- News o’the Week: Antitrust: European Commission opens investigations into Apple’s App Store rules – “The investigations concern in particular the mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps.”
- Related: Apple Threatens to Move Basecamp’s New Email App to Trash – “Scrutiny of Apple’s App Store policies heats up as the company heads into its annual software conference.”
- Igalia Chat – Brian Kardell sits down with Jeremy Keith and Stuart Langridge to chat about rendering engine diversity, history and the health of the web browser ecosystem.
- Flow: A New Browser Engine by Sam Sneddon
- Safari 14 Beta Release Notes
- Make your PWA feel more like an app – some nice little tips for making it more ‘native’.
- CSS custom properties and the cascade by Jeremy Keith
- CSS Custom Properties Fail Without Fallback – Matthias Ott looks at what you can do about the issue Jeremy raises
- Hybrid positioning with CSS variables and max() by Lea Verou
- Warning—Apple Suddenly Catches TikTok Secretly Spying On Millions Of iPhone Users – Tiktok on iOS caught stealing the contents of users’ clipboard every 2-3 keystrokes. “Now Apple’s welcome iOS 14 security and privacy changes have caught them red-handed still doing something they shouldn’t. Something they said was fixed.”
- Meaningful connectivity – Alliance for Affordable Internet pushes for its new standard: “We have meaningful connectivity when we can use the internet every day using an appropriate device with enough data and a fast connection.”
- Google blew a ten-year lead – “something happened at Google. I’m not sure what. But they stopped innovating on cloud software. Docs and Sheets haven’t changed in a decade. Google Drive remains impossible to navigate. Sharing is complicated.”
- SVGuitar – library to create beautiful SVG guitar chord charts directly in the browser
- Machine learning-generated Peanuts comics and an interesting rumination on what Art is: “In some ways, the model represents the disembodied essence of the Peanuts aesthetic, but do I have Charles Shulz soul? For many obvious reasons, I do not – this model knows nothing of the motivations, desires and intentions behind Charles Shulz and his works.”
- Link o’the Week 1: A user’s guide to CSS variables by Lea Verou
- Link o’the Week 2: Global and Component Style Settings with CSS Variables – “Or how I use CSS variables to create more manageable project styles and more portable patterns” by Sara Souiedan
- Optimizing keyboard navigation using tabindex and ARIA also by Sara Souiedan
- Flow browser passes the Acid tests – “Our goal for Flow is to render websites correctly the first time that anyone tries them. Most of the Acid3 subtests are going to make a real difference.”
- CSS :is() and :where() are coming to browsers
- The Surprising Things That CSS Can Animate
- IBM quits facial-recognition market over police racial-profiling concerns – Every tech company should put out their statement on their tech’s use for “mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms.
- Covid-19 makes it clearer than ever: access to the internet should be a universal right says Sir Uncle Timbo.
- PHP Marks 25 Years – “This week the web is celebrating 25 years since Rasmus Lerdorf released version 1.0 of his “Personal Home Page Tools (PHP Tools).” PHP is now used by 78.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language W3Techs can detect.” – I ❤️ PHP.
- Me! Me! Me! corner: Beginners’ Guide To Writing Good HTML – my 5500 word article for beginners on writing good semantic HTML, using a Cheeky Girls fan site to walk through the thought process.
- Setting up Prince on AWS Lambda and API Gateway by Moi.
- Setting up Prince on EC2 with PHP – also me.
Bella’s in the witch elm
Regal in a taffeta gown
Queen of her forest realm
Autumn leaves form her crown
Bella’s in the witch elm
She won’t say how she came there
She’s still as seasons turn
And winter winds wind her hair
Beneath the cries of the weeping willow
You can hear the sighs from the witch elm’s hollow
Bella’s in the witch elm
wearing her gold wedding ring
She’s silent at the coming of Spring
At the maypole, children dance and sing
Bella’s in the witch elm
Wearing just one summer shoe
She will never tell
Someone put here there – but who?
Who put Bella where she can’t see
Who put Bella in the Witch Elm Tree? Who?
Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production, drums and bass guitar: Shez of @silverlakemusic.
- The F-word, Episode 3 Episode 3 in which Vadim Makeev and I talk about Web site resilience, HTML nesting rules, masonry layout, Web We Want.
- Web Engine Diversity and Ecosystem Health – a very interesting and thought-provoking piece by Brian Kardell
- People, Power and Technology: The 2020 Digital Attitudes Report
- Disclosure widgets – details and summary, ARIA widgets for IE11, accordions and accessibility by Adrian Roselli
- The Valuable 500 – “The global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda. We need 500 national and multinational, private sector corporations to be the tipping-point for change and to unlock the business, social and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world. Because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.”
- Embedded YouTube and Google Maps – are they accessible? TL;DR: not fully.
- Modern Touch-Friendly Design by Addy Osmani
- The Fastest Google Fonts by Hazza Roberts
- Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey surveyed 65,000 people. Some interesting nuggets: 46.5% of developers said “HTML/ CSS” is their “most dreaded” language; jQuery is still king, but is slowly losing ground to React.js and Angular year over year.
- Military And Intelligence Personnel Can Be Tracked With The Untappd Beer App
- Find wheelchair accessible places with Google Maps – “People can now turn on an “Accessible Places” feature to have wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Map”
- Microsoft: we were wrong about open source – pigs fly, hell freezes over.
- Science confirms it: Websites really do all look the same
- Building a physical <blink> tag! – Quarantine finally causes Terence Eden to lose the plot.
- Developer who wrote vanilla HTML+CSS in Notepad declared a witch
- 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.”