Over the last few months I've been putting together my talk for the year, based on a blog post that is titled "HTTPS is Hard". You can read the full article on the Yell blog on which it is published. There's also an abridged version on Medium. It's been a very long time coming, and has changed over the time I've been writing it, so I thought I'd get down a few reflections on the article.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend and speak at Edge Conf London 2014, an assembly of web development superheroes charged with discussing the future of web technology in front of a live audience. I've written up my main take-aways from the event.
September's London Web Standards Meetup featured UX designers and developers bringing print to life with their tales of making web apps for the FT (Matt Andrews) and an iPad app for The Week (Harry Brignall). Sketchnotes are below.
This month was a very special meetup for London Web Standards - it's 5th birthday celebrations! Yes, it's hard to believe that 5 years ago in October three guys met up in a North London pub to talk about the web. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Imogen Levy baked us a massive 7-layer London Web Standards Cake (British Bake-off contender next year 2013 for sure). Imogen, thank you so much (from all of the LWS Organisers)!
This month's London Web Standards was on augmented reality, a hot topic a few years ago that is making its way back into people's mindshare with projects like Google Glass. We had Dr. Paul Coulton talking about the current state of AR on mobile, Imogen Levy talking about how Westminster Abbey is using 3D and AR to improve the visitor experience, and Trevor Ward talked about how we can use AR now on current-generation devices.
This weekend, London Web Standards manage to get evangelists from all of the major browsers in a panel to talk about their companies' products. After a week of Opera bashing for being the first vendor to alias webkit CSS prefixes it was a sight for sore eyes. Thing is, from what I've observed, this is how things usually are between the vendors.
February 2012's London Web Standards event at Forward London was an introduction to Node.js, the server-side javscript framework designed for high concurrency and real-time events. There were two sessions at the event, George Ornbo (@shapeshed) giving an introduction to Node, and a "Node & Tell" session, where four sets of developers came and told the gathered crowd how they'd been using Node in their work.
If you follow any front-end web developers on Twitter today, you'll probably have come across articles on vendor prefixes and the latest CSSWG fight over Mozilla, Microsoft and Opera wanting to implement -webkit- vendor prefixes. Before I delve into why this is happening, I want to make something very clear** - this is wrong and must not happen.**
If you've developed for Microsoft's SharePoint before (I'm talking about 2007 here, but this applies to WSS2 and 2010 as well) , then you'll know that you can reach the limits of it's functionality very quickly. This is a big problem if you're making a zero-code solution, i.e. you have no access to Visual Studio and can't create web parts. This is more common than you'd think, especially in large organisations that use SharePoint extensively. For this, the only choice is to use SharePoint Designer 2007 (SPD), but it's not pleasant because, frankly, SPD sucks. I've not found a program that crashes as much as SPD, or that performs so poorly when presented with the most basic tasks. If you make a page that is too complex, has too many web parts, large data sources or lots of conditionals, connections and filters, it can take anywhere up to 20 minutes to perform a single action.
Web applications are the next big thing in the web. Being able to take web sites and make them run alongside native apps, having them work offline and perform just as well as their native counterparts is the next step along the road. As usual, with all new technology, there are some limitations.
This month at london web standards, Opera's Chris Mills (@chrisdavidmills) and Anna Debenham (@anna_debenham) came down to talk to us about education and the web. Anna has recently been through the UK education system and had her tales from the trenches of what it's really like to be educated in the web at school.
This month at london web standards, Opera's Chris Mills (@chrisdavidmills) and Anna Debenham (@anna_debenham) came down to talk to us about education and the web. Chris talked about the state of adult and professional education.
CSS has gone through many trends and phases in web development. Certain trends are welcome, like conditional stylesheets and developers refusing to do them for Internet Explorer 6. Other trends can have leave a web application with a disadvantage for the rest of its life, yes, in-line styles, I’m looking at you.
Today, Jonathan Snook posted about CSS Matrix Layouts, a proposal for a third way for creating advanced layouts in CSS3, with Advanced Layouts and Grid Layouts being the others. His ideas are around creating a grid and defining sections (be it divs or natural HTML5 elements) that are effectively laid out like a table. Each section can span like a table can span rows and columns, with all those values being stored in CSS. Take a look at the post for an example, it's quite simple once you get your head around it.
A colleague of mine and I were discussing the current state of the internet, CSS3 and IE being behind the rest of the browsers in terms of standards adoption. He argued that IE was "rubbish because it doesn't support CSS3 selectors/borders etc". My reply to this was, "well, do something about it".
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm planning a mobile web toolkit to replace iUI, but what would you want in it that's not in iUI already? Should is work across all browsers, even Pocket IE and that godawful Blackberry Web Browser? Should it use progressive enhancement all over the shop or just create a new version for each browser? Should it focus on touch screens or is clicking important too?
In the early days of the Internet, web sites were for gathering and displaying information. In its 20 year history, this hasn't changed much! At some point on a site you have to enter your details or what information you're searching for. So, it makes sense that the thing I spend most of my time doing is creating forms!
Once upon a time, about 6 years ago, the internet had just started to recover from an almightly hangover called the dot com boom. There were only two major browsers out and about at the time, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape Navigator (RIP) (I won't talk about Opera and Safari at this point as their market share is, and always has been, minimal). There were a number of people out on the internet who, with the W3C, were evangelising web standards, but they had a problem: browser support.