The problem is not that they weren’t adopted, but that there are no traces of the thought process that led to certain decisions. That means we can’t learn from them, even failures are important to learn from. Matthias recommends the W3C Community Groups for those specs to be built and to be conserved over time.
If you expect Apple to come out with a completely new design, you haven’t been paying attention to what Apple has done for the past 7 years. They don’t experiment with design anymore. They find the essence of a shape within the limitations of today’s technology.
As you may or may not have noticed, there is activity again on this blog. The reason is easy: I want to twitter less, taking stuff back into my own hands. Of course Twitter’s recent moves toward a secret-service protected walled garden with laser guns on the door helped to make that decision.
I actually thought a lot about where to bring my content: Status.net, App.net, Google+ or Facebook were amongst the contenders, but I don’t like that others own my data. It is back to square one, interesting links or thoughts will find their way to this blog way more often, I will even enable comments again. Discussions and talking will still be on Twitter, but I expect to do much less there.
I am a fighter for the open web. Open APIs are even more important to me than ease of use or experience. I want data to be free. I want to be the owner of my stuff. That was why I chose twitter in the first place: Great clients, great APIs, unlimited versatility. Since years, I collect all my tweets on my server, as soon or later Twitter will vanish into oblivion. Probably that won’t be possible in the future. Probably I will get advertisements without having an option to disable it. (Yes, Twitter, you could have all my money.) It is a risk now, and that sucks.
A List Apart is out with a fantastic overview of game console’s browsers, by Anna Debenham. Installing a browser on a game console really opens up your mind about the futurefriendly web, as they are capable of almost nothing modern browsers can do, yet often have surprisingly advanced rendering engines. It shows how versatile web design has gotten and how important it is to think out of the box and out of you laptop’s screen.
I first installed the Wii Opera Browser back in 2007. It was an awkward and revealing experience at once. Pointing with a stick to a screen for example is really difficult, so large click targets suddenly get so simple and you instantly understand that whole accessibility stuff. Here’s what Anna had to say about the DSi browser, Nintendo’s current portable flagship:
Only the top screen is 3D, and it’s wider than the bottom one, which is a 2D resistive touchscreen. The screens are physically bigger than the smaller 3DS model, but the pixel dimensions are the same (800×240 on the top; 320×240 on the bottom), so text is blocky. When a page scrolls into the top screen, gaps appear on either side because of the difference in the two screen sizes.
Sites are shown in 2D, but images using the MPO format can be viewed in 3D in the top screen. MPO images are a combination of two JPEG files, so the fallback is a single JPEG. The catch is, embedded MPO images can’t currently be viewed in 3D inline using the browser installed on the device; they have to be downloaded and opened as a file.
There is a lot of ARIA that is seeing author implementation in HTML right now, most notably ARIA roles. Their inclusion provide real assistance for visitors with accessibility issues in navigating and understanding the content of a website, and in some cases provide extra helpers for non-human agents to crawl the content as well. (I’ve even used them as clever hooks for tricky bits of CSS).