QuirksBlog - Archives

.

| Book | Donation drive | External publications | Fun | Linkbait | Linkdump | Nederlands | Politics | Society | Theory | WaSP | Web Guidelines |

Donation request

Permalink | in Donation drive

Today I’m asking you for a donation to keep my mobile browser research up and running. I don’t really like doing this, but I have to if I want to continue my testing programme.

continue reading

De Correspondent - future of journalism?

Permalink | in Society

One of the things I’ve been following closely these past few weeks is an initiative for a new kind of journalism here at home. To me it’s not so much about the journalism as it is about the business model, which nicely ties in with other initiatives in the US, and is probably even more succesful right now.

De Correspondent aims to become a blog and news site supported by subscriptions. See also this English article for a summary of what’s happened so far.

continue reading

Linkbait moved to Mobilism

Permalink | in Linkbait

In 2011 I spent a lot of energy on my Linkbait posts, where I gathered interesting links to mobile stories and put them on my site once per week or two weeks. In 2012 I quit this feature because it cost me too much time.

Now, however, there is the new Links section of Mobilism, where Krijn, Stephen and I do essentially the same. Even better for me is the fact that Krijn does the actual publishing, and I just have to create content. Finding links and writing notes was never the problem; getting it ready for publication was.

So if you enjoyed the Linkbait posts, head over to the Mobilism site, or follow us on Twitter and receive all new links (as well as conference news).

The Mobile Book

Permalink | in Book

Back in May or June Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine asked me to write a chapter for Mobile Book.

It was to be about the mobile market as a whole. I liked that; it was just what I had in mind for my next writing job, so I agreed and went to work in summer. Yesterday and today I sent in my final remarks about the print proofs.

continue reading

Podcast in Dutch

Permalink | in Nederlands

A podcast interview with me — in Dutch.

continue reading

Five years of Fronteers

Permalink | in Fronteers

Back in Spring 2007 it dawned on me that what we needed in Holland was an association of professional front-end developers. Front-end was on the rise, but not nearly as popular as it is nowadays, and it was marred by archaic types who were still using table-based layouts and were discussing the use of CSS internally ... and discussing it ... and discussing it.

I started reaching out to front-enders I knew, and pretty soon it was clear almost all of them agreed that a professional association was a good idea. Consequentely, Fronteers was founded in September 2007, slightly more than five years ago. I was elected chairman.

In November I’m going to step down as chairman and board member (blogpost in Dutch), and I’d like to close off my active duty time at Fronteers with a retrospective. Which plans worked, which ones didn’t? Which lessons can you draw if you’re considering a similar association in your country?

continue reading

Webplatform.org and my compatibility tables

Permalink | in Standards/W3C

Yesterday W3C announced the new webplatform.org initiative of W3C and several browser vendors. I’d like to add something: I’m going to be involved.

continue reading

Facebook’s HTML5 mistake?

Permalink | in Facebook, HTML5

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg said (paraphrased):

The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5. While building native apps that were basically just a wrapper for the mobile web standard let it experiment quickly, it made the apps run way too slow. We burnt two years.

Two quick notes:

  1. This seems to be not about HTML5 as a whole, but specifically about Android. And the Android 2.x default browser is just not very good. I wouldn’t want to create a cutting-edge HTML5 app on Android 2.
  2. You can’t use the web to emulate native. You should use the web in a webby way. Which I guess means a simpler interface with less flourishes.

So all in all, this remark doesn’t say as much as you’d think; only that Facebook will switch from web to native on Android because the Android browser does not allow web to emulate native.

But will they also create BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, bada, and S40 apps? I think not.

BTW: here is the full quote. Facebook to forget about HTML5? Nah.

Oh, and one reason Zuckerberg said this is because investors want to hear this. Investors are a bunch of clueless people who only run after buzzwords, and Facebook’s delicate position on the stock market makes it necessary to placate them.

What do you want to know about the mobile market?

Permalink | in Book
19 comments (closed)

Pretty soon I’m going to write the opening chapter for the upcoming Smashing Mobile Book. The provisional title is “What’s going on in Mobile?” and I’m going to talk about how the mobile market works, and what web developers need to know to find their way around 10 operating system, 15 device vendors, and 25 browsers.

Before starting, though, I’d like to know which questions you have.

If you’re a web developer interested in mobile but only starting out, or even having a year of experience under your belt, what are the kind of things that frequently baffle you about the mobile market? Which parts don’t you understand? Which mechanisms would you like to see explained?

Note that I’m not going to write about technical issues. No CSS bugs in Android WebKit, JavaScript engines in Samsung bada, or WebGL support on BlackBerry. Instead, I’m going to try to paint a picture of the market as a whole, with the intention that I (and you) can predict what’s going to happen next, which OSs or vendors will survive and which ones will go under.

So. Please ask your question now, so that I can consider it for the chapter. What do you want to know about the mobile market?

WebKit as de-facto standard for viewports and touch events

Permalink | in Standards/W3C, Touch events, Viewport

Last week I got annoyed at the large differences in syntax for vendor-prefixed device-pixel-ratio media queries. I said, half in desperation and half as a threat, that it might be better to have only the WebKit rendering engine and ditch the rest.

Meanwhile I’ve had some time to think about it, and I find that I still support the idea of multiple rendering engines. Competition is still good, just as it was ten years ago.

HOWEVER. There’s an important exception.

continue reading

Linkbait 30

Permalink | in Linkbait

After a long silence. Some entries are from end of last year.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Longish interview on 5by5

Permalink | in External publications

What I keep forgetting to mention: I’ve been interviewed by Jen Simmons of 5by5, and it was a quite nice talk.

The interview is here, and I talk a lot about mobile, the mobile web, mobile vendors, the problems of Android and Windows Phone, and lots of other topics. The entire interview is 1:28 because I just didn’t stop talking and Jen was too polite to interrupt.

Anyway, enjoy.

Vendor prefix practicalities

Permalink | in Standards/W3C

I’ve been going through my CSS tests last week, and thought I’d jot down some notes on how the browser treat vendor prefixes. It’ll bring some much-needed practicality into the discussion.

This does not prove that vendor prefixes are either good or bad. It’s just one more data point to consider.

continue reading

-alpha- and -beta-

Permalink | in Standards/W3C

My article yesterday about the vendor prefix mess garnered quite a few interesting comments, and today I’d like to respond to those that object against my proposal to replace the current system by a universal -beta- prefix by proposing an additional -alpha- prefix.

continue reading

The vendor prefix mess

Permalink | in Mobile, Standards/W3C

This is one of those weeks where everything happens simultaneously. I think that the vendor prefix discussion is the most important topic, so that’s what will get my attention.

Daniel Glazman, co-chair of the CSS WG, posted a call for action that warned of the dire consequences of web developers using only -webkit-prefixed CSS declarations: IE, Mozilla and Opera would also implement -webkit-.

I will argue that the proposed solution of making web developers aware of the problem may be technically and ideologically correct, but does not address the true causes of the problem: the developer-hostility of vendor prefixes, and the lack of mobile test devices.

continue reading

A quick Siri note

Permalink | in Professionalism

I’ve never actually played with Siri yet, so this example might be somewhat off the mark. And I made up the site. Still, it’s something we should keep in mind — especially accessibility specialists.

continue reading

Linkbait 29

Permalink | in Linkbait

Three weeks since the last one. It’s conference season.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 28

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Fronteers 2011: extraordinary

Permalink | in Conferences, Fronteers

Fronteers 2011, held last Thursday and Friday, was an extraordinary web conference. Where the previous three editions were good and could easily compare to the best international events, Fronteers 2011 was better. The upcoming videos will prove it.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and organised four. The ones I organised, and more than half the ones I visited were good, most others were not so good, but a few were extraordinary. Fronteers 2011 belongs in that select group.

And the wifi worked flawlessly with 450 simultaneous connections!

continue reading

Linkbait 27

Permalink | in Linkbait

Last week’s. I stupidly forgot to add half of my links to #26; here they are. No Tizen, that merits a separate article.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 26

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Nothing about Amazon Silk (I already talked about that), and nothing about Tizen (I’m still studying it).

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 25

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Responsive design and JavaScript

Permalink | in Theory
31 comments (closed)

So here’s the thing with responsive design and JavaScript:

continue reading

Linkbait 24

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Not much is happening; everybody’s still recovering from the latest bombshells.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 23

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s normal news.

I don’t link to any articles about Steve Jobs’s resignation; nothing will change in the short run for Apple, and therefore the mobile market will not change, either. The Android situation and webOS’s future remain the most important questions in mobility for now.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 22

Permalink | in Linkbait

MotoGoogle/webOS special. MotoGoogle first, then webOS.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 21

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Non-MotoGoogle.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 20

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Or something’s.

Your donation for keeping this series up and running would be much appreciated.

continue reading

Linkbait 19

Permalink | in Linkbait

Holiday edition. (My holiday, not yours.)

continue reading

Linkbait 18

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Or rather, this month’s.

continue reading

Thanks for your money. Now give me more

Permalink | in Donation drive, Personal

Wow. This morning I launched a donations drive that was supposed to net me € 2,500 in, hopefully, a month or two or so. At least that’s what my “sensible” average projection was. Instead, it netted me € 3,200 in about six hours, and donations are still coming in.

Thanks, all. Awesome. Humbling. Scary, even, in a sort of way. I mean, I have to be extra good and stuff to repay you all.

continue reading

Donation drive

Permalink | in Donation drive

I have no idea if this is going to work. I’ve never tried it before. But if I never try I’ll never know, so here it goes. And I’ll give you fair warning: there’s a blackmail aspect to all of this.

<breath type="big" />

I’m seeking to raise € 2,500 in donations. Before the end of this year.

Update: the donation drive succeeded before the end of the afternoon. Still, I’d love to receive more donations. They will be used to improve this site. Thanks.

continue reading

Linkbait 17

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 16

Permalink | in Linkbait

These few weeks’. I’ve been very busy first, very lazy afterwards, so I have something of a backlog. But here we go again.

continue reading

Linkbait 15

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Or rather, this month’s. I was too busy to blog for a while, but at least I’m home now, and I can continue this series. And I did keep notes.

continue reading

Linkbait 14

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Written partly in Munich, partly in San Francisco. Conference season’s here, honey!

continue reading

Linkbait 13

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 12

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 11

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. And last week’s, when I was lazy.

continue reading

The new input types

Permalink | in Content, HTML5

On Monday and Tuesday I did some heavy-duty research into the new HTML5 input types and attributes, and I published a desktop and a mobile compatibility table.

Let’s start with some good news. The readonly attribute, which makes a form field read-only, is supported by all browsers, both mobile and desktop. Even IE9. Cool, huh?

The rest of the input story is worse. Much worse. Let’s put it like this: Obigo WebKit, a browser nobody but me has ever heard of, outperforms iPhone and Android.

continue reading

Linkbait 10

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 9

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. And last week’s non-Nokisoft/MWC links.

continue reading

Linkbait 8

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Nokisoft/MWC edition.

continue reading

Linkbait 7

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Quality, not quantity.

continue reading

Linkbait 6

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s. Fast and furious.

continue reading

Linkbait 5

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week was a bit slow.

continue reading

Linkbait 4

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 3

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait 2

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

Linkbait

Permalink | in Linkbait

This week’s.

continue reading

ALA article: Smartphone Browser Landscape

Permalink | in External publications, Mobile

Just now A List Apart published my Smartphone Browser Landscape article. Despite having written for ALA for more than ten years, this is only my fifth or so article. But it’s a nice one.

I started on this article back in July by writing down absolutely everything that web developers had to know about the smartphone market. It was about twice as long as it is now. ALA rejected this draft — and with good reason. It took me from July to October to figure out which bits web developers didn’t have to know right away, and that was a useful process.

Anyway, enjoy the article. No comments here; you’ll have to go to ALA for that.

Mobile miscellany

Permalink | in Firefox Mobile, Linkbait, Nokia, webOS
6 comments (closed)

For those who follow the mobile market:

continue reading

Organising front-end meetings or conferences in your own town

Permalink | in Society
10 comments (closed)

Over the past few weeks I’ve had essentially the same conversation with Georgi Petrov from Sofia, Bulgaria; Lea Verou from Athens, Greece; and Marco Cedaro from Bologna, Italy.

All three wanted to do something about front-end in their own town, but all three seemed to think there was some kind of black magic involved in getting well-known speakers to your conference or even getting together a few people to talk about geeky stuff.

So it’s time to talk about organising front-end meetings or conferences and how black magic is not necessary.

continue reading

“HTML5” — let’s move on, shall we?

Permalink | in HTML5
15 comments (closed)

Months ago I concluded that “HTML5” means whatever you want it to mean. This week, Jeffrey Zeldman and Jeff Croft took up the discussion, with Tantek Çelik and Bruce Lawson commenting.

continue reading

What HTML5 means - the sequel

Permalink | in HTML5
83 comments (closed)

A while ago I asked what HTML5 means to you. I got a lot of replies, but would like to gather more. That’s why I’m repeating the question today. What’s in your HTML5 spec? Please add your personal top three of cool new features to the comments.

continue reading

HTML5 apps

Permalink | in HTML5, HTML5 apps
23 comments (closed)

Right now nobody’s interested in a mobile solution that does not contain the words “iPhone” and “app” and that is not submitted to a closed environment where it competes with approximately 2,437 similar mobile solutions.

Compared to the current crop of mobile clients and developers, lemmings marching off a cliff follow a solid, sensible strategy. Startling them out of this obsession requires nothing short of a new buzzword.

Therefore I’d like to re-brand standards-based mobile websites and applications, definitely including W3C Widgets, as “HTML5 apps.” People outside our little technical circle are already aware of the existence of HTML5, and I don’t think it needs much of an effort to elevate it to full buzzwordiness.

Technically, HTML5 apps would encompass all websites as well as all the myriads of (usually locally installed) web-standards-based application systems on mobile. The guiding principle would be to write and maintain one single core application that uses web standards, as well as a mechanism that deploys that core application across a wide range of platforms.

continue reading

Political blog split off QuirksBlog trunk

Permalink | in Politics
0 comments (closed)

I have decided to follow Dutch politics a bit more openly and to blog about it. Still, I don’t want to force this content on people that are just interested in web development. According to my own calculations the number of non-Dutch readers that are interested in Dutch politics is about twelve, so for those twelve, as well as the more sizable group of Dutch followers interested in politics, I’ve now created a politics homepage and blog.

Swept away by the literally two requests from non-Dutch readers, I’ve also decided to publish my political primer, which will ideally consist of eleven long background articles, of which only the first eight are written. I will publish one article every Wednesday until I run out of material.

Here on the main QuirksBlog I may write some stuff about the JavaScript graph functions I created for the primer (parliament graphs, tables). Unfortunately, right now any JavaScript-focused article would mainly consist of a long list of features I haven’t implemented yet. Most of the graphs aren’t really keyboard-accessible, for instance, because I’m not happy with the idea of adding dozens of useless <a> elements just to make parts of the graphs keyboard-focusable.

All in all I’m hurrying to catch up with events. I hadn’t planned to publish any of this, but the government crisis has forced my hands. Please excuse the occasional wart or bug.

Dutch government falls over Afghanistan

Permalink | in Politics
10 comments (closed)

As long-time visitors know I occasionally talk about Dutch politics here for the benefit of my Dutch readers as well as those twelve foreign readers that are interested in these matters. Since Dutch government fell late yesterday night, it’s time for another such post.

The Balkenende IV government (i.e. the fourth government that Balkenende (CDA) was prime minister of) was formed three years ago and consists of centre-right CDA (christian-democrats), centre-left PvdA (Labour), and orthodox-protestant left-leaning CU (Union of Christians). Yesterday evening the PvdA ministers resigned over a conflict about the continuing Dutch military presence in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.

In a week and a half local elections will be held, and the PvdA was slated to lose a lot of seats everywhere. PvdA party leader and finance minister Bos clearly hopes to stem the electoral tide by his resignation, and he might well be right.

Update: This will be the last political entry on the main QuirksBlog. I now have a separate politics section with a blog as well as an article series about Dutch political history.

continue reading

HTML5 means whatever you want it to mean

Permalink | in HTML5
39 comments (closed)

Last Friday I found evidence for increasing confusion about what the HTML5 spec actually is. I don’t have any doubts on that score: HTML5 is anything you want it to be as long as it’s new and cool.

continue reading

The HTML5 drag and drop disaster

Permalink | in HTML5
56 comments (closed)

After spending about a day and a half in testing I am forced to conclude that the HTML5 drag and drop module is not just a disaster, it’s a fucking disaster.

The module should be removed from the HTML5 specification straight away, and conforming browsers should disable it at their earliest opportunity pending a complete rewrite from the ground up.

Web developers MUST NOT (in the sense of RFC 2119) use HTML 5 drag and drop. They should use old-school scripts instead.

Before we continue I’d like to say that in general I thoroughly approve of the HTML5 specification. Exactly because the spec has such an overall quality I was so surprised (and, frankly, a bit confused and hurt) to find drag and drop a steaming pile of bovine manure.

In fact, it’s so outrageously bad that I’ve gone on strike. I refuse to do any more research on drag and drop. Go do it yourself. Or don’t bother. Whatever. I don’t care.

What follows is a rant laced with profanity. No apologies. Drag and drop deserves no better.

continue reading

How Twitter should make money

Permalink | in Society
10 comments (closed)

When I was in San Francisco back in April it didn’t take long for me to get introduced to the most popular social game in town: how will Twitter make money? I played the game in three or four different groups, made some obvious beginner’s mistakes, and had fun.

Unfortunately for those still playing the game I think I solved the problem. I now know how Twitter should make money. Judge for yourself.

continue reading

Reading out the end time in browser speed tests

Permalink | in Browser testing
25 comments (closed)

A few weeks back I did some DOM speed tests on mobile browsers (results forthcoming). The most important result of these tests is not the actual values (although they’re interesting), but the fact that I could finally prove a theory that I’ve had in the back of my mind for at least two years now.

Basically, when setting up a speed test you should be very careful to allow the browser to render the result on screen before you close the test by reading out the second timestamp.

continue reading

HTML5 Storage tests

Permalink | in HTML5
9 comments (closed)

I have started an HTML5 compatibility table today. For now it only contains a test of HTML5 Storage in all desktop browsers, and a short report is in order. I also retested the DOM HTML; no changes.

continue reading

A note on testing methodology

Permalink | in Browser testing
19 comments (closed)

In his recent Feature testing CSS properties entry, Juriy Zaytsev (Kangax) discusses the possibility of detecting CSS support by means of JavaScript. Although he rightly points out that this method has its drawbacks, as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t go far enough.

This sort of testing should not be used at all. Ever. The methodology is plain wrong. Browser compatibility tests are to be done by hand. Any automated system is useless, because it will give false information.

continue reading

Making <time> safe for historians

Permalink | in HTML5
36 comments (closed)

The HTML 5 spec introduces the <time> element to mark up a date or time. Although I support the inclusion of these semantics in HTML, I believe that the current specification of the <time> element is vague because it avoids the question whether the element is safe for historians. Right now it hurts historical research more than it helps. In this entry I’ll explain why.

Although I will concentrate on the HTML5 syntax here, what I have to say also applies to the microformats datetime design pattern. The Microformats site adds one important detail to the discussion that the HTML5 spec overlooks: the point of having a <time> element (or a datetime design pattern) at all:

Use the datetime-design-pattern to make datetimes that are human readable also formally machine readable.

Who needs machine readable dates? As far as I can see there are two target audiences for this operation. The first is obviously social applications that have to work with dates, and where it can be useful to compare dates of two different events. An app must be able to see if two events fall on the same day and warn you if they do.

However, as a target audience social applications are immediately followed by historians (or historical, chronological applications). After all, historians are (dare I say it?) historically the most prolific users of dates, until they were upstaged by social applications.

This raises the question whether the <time> element should be tailored for historical use at all. When I started writing this entry I was convinced that it should.

In keeping with the definition of its purpose I the see the <time> element as a tool for an Internet-wide chronological search-and-compare system. Such a system will be a boon to historians, who would be allowed to quickly and easily look up events that happened around the same time as the event they’re writing about.

In history, just as in other academic disciplines, serendipitous discoveries are the meat of exciting new theories. A history-compliant use of the <time> element that allows automatic search and compare would broaden the horizons of historians.

However, now that I’ve reviewed some of the more common problems that have to be solved in order to decrease potential harm, I’m starting to doubt whether the <time> element can easily be made to fit history.

Right now, though, the specification is a vague compromise that doesn’t make the <time> element useful for historical research, but still allows it to be used historically.

I feel this ambiguity should be removed. I feel that the specification should clearly state whether the <time> element is meant for historical use or not. The current vague, implied “No” should be changed to a clear answer. I prefer Yes, but I can live with No.

If the <time> element should be made safe for historians, there’s quite a bit of work to be done; some of which is discussed in this article. If it should not be made history-safe, we have to add a cut-off date to the specification. Dates before this cut-off date would be ignored.

continue reading

AEA Boston and web development potlatch

Permalink | in Conferences, Society
9 comments (closed)

In this entry I give some impressions of AEA Boston, as well as an attempt to compare the current web dev world with the old potlatch system.

continue reading

Something odd happened on the way to mousemove

Permalink | in IE, Opera, Safari, Theory
24 comments (closed)

Currently I'm working on a big revision of the Events Compatibility Tables. And no the new table is not yet online because I'm not ready yet.

Testing event support is really awesomely complicated. I've been working steadily for two weeks now, and I still find new bugs and oddities daily, and twice on Sundays.

In any case, I discovered something remarkable when I studied the mousemove event. It sheds light on the way browser vendors keep track of each other's implementations nowadays, and on things that can go wrong.

Update: The bug described in this entry is an OS problem, and not a browser bug.

continue reading

IE team changes its mind on IE8 default behaviour

Permalink | in IE, Theory
19 comments (closed)

Just now the IE team announced that it's reversing its policy on the default behaviour of IE8, which shows that it has been paying close attention to the discussion of its versioning proposal. I admit that I hadn't expected this reversal, but I welcome it.

continue reading

The CSSOM View Module

Permalink | in Content, Standards/W3C
16 comments (closed)

A week ago W3C published the first working draft of the W3C CSSOM View specification (written by Anne van Kesteren), and I must say I'm very happy with it. Since I was testing stuff anyway I created a new compatibility table for most of the methods and properties specified in this document, and browser compatibility is already excellent.

That's no coincidence. This specification contains definitions for many properties (and a few methods) that browsers have already been supporting for ages (such as offsetWidth), and W3C has paid scrupulous attention to the current implementation. No more theorizing into the blue — just check what browsers do and describe it in the specification. Excellent idea.

continue reading

The versioning switch's default is correct

Permalink | in IE, Theory
62 comments (closed)

Even clinically dead web developers will by now have seen the announcement of IE8's new versioning switch, and many bloggers I read have already reacted—most of them negatively. See the IE page of my linkblog for an overview.

All in all I am in the Yes camp, and in this entry I'd like to offer a few arguments in favour of the current default of the switch. In my opinion, defaulting to IE7 in the absence of a switch is the correct behaviour.

I won't be offering practical arguments, since these are not received too well right now. Instead, I'm hoping to appeal to our collective sense of honour.

continue reading

ToughQuiz VIII - Practical version switching

Permalink | in IE, ToughQuiz
37 comments (closed)

Now that the versioning switch debate is in full swing (see the IE page of my linkblog for a partial overview), I'd like to move attention from lofty goals and aspirations that may or may not be trampled by the new switch to everyday practicalities.

So here's a quiz for you. Please assume that at some point in the future the following will be the case:

continue reading

The versioning switch is not a browser detect

Permalink | in IE, Theory
34 comments (closed)

The announcement of IE8's new versioning switch is generating heated debate—and nobody could have expected otherwise. Whether you feel this is a great or a terrible idea, it will change the way we web developers work. I encourage everyone to form his or her own opinion on this matter.

However, there's one point that has to be made right away. Eric Meyer already touched on it in his opinion piece, but repeating it won't hurt.

One argument used by detractors of the new switch is that it's nothing more than a browser detect. This comparison is factually false and it shouldn't be allowed to cloud a debate that promises to be complicated enough even without false arguments.

continue reading

San Francisco; Yahoo! and Voices that Matter

Permalink | in Conferences, Fronteers
6 comments (closed)

Yesterday morning I returned from my first visit to San Francisco, where I delivered my first real solo presentation at the Voices that Matter: Web Design conference, as well as visiting Yahoo! and wandering around town a bit. All in all it was a wonderful experience.

continue reading

ToughQuiz VII - The semantics of subtitles

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
56 comments (closed)

Currently I'm working on the HTML of a ministry site, and I encountered one persistent problem that I don't know the "right" answer to: subtitles. Which tag do we use for them? A header, or not? I don't really know, and I'd like to ask your opinion.

continue reading

Founding a front-end professionals' organisation

Permalink | in Fronteers
2 comments (closed)

Phew.

Last Tuesday, exactly one week ago, was one of the busiest and most exciting days of my life, and I think that it was a success all in all.

For me, it was the first time I organised a conference, moderated a panel, founded a front-end professionals' organisation, and went into a personal battle that for a moment threatened to become very bitter, but fortunately didn't thanks to the generosity of my opponents and an extremely professional chairman. And all that on one day.

Anyway, it's wrapped up now, and I thought I'd give my international readers some idea of what I've been working on these past months.

continue reading

Gilde - oprichtingscongres

Permalink | in Fronteers, Nederlands
12 comments (closed)

Zoals ik eerder heb vermeld, heb ik het idee gekregen om een Gilde van Front-Enders op te richten. Dit idee heeft behoorlijke weerklank gevonden; tot nu toe hebben zich 85 front-enders als potentieel lid ingeschreven. Ik wil hen, plus alle andere geinteresseerden, van harte uitnodigen voor het oprichtingscongres van het Gilde, dat gesponsord wordt door het PIBN.

(English summary: This is an invitation to the founding conference of the Guild of Front-End Programmers. The conference is in Dutch, so this entry is, too.)

continue reading

Guild, part 2 - not a grassroots movement

Permalink | in Fronteers
12 comments (closed)

To anyone following my Guild adventures it will not come as a huge surprise that I hope to be elected chairman at our meeting on the 18th of September. Last week, another candidate for chairmanship, Lon Boonen of Q42, entered the fray.

When I read through his ideas, I came across a few points that I absolutely disagree with. Furthermore I believe that the difference between Lon's and my ideas nicely summarises a fundamental decision the web standards movement has to take in the next year or so. I wrote this entry because this is something all standardistas should think about.

Basically, Lon wants to create yet another online community and pressure group—a grassroot movement, in other words. I, on the other hand, want to create a quite different type of organisation.

I believe that grassroot movements (of which the WaSP is the most important and well-known example, but far from the only one) cannot take web standards much further than they have done until now, because they don't reach the large website creation companies, which are crucial to the long-term success of the standards movement.

continue reading

SxSW 2008: In Praise of Elitism

Permalink | in Conferences, Society
4 comments (closed)

Just as last year, I've got a session planned for SxSW 2008. Its title is "In Praise of Elitism", and of course I hope that my readers will vote for me so that I get free entrance to SxSW.

continue reading

Getting rid of the semi-professionals

Permalink | in Professionalism
34 comments (closed)

Last week, two blog entries caught my eye because they discussed a problem I've started to notice, too. In Reflection Jeremy Keith bemoaned the lack of blog comment quality for the umpteenth time; while in The HTML 5 circus Roger Johansson explained that he temporarily left the HTML WG mailing list because there were too many people who just shouted at others without making any positive contribution.

Jeremy and Roger are talking about the same problem. There are quite a few semi-professional web developers who have excellent knowledge of the web standards but spend their time shouting at other people on blogs, forums, or mailing lists, and they are taking over most public spaces of the web standards movement with their ideologically pure drivel; proving the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory beyond any possible doubt. We ought to get rid of them, but I don't know how.

Who are these semi-professionals? How do they differ from professionals?

continue reading

The Web development aristocracy

Permalink | in Society
14 comments (closed)

Currently I'm reading Framing the Early Middle Ages by Chris Wickham, which treats Europe and the Mediterranean in the years 400-800 (this, especially the West, was my specialisation back when I was a historian). Wickham has been courageous enough to attempt a general definition of an "aristocrat", and I couldn't resist the temptation to apply his criteria to today's Web development aristocrats.

So today's questions are: what makes a Web development aristocrat a Web development aristocrat? And what are aristocrats good for, anyway?

continue reading

ToughQuiz VI - Should interview answers be marked up with a <blockquote>?

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
48 comments (closed)

The website of a Dutch ministry has been tested for compliance with the Web Guidelines. I have been asked to supply a second opinion, which I'm currently writing. I came across a complicated semantic point that I'm not quite sure of; hence I'd like to ask your opinion.

continue reading

Guild, part 1 - certification

Permalink | in Fronteers
30 comments (closed)

Last Monday I invited all Dutch front-end programmers to become members of my soon-to-be-founded Guild of Front-End programmers. I also promised to publish some more information in English.

This entry covers the certification we're planning to introduce. While reading it, please remember that all items I describe below are just plans right now (some of them my personal ones). They may still be voted down by the certification committee or the Guild members.

(lang="nl" interstitial: Mensen die meer informatie willen, kunnen onze huidige plannen bekijken en/of zich inschrijven voor de aankondigingslijst.)

continue reading

Gilde van Front-Enders

Permalink | in Fronteers, Nederlands
35 comments (closed)

Hierbij nodig ik alle Nederlandstalige front-end programmeurs uit zich aan te sluiten bij het Gilde van Front-Enders dat ik bezig ben op te richten. We hebben al 50 leden, maar we kunnen er nog veel meer gebruiken.

(English summary: I'm in the process of founding a Dutch Guild of Front-End programmers. This entry is a national call to action and is therefore in Dutch. Later I'll post something in English about my plans.)

continue reading

New ALA article—Evangelizing Outside the Box: Web Standards and Large Companies

Permalink | in External publications

While writing my Changes entry I re-discovered the fact that I seem to be one of the very few well-known standardistas whose natural habitat is the world of large website creation companies instead of the freelance/small business/institutions world that powers most of the standards movement.

I noticed this fact immediately when I entered the standards-aware web world back in 1998. I vaguely worried about it back then, but I was so caught up in my day job and my extensive publications that I didn't do anything about it. When I went freelance in 2002 I submerged myself in the mainstream of the standards movement, I forgot about this problem.

In recent weeks, however, I spoke to a lot of lead front-end programmers who work for large companies, and I quickly re-discovered my roots, as well as the fact that they differ from the roots of the average standardista. I was also able to pinpoint the problem more accurately.

I feel there is a rift between large website creation companies and the standards movement, and a week ago I decided to write a more detailed entry about this problem. When the first draft was ready it was clear that it had become a new major article and was more suited to A List Apart than to QuirksBlog.

Therefore I submitted it, and after a brief editing round it was accepted and published as Evangelizing Outside the Box: Web Standards and Large Companies. Enjoy!

Opinion piece in .NET

Permalink | in External publications
6 comments (closed)

Back in February I wrote an opinion piece for the British .NET Magazine. I considered it a dress rehearsal for my SxSW presentation, and as such it allowed me to focus my thoughts.

Meanwhile the opinion piece has been published in .NET's latest issue (162; confusingly called the May issue, even though it will remain April for 20 more days). It will allow people who weren't at SxSW to read a summary of my presentation.

This reminds me of a question I wanted to ask anyway: which good, standards-aware web development magazines are there? .NET is definitely one. Unfortunately its Dutch counterpart NetProfessional, for which I occansionally wrote a piece, folded back in 2003. I don't know of any others, though I suppose they exist out there.

If you know of another standards-aware web development magazine, please leave a comment.

HTML 5

Permalink | in Standards/W3C
21 comments (closed)

Well, the new W3C HTML Working Group is slowly getting into gear. It seems as if W3C has learned from past mistakes, since right now the openness surrounding the new WG is commendable. There's a blog for sharing information, anyone can join the mailing list as an Invited Expert, and even if you don't you can still read the list. Good!

continue reading

Dutch to revert to table-based layouts

Permalink | in Fun
12 comments (closed)

In a stunning reversal of its stated policy, Dutch government last Friday decided to abolish the Web Guidelines and revert to tabled-based layouts. A government spokeswoman declared:

If the stated policy [ie. the Web Guidelines] were to be implemented, thousands of deserving web developers would have been robbed of their daily bread. For a government dedicated to creating more jobs, this is unacceptable.

continue reading

More on the Web Guidelines

Permalink | in Web Guidelines
5 comments (closed)

The standards revolution here in Holland proceeds apace, so I though I'd give you an update. Most importantly, I have finally managed to find an English translation of the Guidelines, which will allow non-Dutch-speakers to judge them for themselves. I added a few notes to clarify translation points or vague spots.

One of the most important comments on my previous Guidelines post was: "Who's going to enforce them?". The answer seems to be: nobody. Far from being a weak point in the standards revolution, this non-enforcement is one of the strongest reasons in favour of implementing the Guidelines.

continue reading

Free JavaScript books by Eric Meyer

Permalink | in Fun
8 comments (closed)

Just encountered this page with a list of Free JavaScript books. I didn't know you could get them for free! I usually pay for them (unless the authors give me a free copy).

In any case, the first free JavaScript book deserves to be quoted in full:

Quirksmode - ppk on JavaScript pages new

This is not a book properly speaking, but the pages on quirksmode organized to follow the book ppk on javascript by Eric Meyer.

I think Eric and I will have to have a chat about copyrights and such.

The blue book of JavaScript & a contest

Permalink | in Book
10 comments (closed)

When I received my personal copies of the book back in October, I was of course overjoyed at being a Published Author. Nonetheless, I was sorely disappointed at one feature, or rather, the lack of one feature.

The pages of my book were gray, even though they were supposed to contain some blue accents. Unfortunately all blue colours, shades and nuances had been replaced by their gray equivalent, except on the cover. That made the book harder to read.

Meanwhile the problem has been solved, and gray copy owners can win a blue copy by participating in my contest.

continue reading

Book signing Sat. 10 March 4:30

Permalink | in Book, Conferences
0 comments (closed)

While visiting SxSW I'll also sign copies of the book for anyone who's interested. The signing session will take place on Saturday 10 March at 4:30 at the Adobe Day Stage Café.

While I'm there I'm also planning to pick up signed copies of Transcending CSS by Andy Clarke, Javascript and Ajax for the Web by Dori Smith and Tom Negrino, Bulletproof Ajax by Jeremy Keith, CSS Mastery by Andy Budd, and probably a few other interesting books.

I'll see some of you there.

New Dutch accessibility law

Permalink | in Web Guidelines
44 comments (closed)

On 1 September last year the new Dutch law on the quality of government websites went into effect. At the time I read a short note on a Dutch blog that the new law made accessibility mandatory, nodded sagely, decided it was about time, and went on with my work without actually looking at the new law.

It was only last Friday that I studied it in detail, and to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The law's stated purpose is to make sure that every Dutch government website is accessible by following the guidelines as formulated by W3C. In order to do so, a corpus of 125 guidelines has been created to define best practices for creating accessible sites. These guidelines go way beyond WCAG; they also embrace modern, standards-compliant web development as a whole.

continue reading

24ways: Hide and Seek in the Head

Permalink | in External publications

Just as last year, Drew McLellan has created his web geek advent calendar 24ways, in which a few web developers of note share some tips and tricks to impress your friends. Today my contribution: Hide and Seek in the Head.

Dutch politics: the Rules of the Game, and an attempted coup in the VVD

Permalink | in Politics
5 comments (closed)

In my continuing series on Dutch politics I present the next background page: The Rules of the Game, in which I discuss government, parliament, elections, and coalitions.

continue reading

Dutch politics: government formation and the Ins and Outs

Permalink | in Politics
3 comments (closed)

As promised, I will continue my reporting of Dutch politics. Because right now the situation is confused even for Dutch standards, and foreigners won't easily get the finer points of our ten-party system, I'm also preparing a load of background articles. Today the first installment: The Ins and Outs, in which the three large parties and their dance around the centre of power are introduced.

Meanwhile the situation remains confused. After Wednesday's elections (results) nobody has the faintest idea what kind of government we're going to get.

continue reading

Politics appreciation app

Permalink | in Politics
1 comments (closed)

I've decided to write a few more entries about Dutch politics, and I hope to explain it so clearly that even foreigners who're used to boring two-party systems will learn to appreciate our ten-party system. If you don't like politics, you should avoid QuirksBlog for a while. Nonetheless I invite all JavaScripters to take a quick look at my politics appreciation app.

continue reading

Dutch elections

Permalink | in Politics
14 comments (closed)

For once a non-technical post about the elections in Holland that are taking place today. I'm not sure how many of my readers are interested in this subject, but since I myself am fascinated by the weird turn the elections are taking, and I'm sure that at least some people will share this fascination once I explained it, I'm going to post about it anyway.

Rather lengthy. If you're not interested, ignore.

continue reading

Opnieuw junior webontwikkelaars gezocht

Permalink | in Nederlands

Zoals ik twee jaar geleden al zag aankomen, beginnen bedrijven serieuze behoefte te krijgen aan junior webontwikkelaars met gedegen CSS-kennis, en is het uitermate lastig die te vinden.

In de afgelopen twee weken heb ik twee aanvragen gekregen voor juniors die in vaste dienst willen treden. Vandaar dat ik met spoed op zoek ben naar mensen die CSS grondig onder de knie hebben, een eerste of tweede schrede willen zetten op een carrièrepad als professioneel webontwikkelaar, en die per direct beschikbaar zijn voor een vaste baan of een langdurige freelance-klus.

Herken je jezelf hierin, vul dan het formulier in en ik neem contact met je op.

On historical overviews in programming books

Permalink | in Book
11 comments (closed)

Two new reviews of the book appeared early this week. Roger Johansson reviewed it on his own site, and Mike West did so on Digital Web Magazine.

Thanks, both of you, for taking the time to read and write about my book, and for being so very positive about it. In the remainder of this entry I'd like to say a few words about an interesting difference of opinion that surfaces in them: the value of historical overviews in programming books.

continue reading

Excerpt of chapter 8 available

Permalink | in Book

WebReference has published an excerpt of chapter 8 of the book. If you're still wondering whether you should buy it, take a look and decide.

NL: publicatie van secties 9A, 9B en 9E van "ppk on JavaScript"

Permalink | in Book, Nederlands
2 comments (closed)

Op Naar Voren is te lezen een voorpublicatie uit het boek. Het gaat om enkele secties uit hoofdstuk 9: CSS modificatie.
Vertaling: Marrije Schaake.

(English: Naar Voren has translated and published part of chapter 9 of the book. Since it's in Dutch it's not of much interest to my international audience.)

Reminder: Friday book release party in Amsterdam

Permalink | in Book
7 comments (closed)

Just a reminder that my book release party in Amsterdam will take place next Friday (27 October). See this post for the details.

I'm still planning a London book release party, too, but unfortunately there's no news yet (translation: for the past few weeks I've been too lazy to arrange it).

Professionalism and a certification body

Permalink | in Fronteers, Professionalism
20 comments (closed)

Do we need a professional organisation that tests and certifies web developers? This question is suddenly very much in the picture, with Mark Boulton, Richard Rutter, D. Keith Robinson, and Eric Meyer discussing it at length. I decided to throw in a few of my own thoughts and offer a field-tested rough-and-ready method that is quite reliable for separating the chaff from the wheat: the 2 minutes CSS test.

continue reading

Ten questions for Peter-Paul Koch

Permalink | in External publications

I've been interviewed by Russ Weakley of Web Standards Group about the QuirksMode redesign, the book, the Ajax hype, IE7, and more.

Read the interview: Ten questions for Peter-Paul Koch.

Book takes off

Permalink | in Book
38 comments (closed)

Well, it seems that the book is finally taking off.

continue reading

Amsterdam book release party

Permalink | in Book
3 comments (closed)

As I said before, I'm planning book release parties in Amsterdam and London. The Amsterdam one has been finalised; details below. The London one is still under construction. It will take place early in November; details will follow when I have them.

continue reading

Example scripts and errata

Permalink | in Book
3 comments (closed)

I added some information to the Book section: an example scripts page and an errata page.

The example scripts page lists the example scripts, links to the working version and the JavaScript files, and gives a detailed list of where in the book the scripts are treated.

The errata page, unsurprisingly, contains the few errata I've found so far. I still haven't found a typo, though I did find three plurals that should be singulars, one of which is smack bang on the very first page of the very first chapter. As far as I'm concerned these aren't really typos, typos are just words taht are speled incorrectly.

Even though I went through most of the book now and found no typos, I'm still not convinced the book is actually free of them. No doubt a few will turn up once people start actually reading it.

Book distribution

Permalink | in Book
14 comments (closed)

Right, I seem to have been a bit premature in my book release entry. Although the book definitely exists by now, it turns out that it might easily take a few weeks before it has been shipped from printer to distributor, from distributor to the bookstore warehouse, and from the warehouse to the shelves. Therefore it's not strange that almost no-one has a copy of the book yet: you'll have to have a few more weeks patience, I'm afraid.

continue reading

SxSW panel - JavaScript: the Big Picture

Permalink | in Conferences, Professionalism
5 comments (closed)

Next March I'll be heading off to Austin to be at SxSW. Thrifty as always, I'm looking for ways and means of getting free admission, and the most obvious solution was to send in a panel proposal. Since this year SxSW allows people to vote for panels they'd like to see, you should vote for me if you'd like to hear me speak about JavaScript (and get me a free ticket). The panel is called "JavaScript: the Big Picture" and it's somewhere near the top of the list in SxSW's Panel Picker.

continue reading

"ppk on JavaScript" released

Permalink | in Book
25 comments (closed)

Well, today's the day. "ppk on JavaScript" has been released—in the US, that is. If you are actually holding a physical copy, please leave a comment with your location. This will allow me to follow my book as it penetrates the JavaScript world.

continue reading

Introduction of the book

Permalink | in Book
10 comments (closed)

As I promised before, I've now published the larger part of the Introduction of my book "ppk on JavaScript". Apart from some general notes, it introduces the eight example scripts that I use throughout the book. As you'll see, all these eight example scripts were written for real-world clients in order to earn real-world money.

The example scripts themselves are also online, and you can study them. The Introduction links to all of them. Since I refer to these example scripts throughout the book, I expect my readers to have a general idea of what they're doing and why.

I hope this pre-publication gives a better insight in the kind of book I've written.

Unfortunately the publication date has moved forward to 13 September (US). The rest of the world will have to wait about a month longer.

Book production

Permalink | in Book
6 comments (closed)

When I posted my book announcement on 2 June, I thought the huge project was almost done. Unfortunately I was wrong; right now I'm still working on the book. I thought I'd give you a quick update on what I'm doing right now.

continue reading

More about the book

Permalink | in Book
14 comments (closed)

During the @media conference several people asked what the book is about. Although the short answer is obviously "JavaScript!", they wanted a more detailed reply. This entry gives them (and anyone else who's interested) more information.

continue reading

Did we just win the web standards battle? (@media impressions - part 3)

Permalink | in Conferences, WaSP
9 comments (closed)

The Hot Topics panel that closed the conference featured one excellent question that set me thinking about socio-political questions:

Isn't the recent mass movement of high-profile web designers to large companies like Yahoo and Google a little worrying in terms of objectivity and in terms of creativity?

You can read the discussion that followed in the transcript, but my own thoughts went in a slightly different direction.

continue reading

@media impressions - part 2

Permalink | in Conferences, Theory
3 comments (closed)

The conference was split into two tracks, and there have been quite a few discussions about whether this was a good idea. I think it is because it allows for more specialisation. In any case, here are a few notes on some of the presentations I attended.

continue reading

@media impressions - part 1

Permalink | in Coding techniques, Conferences, Theory
9 comments (closed)

Well, I'm back from @media, and it was as wonderful as last year. I met lots of interesting people, talked about lots of geeky stuff, drank the amount of beer required by British law, and went on stage at a web conference for the first time—but I hope not for the last.

continue reading

Book release and table of contents

Permalink | in Book
2 comments (closed)

Two minor book-related points.

The book will probably be released in the second half of August, and not the first half, as I said before. That's the US publication only; Europe will have to wait another month since the book is printed in the US and literally shipped to the rest of the world.

By request I added the Table of Contents to the book page.

Ajax use patterns

Permalink | in Theory, XMLHTTP
21 comments (closed)

Well, my previous entry Is asynchronous communication really being used? has certainly elicited some interesting comments. The answer was a resounding "Yes"; and the replies allow me to take a first stab at defining a few Ajax use patterns.

continue reading

Is asynchronous communication really being used?

Permalink | in Theory, XMLHTTP
33 comments (closed)

Yesterday I attended the 10th Sigchi.nl conference in Amsterdam, during which I had the pleasure of seeing Jared Spool, Jesse James Garrett, Bill Scott, Martijn van Welie, and Steven Pemberton in real live action. (Note to self: Jared and Steven are stiff competitors of Joe when it comes to being The Funniest Man at Web Conferences).

I'm not going to describe the conference in detail. Instead, I'd like to discuss an asynchronous communication question that popped into my head during Jesse James' presentation.

continue reading

Book: ppk on JavaScript

Permalink | in Book
18 comments (closed)

It's done. My book is finished; I just delivered the last chapter (chapter 2, actually). It's called "ppk on JavaScript", it's published by New Riders, and I'm as proud as any parent of my newborn baby.

You can already order it through Amazon (US, UK, Canada, Japan), if you're so inclined.

continue reading

Inaccessible Google Web Authoring Statistics

Permalink | in Coding techniques, Professionalism
26 comments (closed)

Quite recently Google published the results of its Web Authoring Statistics research, in which about a billion HTML documents were parsed for popular class names, used elements and attributes, use of JavaScript and so on.

Sounds fascinating? You bet. There's just one slight problem: the actual data is totally inaccessible.

continue reading

JavaScript and "serious" programmers

Permalink | in Professionalism
48 comments (closed)

For at least a year I've been worried about the total lack of relation between JavaScript and "serious" programmers. Unfortunately it seems as if JavaScript is still beneath their notice. That starts to annoy me.

The advent of Ajax makes a solution to this problem mandatory. Who will create the Ajax applications? Those who don't know how to write an application, or those who don't know the language the application will be written in?

continue reading

The New Amateurs - part 2

Permalink | in Professionalism
54 comments (closed)

My previous entry The New Amateurs has generated so many interesting comments that I decided to reply to them all in a new entry, which will continue the discussion.

To my astonishment it turns out that some New Amateurs read my site, and that some of them even agree with me. It seems they aren't even too much annoyed by the label "amateurs". Great!

Let's review a few of their arguments.

continue reading

The New Amateurs

Permalink | in Professionalism
28 comments (closed)

Andy Clarke started it, Molly Holzschlag added her powerful voice, and Roger Johansson and Holly Marie Koltz jotted down some interesting notes. It's time for New Professionalism in the website industry.

Basically the idea is that any web developer who refuses to learn CSS and modern, unobtrusive JavaScript, either from ignorance or from a refusal to break old habits, is no longer worthy of the name "professional".

I completely agree; in fact I have been worrying about this problem for quite a while, and no doubt others have, too. Such movements aren't created out of nothing, they are ideas waiting to find a voice, and I'm glad that it happened. We have to reach the New Amateurs and transform them into New Professionals. But how?

continue reading

Interview

Permalink | in External publications

The November issue of Treehouse contains an interview with me about browsers, JavaScript teaching, Ajax, web applications, and more.

Memory leaks linkdump

Permalink | in Linkdump, Memory leaks
3 comments (closed)

Since the comments to my previous posts contain a few useful links to memory leaks and closure resources, I thought I'd create a linkdump for future reference. Note that I only included those articles that explain what they're doing and why and give code examples. I ignored the pages that just throw scripts over the fence and leave it to the reader to figure out what they're all about.

continue reading

CSS en de arbeidsmarkt

Permalink | in Nederlands

Zoals ik een jaar geleden al zag aankomen, beginnen bedrijven serieuze behoefte te krijgen aan junior webontwikkelaars met gedegen CSS-kennis, en is het uitermate lastig die te vinden.

In de afgelopen week heb ik niet minder dan vijf aanvragen gekregen voor juniors die in vaste dienst willen treden of een freelance-klus van minimaal een maand willen aannemen. Helaas heb ik Nee moeten verkopen, omdat mijn netwerk op dit moment uitgeput is.

Vandaar dat ik met spoed op zoek ben naar mensen die CSS grondig onder de knie hebben, een eerste of tweede schrede willen zetten op een carrièrepad als professioneel webontwikkelaar, en die per direct beschikbaar zijn voor een vaste baan of een langdurige freelance-klus.

Herken je jezelf hierin, vul dan het formulier in en ik neem contact met je op.

IE 7: Three cheers for Molly Holzschlag and Chris Wilson

Permalink | in IE, WaSP
33 comments (closed)

As everybody and his dog know by now, IE 7 Beta 1 has been released. Read Chris Wilson's entry over on the IE Blog for the details. Since I do not have a copy of it, I will not discuss it in detail. It is my strict policy to discuss only browser features and bugs I've actually seen for myself. Expect a full report as soon as I've got it installed on my computer, but not before.

The MSIE team seems to have used my site for bug testing, although almost all discussed bugs come from Position is Everything, and rightly so, since Big John and Holly Bergevin have far more interesting and detailed bug reports than my own CSS section.

Meanwhile this good news is being overshadowed by an apparently quite vicious campaign against Molly Holzschlag, who seems to have had the temerity to suggest that the IE 7 beta is actually good news for web developers and the standards movement in general, a message that encounters quite a bit of resistance among web standards fascists.

continue reading

I declare my love to CSS

Permalink | in External publications

Micro-interview in Timo Wirth's ongoing "Falling in love with CSS" series: Peter-Paul Koch declares his love to CSS ...

Footnotes on the Web

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory
18 comments (closed)

While I was busy writing largish amounts of JavaScript for money and not paying attention to the wider world, everyone suddenly started talking about footnotes on the Web, a subject I happen to be highly interested in.

Back in 1998 I created my very first site, a summary of my research into the Thidrekssaga, and since it was supposed to be a scientific publication I needed a footnote system. I ended up using a footnote frame, and back then I was pretty impressed by my own creativity. Meanwhile the wow-factor of this solution has decreased rather dramatically.

Seven years later, four articles about footnotes caught my eye within about an hour.

continue reading

WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force

Permalink | in External publications, WaSP
11 comments (closed)

Today the WaSP announced the DOM Scripting Task Force of which I am a member. Its purpose is:

reaching out to standards-aware web developers who have not yet discovered the power of DOM Scripting and to experienced JavaScripters whose current practices do not include web standards and accessibility. In addition, the Task Force will provide accessible, cross-browser example scripts.

continue reading

...and we welcome Microsoft aboard

Permalink | in WaSP
4 comments (closed)

Today the Web Standards Project and Microsoft have announced the formation of a collaborative Task Force that will provide technical help in moving Microsoft products like Visual Studio and ASP.NET closer to web standards.

continue reading

ToughQuiz V

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
28 comments (closed)

A document uses XHTML 1.0 Strict. It contains a few <blockquote>s, and in Strict they are not allowed to have text nodes as children. Instead, any text in the element should be marked up in a block level element, for instance <p>. Initially the document satisfies this requirement.

After the document has loaded a script similar to Simon Willison's Blockquote Citations runs in the document and adds the content of the cite attribute of each <blockquote> to the visible text of the quote. Due to an oversight of the programmer the script does not put this text in a block level element of its own. Now the <blockquote> has a text node as a child.

continue reading

Amsterdam JavaScript meeting

Permalink | in Conferences, Theory
4 comments (closed)

Last Sunday the Amsterdam JavaScript meeting was a moderate success. Among others, Bobby van der Sluis, Anne van Kesteren and Faruk Ateş attended, and we had some interesting discussions.

continue reading

Three JavaScript articles and one best practice

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory
26 comments (closed)

It's getting busy on the JavaScript front. For a good overview of what's happening right now you should read the three articles I mention below. They discuss different aspects of the change JavaScript is going through at the moment. As an extra I've thrown in a little trick I've been using quite a lot lately.

continue reading

JavaScript bijeenkomst te Amsterdam

Permalink | in Conferences, Nederlands

Op zondag 26 juni vanaf 15:00 uur vindt er te Amsterdam een kleine JavaScript bijeenkomst plaats, georganiseerd door Bobby van der Sluis en mezelf.

Er is geen echt programma; we gaan gewoon wat met elkaar drinken, wat over JavaScript praten en we zien verder wel wat er uit komt.

Locatie: Café De Jaren, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20-22, Amsterdam, vlakbij de Munt. Tram 4, 9, 16, 24 of 25 vanaf het Centraal Station, bij de Munt uitstappen, links de brug over de smalle straat in en dan kom je er vanzelf.

Ik hoop daar een paar van mijn Nederlandstalige lezers te treffen.

Nog steeds junior webontwikkelaars gezocht

Permalink | in Nederlands

Wegens een recente en interessante uitbreiding van mijn netwerk ben ik met vernieuwde ijver op zoek naar junior webontwikkelaars die een eerste of tweede stap in hun carrière willen zetten en op termijn uit willen groeien tot gespecialiseerde, professionele client side programmeurs (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).

continue reading

Chinese English

Permalink | in Fun

English as written by Chinese companies never ceases to amaze. Today I bought new trousers, which turn out to be Chinese (hence not very expensive), but after reading and re-reading the text on the label for ten minutes I still don't understand it, and I doubt whether anyone merely English-speaking can.

continue reading

ToughQuiz IV

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
19 comments (closed)

Again a question about foldout menus. These menus fold out when the user mouses over a main link that contains a submenu. This is a sacred tradition, and therefore mandatory: users who know these menus expect them to work onmouseover, and will get confused when they don't.

The question for today is: when should the submenus fold in? You can pick more than one answer.

continue reading

Ajax Summit

Permalink | in Conferences, Theory
1 comments (closed)

There seems to have been a (badly covered) "Ajax Summit" organised by O'Reilly and Adaptive Path. Could be interesting. Scott Andrew has the details.

Peter-Paul-Koch is currently not defined

Permalink | in Fun

By coincidence I found this page that states:

Peter-Paul-Koch is currently not defined

I have to disagree; I'm perfectly well defined. Nonetheless it's heartening to see other people worry about my state of definition, even if they add an extra dash to my name for good measure.

Three articles and one site

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory
15 comments (closed)

In the past few days three excellent JavaScript articles have been written that I agree with so completely I have to mention and quote them. In addition, there's one excellent JavaScript site that I discovered months ago but haven't yet come around to mentioning.

continue reading

ToughQuiz III

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
25 comments (closed)

While creating a mainstream site, the development team discusses ways and means of adding a foldout menu to the site. There are four opinions. Which one is correct?

continue reading

ToughQuiz II

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
16 comments (closed)

Two questions revolving around the :after{content: } construct. There are three possible answers that apply to both questions. Remember that this construct doesn't work in all browsers.

continue reading

ToughQuiz I

Permalink | in ToughQuiz
23 comments (closed)

A product page contains many products and their descriptions, plus one element with an order form. A script hides the order form by means of element.style.display = 'none'. Does this action change the page structure?

continue reading

Ajax, promise or hype?

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory, XMLHTTP
37 comments (closed)

When I first read Jesse James Garrett's article Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications my reactions were "What a silly name", and "Not really new, is it?" Although both points of critique have been repeatedly and heatedly mentioned in the ensuing discussion, the concept seems to be taking the Web development community by storm. This can mean one of two things: either it's a promise or it's a hype. To decide the case, I offer an annotated link dump.

continue reading

Forum members and lightbulbs

Permalink | in Fun

Found this one through Arjan on annoyances.org. Although it's funny, it's also a sad comment on the general state of affairs on forums, mailing lists, blogs and other places of social interaction. There are too many silly people who just want to be heard, regardless of the lack of quality of their remarks. Sometimes I'm tempted to instate really strict comment moderation.

Q: How many forum members does it takes to change a light bulb?

continue reading

XMLHTTP linkdump

Permalink | in Linkdump, XMLHTTP
10 comments (closed)

Since XMLHTTP is becoming more and more important I thought I'd create a linkdump, both for my own future reference and for other developers. Additions and comments will be gratefully accepted.

continue reading

"JavaScript triggers" — wrapping it up

Permalink | in Theory
30 comments (closed)

My JavaScript triggers article and J. David Eisenberg's accompanying Validating a Custom DTD article, have caused quite a few comments, both on and off the ALA forums. Some of these comments are interesting enough to repeat and to discuss further in a rather long entry.

continue reading

Article "JavaScript triggers" in A List Apart

Permalink | in External publications

Today (one day earlier than I expected) A List Apart published my first article in more than four years. It's called JavaScript triggers and it's about JavaScript triggers — and if you don't know what JavaScript triggers are you need to read the article.

continue reading

DHTML != DOM

Permalink | in Theory
11 comments (closed)

In his DHTML is dead. Long live DOM Scripting entry, Jeremy Keith proposes to rename "DHTML" to "DOM scripting", because "DHTML" is a buzzword and because (apparently) DHTML and DOM are roughly the same.

I don't agree. I see DHTML and DOM as two more-or-less separate layers of JavaScript that have more-or-less separate purposes.
As to the buzzword problem, that's our own fault. We should solve it ourselves, and not by changing names.

continue reading

2005: The year of data retrieval

Permalink | in Theory
23 comments (closed)

With http://map.search.ch for a case study, Simon Willison announced, and Dave Shea confirmed, that 2005 is going to be the year of JavaScript, that our beloved language is going to hit the big time again, though, one hopes, in a more responsible way than in 1998. I fully agree, but I'd like to add a few comments, and try to narrow down the questions a bit.

continue reading

The six patron saints of graphic design

Permalink | in Fun

The six patron saints of graphic design by Lynn Garrett. Very funny, and it accurately captures the spirit of Catholic hagiography.

NL-artikel: Structuur in de chaos

Permalink | in External publications, Nederlands

lang="nl" Nieuw artikel op Naar Voren: Structuur in de chaos. Hoe zet je een XHTML-pagina op die voldoende aanhaakpunten biedt voor CSS en JavaScript?

Junior webontwikkelaars gezocht

Permalink | in Nederlands

lang="nl" Voor enkele van mijn klanten in Amsterdam ben ik op zoek naar goede junior webontwikkelaars met gedegen CSS-kennis. Zoek je werk, hetzij een vaste baan, hetzij freelance-opdrachten, en heeft CSS geen geheimen voor je? Lees dan verder.

Spam

Permalink | in Fun

Received today:

Become a legally ordained minister within 48 hours

As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church!

Perform Weddings, Funerals, Perform Baptisms, Forgiveness of Sins
Visit Correctional Facilities

Want to start your own church?

I subscribed forthwith. The prospect of forgiving sins while visiting correctional facilities, especially, is alluring.

Web Applications, promise or hype?

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory
0 comments (closed)

The new buzz word is definitely "Web Applications". Unfortunately, recent publications on this topic are extremely confusing. Web applications require a massive deployment of JavaScript, but everybody skilfully pretends they don't. Besides, I haven't yet found out what Web applications are because no one has bothered to define them.

Are Web Applications here to stay, or are they just another hype?
See Dave Shea's Web Apps are Hot for an overview of recent publications. See also Joel Spolski's perceptive How Microsoft Lost the API War article.

continue reading

Dummy

Permalink | in Archives

Dummy entry to get the Archives category working.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
Atom RSS

I’m speaking at the following conferences:

(Data from Lanyrd)

Categories:

Monthlies: