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A CSS challenge: skewed highlight — Vadim Makeev

I did not know about box-decoration-break—sounds like a game-changer for text effects that wrap onto multiple lines.

How We Verified Ourselves on Mastodon — and How You Can Too – The Markup

It gives me warm fuzzies to see an indie web building block like rel="me" getting coverage like this.

You don’t need HTML!

View source on this bit of tongue-in-cheek fun from Terence.

Nutshell: make expandable explanations

Nicky Case has made an implementation of Ted Nelson’s StretchText that works across different domains.

A Well-Known Links Resource - Jim Nielsen’s Blog

I really like this experiment that Jim is conducting on his own site. I might try to replicate it sometime!

Douglas Engelbart | Hidden Heroes

An account of the mother of all demos, written by Steven Johnson.

HTML Emails: A Rant - Jim Nielsen’s Blog

The day we started to allow email clients to be full-blown web browsers (but without the protections of browsers) was the day we lost — time, security, privacy, and effectiveness. Now we spend all our time fighting with the materials of an email (i.e. color and layout) rather than refining its substance (i.e. story and language).

CSS { In Real Life } | Writing Useful Alt Text

Another post prompted by my recent musings on writing alt text. This time Michelle looks at the case of text-as-images.

Just How Long Should Alt Text Be? | CSS-Tricks - CSS-Tricks

Prompted by my recent post on alt text, Geoff shares some resources on the right length for alt attributes.

Web Components as Progressive Enhancement - Cloud Four

This is exactly the pattern of usage I’ve been advocating for with web components—instead of creating a custom element from scratch, wrap an existing HTML element and use the custom element to turbo-charge it, like Zach is doing:

By enhancing native HTML instead of replacing it, we can provide a solid baseline experience, and add progressive enhancement as the cherry on top.

The Unintended Consequences of China Leapfrogging to Mobile Internet · Yiqin Fu

Imagine a world without hyperlinks or search:

Take WeChat as an example. It is home to the vast majority of China’s original writing, and yet:

  1. It doesn’t allow any external links;
  2. Its posts are not indexed by search engines such as Google or Baidu, and its own search engine is practically useless;
  3. You can’t check the author’s other posts if open the page outside of the WeChat app. In other words, each WeChat article is an orphan, not linked to anything else on the Internet, not even the author’s previous work.

Search engine indexing is key to content discovery in the knowledge creation domain, but in a mobile-first world, it is extremely difficult to pull content across the walled gardens, whether or not there is a profit incentive to do so.

Again, the issue here is not censorship. Had China relaxed its speech restrictions, a search start-up would’ve faced the same level of resistance from content platforms when trying to index their content, and content platforms would’ve been equally reluctant to create their own search engines, as they could serve ads and profit without a functional search engine.

Ban Online Behavioral Advertising | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Targeted advertising based on online behavior doesn’t just hurt privacy. It also contributes to a range of other harms.

I very much agree with this call to action from the EFF.

Maybe we can finally get away from the ludicrious idea that behavioural advertising is the only possible form of effective advertising. It’s simply not true.

What is the Web? - Jim Nielsen’s Blog

“Be linkable and accessible to any client” is a provocative test for whether something is “of the web”.

Write plain text files | Derek Sivers

If you rely on Word, Evernote or Notion, for example, then you can’t work unless you have Word, Evernote, or Notion. You are helpless without them. You are dependent.

But if you only use plain text, you can use any program on any device, forever. It gives great flexibility and peace of mind.

Is Momentum Shifting Toward a Ban on Behavioral Advertising? – The Markup

I really hope that Betteridge’s Law doesn’t apply to this headline.

Science Fiction-Media in Transition

Chip Delaney and Octavia Butler on a panel together in 1998 when hypertext and “cyberspace” are in the air. Here’s Octavia Butler on her process (which reminds me of when I’m preparing a conference talk):

I generally have four or five books open around the house—I live alone; I can do this—and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I’ll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

So, I guess, in that way, I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext.

Metaphors We Web By: Paper and Place

Out of all of these metaphors, the two most enduring are paper and physical space.