Monday, February 16, 2015

Speaking at Avega Group in Stockholm

Avega Group logo

Rounding out my European tour (I'll be at Booster in Bergen and ACE! in Krakow) is a speaking gig not at a conference. I've been grabbed by the fine folks at Avega Group to speak to their team in Stockholm on the evening of March 19.

I'll be speaking about accessibility not just to Avega Group, but apparently whomever else might like to attend who is in the area. There is a Google Form you can fill out if you would like to attend (it's after business hours, so it needn't eat into your day too much).

The abstract from my talk:

We can all pretend that we're helping others by making web sites accessible, but we are really making the web better for our future selves. Learn some fundamentals of web accessibility and how it can benefit you (whether future you from aging or you after something else limits your abilities). We'll review simple testing techniques, basic features and enhancements, coming trends, and where to get help. This isn't intended to be a deep dive into ARIA, but more of an overall primer for those who aren't sure where to start nor how it helps them.

More information is on the Google Form, which I have also embedded below:

If you will be in the area, here's a map of Avega Group's venue:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Using Bookmarklets on Mobile

Viewing comments on Medium. Login prompt when tapping to view comment replies.
Viewing comments on Medium (first image), then being prompted to login in order to view comment replies (second image). Both images are current version of Chrome on Android.

This is a follow-up to my post CSS Bookmarklets for Testing and Fixing.

While surfing Medium the other day I chose to read a comment. As usual, the comment overlay came up at the bottom of my screen with an option to see replies. When I tapped the replies link, I was immediately prompted to log in. This was new.

In the time between me tweeting Medium to complain, and them responding that it was a bug, I wrote a bookmarklet to remove that login overlay.

This was the easy part. The hard part was using the bookmarklet on my mobile.

As you may already know, there is no bookmark bar in the average mobile browser (at least not on smaller screens). Viewing bookmarks will generally take you to a new tab or screen, meaning a bookmarklet cannot affect the page you were viewing.

Conveniently, once you create a bookmark it becomes available through the auto-complete feature of the browser address bar. In this case, while viewing the page I tapped the address bar and started typing the name of my new bookmarklet. It helps that I remembered this, otherwise it might have taken more time.

Typing the name of the bookmarklet into the address bar as it shows options from auto-complete. Once the bookmarklet fires I can see the comment replies.
Typing the name of the bookmarklet into the address bar as it shows options from auto-complete (first image), then once the bookmarklet fires I can see the comment replies (second image). Both images are current version of Chrome on Android.
This allows you to use bookmarklets you have specifically crafted to improve your mobile experience, or just general bookmarklets that you might not have thought would work on mobile.


Fix Medium Bookmarklet

Hopefully by the time your read this Medium will have fixed the issue. If not, here is the bookmarklet I use:

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('.overlay{display:none !important;}',0);})()

Of note: after you do this, the hit state of the View n replies link is partially blocked. You need to tap at the very top of the link. If that requires too much precision, then zoom in until it it wraps to two lines and tap the top line of text.

What I Was Reading on Medium

Christian Heilmann wrote a great post on the web application myth, which may be the title, though I can't be sure because Medium's URLs never match what may be the page title, which is denoted by an h3 because there is no h1 nor h2 on the page...

Anyway, regardless of title, go read what I'll title The Web Application Myth: Web applications don’t follow new rules.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Speaking at Booster Conference in Bergen

Booster Conference

A couple days ago I mentioned that I'd be speaking at the Ace! Conference in Krakow. I also suggested I might have other speaking gigs around the same time in Europe. Now I can announce that I'll be in Bergen, Norway speaking at the Booster Conference.

Most of my talks lately have been about accessibility, but for this one I'll be talking about another topic that makes me rant — print styles:

The push for responsive web design has helped web developers consider how the sites they develop can adapt to different devices, including sizes, screen resolutions, and even contexts. It should now be easier than ever to respond to a format that has existed since the start of the web — print. I'll walk through the process for making your responsive sites respond to the format we most often forget and show you how to use Google Analytics to track what pages are printed from your site.

Given the generalized nature of the conference (it bills itself as a software conference for the whole team), I am looking forward to speaking to a diverse group of attendees, both as users and developers.

The conference runs from March 11 through the 13th, but I'll be presenting on day one (Wednesday the 11th). The conference will be held at the Scandic Hotel Bergen City, and again for my own benefit I have embedded a map.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Speaking at ACE! Conference in Krakow

ACE! Conference on Lean and Agile Best Practices

I'll be spending much of March bringing my shining personality to Europe, partially in the form of speaking engagements. The first one I can announce is the sixth annual ACE! Conference in Krakow Poland on March 16 and 17. Somewhere within that two day conference I'll be talking about accessibility.

There is a growing list of great speakers, and I'm pleased to be included among them. At least until they discover I'm a fraud.

If you are familiar with ACE!, then it's worth noting this year a separate track has been added focused on building better software. If you are unfamiliar with ACE!, then I will let the organizers speak for themselves:

ACE! is the largest regional conference of its kind in Central Europe, attracting people from all over the region. We're really excited about ACE! 2015 which combines two one-track conferences into one. The Building Software Better track includes the traditional ACE! content such as agile, lean, Scrum, Kanban, and other tools and methods for improving the software development process. This year we're adding a Building Better Software track that features Lean Startup, LeanUX, Design Thinking, and Customer Development topics. We're also adding a workshop track so that attendees can apply new skills and experiment with new ideas. It's going to be the best ACE! yet!

You can stay abreast of new speaker announcements and other news from the conference by following @aceconf on Twitter.

As the conference site gets updated with this year's logo and the abstract from my talk, I plan to post it here.

I've never been to Poland, and I am hearing nothing but good things about Krakow (not just from its tourism board), so I am really looking forward to visiting.

The conference will be held about 5km from the city center, so if you're nearby you can pretty much include my talk in your tourism walk for the day. I've embedded a map for my own benefit:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Best Viewed in 1 of 11 Flavors of Chrome!

Make sure you view this on Google's flavor of Chrome, otherwise, well, I have no idea what will happen.

Sometimes it's frustrating being a developer who's been around to see Mosaic supplanted by Netscape Navigator supplanted by Internet Explorer supplanted by Chrome/WebKit. Developers just love dumping one platform for the new shiny.

As I said last week, all of this has happened before and will happen again. The difference with this post is that I am not going to rant about lazy developers whining over a world that will still contain Internet Explorer and its offspring.

Instead, let's ask the average anti-IE / pro-WebKit developer a very simple question — on how many flavors of Chrome do you test?

I don't mean how many versions of Chrome. I also don't mean how many different WebKit-based browsers. No, how many flavors of Chrome?

I'll guess probably not more than a couple. I have four that I can, but typically don't, use. Even at four that's far too few.

Today Peter-Paul Koch pointed out that there are eleven (11!) flavors of Chrome (Chromia, if you will). All of them built on Chromium. Here's the breakdown from his article:

Vendor Version Tested Default Remarks
Google 40 Yes Yes
Opera 39 Yes No
Yandex 38 Yes No
Xiaomi 34 or 35 Yes Yes Zoom reflow
HTC 33 Yes Yes Zoom reflow
Cyanogen 33 Yes Yes
LG 30 Yes Yes Mid-range
Puffin 30 Yes No Proxy
Samsung 28 Yes Yes
Amazon 37 No Yes Silk
LG 34 No Yes High-end

You may have noticed that this only accounts for mobile devices. Some on Twitter also noted Chrome on Google TV, or on Android TV, which doesn't account for the Samsung Android TV nor the Sony Android TV.

So maybe it's fifteen (15!) flavors of Chrome. Either way, I suspect that number will continue to grow.

Even if I include IE6, I only have to worry about 5 versions of Internet Explorer across mobile and desktop. If I want the idyllic WebKit-only world so many seem to crave, then I need about a dozen flavors of Chrome before I can get started with the Operas, Safaris, Yandexes, and Vivaldis (plural because those forks of WebKit also have their own versions to support)

All of this written against the backdrop of a Medium post claiming it won't consider IE11 a Tier 1 browser because of what it considers an ugly border in the editor view. Unable to find IE developers anywhere, nor to figure out where to file a bug, Medium just browser-sniffs IE11 into a second tier. I'm sure Medium tested across eleven flavors of Chrome, though.

Please read PPK's piece: Chrome continues to fall apart at brisk pace