This echoes what Scott Jenson has been saying: the current trend with connected devices is far too reliant on individual proprietary silos instead of communicating with open standards.
So instead of talking directly to one another, devices on today’s nascent Internet of Things now communicate primarily with centralized servers controlled by a related developer or vendor. That works, after a fashion, but it also leads to a bunch of balkanized subnetworks in which devices can communicate perfectly well with each other - but can’t actually talk to devices on any other balkanized subnetwork.
My presentation from the Industry conference in Newcastle a little while back, when I stepped in for John Allsopp to deliver the closing talk.
An intriguing initiative to tighten up the loop between standards development and implementation.
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.
A great post by Stuart on the prospect of DRM-by-any-other-name in HTML.
The argument has been made that if the web doesn’t embrace this stuff, people won’t stop watching videos: they’ll just go somewhere other than the web to get them, and that is a correct argument. But what is the point in bringing people to the web to watch their videos, if in order to do so the web becomes platform-specific and unopen and balkanised?
Jake casts a scrutinising eye over the way that browsers load and parse scripts …and looks at what we can do about it.
I need to get Matt to an Indie Web Camp.
A fascinating look at the history of cookies …from the inventor of cookies.
The litany of open standards that Google has been abandoning: RSS, XMPP, WebDav…
I’m in general agreement with this rousing defence of CSS. I think it does a pretty great job of balancing a whole ton of use cases.
Wow! The CSS Zen Garden is a decade old. Crazy! It’s a true piece of web history …and it’s back!
Scott points out a really big problem with the current state of the “internet of things”: everyone is inventing their own proprietary walled-garden infrastructure instead of getting together to collaborate on standards.
The single biggest fallacy I want to blow up is this utopian idea that there is this SINGLE thing called ‘The Cloud’. Each company today reinvents their own cloud. The Cloud as a concept is dead and has been for years: we are living within a stormy sky of cranky clouds, all trying to pretend the others don’t exist.
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 good history lesson in rendering engines: KHTML, WebKit, and now, Blink.
This is wonderful stuff! I’m a big fan of the
datalist element but I hadn’t realised how it could be combined with
input types like
I like these design principles for server-side and client-side frameworks. I would say that they’re common sense but looking at many popular frameworks, this sense isn’t as common as it should be.
Brent Simmons pens a love-letter to RSS, a technology that you use every day, whether you realise it or not.
Tantek steps back and offers some practical approaches to reclaiming a more open web from the increasingly tight clutches of the big dominant roach motels.
Notice that he wrote this on his own domain, not on Branch, Medium, Google+, Facebook, or any other black hole.
This issue of A List Apart is a great double-whammy. Lara Swanson has a ton of practical tips for front-end performance enhancements, and Brian dives deep into making your own icon fonts.
An excellent explanation from Tom Loosemore on why the Government Digital Service is putting its energy into open standards and the web, rather than proprietary native apps.
The “client hints” proposal looks really interesting: a way for user-agents to send data to the server without requiring the server to have a library of user-agent strings. But Scott has a few concerns about some of the details.
The WaSP is closing its doors. It has been a privilege and an honour to serve with such a fine organisation.
A very hand tip from Ben on using SVG background images with a PNG fallback for IE8 and below.
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.
You’re probably doing each of these already but just in case your’e not, Andy has listed six quick wins you can get from HTML5.
Bruce takes a look at the tricky issue of styling native form controls. Help us, Shadow DOM, you’re our only hope!
A good explanation of the litany of woes that comes from Internet Explorer 8 being the highest that users of Windows XP can upgrade to. It’s a particularly woeful situation if you are a web developer attempting to provide parity. But there is hope on the horizon:
2013 will see the culmination of all these issues; support for IE 8 will drop of rapidly, users of XP will find an increasingly broken web, the cost of building software in XP organisations will increase.
A good explanation of HTML5’s sectioning content and outline algorithm.
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.
Bruce sits down for a chat with Hixie. This is a good insight into the past and present process behind HTML.
Here’s a treasure trove of web history: an archive of the www-talk list dating back to 1991. Watch as HTML gets hammered out by a small group of early implementors: Tim Berners-Lee, Dave Raggett, Marc Andreessen, Dan Connolly…
I love that Tantek is as pedantic as I am …although I don’t think “pedantic” is exactly the right word.
A well-reasoned argument for tackling image optimisation on the server, using content-type negotiation.
The slides and audio from Andy’s exceptional talk earlier this year at Southby, combined into one video.
It really is excellent, although he does make the mistake of pulling the “dogma” card on those who woud disagree with him, and he really doesn’t need to: his argument is strong enough to stand on its own.
Tantek has put together a wiki page to document the arguments for and against adding a new “main” element to HTML.
This echoes Scott Jenson’s call for more open standards when it comes to networked devices. We’ll need it if we want “If This, Then That” for an internet of things.
Man, I just love Scott Jenson.
Our brains have collectively gone startup-crazy, seeing the world through stock option colored glasses, assuming that if there is no money, there is clearly no value. This is madness. I’m so desperately worried that the internet will turn out to be a happy accident.
Turning his focus on “the internet of things” he makes the very good point that what we need isn’t one company or one proprietary service; we need an ecosystem of open standards that will enable companies to build services.
We all have to appreciate how we need a deep, open solution to solve this problem. If we don’t understand, demand even, that hardware devices need to be just as discoverable an open as web servers are today, we’ll never see the internet of things come to pass.
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.
Andrea looks at support for HTML5 input types in IE10 Mobile.
A worrying look at how modern web developers approach accessibility. In short, they don’t.
Useful advice from Tim on preparing your responsive site for IE10’s new “snap mode”. Don’t worry: it doesn’t involve adding any proprietary crap …quite the opposite, in fact.
This is an excellent resource from Anna. She’s documenting the browser capabilities of games consoles.
A one-stop-shop for browser-compatibility information. This is MDN, HTML5 Rocks, and Quirksmode all rolled into one.
A lovely bit of hypertext.
Bruce’s thoughts on the proposed inclusion of a “content” or “maincontent” element in HTML5.
Personally, I don’t think there’s much point in adding a new element when there’s an existing attribute (role=”main”) that does exactly the same thing.
Also, I don’t see much point in adding an element that can only be used once and only once in a document. However, if a “content” or “maincontent” element could be used inside any sectioning content (section, article, nav, aside), then I could see it being far more useful.
Bruce writes about a worrying trend in standards work:
Tossing a specification that you’ve written in-house, in secret and already implemented onto a table at W3C, saying “here, standardise this” as you saunter past isn’t a Get Out of Jail Free card for proprietary misdemeanours. And it isn’t standardisation.
How about this for a trip down memory lane—a compendium of articles from over a decade of A List Apart, also available as a Readlist epub. It’s quite amazing just how good this free resource is.
The only thing to fault is that, due to some kind of clerical error, one of my articles has somehow found its way onto this list.
If this were Twitter, you’d be at-replying me with the hashtag “humblebrag”, wouldn’t you?
Nicholas is inside my head! Get out of my head, Nicholas!
What makes the web beautiful is precisely that there are multiple browsers and, if you build things correctly, your sites and applications work in them all. They might not necessarily work exactly the same in them all, but they should still be able to work. There is absolutely nothing preventing you from using new features in your web applications, that’s what progressive enhancement is all about.
This is a well-reasoned, thoughtful article on avoiding class names in CSS …but I don’t agree with it. That said, perhaps there’s a reasonable middle ground to be found between this extreme stance and the opposite (but in some ways just as extreme) stance of OOCSS.
Wilto does an excellent job of summarising the current state of responsive images, highlighting Florian Rivoal’s compromise proposal that combines the best of the picture element with the best of srcset.
A nice round-up of the issues around responsive images and their potential solutions.
Like the Web Standards Project but for ePub. I approve of this message.
Jason outlines the real challenge to every proposed solution for responsive images: they just don’t jibe with the way that browsers (quite rightly) pre-fetch images.
Bravo, Bruce, bravo.
I heard Glen Campbell’s “Like A Rhinestone Cowboy” on the radio and began absent-mindedly singing “Like a rounded corner” to it.
A well thought-out evaluation on responsive images from Bridget.
Have you thought “There must be a good reason for the blink element.” Well, read on.
The video of the panel I moderated on device and network APIs on the second day of Mobilism in Amsterdam. It’s not quite as snappy as the browser panel (which, given the subject matter, is unsurprising) but it was still good fun.
This seems like a sensible way for browsers to approach implementing vendor-prefixed CSS properties.
Wilto gives a thorough explanation of the state of things with responsive images, particularly the work being done at the Responsive Images Community Group at the W3C.
An oldie but a goodie: Clay Shirky looks at the design principles underlying HTML in order to figure out what made it so successful. Even though this is fourteen years old, there are plenty of still-relevant insights here.
A great talk by Nicholas on what progressive enhancement means today. There’s some good ammunition in here.
Mozilla will be supporting H.264 …but they’re not happy about it.
I won’t sugar-coat this pill. But we must swallow it if we are to succeed in our mobile initiatives. Failure on mobile is too likely to consign Mozilla to decline and irrelevance.
Chris defends himself from some inaccuracies I flung his way, regarding fonts and DRM.
A great post that discusses exactly what we mean when we talk about “supporting” different browsers.
A look at the new pseudo-classes in CSS3 that go hand-in-hand with the form enhancements introduced in HTML5.
Here’s a great braindump from Paul following the Responsive Summit, detailing multiple ways of potentially tackling the issue of responsive images.
The slides from Chris’s presentation on the known unknowns of the web.
There’s a W3C community group now for looking at the responsive images question.
A really handy test site from Lea that reports your browser’s recognition of CSS properties.
Paul quite rightly sings the praises of box-sizing: border-box — this is something that Microsoft got right and the spec got wrong. I never thought of making it part of a universal reset though.
A very useful site for checking browser support for CSS features. The test cases are really handy and the site gets extra bonus points for not calling itself “HTML5” anything.
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 is really handy: a bookmarklet that will disable any CSS3 on a page so you can check that your fallbacks look okay.
Joni points out a great advantage to the mobile-first approach if you choose not to polyfill for legacy versions of IE: you can go crazy with all sorts of CSS3 goodies in the stylesheet you pull in with media queries.
An in-depth look at browser polyfills: what they are, how they work, and how you can make your own.
Put this one on speed dial.
A call-to-arms for web developers combined with a handy list of projects you can get involved in.
Alex weighs in on the newly-reopened debate on vendor prefixes, roundly squashing Henri’s concerns.
Luke points out that the web is everywhere: it’s accessible through the browser but also through many native applications. This is the real Web Operating System.
The Web (browser) is inside of every application instead of every application being inside the Web (browser).
Daniel responds to Henri’s call-to-arms on vendor prefixes. While he stridently disagrees with most of what Henri suggests, there is also overlapping agreement: they both want vendor prefixes to ship only in experimental builds, not stable browser releases.
This is a very thoughtful piece by Henri on vendor prefixes and it’s well worth a read …however the thought of one browser implementing support for vendor-prefixed properties intended for a different browser does make me quite quesy.
This is a great response to my recent post about semantics in HTML. Steve explores the accessibility implications. I heartily concur with his rallying cry at the end:
A very even-handed look at the time and data debacle in HTML5.
A single-serving website expressing the frustration and bewilderment at Hixie’s unilateral decision to drop the time element from HTML.
David gives a quick rundown of some of the selectors we can expect to see in CSS4.
This is a great encapsulation of what I’ve been banging on about at conferences for a while now: let’s stop pretending we know the capabilities, network speed or viewport size of a site visitor’s browser.
This encapsulates the difference between the WHATWG and the W3C: a concern for interoperability matched against a concern for procedure.
Given some recent hand-wringing about the web as a “platform,” it seems appropriate to revisit this superb article from Ben. The specifics of the companies and technologies may have changed in the past year but the fundamental point remains the same:
Everything about web architecture; HTTP, HTML, CSS, is designed to serve and render content, but most importantly the web is formed where all of that content is linked together. That is what makes it amazing, and that is what defines it. This purpose and killer application of the web is not even comparable to the application frameworks of any particular operating system.
Jonathan has encapsulated his CSS methodology into a short online book. He isn’t presenting this as the “right” way to do things: he’s simply documenting what he does in the hope that it will help others.
Bruce nails his colours to the mast of future-friendliness (and nicely summarises recent heated debates between John Allsopp, Alex Russell and Joe Hewitt).
John pushes back against the idea that browser innovation is moving too slow.
I was all set to bristle against an attack on the W3C from Alex …but when I actually read the post, I found it hard to disagree with. If anything, this shows just how much Alex cares about the W3C (probably more than most people).
The conversation in the comments is worth reading too.
It’s Opera …but it’s folk.
This just launched at the Breaking Development conference: another site that uses the term HTML5 to include CSS and Ajax. Still, despite its inaccurate nomenclature, it’s a useful compatibility table of device support in mobile browsers.
A great opinion piece from Addy Osmani prompted by the panel discussion I took part in at the Update conference.
This abuse of the !important declaration in Firefox’s user-agent stylesheet was driving me crazy recently. Roger proposes a CSS patch, but this is really something that needs to be fixed in the browser.
Once again I’m getting all my CSS3 information from Jonathan. This time he’s discovered the vw and vh units which allow you to specify sizes relative to the size of the viewport.