• Swaziland king renames country Kingdom of eSwatini (The Guardian)Internationalization is hard, now you have to fit in a country with a lower case first letter.

    Meaning “place of the Swazi”, eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the tiny state landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique. Unlike some countries, Swaziland did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years.

  • Hand tremors and the giant-button-problem (Axess Lab)

    In accessibility, we usually argue for large tap areas – but they can be a problem for users with certain motor impairments.

    The user is trying to place his finger between the news stories. He’s hoping the space is unclickable, so that an accidental tap while trying to scroll will not activate a link. However, every part of the screen is linked. It’s like the whole interface is one giant button – hey what a clever comparison, let’s add that to the title of this article!

  • The BBC is letting you download more than 16,000 free sound effect samples from its archive (MusicRadar)

    There can be few organisations that have used more sound effects than the BBC, so there’s bound to be great interest in the news that the corporation has now made more than 16,000 of its FX available for free download.

    These are being released under the RemArc licence, which means that they can be used for “personal, educational or research purposes”.

  • Time.is 

    A useful site for people who need to communicate across time zones.

  • For everyone (Hidde de Vries)

    It appears ‘for everyone’ can have different meanings and I think it is important to see the difference between them, so that we are not fooled by for-profit companies that present themselves as charities. The web itself is a place where people are put first, and a place where power is not exercised on people, it is given to people.

  • Bits Up!: Cache-Control: immutableIn recent months, I have been surprised about the amount and possibilities of HTTP headers. Immutable is certainly one to add to the tool belt.

    When a client supporting immutable sees this attribute it should assume that the resource, if unexpired, is unchanged on the server and therefore should not send a conditional revalidation for it (e.g. If-None-Match or If-Modified-Since) to check for updates. Correcting possible corruption (e.g. shift reload in Firefox) never uses conditional revalidation and still makes sense to do with immutable objects if you’re concerned they are corrupted.

  • gridtoflex.comGood advice! (However, don’t use emojis in your CSS: It’s less understandable as you think it is, and there are likely weird edge cases in browsers.)

    CSS grid is AMAZING! However, if you need to support users of IE11 and below, or Edge 15 and below, grid won’t really work as you expect (more info here). This site is a solution for you so you can start to progressively enhance without fear!

I’ve been on vacation for a bit, which was incredibly relaxing. Some pictures are available on Instagram (for now – I need an indie web solution for this).

  • Professionalism: Design’s Lost Generation (Mike Monteiro, Medium) — Everyone who helps to produce a product is a designer, every decision counts. It’s important to make ethical design decisions. There are two words every designer needs to feel comfortable saying: ‘no’ and ‘why’.

  • History: A Short History of WaSP and Why Web Standards Matter (Jay Hoffmann, thehistoryoftheweb.com) — Web standards wouldn’t be widely implemented without the volunteer groups formed in the early days of the internet.

  • Indie Web: It’s Time for an RSS Revival (Brian Barrett, Wired) — I firmly believe that the distributed web is the better model. But feeds aren’t a solution for everything: I would not want to subscribe to a newspaper because of the huge output there. Also it only furthers the information bubble. We need solutions to surface a diverse set of news.

  • Communicating Ideas: Write it down (Mark Boulton) — I often ask people to write down specifics of their problem or suggestions. It often helps me to better understand but also helps others to understand the complexity of their request or find better/other approaches. Conversations are great for brainstorming, but to nail it down, write it down.

  • Accessibility: Small Tweaks That Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Website’s Accessibility (Andy Bell, css-tricks.com) — A broad overview over some accessibility techniques. See also the W3C WAI Tips for Getting Started with Web Accessibility.

  • Malpractice on the web: Bei der „Sächsischen Zeitung“ wird Auschwitz zum Genuss-Moment (Stefan Niggemeier, übermedien.de, English machine translation) — There’s a new advertising form that content publisher can use: A swirly overlay that advertises a product inside the article image. It’s just really bad when the article image depicts the Auschwitz entrance gate and there’s no way for publishers to exclude sensitive material. (The whole ad form was disabled after the incident.)

  • Code examples: carbon — If you want to use images of code in your presentation, carbon adds a window frame around it. It looks very sharp. There is a way to export SVG, but I have not looked into the accessibility of it. (Provide a link to the code or add an alternative text.)

I’m in San Diego where I’ll attend the W3C WAI Education and Outreach WG Face-to-Face meeting, and CSUN, the biggest accessibility conference. It’s always amazing to be able to work with my colleagues in one room and to meet all accessibility experts in one place.

  • Beta: W3C/WAI Website – We managed to launch the beta for the new WAI site last week. There are still a few rough edges, but it is essential to get it in front of people. A lot of work from many people went into the site, from design, user testing, development. I made sure we can edit resources in their respective Jekyll projects on GitHub and then integrate it into one repository using git submodules. All repositories use one common theme, so changes to it will be reflected in all resource previews, hosted on GitHub pages.

  • Color: Colorblind Accessibility on the Web – Fail and Success Cases – An excellent overview of colorblindness and common pitfalls.

  • Principles: Accessibility Interview Questions – Everyone should have answers to the question collected by Scott O’Hara. Most aim at general principles than specific techniques.

  • Notifications: Inclusive Components: Notifications – Another excellent write-up by Heydon Pickering.

  • Buttons: Designing Button States – Tyler Sticka on different aspects of button design. Sweating details like this can greatly improve the usability and accessibility of your website or application.

  • PWA: Minimal viable service worker – I don’t know enough about Progressive Web Apps to implement them correctly, yet. However, Jeremy Keith’s article feels like a good starting point to learn more about it.

  • Fonts: Shipping system fonts to GitHub.com – Interesting article on a very particular approach to shipping fonts.