Lesson learned: the discoverable and understandable web is still do-able — it’s there waiting to be discovered. It just needs some commitment from the people who make websites.
What it says on the tin—a few suggestions to ensure the accessibility of your site.
Everything you ever wanted to know about the
title attribute in HTML.
What’s hot: using
What’s not: using
title on anything else.
I like this distinction between coders and developers.
The Coder is characterized by his proficiency in a narrow range of chosen skills.
By contrast the Developer’s single greatest skill is in being an applied learner.
I’m definitely not a coder. Alas, by this criterion, I’m also not a developer (because I do not pick things up fast):
Quite simply the Developer has a knack for grokking new [languages|frameworks|platforms] and becoming proficient very quickly.
I prefer Charlie’s framing. It’s not about speed, it’s about priorities:
I’m not a “developer” in that I’m obsessed with code and frameworks. I’m a “developer” as in I develop the users experience for the better.
James has been tweaking the accessibility of his site navigation. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Here’s an interesting proposal to slightly amend the semantics of the
small element so it could apply to the use-case that
hgroup was trying to cover.
A great one-page intro to microformats (h-card in particular), complete with a parser that exports JSON. Bookmark this for future reference.
Jake is absolutely spot-on here. There’s been a lot of excited talk about adding an
h element to HTML but it all seems to miss the question of why the currently-specced outline algorithm hasn’t been implemented.
This is a common mistake in standards discussion — a mistake I’ve made many times before. You cannot compare the current state of things, beholden to reality, with a utopian implementation of some currently non-existent thing.
If you’re proposing something almost identical to something that failed, you better know why your proposal will succeed where the other didn’t.
Jake rightly points out that the first step isn’t to propose a whole new element; it’s to ask “Why haven’t browsers implemented the outline for sectioned headings?”
Heydon asked screen readers some questions about their everyday interactions with websites. The answers quite revealing: if you’re using headings and forms correctly, you’re already making life a lot easier for them.
Snook has been on a roll lately, sharing lots of great insights into front-end development. This is a particularly astute post about that perennial issue of naming things.
There is one truism that has been constant throughout my career on the web, and it’s this: naming things is hard.
Trent talks about the strategies out there for naming things. He makes specific mention of Atomic Design, which as Brad is always at pains to point out, is just one way of naming things: atoms, molecules, organisms, etc.
In some situations, having that pre-made vocabulary is perfect. In other situations, I’ve seen it cause all sorts of problems. It all depends on the project and the people.
Personally, I like the vocabulary to emerge from the domain knowledge of the people on the project. Building a newspaper website? Use journalism-related terms. Making a website about bicycles? Use bike-related terms.
The best ARIA role is the one you don’t need to use.
This is such an incredibly useful resource by Steve and Léonie: documenting how multiple screen readers handle each and every element in HTML.
It’s a work in progress, but it’s definitely one to remember the next time you’re thinking “I wonder how screen readers treat this markup…”
Here’s a classic. David Siegel—of Creating Killer Websites fame—outlines exactly why he turned his back on that 1×1 spacer .gif trick he invented.
A superb piece by Ross Penman on the importance of being true to the spirit of the web.
With all my talk about extending existing elements instead of making new ones, I was reminded of one of my favourite examples of custom elements in action: Github’s extensions of the
A great presentation on web components by Marcy, with an emphasis on keeping them accessible.
Remember when I was talking about refactoring the markup for Code for America? Well, it turns out that Heydon Pickering is way ahead of me.
He talks about the viewpoint of a writer (named Victoria) who wants to be able to write in Markdown, or HTML, or a textarea, without having to add classes to everything. That’s going to mean more complex CSS, but it turns out that you can do a lot of complex things in CSS without using class selectors.
There are slides.
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.