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The Accessibility Project

Dave Rupert:

Introducing SimpleA11Y, an open source project that aims to make accessibility easier for front end developers.

Big ups to Dave for stepping up and shipping!

Preparing For A Front-End Job Interview

Yours truly:

Preparing for an interview as a front-end developer is hard. There is no “standard” interview, and what was relevant last year might no longer be relevant today. To make the process even more complicated, each company has its own way of interviewing prospective employees, its own desired skill set and its own duties for the incoming developer.

The interview process could be quick or drawn out. The process is out of your control, so don’t stress out too much about it. As long as you have given yourself the best possible chance of landing the job, that’s all you can do.
One thing to keep in mind: don’t be afraid to apply. Some job advertisements are worded to scare off some applicants and attract only the best of the best. If the job appeals to you and you meet the essential requirements, why not apply?

I wrote my first article for Smashing Magazine a little while ago. It’s now live.

Around friends and family using older browsers?

Addy Osmani:

If you’re around friends and family using older browsers this year, why not take a few minutes out to help them upgrade to an evergreen browser? Evergreen browsers are browsers with an automatic upgrade path (e.g Chrome, Firefox and Opera) and will mean that they can enjoy the best the web has to offer and avoid broken browser experiences in the future.

Just updating the family laptop. I hope you are as well…

SitePoint Podcast – The End

In this, the very last episode of the SitePoint Podcast, the extended panel of hosts and producers take a reminisce through their memories of the four years doing the podcast, what it has meant to them and how they will look back on it.

Thanks to all that shared their knowledge and helped me become a better developer. I was a big fan of the SitePoint Podcast. Sad to see it go, but I also feel like it was the right decision.

Dive into Flexbox

Greg Smith:

Authors have long been using tables, floats, inline-blocks, and other CSS properties to lay out their site content. However, none of these tools were designed for the complex webpages and webapps we are making nowadays. Simple things like vertical centering require work. Complex things like flexible grid layouts are so hard that it’s considered ambitious to roll your own, hence the success of CSS grid frameworks. Still, if so many projects needs to do these things, why can’t it just be easy? Flexbox aims to change all that.

Its going to be great to see this take over the internet in the not to distant future. If you want a head start then this article by Greg will help you lead the pack.

What I Learnt Building Twitter Bootstrap

Jacob Thornton:

Today Bootstrap is really fucking popular. However, what people often don’t realize is that despite its popularity, and despite it being a “Twitter” project, it isn’t actually maintained by a team at Twitter (nor was it ever).

Bootstrap is (and has always been) maintained by two nerds who like to write code together. Just two nerds.

What’s more, this wasn’t something we did in the office – there was no “Bootstrap team” – no 20% time – just Mark and I hacking in our free time. And this is significant, because what building Bootstrap has taught me more than anything else, is that’s all I really care about.

Writing code with the homies.

These are the good times. Always will be, always have been.

WordPress 3.5 “Elvin”

If you’ve been around WordPress a while, the most dramatic new change you’ll notice is a completely re-imagined flow for uploading photos and creating galleries. Media has long been a friction point and we’ve listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system. 3.5 includes a new default theme, Twenty Twelve, which has a very clean mobile-first responsive design and works fantastic as a base for a CMS site. Finally we’ve spent a lot of time refreshing the styles of the dashboard, updating everything to be Retina-ready with beautiful high resolution graphics, a new color picker, and streamlining a couple of fewer-used sections of the admin.

Congrats to all that made this happen!

The Importance of Sensibility in Designers and Developers

Maykel Loomans:

Being sensible towards both design and engineering will allow you to work on awesome projects forever.

When we are thoughtful about creating — when we design, iterate, prototype, iterate — we can create better things. We can create great things.

When we are sensible towards both design and development, we can prioritise features, we have better insight into our process, and we will create a better product with the restraints we have.

Maykel bombarded my twitter feed the other day. Each tweet was well crafted and too the point. This post elaborates on his wise words.

In Defense of Descendant Selectors and ID Elements

Jeffrey Zeldman:

In this particular (and rare) circumstance, where dueling developers have added rule after rule to a huge, shapeless style sheet that is more of an archeological artifact than a reasonable example of modern code, Nicole’s admonition to avoid descendant selectors based on id is probably wise. If you have the misfortune to work on a huge, poorly developed site where you will never have permission to refactor the templates and CSS according to common sense and best practices, you may have to rely on class names and avoid descendant selectors and ids.

But under almost any other circumstance, properly used ids with descendant selectors are preferable because more semantic and lighter in bandwidth.

The old dog is back to stir the pot again.

Ratchet

Prototype iPhone apps with simple HTML, CSS and JS components.

Built by Dave Gamache, Connor Sears, and Jacob Thornton who all worked at Twitter once upon a time…

Using Sass source maps in WebKit Inspector

Lennart Schoors:

If you’re using Firefox and Sass you might have heard about FireSass, but Chrome users have been out of luck until recently. This is where source maps come into play. Source maps are a language-agnostic way of pointing your inspector to the right location in your unminified and uncombined files. Originally devised for JavaScript, they can equally be applied to CSS preprocessors.

A fairly recent commit enabled experimental support for Sass source maps in Chrome, so make sure you’re running at least Chrome 24.

Awesome! Well, thats if you are into the CSS preprocessor world.

The Infinite Grid

Chris Armstrong:

Grid systems are a key component of graphic design, but they’ve always been designed for canvases with fixed dimensions. Until now. Today we’re designing for a medium that has no fixed dimensions, a medium that can and will shape-shift to better suit its environment—a medium capable of displaying a single layout on a smartphone, a billboard in Times Square, and everything in between.

We’re designing for an infinite canvas—and for that, we need an infinite grid system.

Cracking read!

Contrast Ratio Tool

Lea Verou:

I was always interested in accessibility, but I never had to comply with any guidelines before. At W3C, accessibility is considered very important, so everything we make needs to pass WCAG 2.0 AA level. Therefore, I found myself calculating color contrast ratios very frequently.

There are plenty of tools out there for this. However, I found that my workflow for checking a contrast ratio with them was far from ideal. I had to convert my CSS colors to hex notation (which I don’t often use myself anymore), check the contrast ratio, then adjust the colors as necessary, covert again etc. In addition, I had to adjust the lightness of the colors with a blindfold, without being able to see the difference my adjustments would make to the contrast ratio. When using semi-transparent colors, it was even worse: Since WCAG only describes an algorithm for opaque colors, all contrast tools only expect that. So, I had to calculate the resulting opaque colors after alpha blending had taken place. After doing that for a few days, I got so fed up that I decided to make my own tool.

You can read more about the Contrast Ration tool on Lea’s blog.

I absolutely dig how Lea just builds, builds, builds. Go Lea!

Epic list of Frontend Development Tools

A great collection of tool for frontend development by Cody Lindley. The list covers coding tools, references, guides, pollyfills, generator tools and performance links. All that is missing is a newsletter section…

WebPlatform.org — Your Web, documented

Web Platform Docs is a new community-driven site that aims to become a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation. Even though Web Platform Docs is still in alpha, you can already find lots of valuable content on the site, including information on:

  • How to use features of the open web, with syntax and examples
  • What platforms and devices you can use various technologies on
  • What is the current standardization, stability and implementation status of each technology specification

In the future, Web Platform Docs will include even more content for you to explore such as live code examples, resources for educators and much more.

If you want to get involved in making the documentation better, just sign up, it’s super easy.

Responsive Web Design Makes It Hard To Be Fast

Guy Podjarny:

I like Responsive Design. Heck, I LOVE Responsive Design. I think it’s a brilliant methodology, which address true challenges in a very good way. But no matter how fond you are of RWD, I think you have to face the music – RWD makes it very hard to write a fast website.

I’m not saying you can’t write a high performance responsive website. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use RWD (Responsive Web Design) – I would actually recommend it to most organizations. However, RWD makes pages inherently more complicated, and all in all would make the mobile web slower.

The Web Behind

John Allsopp joins Eric Meyer and Jen Simmons for the first episode in The Web Behind series. The idea is to take a look back at where the web came from and the people who created it.

I think this is a really great idea for thinking forward. It’s a strange way to look at it, but if we don’t document the history there is no way we can learn from our mistakes. History is as important as the future.

Get behind The Web Behind. It’s good for the web.

Backstage: Basecamp for mobile

Jason Zimdars:

Today we’re announcing mobile web because it’s the right thing to do. Devices and platforms will come and go, but the web browser is here to stay. Does this mean there will never be native apps? Of course not, this isn’t our final word on mobile.

Once again, 37 Signals continue to deliver the goods.

Yeoman

Yeoman is now available. It’s an opinionated set of tools aimed at improving your workflow and productivity in building web apps.