Latest Writing & Things of Interest

March 14, 2019

Link: The web we broke.

A sobering post from Ethan Marcotte. I somehow missed the WebAIM report he referenced, but fully agree with his conclusion that web accessibility is absolutely vital. I also agree that the best way to fight for it is by starting small, but (hopefully) ramping up quickly. Focus on your areas of interest, connect with a few people, and get the work started. If we get some momentum going, I think we’ll all be able to build a better, more accessible and inclusive web for the world.

My personal area of interest happens to be email, and accessibility and inclusion has been the focus of my last few talks (and a few upcoming ones, too). I’ll keep writing about it (new book perhaps?) and evangelizing the good stuff. I hope you’ll join in, too.

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February 1, 2019

Link: HTML, CSS, and Our Vanishing Industry Entry Points

This post from Rachel Andrew has been making the rounds and for good reason. It sums up a lot of what too few of us are thinking about (or at least being vocal about). A few choice quotes:

Everyone is angry about CSS again. I’m not even going to try to summarize the arguments. However it always seems to boil down to the fact that CSS is simultaneously too easy to bother with, yet so hard it needs to be wrapped up in a ball of JavaScript in case it scares the horses.

I have done this before within the last year or two and it’s still very powerful:

There is something remarkable about the fact that, with everything we have created in the past 20 years or so, I can still take a complete beginner and teach them to build a simple webpage with HTML and CSS, in a day. We don’t need to talk about tools or frameworks, learn how to make a pull request or drag vast amounts of code onto our computer via npm to make that start. We just need a text editor and a few hours. This is how we make things show up on a webpage.

And finally, this:

I might be the “old guard” but if you think I’m incapable of learning React, or another framework, and am defending my way of working because of this, please get over yourself. However, 22 year old me would have looked at those things and run away. If we make it so that you have to understand programming to even start, then we take something open and enabling, and place it back in the hands of those who are already privileged. I have plenty of fight left in me to stand up against that.

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January 15, 2019

Link: The Ethics of Web Performance

This is a good post from Tim Kadlec on how web performance can affect others, and our collective ethical obligation to those people. Another good reminder that, even if we’re not in a larger strategy position at big companies, we still have the power to change the world in smaller (but still important) ways. Let’s change it for the better.

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