2005.07.19

Faster DHTML in 12 Steps

As Microsoft's IEblog points out, their Faster DHTML is 12 Steps isn't entirely new but does have some valuable information. Obviously some of the info is quite IE-specific, but it's still worth a read.

Here are the tips included in the article:

Posted by Nate Koechley on July 19, 2005 at 02:31 PM in Browsers, Engineering, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.07.18

DOM Scripting Task Force - WaSP

Once again the fine folks at the Web Standards Project are helping us all move the industry forward, this time with the launch of their DOM Scripting Task Force as announced in their buzz archive today.

"The skillset of a front end programmer is a three-legged stool: structure (XHTML) is the first leg, presentation (CSS) the second, and behavior (DOM Scripting) the third," said Peter-Paul Koch, a prominent scripting expert and one of the founders of the task force. "These three legs should be equal, but at the moment the behavior leg is the shortest, least-valued and least-understood of the three, even though the DOM has been a W3C specification for seven years and enjoys relatively solid browser support."

They have a press release, a manifesto, and of course a website.

These topics aren't anything new necessarily, but it's good to see more and more developers picking up the torch. For more reading on this/these topics, check out these other posts from my blog: The Behavior Layer, Unobtrusively, and Semantic Markup - Create, Support and Extract.

If you eat and breath these topics, I'd love to hear from you and your resume.

Posted by Nate Koechley on July 18, 2005 at 05:17 PM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Engineering, Layered Semantic Markup, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DOM Scripting Task Force - WaSP

Once again the fine folks at the Web Standards Project are helping us all move the industry forward, this time with the launch of their DOM Scripting Task Force as announced in their buzz archive today.

"The skillset of a front end programmer is a three-legged stool: structure (XHTML) is the first leg, presentation (CSS) the second, and behavior (DOM Scripting) the third," said Peter-Paul Koch, a prominent scripting expert and one of the founders of the task force. "These three legs should be equal, but at the moment the behavior leg is the shortest, least-valued and least-understood of the three, even though the DOM has been a W3C specification for seven years and enjoys relatively solid browser support."

They have a press release, a manifesto, and of course a website.

These topics aren't anything new necessarily, but it's good to see more and more developers picking up the torch. For more reading on this/these topics, check out these other posts from my blog: The Behavior Layer, Unobtrusively, and Semantic Markup - Create, Support and Extract.

If you eat and breath these topics, please send me your resume.

Posted by Nate Koechley on July 18, 2005 at 12:25 AM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Design, Engineering, Layered Semantic Markup, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.31

Yahoo isn't just back in the game - it's winning.

Ben Hammersley writes an interesting piece in the Guardian today titled Second Sight. It's well worth reading, and looks at recent developments from Yahoo and Google, and reports that "Google, it seems, has jumped the shark." His conclusion is that it's "Three-nil to Yahoo." Give it a read, I think you'll be impressed, and probably find out some things about each company that go against the prevailing PR winds.

Yahoo is the new Google. Google is the new Yahoo. Up is down, and black is white. This spring has been very strange. Google, it seems, has jumped the shark. It has been overtaken, left standing, and not by some new startup of ultra smart MIT alumni or by the gazillions in the Microsoft development budget, but by the deeply unhip and previously discounted Yahoo.

The article provides a good overview of recent Yahoo activity, including the Yahoo Search API, research.yahoo.com (and next.yahoo.com), live traffic conditions on Yahoo! Maps, a gig of storage on Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! 360, Flickr, and even the quietly released Creative Commons search on Yahoo!: http://search.yahoo.com/cc

Update: Danny Sullivan, Editor of the premier search industry publication, released their 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards today, and for the first time Yahoo! Search takes first place, bumping Google to second.Remember what I said about prevailing winds, and hold onto your hat.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 31, 2005 at 11:30 AM in Design, Engineering, News, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Software and Tools, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.02.18

Evolution vs Revolution in Web Standards

CNet's Paul Festa filed a story today, Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applications, with a subhead of "As Net heavyweights vie to define the next generation of Web applications, the Web's main standards body is facing a revolt within its own ranks over electronic forms, a cornerstone of interactive documents."

The article sheds some light on the WHAT-WG, as well as some of the players in this general saga. The most interesting section to me:

WHAT-WG members say the forms dispute illustrates a larger conflict over whether the W3C should proceed in a "revolutionary" mode, tackling problems from square one and coming up with technically elegant solutions--even if that results in the loss of backward-compatibility with older browsers--or an "evolutionary" mode, maintaining older technologies like HTML 4 and extending the usefulness of current browsing software.

I also enjoyed Steven Pemberton's comments:

"The WHAT approach works OK for small examples," Pemberton said. "But actors like the Department of Defense say 'no scripting.'"

And:

"I understand where WHAT is coming from, but they are browser makers, not forms experts," Pemberton said. "It is important to build something that is future-proof and not a Band-Aid solution. Forms (technology) is the basis of the e-commerce revolution and so it is important to do it right."

[All emphasis mine.]

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 18, 2005 at 01:56 AM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Engineering, Layered Semantic Markup, Software and Tools, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.02.15

News from the World Wide Web Consortium

For better or worse, I only catch up on my W3 reading every month or so. That said, here's the stuff that caught my eye recently:

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 15, 2005 at 04:58 PM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Engineering, Layered Semantic Markup, References, Software and Tools, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.02.13

Browser Speed Comparisons

"There is a speed war on the web. Browsers compete on many fronts; security, standards support, features and speed. Most people are aware of which major browser fails on three of these, but one of them is still open for grabs. Speed."

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 13, 2005 at 12:28 PM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Engineering, Sandbox Stuff, Ugly Experiments, Software and Tools, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.02.09

Semantic Markup - Create, Support and Extract

Semantic Data Extractor

As Kevin Ryan pointed out at work yesterday, the W3's Semantic Data Extractor is a pretty sweet tool. I've been steadily promoting Layered Semantic Markup at work -- the importance of meaningful markup as the core of web development. This is a great tool to show that value, and remind that the reason you put meaning in is to get meaning out.

The tool tries to extract information from a semantically-rich HTML document. It only uses information available through the good usage of the semantics provided by HTML. “The aim is to show that providing semantically rich HTML gives much more value to your code: using semantically rich HTML allows a better use of CSS, and makes your HTML intelligible to a wider range of user agents (especially search engines bots).”

To see it in action, check out the new next.yahoo.com page. The Extractor handles it pretty well, showing a clear document hierarchy.

What is Layered Semantic Markup?

Today’s Wrong Solution is Tomorrow’s Constraint

Layered Semantic Markup (LSM) is not a technology, but a framework comprised of HTML, XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Javascript, DOM and other Web technologies. LSM allows for appropriately implemented principles and standards.

LSM is a development framework for creating Web documents and experiences. LSM builds for the least capable devices first, then enhances those documents with separate logic for presentation, in ways that do not place an undue burden on baseline devices but which allow a richer experience for those users with modern graphical browser software. LSM supports all user agents, and is inclusive by design. (Progressive Enhancement - Unobtrusive Javascript)

LSM has structural semantic markup at its core, which provides lean, meaningful, accessible pages. This well-built core and the clear separation of structural, presentational and behavioral layers make this development philosophy superior to many short-sighted approaches.

Today’s wrong solution is tomorrow’s constraint. A holistic vision - an underlying philosophy - must guide technical decisions. LSM provides the strategy for a sound and future-ready approach.

LSM embraces Graded Browser Support by using one markup document, subsequently layered with stylesheets and scripts that provide a gradually enhanced experience across a wide variety of browsers and devices.

This approach has profound advantages over other browser support approaches such as graceful degradation. Graded Browser Support recognizes that advanced technology support is not a guarantee of the future, and that legacy software as well as alternative devices (mobile) must always be considered. Graded Browser Support defines support in terms of current capabilities, not in terms of legacy or obsolete software; it embraces accessibility, universality, and peaceful coexistence with more feature-rich browsers/devices; and it allows for adoption of new technology and strategies without leaving any browser/device behind.

Credits

This work is heavily influenced and contains directly passages from Debra Chamra's "Progressive Enhancement: Paving the Way for Future Web Design", Steven Champeon and Nick Finck's presentation "Inclusive Web Design For the Future with Progressive Enhancement", and Steven Champeon's "Progressive Enhancement and the Future of Web Design", all of which may be found here.

Thanks also to the great people who have endlessly debated and developed these topics with me: James Berry, Sean Imler, Todd Kloots, Jon Koshi, Mike Lee, Thomas Sha, Matt Sweeney, Chanel Wheeler, and Christina Wodtke; and everybody else; and to everybody who puts their ideas online so that others may be inspired. Thanks.

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 9, 2005 at 03:22 PM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, Design, Engineering, Idea, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Layered Semantic Markup, References, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Software and Tools, Visual Design, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

2005.01.20

Beautiful API

This page is beautiful: http://www.flickr.com/services/api/. Every service-based web site should have a page like this.

This is a great way to understand and communicate your functionality. If you can't describe your site in these terms, well, start trying because you should be able to. (You don't have to make it public.)

I'm not here to talk about the benefits of web services and open APIs -- but at least internally, if you can think about your offerings in these clean and explicit terms you'll be much more successful.

We've moved beyond the "If you build it, they will come" days. We're now in the "If you offer it, they will build it" days. This cool map-based Flickr interface was built because the API existed.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 20, 2005 at 03:33 PM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Design, Engineering, Idea, Software and Tools, Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.01.13

More Bits, More Browsers

Keeping up with the 64-bit server, Microsoft has released (last month) a 64-bit version of IE6 for Windows Server 2003 SP1/x64. The server will ship with both the 64-bit and the 32-bit versions, with the 32-bit connected to most of the UI entry points.

We found that in our own every day use of the 64-bit client, the 64-bit browser was difficult to use because web sites hadn’t authored common controls for 64-bit clients.

No word yet on any rendering implications.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 13, 2005 at 08:43 AM in Browsers, Engineering, Software and Tools | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack