End of the line for Uber – Cory Doctorow on Uber’s probable demise. The saddest thing about Uber (and Airbnb) is they *could* have been good ideas if they actually were about real people’s spare capacity meeting some genuine excess demand. But (perhaps inevitably) they turned into hideous Silicon Valley monsters.
Link ‘o the week: Safari isn’t protecting the web, it’s killing it – also featuring “Safari is killing the web through show-stopping bugs” eg, IndexedDB, localStorage, 100vh, Fetch requests skipping the service worker, and all your other favourites. Sort it out, NotSteve.
Do App Store Rules Matter? – “half of the revenue comes from just 0.5% of the users … last year, Apple made $7-8bn in commission revenue from perhaps 5m people spending over $450 a quarter on in-app purchases in games. Apple has started talking a lot about helping you use your iPhone in more healthy ways, but that doesn’t seem to extend to the app store.”
One-offs and low-expectations with Safari – “Jen Simmons solicited some open feedback about WebKit, asking what they might “need to add / change / fix / invent to help you?” … If I could ask for anything, it’d be that Apple loosen the purse strings and let Webkit be that warehouse for web innovation that it was a decade ago.” by Dave Rupert
Intent to Ship: CSS Overflow scrollbar-gutter – Tab Atkins explains “the space that a scrollbar *would* take up is always reserved regardless, so it doesn’t matter whether the scrollbar pops in or not. You can also get the same space reserved on the other side for visual symmetry if you want.”
Homepage UX – 8 Common Pitfalls starring 75% with carousels implement them badly (TL;DR: don’t bother); 22% hide the Search field; 35% don’t implement country and language selection correctly; 43% don’t style clickable interface elements effectively
WVG – Web Vector Graphics – a proof of concept spec from yer man @Hixie on a vector graphics format for Flutter (whatever that is). Interesting discussions on design decisions and trade offs.
My Life in the Apple Ecosystem – “But change is coming, whether or not Apple wants it. And boy, Apple deserves having those changes forced onto it, given how badly they’ve treated their developer community for so many years.”
Chromium spelling and grammar features – “My first project has been implementing the new CSS spelling and grammar features in Chromium”. A deep dive that might help answer your question “How hard can it be to implement [my pet feature]?”
What’s New in Android Accessibility – TL;DR: Samsung and Google now collaborate on Talkback; You can now talk to Talkback. For deaf people: live transcription of conversations in 80 languages; an app to amplify certain frequencies of sound in real time (eg, a hearing aid); teachable app that can monitor environmental sound and alert you, eg of fire alarm/ dog barking/ your doorbell ringing. Lots of technology (crypto, surveillance, Facebook) makes the world worse, but the liberating tech on devices is a massive boon for people with disabilities.
Finger spelling uses your webcam and machine learning to analyze your hand shapes so you can learn to sign the American Sign Language alphabet. Made by American Society for Disabled Children; “We believe that deafness is not a disability, but language deprivation is.”
The talent race is also an ethical race – “good candidates are increasingly dubious of Big Tech’s ethical credentials … technologists know the industry intimately and recognize that toxic companies can blight a résumé” by Cennydd Bowles
Link o’ the Week: Accessible Text Labels For All – Sara Soueidan “On improving eCommerce experiences for screen reader users without breaking them for speech-input users”
The F-word, episode 10 in which Vadim and I ruthlessly interrogate Eric Meyer about joining Igalia, what’s coming, CSS Nesting and Cascading Layers
Form design “Best practice, research insights and examples”
The End of AMP – “Google announcing that sites with passing core web vitals will receive a ranking boost on mobile. However, there is another important item in the update – the end of special treatment for AMP pages.”
Web in Play with Bubblewrap – Learn how to transform your Progressive Web App into an Android package with Trusted Web Activity and Bubblewrap.
The end of Applets – This year we bade farewell to Flash, and Applet APIs are to be removed from Java. Interoperable open standards for the win!
Overlay Fact Sheet – Factsheet about deceptive accessibility “repair” overlays (signed by me and 300+ other people in the industry)
AccessiByeBye! – Chrome extension to block overlays like AccessiBe, EqualWeb, MaxAccess, and UserWay.
Survey of Web Accessibility Practitioners #3 Results – “Web accessibility practitioners have notably higher average salaries on average than those reported on the 2020 Stack Overflow developer survey.” Personally, I do it for the drugs, groupies and glory rather than the riches.
Technology sector trust decline deepens – ” the main reason for the trust fall is the increasingly “complicated” relationship between the public and technology — including the spread of misinformation, rising privacy alarm and bias in artificial intelligence.”
Improving React Native Accessibility – “Since May, Facebook has spent that time thoughtfully reviewing and documenting accessibility gaps within React Native. So far the gap analysis has surfaced 90 issues, all of which have been translated to Github issues. Overall, we found that React Native APIs provide strong support for accessibility. However, we also found many core components do not yet fully utilize platform accessibility APIs and support is missing for some platform specific features.”
Launching the Facebook Map “Neighborhoods, parks, and social places are emphasized over “traditional” features like road networks … Our base map design with pale colors and no icons allows overlaid social layers that use more saturated colors to come to the foreground.”
Introducing the Framework Laptop – “the Framework Laptop, a thin, lightweight, high-performance 13.5” notebook that can be upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways that no other notebook can. We’re here to prove that designing products to last doesn’t require sacrificing performance, quality, or style.”
The UX on this small child is terrible – “Not only am I VP of Reproduction for this household, but I’ve also been the end-user of this Small Child for over three years now. I’m going to give it to you straight. The user experience is terrible.”
Trusted Web Activity – “a new way to open your web-app content such as your Progressive Web App (PWA) from your Android app”. Basically, get your PWA in the App Store, create a feedback channel via ratings and reviews, use Play Billing.
The F-Word episode 9 – Vadders and I discuss Safari extensions, cascading layers of CSS, what’s new in WCAG 3
“Allow this app to personalize advertising for you?” – “Apple defines privacy in a way that benefits its own commercial interests and harms the commercial interests of its competitors. Apple has wrapped its arms around the open internet with a privacy bear hug that is designed to entrench and enrich its own closed ecosystem.”