Tags: web_development

The Developer’s Dystopian Future – The Pastry Box Project

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%.

Where will I be in 10 years? I don’t know. I hope I still will have some in-demand skills to pay the bills. But it feels like all I see are DevOps and JavaScript, and I know less and less every day about those things.

What it means to be a Front-end Developer in 2014 – The Pastry Box Project

I can very much relate to what Dan is talking about here. I have no idea what I do any more.

No doubt we’ll always feel we’re behind the curve as there always seems like more to learn. That’s OK. No-one knows it all, but it is hard knowing what people expect of you.

It’s OK not to use tools by Jonas Downey of Basecamp

Today, a basic HTML/CSS site seems almost passé. But why? Is it because our new tools are so significantly better, or because we’ve gone overboard complicating simple things?

He’s right, y’know.

Open-Source Projects by Filament Group

Those smart people at Filament Group have gathered their open-source code into one handy place. Useful!

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : Notes on accessibility of Web Components

Bruce’s thoughts on ensuring accessibility in Web Components. He thinks that the vocabulary of ARIA is up to the job, so that’s good enough for me.

The (other) Web we lost

John shares his concerns about the increasing complexity involved in developing for the web.

Chloe Weil — Our Ragged History

In describing her approach to building the wonderful Julius Cards project, Chloe touches on history, digital preservation, and the future of the web. There are uncomfortable questions here, but they are questions we should all be asking ourselves.

Do as Little as Possible ∙ An A List Apart Column

I heartily concur with Lyza’s mini-manifesto:

I think we need to try to do as little as possible when we build the future web …putting commonality first, approaching differentiation carefully.

It’s always surprised me how quickly developers will reach for complex, potentially over-engineered solutions, when—in my experience—that approach invariably creates more problems than it solves.

Simplicity is powerful.

Progressive Enhancement: It’s About the Content

A cogent definition and spirited defence of progressive enhancement:

Progressive Enhancement is an extension of our shared values on the web and goes to the root of the web. I believe—and hope you agree—that the web is for everybody and should be accessible regardless of the device a user brings to the party.

Is HTML Relevant in the Age of Web Apps? by John Allsopp

John addresses the price of increasing complexity in front-end development.

Yes, tooling can make our life easier. We type fewer keystrokes, and commit more code. But as software engineers learned a long time ago, most of the life of an applications is not in its initial development. It’s in maintaining it. This is something we on the web have had the luxury of being able to largely ignore up to now. After all, how many of the things you build will last years, decades?

Webby Podcasts

A handy collection of links to web-related podcasts. Go forth and huffduff.

Being Practical - TimKadlec.com

Yet another timely reminder from Tim, prompted by the naysayers commenting on his previous excellent post on progressive enhancement, universal access, and the nature of the web.

Crippling the web - TimKadlec.com

A great call-to-arms from Tim, simply asking that we create websites that take advantage of the amazing universality of the web:

The web has the power to go anywhere—any network, any device, any browser. Why not take advantage of that?

Inevitably there is pushback in the comments from developers still in the “denial” stage of coming to terms with what the web is.

Be proud to be a web developer — yatil. Eric Eggert about web development

An ever-timely call-to-arms from Eric:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee envisioned the web as open and accessible for everyone, no matter where they comes from, what speed their connection is, how capable their browsers are or how good their eyes or hands or both work. I feel proud every day to make that vision reality, and it is the job of web developers to make it a reality.

He’s right. We have tremendous power and privilege, and correspondingly tremendous responsibility.

The Vanilla Web Diet | Smashing Coding

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.

isolani - Web Standards: Web App Mistakes: Condemned to repeat

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.

{ io: The Web Is Growing Up }

A lovely bit of hypertext.

How To Build a Modern Website in 2011 - Tom Milway - Blog

A good round-up of what web development means today …and what web developers need to do to keep pace.

#816: Revert mobile-first media queries and remove respond.js - Issues - h5bp/html5-boilerplate - GitHub

This thread on whether HTML5 Boilerplate should include Respond.js by default (and whether the CSS should take a small-screen first approach) nicely summarises the current landscape for web devs: chaotic, confusing …and very, very exciting.

What We Don’t Know | CSS-Tricks

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.

Jeremy Keith - One Web on Vimeo

The video of my talk/rant at the DIBI conference in Newcastle/Gateshead earlier this year, for your viewing pleasure.

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : HTML5, hollow demos and forgetting the basics

A great reminder from Bruce that we need to remember to use cutting-edge web technology responsibly.

Karl Dubost - 3 rules of thumb for Web development

  1. Can I bookmark this information? (stable URIs)
  2. Can I go from here to there with a click? (hyperlinks)
  3. Can I save the content locally? (open accessible formats)

danwebb.net - It’s About The Hashbangs

A superb post by Dan on the bigger picture of what’s wrong with hashbang URLs. Well written and well reasoned.

JoshEmerson.co.uk · Blog · Base64 and the tiling background

Josh explains the pros and cons of embedding background images in your CSS using base 64 encoding.

ongoing by Tim Bray · Broken Links

Tim Bray calmly explains why hash-bang URLs are a very bad idea.

This is what we call “tight coupling” and I thought that anyone with a Computer Science degree ought to have been taught to avoid it.

isolani - Javascript: Breaking the Web with hash-bangs

Excellent, excellent analysis of how URLs based on fragment identifier (a la Twitter/Gawker/Lifehawker) expose an unstable tottering edifice that crumbles at the first JavaScript error.

So why use a hash-bang if it’s an artificial URL, and a URL that needs to be reformatted before it points to a proper URL that actually returns content?

Out of all the reasons, the strongest one is “Because it’s cool”. I said strongest not strong.

Support Web Standards: More information about Web Standards, why they're important, and how you can support them.

A one-stop link shop for resources on web standards.

Stubbornella » Blog Archive » The hacktastic zoom fix

Nicole proposes an interesting way of clearing floats with a combination of display:table-cell and generated content.

Styleguides for the Web — Paul Robert Lloyd

Paul gives an excellent and thorough explanation of why systems thinking is important in web design.

The 24 Ways Annual 2010 | Five Simple Steps

All of this year's 24Ways articles are available as an £8 book with all the proceeds going to UNICEF.

Create a new Fiddle - jsFiddle - Online Editor for the Web (JavaScript, MooTools, jQuery, Prototype, YUI, Glow and Dojo, HTML, CSS)

This looks like it could be a handy little tool for creating test cases with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Accessibility video tutorial - learn Accessibility // Think Vitamin Membership

Think Vitamin have been their accessibility material available for free.

Scroll Magazine

How awesome is this? A real-world "print'n'paper magazine" for web developers. "An elegant, timeless, collectable magazine for people who love web design and are intrigued by the possibility of the web"

Google Doctype - Google Code

This looks like it could be a very valuable resource indeed: a user-contributed and edited reference for HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Web pioneers call for new 'web science' discipline - tech - 03 November 2006 - New Scientist Tech

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and others call for the creation and recognition of a new discipline: "What we really want is for people around the world to start calling themselves web scientists."

In Defense of Web Developers, Again (by Jeremy Zawodny)

Jeremy Zawodny rails against the continuing snobbery towards front-end engineers.

iIR: img Image Replacement

Aaron uses image replacement on an image to provide one image for screen and another print. Very clever.