The Best of the Internets

Manifold JS

Write a web app once, deploy it as a hosted app to Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, and Windows. And it follows the W3C standard for web apps. It’s almost too easy.

15 Years Ago in ALA: Much Ado About 5

In this brief post, Jeffrey Zeldman reminds us of the importance of simplicity by deftly showing us where we’ve gotten ourselves:

[D]riven by fear that apps would make the web irrelevant, we began relying on frameworks that made even the simplest website act and feel like a mind-blowing application. Serving reams of code we didn’t need because, hell, it came with the frameworks, and abandoning principles like progressive enhancement because, hell, everybody uses JavaScript, we soon fell in love with high-resolution, full-screen background images, then fell even harder when those images quadrupled in weight thanks to Retina. And still the little article memorializing the little 5K contest sat online, its lessons forgotten in an arms race wherein the average home page now weighs over 2MB. Put that in your Edge network and smoke it.

Microsoft Wants to Keep Your Online Data Secure While You’re Using It

When I joined Microsoft, I had to go through “privacy training”. I was all meh about it, but then I took the course and realized just how much Microsoft cares about privacy. The training was thorough and insightful; it’s not an overstatement to say it truly blew my mind a little. I wish more companies cared as much. In fact, I wish every startup had to go through similar training before they could collect any user data.

Anyway, this new initiative seems pretty cool and I am proud to see Microsoft leading the charge in securing your files online, all the time.

Facebook and the Media: United, They Attack the Web

This post from Baldur Bjarnason hits the nail on the head when it comes to the web vs. native. If you work on the web (as I suspect you do since you’re reading this blog), convert “you” and “your” to “we” and “our”:

The web doesn’t suck. Your websites suck.

All of your websites suck.

You destroy basic usability by hijacking the scrollbar. You take native functionality (scrolling, selection, links, loading) that is fast and efficient and you rewrite it with ‘cutting edge’ javascript toolkits and frameworks so that it is slow and buggy and broken. You balloon your websites with megabytes of cruft. You ignore best practices. You take something that works and is complementary to your business and turn it into a liability.

The lousy performance of your websites becomes a defensive moat around Facebook.

Of course, Facebook might still win even if you all had awesome websites, but you can’t even begin to compete with it until you fix the foundation of your business.

This article is long and full of choice quotes and embodied wisdom. You should read it. Twice.

The Desktop Conundrum

In this brief post, Dave Rupert muses about the future of “desktop”.

I think there’s still value in knowing the upper limit of a website, but am filled with growing concern that the time and effort spent on that upper limit might prove to be all in vain.

Our Approach to Mobile-friendly Search

Bing cares about mobile-friendliness now too:

Our approach to mobile friendliness as a ranking signal balances the need to improve the ranking for mobile-friendly pages, with the continued focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query. This means that for mobile searches on Bing, you can always expect to see the most relevant results for a search query ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly. While the changes will improve ranking for mobile-friendly pages, webpages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized.

Choosing Performance

Tim Kadlec nails it again in this piece on performance in light of Facebook’s “Instant Articles” announcement:

Is the web just inherently slow and destined to never be able to compete with the performance offered by a native platform? (Spoiler: No. No it is not.)

The JavaScript Framework Bandwagonism

Gold from Teylor Feliz:

A lot of front-end developers don’t have a very strong resistance to change like website users, which is a good thing. But, some developers just need a Todo list demo to get excited and crazy to built an app with the new framework or tool. Some don’t wait for a framework to get out of beta or reach version 1.0 in order to build something with it. We need to learn to wait and let the tools mature so we can take full advantage or have a better idea of the path they are going to take.