Category: DOM

Web Components: concerns and opportunities

On the 21st of March I had the pleasure of participating in the Web Components panel at Edge Conf, and the privilege of giving the introduction to the panel. I’m a strong advocate of Web Components and it was great to be able to provide my opinion on them, alongside some real experts in the field, as well as hear questions and feedback from the community. The main concern which was raised is that, as developers create their own elements, some important considerations — accessibility not least — could get forgotten about.

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Web platform technologies in Safari 6.1 and 7

At the recent unveiling of OSX Mavericks Apple also announced Safari 7, with greatly improved web standards support. It was left a little unclear as to which versions of OSX it would run on, but browsing through their developer area this week I found a downloadable pre-release of Safari 6.1, which I think clears that up: it seems Safari 7 will be exclusive to Mavericks, while 6.1 will run on Lion and Mountain Lion, with all of the web standards support of Safari 7, but only a limited set of new features.

As both versions are a major update for the browser, bringing almost a year’s worth of WebKit updates, I thought it would be useful to take a look through the new and updated features in each, as well as trying to identify where they differ.

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JavaScript: The Selectors API

JavaScript libraries like jQuery and Prototype are amazing; flexible and powerful, they standardise processes and make cross-browser scripting really easy. I rarely work on a project nowadays where a library isn’t used.

Their ease-of-use has a slight drawback, however: it’s easy to rely on them too much, and lose sight of new developments in JavaScript. This was the reason for my not really paying much attention to an exciting recent introduction, the Selectors API, until I had cause to use it on a personal project.

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Very quick equal-height columns in jQuery

I’m having a bit of a love affair with jQuery, the Javascript library, at the moment. I know my way around JS but am far from an expert, so jQuery’s simple syntax is a godsend for me, and provides huge savings in my development time.

One quick technique I used yesterday was to make three elements of equal height; it’s very simple and won’t cope with dynamic content, but is perfectly suitable for simple page layouts.

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Firefox (Gran Paradiso) 3a7: -moz-initial and forms

Recently I was chatting with Rapha Martins, and he mentioned a feature he’d like to see in CSS: a ‘default’ value for properties; that is, if you change the value of a property, a keyword that would change it back to the browser default rather than you having to specify that value again.

That has been proposed for CSS 3, with the ‘initial’ value, and it’s been introduced into the latest preview of Firefox 3 (Gran Paradiso), with the browser-specific -moz- prefix. I’ve put together a quick couple of basic examples of how it will work (you will, obviously, need the latest preview to see them).

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CSS in emails, HTML vs XHTML, and more

I’m back from my holiday, with a quick look at some of the links I would have discussed in more detail had I been here…

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Aside

I’ve updated my Speaking page to include more conferences, more videos, and a little on my speaking requirements and preferences. I’m planning to cut down on the number of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to interesting offers and opportunities, so please get in touch if you’re organising an event.

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