The Best of the Internets

The Big Web Show #130: Progressive Enhancement FTW With Aaron Gustafson

Jeffrey Zeldman and I discuss web design then and now; why Flipboard’s 60fps web launch is anti-web and anti-user; Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video, and other bad ideas from the 1980s; design versus art; the demise and sendoff of Web Standards Sherpa; how the web community differs from other creative communities; and the 2nd Edition of Adaptive Web Design, coming from New Riders later this year.

Rendering Engine Updates in March for the Windows 10 Technical Preview

The new browser codenamed “Project Spartan” won’t be in it, but the March build of the public Windows 10 preview has a bunch of new features. Among my favorites:

RemoteIE should be updated soon too.

Opera Mini Server Upgrade

The server-side Presto rendering engine that drives Opera Mini has gotten a major upgrade, introducing some great new features including

HTML5 input types are on the docket. They won’t be displayed properly in clients until they get an upgrade, but the parse is aware of them now and they will fall back to “text” inputs until the client roll-out happens.

Now the Internet Explorer Is Dead. Let’s Stop the Hate

A great post from Taylor Feliz on why outdated browsers, in general, are more of a problem than Internet Explorer, specifically. He also ends with a great call to action:

[L]et’s develop websites that are cross browser and supported by all major browsers as our job as web developers require it. It is not our job to decide what browser is cool or not; we have to provide an accessible and working website to all users because cross browser development is as or more important that even a responsive design.

When IE Gave Us Beautiful, Fast Touch Interactions, and Nobody Cared

I never even saw this proposal, but how cool would it be to set snap points for scrolling content in CSS?!

.container {
  width: 500px;
  overflow-x: auto;
  overflow-y: hidden;
  white-space: nowrap;
  /* Set up points to which scrolling will snap */
  -ms-scroll-snap-points-x: snapInterval(0px, 100%);
  /* Require that scrolling always end at a snap point */ 
  -ms-scroll-snap-type: mandatory; 

What Does My Site Cost?

This is a fantastic tool from the one and only Tim Kadlec. It helps you get a better understanding of how much it costs users to view a web page in different countries around the world.

This page, for instance, costs nothing in the UK and India and only 2¢ in the U.S.

Js;dr = JavaScript Required; Didn’t Read.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true:

Pages that are empty without JS: dead to history (archive-org), unreliable for search results (despite any search engine claims of JS support, check it yourself), and thus ignorable. No need to waste time reading or responding.

Because in 10 years nothing you built today that depends on JS for the content will be available, visible, or archived anywhere on the web.

All your fancy front-end-JS-required frameworks are dead to history, a mere evolutionary blip in web app development practices. Perhaps they provided interesting ephemeral prototypes, nothing more.

Advancing JavaScript Without Breaking the Web

This megapost contains notes, slides, and a screencast version of Christian Heilmann’s MunichJS talk. There are lots of great bits in here. This section particularly resonated with me:

The fundamental truth of the web is that the user controls the experience. That’s what makes the web work: you write your code for the Silicon Valley dweller on a 8 core state-of-the-art mobile device with an evergreen and very capable browser on a fast wireless connection and much money to spend. The same code, however, should work for the person who saved up their money to have a half hour in an internet cafe in an emerging country on a Windows XP machine with an old Firefox connected with a very slow and flaky connection. Or the person whose physical condition makes them incapable to see, speak, hear or use a mouse.

Our job is not to tell that person off to keep up with the times and upgrade their hardware. Our job is to use our smarts to write intelligent solutions. Intelligent solutions that test which of their parts can execute and only give those to that person. Web technologies are designed to be flexible and adaptive, and if we don’t understand that, we shouldn’t pretend that we are web developers.