Hypertext as an agent of change | A Working Library
The text of Mandy’s astounding dConstruct talk.
The text of Mandy’s astounding dConstruct talk.
Look, I would never usually link to a “listicle” on Buzzfeed, but this is all kinds of cumulative mirth.
Those lovely people at Filament Group share some of their techniques for making data tables work across a range of screen sizes.
Personally, I’m all for more browsers. The more, the merrier.
Here’s a dystopian vision of the web in ten years time, where professional developers are the only people able to publish on the web.
My interest in rich client-side apps has almost entirely reversed, and now I’m more interested in doing good ol’ server rendering with the occasional side of progressive enhancement, just like we did it in 2004.
This post resonates with me 100%.
Scott’s trying to find out the best ways to load critical CSS first and non-critical CSS later. Good discussion ensues.
I really hope that this is the kind of usage we’ll see for web components: enhancements for the browsers that support them without a good ol’ fashioned fallback for older browsers.
A lovely little from Josh that allows you to draw shapes in a canvas element and then copy the resulting code.
I really like this interface idea from Brad that provides the utility of input masks but without the accessibility problems.
If you insist on having a fixed header on your site, please, please, please add this script to your site. I often use the spacebar to page down so this would be a life-saver.
Tom is running a Node School at 68 Middle Street on the evening of March 27th. I plan to attend and finally wrap my head around all this Node stuff.
An interesting pattern for handling complex data tables in responsive designs. It’s a desktop-down approach, but pretty smart.
Great stuff from James Wragg and the gang at Madgex: a way of lazy-loading ads for responsive sites without messing with the ad code.
Don’t get me wrong: jQuery is great, but for a lot of projects, you might not need 90% of the functionality it provides. So try starting with vanilla JS and only pulling in jQuery if and when you need it.
Like Drew, I’ve noticed some real hostility to the idea of progressive enhancement recently. Like Drew, I don’t really understand where this attitude comes from. It’s not like progressive enhancement prevents you from doing anything you would do otherwise: it’s just another way of approaching the way you build for the web.
I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect that some developers are letting their tools dictate their principles—the tail wagging the dog (where the tail is Angular, Ember, etc.).
An in-depth look at using icon fonts without any nasty edge-cases ruining your day.
Alas, it turns out that it’s reliant on user-agent string sniffing. I guess that’s to be expected: this isn’t something that can be detected directly. Still, it feels a little fragile: whenever you use any user-agent sniffing tool you are entering an arms race that requires you to keep your code constantly updated.
Another good ol’ rant from Tom. It’s a bit extreme but the underlying lamentation with the abandonment of progressive enhancement is well founded.
John shares his concerns about the increasing complexity involved in developing for the web.
Some excellent practical advice on progressive enhancement.
This is the talk I gave at the border:none event in Nuremberg last month. I really enjoyed it. This was a chance to gather together some thoughts I’ve been mulling over for a while about how we approach front-end development today …and tomorrow.
Warning: it does get quite ranty towards the end.
Also: it is only now that the video is released that I see I spent the entire talk looking like a dork with a loop of wire sticking out of the back of my head.
The authors of the Extensible Web Manifesto explain the thinking behind their …uh… thinking.
I despair sometimes.
Here’s a ridiculous Heath-Robinsonesque convoluted way of getting the mighty all-powerful Googlebot to read the web thangs you’ve built using the new shiny client-side frameworks like Angular, Ember, Backbone…
Here’s another idea: output your HTML in HTML.
Good luck getting that script updated for the thousands of sites and applications, you say to yourself, where it’s laying dormant just waiting to send devices the wrong content based on a UA substring.
I hate carousels, but if you’re going to have one, this progressively enhanced approach looks pretty good.
Go, Dan, go!
‘Sfunny, I was talking about just this kind of thing at An Event Apart today.
Executing console.log(“hello world”) or window.alert(2+5-20) brings immediate feedback, makes you feel as though you’re getting somewhere and that you are interacting directly with the computer as a programmer. For those of you old enough to own a Spectrum, C64 or Vic20 – BASIC (itself heavily derided) had the same benefit.
A terrific long-zoom look at web technologies, pointing out that the snobbishness towards declarative languages is a classic example of missing out on the disruptive power of truly innovative ideas …much like the initial dismissive attitude towards the web itself.
A page to demonstrate the conditional CSS technique I documented a while back.
There’s something fundamental and robust about being able to request a URL and get back at least an HTML representation of the resource: human-readable, accessible, fault tolerant.
Oh, no! How horrid! Now Twitter won’t control the “user experience” of that widget!
Instead, the person who actually posted the tweets in the first place gets to decide how they should be displayed. Crazy idea, isn’t it?
A terrific case study in progressive enhancement: starting with a good ol’ form that works for everybody and then adding on features like Ajax, SVG, the History API …the sky’s the limit.
A terrific quiz about browser performance from Jake. I had the pleasure of watching him present this in a bar in Amsterdam—he was like a circus carny hoodwinking the assembled geeks.
I guarantee you won’t get all of this right, and that’s a good thing: you’ll learn something. If you do get them all right, either you are Jake or you are very, very sad.
Jake casts a scrutinising eye over the way that browsers load and parse scripts …and looks at what we can do about it.
A terrific piece by Remy—based on a talk he gave—on when he uses jQuery and, more importantly, when he doesn’t. His experiences and conclusions pretty much mirror my own, but of course Remy is far more thoughtful and smart than I.
Really good stuff.
A handy one-stop-shop for tips on improving front-end performance.
I like the sound of the book that Chris is writing for Smashing Magazine. It sounds like a very future-friendly approach to front-end development.
Related to my rant on links that aren’t actually links: buttons that aren’t actually buttons.
This is handy: a look at which DOM properties and methods cause layout thrashing (reflows).
A really good introduction to front-end performance techniques. Most of this was already on my radar, but I still picked up a handy tip or two (particularly about DNS prefetching).
At this stage it should go without saying that you should be keeping up with this kind of thing: performance is really, really, really important.
This off-canvas demo is a great practical example of progressive enhancement from David. It’s also a lesson in why over-reliance on jQuery can sometimes be problematic.
Remember when I made that canvas sparkline script? Remember when Stuart grant my wish for an SVG version? Well, now Tom has gone one further and created a hosted version on sparksvg.me
Not a fan of sparklines? Bars and circles are also available.
All the talks from this year’s excellent Full Frontal conference in Brighton, available in audio form for your huffduffing pleasure.
I wholeheartedly agree with Christian’s diagnosis of the average web page: it’s overweight to the point of obesity. Fortunately Dr. Heilmann has some remedies.
A terrific write-up of this year’s Full Frontal conference, with a descriptive rundown of each talk.
Some great thoughts from Mike Davies about the strengths of the web, prompted by some of the more extreme comments made by James Pearce at Full Frontal last week.
I should point out that James was being deliberately provocative in order to foment thought and discussion and, judging from this blog post, he succeeded.
The Web’s independence from the hardware and software platform people use is a feature. It’s better than cross-platform frameworks which are constantly criticised for not producing exact native-feeling apps on the multitude of platforms they run on. The Web is above that pettiness.
Steven Wittens, who gave a terrific talk all about maths at last week’s Full Frontal conference, describes his experience at that most excellent event.
A great in-depth description by Paul of how he optimised his site. More of this please!
This looks like a handy way of enhancing forms to have input masks (Luke W. would approve). Right now it’s a jQuery plug-in but I’m sure someone as smart as you would be able to create a standalone version, right?
Oh, dear. Adobe Shadow gets a new name and a hefty price tag. Yesterday it was free. Today it is $119.88 per year. It’s useful but it’s not that useful.
So, lazy web, who’s working on an open-source alternative?
This looks great! It’s a CC-licensed book by Cody Lindley (whose work I’ve admired for many years) aimed at teaching DOM Scripting for modern browsers. You can read the whole thing online or wait for the paper version from O’Reilly.
Here’s something that Josh debuted at Smashing Conference: a script for responsive designs to adjust font-sizes based on a desired line-length.
Inevitably, it’s a jQuery plugin but I’m sure somebody could fork it to create a standalone version (hint, hint).
I’m going to be attending Seb’s CreativeJS and HTML5 course in Brighton on September 13th and 14th …and I strongly suspect that it’s going to be great.
Mike compares the bandwidth usage of the sites he most frequently visits. The results are grim.
The worst sins of the Flash years are coming back with a vengeance, in the form of CSS Frameworks and the magic dollar sign. There has seriously got to be a better way to do this.
Stuart on the importance of View Source.
This is excellent! Scott, Wilto, and the gang at Filament Group have released the tools they use to help them craft performant responsive sites. Lots of excellent resources for conditional loading here.
I really like this trend of small standalone scripts rather than plug-ins that require the presence of a library.
I think I might volunteer my services.
This responsive image technique has a lot of moving parts but it seems pretty solid.
A great step-by-step tutorial from Brad on developing a responsive site with a Content First mindset.
This is my short explanation of Remy’s explanation of a BBC news article which is an explanation of an academic paper about battery performance of mobile devices when accessing websites.
A fantastic taste of what you can expect in Seb’s Creative Coding workshop.
In amongst all the shiny demos on this site, this one could actually be useful.
Scott walks through the code and thinking behind the conditional loading pattern on The Boston Globe site. This is such a useful and valuable pattern!
A handy little script that attempts to check email inputs for misspelled domain names. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t need to be written as a jQuery pug-in, though: anyone want to fork it and create a non-jQuery version too?
I can’t remember the last time I read something I disagreed with so fundamentally. This sums up the tone of the article:
Accessibility is not a right; it’s a feature.
I do not agree. I do not agree at all.
(Also, the pre-emtive labelling of anyone who may disagree with your point of view as defending a “sacred cow” is as tired and misguided as labelling anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint as a “fanboy”.)
Jeff documents some of the techniques he’s using to tackle responsive design, with some tips specifically for SASS.
A script that attempts to detect connection speed (by requesting a test file three times in a row) in order to determine whether hi-res images should be requested or not.
Some valuable musings from Ben on how browsers could be better — and I don’t mean the usual moaning about performance or device APIs.
This cracked me up. There are two possibilities: either this is really is very funny or I am very nerdy.
That Scott is one smart cookie. He has come up with a workaround (using the accelerometer) for that annoying Mobile Safari orientation/zoom bug that I blogged about recently.
I still want Apple to fix this bug as soon as possible—the fact that such smart people are spending so much effort on ingenious hacks shows just how much of a pain-point this is.