Archive for February, 2014

Reading List

Monday meh: Android “fragmentation”

Welcome to the first in an occasional series called “Monday meh”, in which I briefly fulminate about something that made me a bit grumpy.

Occasionally, web pundits complain about Android fragmentation. “Fragmentation” is Punditese for “oh dear me, I hate diversity because it makes my job so hard”.

If there were only iPhones, the job of web developers would be much easier. But, of course, most people in the world would then have no access to the Web. Call me “Captain Priority of Constituencies” if you want, but denying most of the world access to the Web in order to make a few people’s lives easier is what computer scientists term “getting it wrong” and “missing the point”.

It’s like being a bartender and complaining that your job would be so much easier if no customers ever bothered you while you’re polishing glasses and reading your Mixology books.

Disagree? Please meh my meh.

(Last Updated on 27 February 2014)

Reading List

Bridging the gap between native and web

  • Installable web apps by PPK: “The mobile browser “bookmark function should become “install and place an icon on the home screen. This icon starts up the web page or web app; likely from local memory.” Good article, though I disagree with the idea that the web app is a local copy – that’s re-inventing Widgets. It should be the live, instantly-updatable web site, “offlinerificated” with Service Workers.
  • Meanwhile, Google’s Paul Kinlan disagrees: Add to Home Screen Is Not What the Web Needs. Is It?
  • Manifest for bookmarking web applications draft spec
  • A Review of apps that use network information – research by @marcosc on whether such API on Web is needed (or possible)
  • The state of standalone apps on iOS – “we examined 360 web applications that claim to be capable of running “standalone” in iOS (i.e., the web application asserts that it’s usable outside the context of iOS’s default browser). We put those claims to the test by manually checking if the apps could, in fact, be used as standalone.”
  • Service Worker + Push API – “outlines an API which integrates with the Service Worker to enable delivery of push messages to applications which do not have visible tabs”
  • Media playback restrictions in Blink – “Blink and WebKit have a setting for requiring a “user gesture to play or pause an audio or video element … this gets in the way of reasonable use cases like games or playlists, and developers are not impressed … as an experiment we’ve removed the restrictions in Opera beta for Android. However, I’ve also found a workaround for current browsers.”