QuirksBlog

Below you find the last seven QuirksBlog entries.

Looking for new clients

Permalink | in Personal

From September on I am looking for new clients. In fact, I am looking so hard that I updated my About page, something I haven’t done for years.

I’d love to get a job around setting up or troubleshooting an in-house front-end team, or representing unknown browsers to unsuspecting front-enders. I always like fundamental browser research jobs as well, but they’re relatively hard to get since there is limited global interest in that service. Or I can give a new “how to deal with browsers” workshop I’m developing — or even make a website under certain circumstances which boil down to “no frameworks or libraries.”

I have no clue if this is going to help, and I would really hate to be forced into a full-time job, since I’ve become too used to freelancing. But we’ll see.

Anyway, spreading the word would be greatly appreciated.

The elephant in the diversity room

Permalink | in Web thinking

Although there’s a lot of heated discussion around diversity, I feel many of us ignore the elephant in the web development diversity room. We tend to forget about users of older or non-standard devices and browsers, instead focusing on people with modern browsers, which nowadays means the latest versions of Chrome and Safari.

This is nothing new — see “works only in IE” ten years ago, or “works only in Chrome” right now — but as long as we’re addressing other diversity issues in web development we should address this one as well.

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Toolbars, keyboards, and the viewports

Permalink | in Viewports

All mobile browsers have two viewports. The layout viewport constrains your CSS — width: 100% means 100% of the layout viewport — while the visual viewport describes the area of the page the user is currently seeing. This visualisation of the two viewports might be useful as a reminder.

Today’s article studies what happens when these viewports change size. It also studies the resize event.

Some viewport changes are welcomed, such as the visual viewport resize after an orientation change or a zoom action. Others are esoteric, such as rewriting the meta viewport tag. Still others are seen as an annoyance, notably the appearance and disappearance of browser toolbars and the software keyboard.

(This article was originally published on Samsung Internet’s Medium channel. Since I do not believe Medium will survive in the long run I re-publish it here.)

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Women speakers and attendees at Amsterdam web conferences

Permalink | in Conferences

As a slight contribution to the diversity in web development discussion, here are the ratios of female attendees and speakers from the Amsterdam web conferences Krijn and I organised or are close to. I’m not sure what these numbers mean, but someone will surely have a bright idea after staring at them for long enough.

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Why the political hackers and algorithm stories are bullshit

Permalink | in Society

Now that the fascists singularly failed to carry France despite a last-minute attempt at one of those terrifying, democracy-destroying “hacker” jobs against Macron it’s time to call out the hacker and algorithm stories for the bullshit they are.

It was clear from the outset that the Macron leak contained many false documents. What I didn’t find out until today was that many (all?) of those false documents were planted by the Macron campaign itself (scroll down to last paragraphs) in an apparent counter-phishing attempt. That proves the hackers aren’t terribly clever (and didn’t read French).

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Making input type=date complicated

Permalink | in HTML5

Everyone who’s ever messed around with dates knows that they are terribly user-hostile — not only for software developers, but also for users. True, users will be able to tell you their date of birth or today’s date without trouble, but ask them to fill them out in a web form and they will encounter problems.

Month first, day first, or year first? And what about slashes, dashes, and other separators? Usually the website engineer has a strong personal preference and enforces it religiously upon unsuspecting users with stern and incomprehensible error messages in a lurid shade of red that are too tiny for anyone over 25 to read.

(This article was originally published on Samsung Internet’s Medium channel. Since I do not believe Medium will survive in the long run I re-publish it here.)

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What is a web developer?

Permalink | in Web thinking

Last week I was the target of a good old-fashioned internet witch hunt when I dared to propose that you should be able to work without tools (frameworks, libraries, and so on) in order to be a web developer.

I’m not saying you should give up your tools and only work in raw CSS and JavaScript. Instead, I’m saying that you should be able to do so. That’s my definition of a web developer, and it’s what I fundamentally believe in and will stand up for — repeatedly, if necessary.

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Even older entries

See the February 2017 archive and beyond.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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