Elsewhere monthlies

This is the monthly archive for February 2008.

26 February 2008

WCAG Samurai Errata for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0

Joe's Samurai have published the long-awaited Errata List. The first thing that struck me is that the list is so short. To me, that's a sure sign of excellence.

Accessibility | Permalink

25 February 2008

State of the Secrets

Details on John's new book. One more to pick up.

Books | Permalink

24 February 2008

WaSP IE8 Round Table Discussion

Chris Wilson spars with Aaron Gustafson, Faruk Ates and Porter Glendinning of WaSP. Interesting ideas were proposed.

IE, Theory | Permalink

21 February 2008

Common Bonds

Eric reminds us of an important point that seems to be forgotten in the versioning switch debate:

We all care about the same thing.

[...] The disagreement is over how best to get there given the situation we face now, as well as how we perceive that current situation. [...]

Sometimes what binds us is strong enough that the few differences seem sharper by comparison. That shouldn’t keep us from remembering what we have in common, and the importance of that commonality.

I have nothing to add.

IE, Theory | Permalink

Thoughts on browser version targeting

Richard Rutter agrees with the versioning switch and the default.

Pity the Internet Explorer developers working their arses off to add great standards support to their browser, only for that work to manifest itself on but a tiny proportion of web sites. Bit of thankless job, if you ask me, but I hope they stick at it.

Exactly! It's commonly forgotten that the versioning switch was introduced because the IE team wants web standards.

IE, Theory | Permalink

Version Targeting: Threat or Menace?

Zeldman once more defends the versioning switch.

With DOCTYPE switching, “off by default” means “in (non-standards) quirks mode.” With version targeting it means “the same way IE7 rendered this content.” The behavior is the same in both cases: if you want improved rendering, you opt in.

Exactly! True, doctypes are also used to define the flavour of (X)HTML you're using, but that means that the IE versioning switch is better than doctype switching, since it's only meant for determining a browser version to run in.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that standards-aware web developers behave like little children. They want what they want, and they want it now!

IE, Theory | Permalink

They Shoot Browsers, Don't They?

Jeremy continues the argument against the versioning switch. Although he agrees that versioning switching by itself will be a useful tool, he still disagrees with the default.

This strategy is doomed to failure. Standards-aware developers, by their very nature, will object to adding a line of unnecessary markup to their documents just to get one single browser to behave as it should by default.

My question is: why do they object? What's the problem with adding a single line of code to placate IE? Right now we're writing whole style sheets with that goal in mind. (Besides, not all standards-aware web developers object.)

All in all he does not entirely convince me.

IE, Theory | Permalink

DOM Scripting: A Web Standard

The deed is finally done: the WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force, mainly noted for its unnoticeability, has been disbanded.

Jeremy and I first discussed this back in October, and again in November. We were agreed that there was no more need for this Task Force, and several other members agreed with us.

Early this month I began to become a bit impatient. I decided to act on my own and sent a mail of resignation to the TF, only to have it rejected by the mail server because it was obviously Nigerian spam!

It was at that precise moment in time that I gave up on WaSP. Childish, I know, but it's a fitting symbol of what's wrong with WaSP.

I sent on my mail to Jeremy and Dori privately, and unsubscribed from the TF mailing list in a fit of pique. Now it turns out that they've done the right thing.

As Jeremy says, DOM scripting still needs a lot of work, but we don't need the Task Force for that.

WaSP | Permalink

Comparing Document Position

Two years ago I wrote an entry about compareDocumentPosition() and how it can overcome Firefox's annoying disregard of the useful contains() method.

Now it turns out that John Resig has been studying compareDocumentPosition() ever since, and has come up with a way to emulate it in IE. As usual with such ideas, once you understand what's going on it's extremely simple and you're left wondering "why didn't I think of this?".

While he was at it he also rewrote my getElementsByTagNames() function.

Great work.

DOM | Permalink

13 February 2008

Constructors considered mildly confusing

More data on constructors and prototypes. For me it's hard to follow since I don't know Java so I can't judge how much (or little) JavaScript resembles Java.

Core | Permalink

11 February 2008

XPath Overnight

John discusses XPath and its place in JavaScript libraries. Although in general XPath seems to be fast, he's worried about encountering incompatibility problems. These problems might mean that all libraries need both an XPath module and a regular DOM module for the forseeable future, which makes maintenance harder.

Browsers, Libraries | Permalink

Five things to do to a script before handing it over to the next developer

Chris explains the five steps you have to take before turning any of your own scripts over to the next guy.

  1. Put all style definitions in the CSS file and just change class names.
  2. Rewrite all code that might impair execution speed.
  3. Put all class names and other configurable data in a separate config object.
  4. Make sure your variable names are human-readable.
  5. Comment (including your name)

I suppose that most of my scripts don't obey every single of these five steps. Let's keep them in mind when I publish a new one.

JavaScript, Theory | Permalink

Yahoo! Makes Good Call on Microsoft Purchase

Thomas discusses Microsoft's bid on Yahoo! and notes that the two company cultures are so far apart it's almost impossible to merge them. That's not an argument against a take-over, as far as business people are concerned, but it will be extremely important for Yahoo!'s employees.

If the take-over takes place, many of the best and brightest Yahooligans might decide to switch to another company. Which one will be best placed to receive them.

Google ... ?

Business | Permalink

How I built an effective blog comment spam blocker

Jonathan shares his tips and tricks for building a good comment spam blocker. Some are obvious, others less so.

Blogging | Permalink

The Performance Paradox

John talks about performance testing JavaScript libraries and how not to go about it.

JavaScript, Performance, Tests, Theory | Permalink


See the January 2008 archive.

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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