound’ (disposable income controlled by disabled people in UK) is an estimated £274 Billion. 67% said they would spend more money on entertainment, sports and leisure if there were no barriers to digital access.
- Ericsson Mobility Report November 2019 – “By the end of 2025, we expect 5G to have 2.6 billion subscriptions covering up to 65 percent of the world’s population and generating 45 percent of the world’s total mobile data traffic”. 76% of that data will be video.
- My thoughts on Gutenberg Accessibility by @MarcoInEnglish, a screen reader user.
- Igalia Chats with Neil Soiffer on MathML – “Igalia’s Brian Kardell sat down with Neil Soiffer, long time MathML advocate and chair of the current MathML Refresh Community Group to chat about MathML, its history, challenges and what’s next.”
- prefers-reduced-data – proposal for a new CSS media query
- NIGERIA Digital Economy Diagnostic Report (World Bank) “As the biggest economy in Africa with one of the largest youth populations in the world, Nigeria is well-positioned to develop a strong digital economy. This would have a transformational impact”
- “Pointless emails: they’re not just irritating – they have a massive carbon footprint – “More than 64m unnecessary emails are sent in UK every day. if every adult sent one fewer email a day we would save more than 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year – equivalent to 81,152 flights to Madrid or taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road.”
- Why xHamster Is So Much Better at Content Moderation Than Facebook – “as Big Tech argues against even the most minimal acts of oversight, it is worth noting that extreme scrutiny placed on the adult industry has not eradicated the industry or made it incapable of innovating”
- Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty – “profanity is positively correlated with honesty at an individual level and with integrity at a society level”. Abso-fucking-lutely.