Links

Hand-picked links worth sharing.

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  1. Accessibility Events
    css-tricks.com

    Mat Marquis:

    It could seem like an enticing option for our users, at first glance: an enhanced, fully-featured website, on the one hand, a fully accessible alternative experience on the other. That unravels with even the slightest examination, though: if the fully-featured website isn’t accessible, the accessible website won’t be fully featured. By choosing to have the “accessible experience” deviate from the “real website,” we end up drawing a sharper line between those two definitions, and we nudge the “accessible experience” closer to an afterthought—limited and frustratingly out-of-sync with the “real” website, like so many dedicated mobile sites quickly became.

  2. Split
    adactio.com

    Jeremy Keith:

    Where it gets interesting is when a technology that’s designed for developer convenience is made out of the very materials being delivered to users. For example, a CSS framework like Bootstrap is made of CSS. That’s different to a tool like Sass which outputs CSS. Whether or not a developer chooses to use Sass is irrelevant to the user—the final output will be CSS either way. But if a developer chooses to use a CSS framework, that decision has a direct impact on the user experience. The user must download the framework in order for the developer to get the benefit.

    So whereas Sass sits at the back of the front end—where I don’t care what you use—Bootstrap sits at the front of the front end. For tools like that, I don’t think saying “use whatever works for you” is good enough. It’s got to be weighed against the cost to the user.

  3. The History of Video
    youtube.com

    Veritasium:

    This is a video I’ve long wanted to make, about what makes video look like video and, up until 10 years ago or so, not as appealing as film. I grew up with the two technologies (film and video) in parallel and to me they always seemed like two ways of achieving the same ends: recording and replaying moving images. But their histories are quite distinct. Film was always a way to capture moving images for later replaying. Video started out as a way to transfer images from one place to another instantaneously.

  4. How the Web Became Unreadable
    wired.com

    Kevin Marks:

    There’s a widespread movement in design circles to reduce the contrast between text and background, making type harder to read. Apple is guilty. Google is, too. So is Twitter.

    My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness. You’ll be making things better for people who read on smaller, dimmer screens, even if their eyes aren’t aging like mine. It may not be trendy, but it’s time to consider who is being left out by the web’s aesthetic.

  5. Perceived Velocity through Version Numbers
    daverupert.com

    Dave Rupert thinks version number bumps would be a good move for HTML and CSS, marketing-wise. I agree!

    A single number bump replaces a mountain of marketing. Every discerning technologist knows it only makes sense to invest in technologies that are moving forward. To invest in a stagnant technology would be a dereliction of duty.

    I think this has effected web technologies deeply. HTML5 was released in 2008 and its handful of new elements and APIs was a boom for the language. Even Steve Jobs advocated for it over Flash. Web Standards had won, Firefox and Webkit were our champions. “We need to upgrade to HTML5” was a blanket excuse for auditing your website and cleaning up your codebase.

  6. Defining Productivity
    jeremy.codes

    Jeremy Wagner:

    It’s easy to slap something up on a web server, but it’s quite another to be a steward of it in a way that makes the web a better place. That starts with redefining our productivity with the goal of serving the interests of others instead of our own.

  7. ‘Game of Thrones’: The Last Show We Watch Together?
    vulture.com

    Matt Zoller Seitz:

    TV doesn’t feel the same when you watch it that way. It’s more of a solitary experience, no matter how many fellow fans discuss it with you on social media. And it necessarily reduces the level of excitement surrounding a season or series finale because the show has been deprived of that measured pace of one episode per week, with six days of contemplation and anticipation in between each chapter, all leading inexorably to that last run of episodes during which the fans, who’ve spent years living and breathing this thing, come to terms with the totality of the accomplishment, and ready themselves for the exquisite and horrible moment when the storytellers swing that sword at our necks and the birds take flight and the credits roll for the last time.

  8. How Animators Created the Spider-Verse
    youtube.com

    Danny Dimian, Visual Effects Supervisor, and Josh Beveridge, Head of Character Animation, for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” share exclusive breakdowns and talk about their inspiration and the techniques they used to create a new visual language for their Academy Award-winning film.

  9. Yet Another JavaScript Framework
    css-tricks.com

    Great writing on this well-researched story, by Jason Hoffman:

    At first glance, the bug appeared to be fairly routine, most likely a small problem somewhere in the website’s code or a strange coincidence. After just a few hours though, it became clear that the stakes for this one particular bug were far graver than anyone could have anticipated. If Firefox were to release this version of their browser as-is, they risked breaking an unknown, but still predictably rather large number of websites, all at once. Why that is has everything to do with the way MooTools was built, where it drew influence from, and the moment in time it was released. So to really understand the problem, we’ll have to go all the way back to the beginning.

  10. What the Theranos Documentary Misses
    newrepublic.com

    Avi Asher-Schapiro makes some good points about The Inventor that I failed to consider:

    Missing from the film, however, is any sustained effort to understand how Theranos interacted with the larger economic and social forces that nurtured it. In the hands of Gibney, the rise and fall of Theranos is reduced to a sort of personality puzzle, driven by the banal questions like: What was Elizabeth Holmes thinking? Is she a liar? How could seemingly competent investors be so misled?

    That’s a shame, because the story of Theranos is so much more than that. At its root, it’s a parable that cuts to the central dysfunctions in the American economic and political order, one that should dismantle our notions of meritocracy and put a strict limit on our forbearance for elites. It illuminates how the rich and well connected occupy different strata of life, enjoy a completely different set of opportunities from the rest of us, experience a different kind of justice, and are so often immune from consequences. Though the film gives some glimpses of these dynamics, they are always in the background, shadowed by other far less compelling narrative impulses.