- New Recommendations for Ecommerce Images – Jason Grigsby
- Subheadings, subtitles, alternative titles and taglines in HTML – the Definitive Answer from the John Wick of semantic markup, Steve Faulkner
- The New CSS – by Mathias Ott
- Mobile Testing – “an amalgamation of accepted mobile site accessibility testing standards from around the world
- Fit-to-Width Text – “What if I will tell you how we could solve fit-to-width text with pure CSS without any hardcoded parameters?” This is filthy, and very clever. A bit like me, really.
- Sticky content: focus in view This post discusses how you can keep controls behind sticky content visible and usable when they receive focus.
- How tiny, cheap smart speakers unlocked the rise of digital payments in India – Vegetable carts, flower shops, mom-and-pop stores whose vendors are illiterate use ‘sound boxes’ to confirm receipts to speed up ‘checkout’ – and get fintech more customers.
- Noramoji – Hand-drawn characters from signs found at shops throughout Japan become font data whose sales go back to sign owners & help preserve the local townscape.
- An introduction to @scope in CSS – styling based on proximity and setting a lower boundary for a selector.
- The gotchas of CSS Nesting (often more trouble than it’s worth if you ask me, but you didn’t)
- Solving the CSS layout and source order disconnect – “Your feedback is wanted on a proposed solution for the problem of layout methods arranging items in an order that is disconnected from the source of the document”
- New accessibility guidelines available from The Washington Post
- How to make a QR code with Stable Diffusion and lots of trial and error
- Employers losing ‘key’ workers because of forced return to office – Of employers who forced staff back to the office, 42% said “attrition” was higher than normal, 21% said the move had actually lost them some of their key staff. 29% were now “struggling” to recruit altogether. Who could have foreseen this?
- The History of Fire Escapes – “While thinking a lot about dependencies and disaster plans, I started noticing the fire escapes that are a staple of New York City buildings. The result was a talk called The History of Fire Escapes.
Archive for June, 2023
- FCC Requires Video Conferencing Accessibility & Proposes ASL Support – yay.
- A Heart-felt Apology and a Chance to Start Again from AccessiBe, overlay maker. Hurray!
- Meanwhile, AudioEye Is Suing Me – totally definitely NOT an overlay maker, AudioEye, is suing Adrian Roselli. Boooo.
- Overlays – Web Accessibility for Business Owners Dan Payne has a soothing voice and doesn’t swear or thump the table when explaining why accessibility overlays aren’t the panacea they often pretend to be.
- Amazon Luna will drop Windows and Mac apps as it ‘doubles down’ on web app – “We saw customers were spending significantly more time playing games on Luna using their web browsers than on native PC and Mac apps. When we see customers love something, we double down. We optimized the web browser experience with the full features and capabilities offered in Luna’s native desktop apps”
- Talking of which, News from WWDC23: WebKit Features in Safari 17 beta – “Web apps are coming to Mac”. No news of the View Transitions spec or meaningful browser choice on iThings.
- Web Apps on macOS Sonoma 14 Beta – some tech notes by Thomas Steiner
- A series of hands‐on guides to assitive technology and accessibility testing
- 11 HTML best practices for login & sign-up forms – includes the evergreen “All clickables should use button or a, not div or span”. Sadly, there are people allowed within 14 miles of the front end who still need to be told this.
- Fieldsets, Legends and Screen Readers again – Steve “Chuckles” Faulkner updated his 15 year old blog post.
- Semantics and the popover attribute: what to use when? – Hidde on the new HTML attribute named after one of my favourite Soviet constructivist artists, Lyubov Sergeyevna Popova (Любо́вь Серге́евна Попо́ва). I like things like popover, dialog, details and summary – they’re common pains for people who use keyboards or assistive tech, and have often prompted “Full-stack” developers (as opposed to Web Developers) to drag in libraries and frameworks in order to implement them.
- The Industrial Hammer Complex – What we actually have is an industrial complex bent on manufacturing only hammers, committed to convincing you that only nails exist, and motivated to sell you a lifetime hammer subscription!” I recently investigated a page that had different spinners for each block (header, footer, nav – because MiCrOsErViCeS!!!). It preloaded loads of WebRTC framework, OAuth shit (because SPAs are gReAT!!) and an SVG logo (that contained a 1.6MB bitmap). All this, to show a login form, which took 45 secs over 3G.
- Boring Report is an app that aims to remove sensationalism from the news. In today’s world, catchy headlines and articles often distract readers from the actual facts and relevant information.” Using AI, Boring Report processes exciting news articles and transforms them so readers focus on the essential details and minimises the impact of sensationalism.
- Google’s Open Source AI Tool Is a Major Step Forward for Accessibility in Gaming – “Project Gameface uses your head and facial movements to control a mouse cursor.”
- US Agency Releases Free Stock Photos of People With Disabilities
- When digital nomads come to town -“Cities from Canggu to Medellín are welcoming tech workers, but locals complain they’re being priced out. The digital nomads’ visits are transitory, but they leave neighborhoods permanently transformed. Today, there are streets in Medellín, as in Mexico City or Canggu, that look more like Bushwick — where English is more common than the local language. Building exteriors retain their historic character, but interiors converge to a sterile homogeneity of hotdesking, free charging outlets, affordable coffee, and Wi-Fi with purchase.”
- Rishi Sunak alt text tweet criticised for misusing accessibility feature – #AltTextGate
- Kenny Log In – “GENERATE A SECURE PASSWORD FROM THE LYRICS OF AMERICA’S GREATEST SINGER SONGWRITER”
My chum Stuart is a civic-minded sort of chap, so he drew my attention to Birmingham’s strategic plan for 2040. There’s a lot to be commended in the plan’s main aims (although it’s a little light on detail, but that’s a ‘strategy’, I guess). However, we noticed that it was hard to find on the Council website (subsequently rectified and linked from the cited page).
I was also a bit grumpy that it is circulated as a 43 MB PDF document, which is a massive download, especially for poorer members of the population who are more likely to be using phones than a desktop computer (PDF, lol), and more likely to have pay-as-you-go data plans (PDF, ROFL) which are more expensive per megabyte than contracts.
PDFs are designed for print so don’t resize for phone screens, requiring tedious horizontal scrolling–potentially a huge barrier for some people with disabilities, and a massive pain in the arse for everyone. For people who don’t read English well, PDFs are harder for translation software to access, so I’ve made an accessible HTML version of the Shaping Our City Together document.
I haven’t included the images, which are lovely but heavy, for two reasons. The first is that many are created by someone called Tim Cornbill and I don’t want to infringe their copyright. Some of the illustrations are captioned “This concept image is an artist’s impression to stimulate discussion, it does not represent a fixed proposal or plan”, so I decided they were not content but presentational and therefore unnecessary.
Talking of copyright, the document is apparently Crown Copyright. Why? I helped pay for it with my Council tax. Furthermore, I am warned that “Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings”, so if Birmingham Council want me to take this down, I will. But given that the report talks glowingly of the contribution made to the city’s history by The Poors and The Foreigns, it seems a bit remiss to have excluded them from a consultation about the City’s future.
Because I am not a designer, the page is lightly laid out with Alvaro Montoro’s “Almond CSS” stylesheet. I am, however, an accessibility consultant. The Council could hire me to sort out more of their documents (so could you!).