January

January WordPress update

As a web professional, you are likely aware that WordPress is used as the principle technology for over 25% of the top 10 million websites (actually now 29% based on the December WordCamp US State of the Word 2017). To better understand the reach of this technology – in the above mentioned State of the Word presentation, it was mentioned there are now over 47,000 plugins and said plugins have been downloaded over 633 million times.

WordPress update

Version 5 coming (Project Gutenberg)

We have recently learned that the next major update (version 5.0) will be based on Project Gutenberg.  We understand this will be the most extensive update since version 2.0 of WordPress. As a web professional, it is important you understand the implications of this upgrade (and the potential effects with your clients). These include:

  • the default editor is changing from the current TinyMCE editor (and changing significantly). If your clients are editing their own content, you need to either train them on the new editor or make certain you use the classic editor plugin (you might want to try both out to better understand the changes). Note this is beta software at the time of this writing so you do not want to install this on any production WordPress sites.
  • although you can presently test Project Gutenberg, it is presently available as a plugin (meaning you may not be able to fully test your current themes and plugins at the moment).
  • the new focus will be on conceptual editing (similar to what you may have experienced with LinkedIn Pulse or similar approaches).
  • the focus is on “identifying and adding meaning to content using blocks and block contests.” See below for what this means.

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January HTML/CSS Updates

What’s been happening with HTML and CSS?

Just like having the ability to speak a foreign language, this sort of skill is helpful in almost all professions. HTML and CSS are the foundational languages of the web. As web professionals we should know what updates are taking place in HTML and CSS world. I came across few articles about what’s new about both CSS grid and HTML.

Latest news about HTML and CSS

CSS Grid Layout excels at dividing a page into major regions, or defining the relationship in terms of size, position, and layer, between parts of a control built from HTML primitives.

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January JavaScript update

As web professionals are undoubtedly aware, many changes are happening with JavaScript these days. Yes, there is a fair amount of churn in frameworks employed on various projects. We did ask the question (some time ago) – are we relying too much on JavaScript? Regardless of your opinion about that question, we need to be aware that major changes are happening to core JavaScript as well. ES6/ ES2015 (ECMAScript 6) is the latest version making its way into browsers near you (and many other places). For those who have been working with web technologies for quite a while, you may recall that ES5 was released in 2009. Yes, nearly a decade ago.

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January accessibility update

As we begin a new year, we thought it summarize some recent information regarding web accessibility. As a web professional, one should already know that making your pages accessible helps your search engine ranking and much more. As an organization, we have been promoting (and encouraging members) to participate in Project Silver (this initiative is focused on a new version of accessibility guidelines) for some time. We encourage you to consider helping with this initiative.

Of course, it is important to understand what we should be doing now to make certain our projects are accessible. We found the following articles to be a helpful review of what is presently happening with respect to accessibility.

What are you doing to make your projects accessible?

In December, Scott O’Hara discussed the trials and tribulations of the title attribute. This is a great review of the current state of use/ disuse of this attribute. In a nutshell, Scott review this venerable attribute since it’s inception in the HTML 1.2 draft (yes, that was in 1993). One of the main issues with this attribute is that most browsers assume a visitor is using a mouse [for example, to see a title tooltip, you must hover your cursor].  Surprisingly, Internet Explorer 10, 11 (and MS Edge) display tooltips (after a short delay) as if the visitor hovered over them. Additionally, when you long press an image in iOS 11, the title attribute also displays in the popover menu. Of course, these sorts of examples do not help much with overall user experience (and are not consistently implemented). Scott also reviews how this attribute is somewhat useful on select elements for screen readers. NVDA and other readers will announce title on landmark elements (header, footer and so forth), but will not on div or other elements (unless role updates are provided as well). Scott provides a number of use cases where the title attribute can be helpful. The bottom line is that the title attribute can be potentially quite useful, but a number of previous bad practices and lack of consistent support among browsers and screen readers is hampering more consistent use. We encourage readers to review Scott’s entire article. It takes about 20 minutes to review and is well worth the read.

In July, IBM updated their accessibility checklist (now at version 7.0). We encourage readers to review it (if you haven’t already). In addition to providing a thorough checklist, we like the approach of combining the revised US Section 508 standards (which also incorporates Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) along with the additional requirements needed to meet European standard EN 301 549. One central checklist for multiple countries. That alone should be useful for those who conduct business in the U.S. and E.U. We encourage web professionals everywhere to make certain they review (and use) such a checklist.

Dennis Lembree provided a very useful article on the topic of building a culture of accessibility (with a focus on leadership roles). Many of us have encountered situations where initiatives fail because there is no clear leadership. What we like most about this article is the specific breakdown (by corporate division) how individual leaders can contribute to a culture of accessibility. We already look forward to follow ups to Dennis’ post and additional insights. We encourage web professionals to take 5 to 7 minutes and read his entire article.

For those using the React framework, Scott Vinkle provides a very useful overview of React’s accessibility code linter. What we found most helpful is that Scott walks you through creating a new React app and describes in detail how to employ the code linter for maximum accessibility. As a web professional, you are employing linting as part of your continuous improvement strategy (aren’t you?). We encourage you to review Scott’s article (particularly if you are considering employing React in applications you develop in 2018). It will take you a couple of hours to review this article (if you work along with his examples).

For those web professionals who are new to web accessibility, we offer a foundational course on this topic via our School of Web initiative. As a current member of Web Professionals, you first course is free.

As you surmise from the above overview, a lot has been happening in the past months regarding accessibility. We encourage you to provide comments regarding your efforts to incorporate accessibility in your projects and tell us what you have been doing to develop a culture of accessibility in your organization. We may be in contact with you to do a follow up post on the specifics you provide.

All the best for a great 2018,

Mark DuBois
Community Evangelist and Executive Director.

 

 

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Announcing the winners of the January 2013 Dev Derby!

This past January, creative web developers from around the world showed us what they could do with drag and drop interaction in the January Dev Derby contest. After looking through the entries, our three new expert judges–Craig Cook, Franck Lecollinet, and Guillaume Lecollinet–decided on three winners and two runners-up.

Dev Derby

Not a contestant? There are other reasons to be excited. Most importantly, all of these demos are completely open-source, making them wonderful lessons in the exciting things you can do with drag and drop today.

The Results

Winners

Runners-up

These contestants were not satisfied just bringing this age-old interaction to the Web. They also made it fun, helpful, musical, and even a little amusing. Congratulations to them and to all of the amazing contestants who pushed the limit of drag and drop interaction.

Want to get a head start on an upcoming Derby? We are now accepting demos related to mobile web development in general (March), Web Workers (April), and by popular demand, getUserMedia (May). Head over to the Dev Derby to get started.

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Announcing the January Dev Derby Winners

HTML5 orientation allows web developers to read the motion and orientation data of devices to create more engaging and more interactive web experiences.

Recently, creative developers from around the world demonstrated just how powerful orientation can be in the January Dev Derby. After careful consideration, our three new judges—Remy Sharp, Chris Coyier, and Chris Heilmann—are proud to announce that they have decided on three winners and two runners-up. Please join us in congratulating these contributors!

First Place: Help UFO by michal.b
Second Place:
Pinball Maze by CarsonMcDonald
Third Place:
Orientation Tetris by nestoralvaro

Runners Up
Exploration by seva
Street Orientation by nestoralvaro

And let’s not forget about our other exceptional contributors. Each and every one of these participants is is pushing the web forward and deserves a great deal of praise as a result.

Want to see your name here next month? We are now accepting demos related to CSS 3D Transforms (March), HTML5 audio (April), and Websockets (May). Get an early start by submitting today!

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Wiki Wednesday: January 25, 2012

Here are today’s Wiki Wednesday articles! If you know about these topics, please try to find a few minutes to look over these articles that are marked as needing technical intervention and see if you can fix them up. You can do so either by logging into the wiki and editing the articles directly, or by emailing your notes, sample code, or feedback to mdnwiki@mozilla.org.

Contributors to Wiki Wednesday will get recognition in the next Wiki Wednesday announcement. Thanks in advance for your help!

JavaScript

Thanks to David Bruant, -TNO-, and xkizer for their contributions the last couple of weeks.

SpiderMonkey

Developing Mozilla

Extensions

XUL

XPCOM

Thanks to Neil Rashbrook for his contributions!

Interfaces

Plugins

CSS

Thanks to McGurk and cgack for their contributions to CSS documentation!

SVG

HTML

Thanks to Jens.B and tw2113 for their contributions since last time.

DOM

Thanks to cgack for contributing!

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