- Does masonry belong in the CSS Grid specification? – The Firefox team have experimented with extending the CSS Grid spec to allow Masonry layout. It’s behind a flag in FF Nightly. The @csswg are looking for feedback.
- Proper VoiceOver support coming soon to Firefox on MacOS – yay.
- Hammer and Nails – “Do you download source and build tools and run the compiler every time you run an app on your desktop? No? Then why is it fine to make web users do it?”. An intemperate rant by flame-haired FOSS Adonis (or is it “Anubis”?), Stuart Langridge.
- Second-guessing the modern web – article looking at whether React-style development which pushes tons of JS to the client to parse and execute is the best thing ever. TL;DR: no.
- The Web We Want Survey Results – What developers want from devtools, browsers and general standards
- 10 Best Free Static Site Generator Tools – another nifty article by Stuart
- The best totally free web fonts & typefaces
- Styling in the Shadow DOM With CSS Shadow Parts
- Bye, Amazon – Inventor of XML, Tim Bray, quits as a VP at Amazon Web Services “in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19”.
- Web Sites as ‘Public Accommodation’ under a Pandemic – “If you dodged an accessibility lawsuit because you have physical locations, what does it mean when those physical locations close? What about when the number of locations or the operating hours are reduced?”
- Payments and Authentication: Driving toward a Whole Greater than Parts – W3C
- generic-components -“A collection of generic web components with a focus on Accessibility, Easy to use, Easy to style
“Look, it’s perfectly simple. Go back to work, but don’t use public transport. Travel in a chauffeur-driven ministerial limousine. Use common sense – under no circumstances shake hands with people you know to have the virus. Covid-19 appeared in December, which makes it a Sagittarius, so Taureans and Libras should wear masks. But it also appeared in China, which makes it a Rat, so anyone called Mickey or Roland is advised to wear gloves. We’re following the science, so here’s a graph.
Remember, this is Blighty, not a nation of Moaning Minnies, Fondant Fancies or Coughing Keirs (thanks, Dom!). England expects every interchangeable low-paid worker and old person in a care home to Do Their Duty: let’s just Get Dying Done. God save the Queen, Tally-ho!”
- The F-Word podcast, Episode 2 – What’s new in Chrome 81 & Firefox 75, gaps in Safari release notes, webdev glossary, a11y for designers.
- Storage for the web There are many different options for storing data in the browser. Which one is best for your needs? Pete LePage from Google finds out.
- Better Form Inputs for Better Mobile User Experiences
- An introduction to CSS Grid by Chris Ferndinandi
- How does TypeScript work? The bird’s eye view
- Introducing the fastest and most user-friendly content encryption – Hurray, the AMP team have come up with a new DRM mechanism.
- HTML isn’t done! (Chrome Dev Summit 2019) – video by Greg Whitworth and Nicole Sullivan on the visual and accessibility revamp of form controls in Chromium
- Accessibility for UX Designers – a starter guide for UX Designers about delivering accessible websites.
- Responsive Images the Simple Way
- Constrained CSS grids without max-width by Ethan Marcotte
- Ensure your website is available and usable for everyone during COVID-19 – a checklist for resilience, SEO, a11y etc
- 98.css is “a CSS library for building interfaces that look like Windows 98.”
I’m trying to record a cover version each week of songs that have really influenced me. They’re not especially polished, but it gives me a chance to experiment with my recording studio outside my usual working practices.
This is the first Velvet Underground song I heard. I was at a student party, sitting next to the speaker that Lou Reed suddenly shouts his vocals out of. It made me jump and I dropped the communal spliff into my beer. But I forgave them and became a total VU anorak.
This week, my friend Vadim Makeev and I released the first episide of our podcast, The F-word, which discusses Front-end, browsers and standards. The web site is built on Eleventy, hosted on Github so anyone can contribute and has a 100% Lighthouse score. The pilot episode is 38 minutes long—why not have a listen!!
- Inclusive Inputs – An exploration into how to make inputs more accessible.
- Beginner’s Guide to Eleventy by Tatiana Mac
- The WebAIM Million, updated – “Home pages with WCAG failures up to 98.1% (from 97.8% last year). Page complexity increased 10.4% in that time. Home pages with ARIA present averaged 60% more errors than those without.
- Good Email Code – templates for HTML emails “making sure it is semantic, functional, accessible and meeting user expectations. Consistency between email clients and pixel perfect design are also important but always secondary.”
- Web Animations in Safari 13.1
- Updates to form controls and focus – Nice changes to forms aesthetics, focus and a11y in Chromium
- Accessible SVGs – an oldie but gold article
- Helping Seniors During the Covid-19 Crisis – How my chums at @wixeng partnered with local authorities to build a volunteer call center app to help vulnerable populations during the current crisis, in one week. “we would be happy to translate it to other languages, adjust it to other government regulations, and assist in implementing it, if requested.”
- Webcam Hacking – “a technical walkthrough of how I discovered several zero-day bugs in Safari during my hunt to hack the iOS/MacOS camera. This project resulted in me gaining unauthorized access to Front & Rear Cameras, Mic, Plaintext Passwords & More”
- colors.lol – “Overly descriptive color palettes.”
A right-wing friend got angry with me because I refused to “clap for Boris”, saying now is not the time to make political points.
If you think this is not a time to make political points, you’re wrong. Boris Johnson has Covid-19 because he went around shaking Covid patients’ hands, against expert advice. Those experts who, in 2016, Gove said everyone is tired of.
He shook people’s hands because he had a plan to boost herd immunity – we should all “take it on the chin” he said. This policy was dreamed up by him and Dominic Cummings, who said “herd immunity to protect the economy and if a few pensioners die, so be it”. That’s your dad and my mum he was prepared to sacrifice.
And because of this deranged policy (which models showed would cause the death of an extra quarter of a million British people), he delayed ordering the Personal Protective Equipment that the health workers need — the health workers whom he voted to deny a 1% payrise to. Mass testing and contact tracing are what got China and South Korea through this. But even the lefty paper the Daily Mail is reporting that the “herd immunity” delay means we won’t have enough of the chemicals needed to produce the 100,000 tests that Matt Hancock promised by the end of the month. (After Johnson falsely promised 250,000.)
In October 2016 the UK government ran a national pandemic flu exercise, codenamed Exercise Cygnus. “We’ve just had in the UK a three-day exercise on flu, on a pandemic that killed a lot of people,” chief medical officer Sally Davies said at the time. “It became clear that we could not cope with the excess bodies,” Davies said. One conclusion was that Britain, as Davies put it, faced the threat of “inadequate ventilation” in a future pandemic.
What did the Tory government at the time do? Nothing. Johnson was a senior Cabinet Minster at that time.
Matt Hancock was invited by the EU to collaborate in bulk-buying ventilators. Johnson said no, because he didn’t like the politics of collaborating with the EU. End result? We don’t have enough ventilators.
I hope he gets better, because I’m a socialist so I value his life more than he values mine (or yours). I hope he recovers and comes back more humble, more humane. And as a patriot, I will not stop holding to account this dangerous man whose bad political choices mean that UK will have Europe’s worst death toll:
In the early stages of the UK outbreak, deaths climbed steeply, which the IHME says is a major driver of predicted deaths.
The flirtation in government with the idea of “herd immunity” as a way out of the epidemic meant there was a delay in implementing physical distancing until 23 March, when there were already 54 daily deaths.
It is unequivocally evident that social distancing can, when well-implemented and maintained, control the epidemic, leading to declining death rates.
His political choices will cause far more of our compatriots to die than would have otherwise. His policies require scrutiny. He deserves no applause.
As I’m self-isolating with my vegan daughter, I’ve been trying to cook healthy vegan meals. We had a couple of leeks in the fridge which needed to be used up, so I invented this leek and potato soup, which was pretty delicious.
- medium onion
- A stick of celery
- 2 Veg stock cubes
- chilli flakes
- Dried herbs (mine was a mix of basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram, sage and thyme according to the packet)
Peel and chop potatoes into cubes around 1cm. Chop the leeks into chunks about 1cm wide. Chop the onion finely. Fry it in a little oil. until it’s translucent. Add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes. Dissolve the stock cubes in around 2 litres of boiling water. Add the liquid to the pan. Add the leeks. Let it bubble. Chop the celery, and add to the pot. Add a tablespoon of marmite, 2-3 tablespoons of the mixed herbs and some chilli flakes. Stir it all up. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
- 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”
- Accessible SVGs: Inclusiveness Beyond Patterns
- Accessible UI Component Libraries Roundup
- A Practical Overview Of CSS Houdini
- Jaws adds support for content marked up with
insin Firefox and the Chromium browsers (though not Edge original or IE)
- Chrome 80/81 Bug: Accessible Name Calculation
- 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?
Now wash your hands.
- Link o’the Week: Open Peeps is a library of illustrated people – mix and match expressions, clothes, etc. Free for personal/commercial use, by Pablo Stanley.
- Me! Me! Me! corner: Web Accessibility Checklist: 15 Things to Improve Your Website Accessibility – a monster 5000 words from yours truly, on avoiding the worst and most common errors.
- Stop using Material Design text fields! – “I recently started working on a project built with Google’s Material Design UI library, and noticed quite a few usability and accessibility issues.”
- Headers and Jump Links? The Solution is scroll-margin-top – “you have a position: fixed; header at the top of the page obscuring the header you’re trying to link to!” solved
- You talkin’ to me? – a really cool prezzo by Léonie Watson on the state of speech synthesis, and how to control the emotional cadences.
- Resize text to fit the parent with variable font width axis “Adjust the width of your text to fit its parent container using a variable font width axis” by Mandy Michael
- 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.
- Not a ‘math person’? You may be better at learning to code than you think – “a natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge, or numeracy”
- On ethical design, and the Ethical Design Handbook – flame-haired FOSS Adonis @sil reviews @trinefalbe’s groovy new book
- Why Are We Talking About CSS4? – there isn’t a “CSS4” and there are no plans for it. Should there be?
- Top web browsers 2020: Firefox sinks to share unseen since 2005 – “Safari slumped four-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9%, while Opera Software’s namesake dropped two-tenths of a point, falling to 1.2%.’
- Grindr sold by Chinese owner after US raised national security concerns .It’s currently owned by Kunlun, part of the consortium that own Opera’s browsers.
- Groovy thing o’ the week: radiooooo – This is lovely. Choose a country, and a decade (1900-now) and hear music from that time and place.
- This person does not exist shows you a computer generated image of a person every time you refresh.
- 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.”