Category: Miscellanea

The Changing Form of the Web Browser

I wrote an article, The Changing Form of the Web Browser, for rehabstudio (my employer). It’s about the present and near-future of the web browser, in a market where the consumption of information and services is shifting. It’s quite a long piece, and necessarily broad for a non-technical audience, so there is perhaps a lack of nuance in its conclusions. Still, I’m quite proud of it, a lot of research and writing was involved.

There’s an extract below, but I suggest you read the whole thing in context if you can.

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Happy Ada Lovelace Day

Rachel Andrew. Relly Annet-Baker. Naomi Atkinson. Alice Bartlett. Frances Berriman. Jina Bolton. Alice Boxhall. Tiffany B. Brown. Sara Chipps. Geri Coady. Anna Debenham. Hannah Donovan. Natalie Downe. Sylvia Eggers. Fantasai. Morena Fiore-Kirby. Zoe Mickley Gillenwater. Kristina Halvorson. Jessica Hische. Lara Callender Hogan. Molly Holzschlag. Denise Jacobs. Sally Jenkinson. Laura Kalbag. Erin Kissane. Johanna Kollmann. Gemma Leigh. Inayaili de León. Jenn Lukas. Divya Manian. Katie Marcus. Louise McComiskey. Karen McGrane. Rachel Nabors. Sarah Parmenter. Soledad Penadés. Yesenia Perez-Cruz. Leisa Reichelt. Stephanie Rieger. Natasha Rooney. Stephanie Sullivan Rewis. Linda Sandvik. Kristina Schneider. Marinda Sephton. Rachel Shillcock. Jenn Simmons. Sara Soueidan. Nicole Sullivan. Henny Swan. Kat Thompson. Lea Verou. Sara Wachter-Boettcher. Estelle Weyl. Denise Wilton.

Just some of the many women makers of the web who I’ve met, worked with, seen speaking, read, or followed their work. We’d all be poorer without their contributions.

CSS Variables: Access Custom Properties with JavaScript

The recent release of Firefox 31 brought an implementation of CSS Variables. Based on that, Daniel Imms wrote an interesting post, What CSS Variables Can Do That Preprocessors Can’t, where he investigates a few use cases for native variables over those provided by pre-processors like Sass and LESS (there’s a common argument that CSS variables are unnecesary as we already have them, and more flexibly, in pre-processors).

In this article I’m going to expand on Daniel’s article a little, showing an advantage of CSS Variables that he doesn’t talk about in detail: interacting with them using JavaScript.

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Voyeurism: Mutation and Object Observers

I don’t write much in the way of production-ready code at the moment, so some of the cooler recent developments in JavaScript have passed me by. In this post I want to address that with a look at a couple of nice new(-ish) features: mutation observers and object observers.

I remember reading about mutation observers a little while ago, but didn’t pay them too much attention as they didn’t have broad browser support and weren’t immediately useful to me. When I recently saw object observers land in Chrome (36) Beta, I realised that I should go back and learn about them. So I did.

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Speech Synthesis: Web Speech API, part one

It can’t have escaped your notice that iOS7 was recently released, and with it a new version of Safari. Among many additions and changes to its standards support comes (partial) implementation of the new Web Speech API. This API has two core features: speech recognition, which uses a web service to transcribe voice input; and speech synthesis, which uses system libraries to output an artificial voice. Safari for iOS7 brings support for the latter, so I’m going to briefly explain through how that works.

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Switching from native to web apps: an experiment

I recently had call to do a factory reset on my phone, and as I began the process of reinstalling all my apps again decided to try an experiment instead: to see if mobile web apps (or, sites) were up to the job of replacing native apps. With the forthcoming release of Firefox OS this is something I’ve been very curious about, but within days I was back to using native again. I’ll explain why, but lay out some of the more positive findings before I do. Note that I was using Chrome on Android for my experiment, but I think the findings should hold true for most browser and OS combos.

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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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