The Best of the Internets

The “Developer Experience” Bait-and-Switch

This piece is worth a thorough read. Then a re-read. It’s that important.

[W]e need to confront the “developer experience” bait-and-switch. Tools that cost the poorest users to pay wealthy developers are bunk. To do better, we need to move the conversation to an evidence-based footing. I wish the arguments folks made against my positions were data-driven. There’s so much opening! Perhaps a firm is doing market analysis and only cares about ever reaching users who make more than $100K USD/yr or who are in enterprise settings. Perhaps research will demonstrate that interactivity isn’t as valuable as getting bits on screen (the usual SSR argument). Or, more likely, that acknowledgement (bits on screen) buys a larger-than-anticipated amount of perceptual padding (perhaps due to scanning). Perhaps the global network landscape is shifting so dramatically that the budget for client-side JS runtime has increased. Perhaps the median CPU improvement that doesn’t look set to materialize until 2021 at the earliest will happen much earlier; i.e., maybe the current baseline is wrong!

But we aren’t having that conversation. And we aren’t going to have it until we identify, call-out, and end the “developer experience” bait-and-switch.

Further reading from this site:

Describing Aria-describedby

This super-thorough examination of aria-describedby is well worth a read.

aria-describedby is an important tool to help provide information where it might otherwise be missed. However, the attribute should rarely be the sole manner in which information is communicated, as doing so will exclude people not using screen readers from the descriptive content. The best way to use aria-describedby is as an alternate way to provide quick access to descriptions that are accessible by other means.

The Power of Progressive Enhancement

An excellent read on how Andy Bell applied progressive enhancement to a project. I particularly liked this statement (emphasis his):

Progressive enhancement isn’t necessarily more work and it certainly isn’t a non-JavaScript fallback, it’s a change in how we think about our projects. A complete mindset change is required here and it starts by remembering that you don’t build websites for yourself, you build them for others.