Articles by
Geoff Graham

Read, write, coffee, web, repeat.

Editing the W3C HTML5 spec

Bruce Lawson has been tapped to co-edit the W3C HTML5 spec and, in his announcement post, clarified the difference between that and the WHATWG spec:

The WHATWG spec is a future-facing document; lots of ideas are incubated there. The W3C spec is a snapshot of what works interoperably – authors who don’t care much about what may or may not be round the corner, but who need solid advice on what works now may find this spec easier to use.

I was honestly unfamiliar with the WHATWG spec and now I find it super interesting to know there are two working groups pushing HTML forward in distinct but (somewhat) cooperative ways.

Kudos to you, Bruce! And, yes, Vive open standards!

Declining Complexity in CSS

The fourth edition of Eric Meyer and Estelle Weyl's CSS: The Definitive Guide was recently released. The new book weighs in at 1,016 pages, which is up drastically from 447 in the third edition, which was up slightly from 436 in the second edition.

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Getting Around a Revoked Certificate in OSX

Let me start this off by saying this is not an ideal trick and one I hope no one else needs to use because it's a bad idea to work around a browser feature that's aimed to protect your security.

That said, I am in the process of testing a product and ran into a weird situation where our team had to revoke the SSL certificate we had assigned to our server. We're going to replace it but I have testing to do in the meantime and need access to our staging server, so waiting is kind of a blocker because, well, this message gets me nowhere.

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Breaking down CSS Box Shadow vs. Drop Shadow

Drop shadows. Web designers have loved them for a long time to the extent that we used to fake them with PNG images before CSS Level 3 formally introduced them to the spec as the box-shadow property. I still reach for drop shadows often in my work because they add a nice texture in some contexts, like working with largely flat designs.

Not too long after box-shadow was introduced, a working draft for CSS Filters surfaced and, with it, a method for drop-shadow() that looks a lot like box-shadow at first glance. However, the two are different and it's worth comparing those differences.

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The All-New Guide to CSS Support in Email

Campaign Monitor has completely updated it's guide to CSS support in email. Although there was a four-year gap between updates (and this thing has been around for 10 years!), it's continued to be something I reference often when designing and developing for email.

Calling this an update is underselling the work put into this. According to the post:

The previous guide included 111 different features, whereas the new guide covers a total of 278 features.

Adding reference and testing results for 167 new features is pretty amazing. Even recent features like CSS Grid are included — and, spoiler alert, there is a smidgeon of Grid support out in the wild.

This is an entire redesign of the guide and it's well worth the time to sift through it for anyone who does any amount of email design or development. Of course, testing tools are still super important to the over email workflow, but a guide like this helps for making good design and development decisions up front that should make testing more about... well, testing, rather than discovering what is possible.

6 Months of Working Remotely Taught Me a Thing or Ten

Peter Anglea writes up his key takeaways after six months on the job with a new front-end position. His points ring true to me as a remote worker and the funny thing is that each one of the suggestions is actually applicable to anyone in almost any front-end job, whether it happens to be in-house or remote.

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The average web page is 3MB. How much should we care?

Tammy Everts with a deep dive into the average page size, which seems to grow year in and year out.

It's a little perplexing that the average page size trends up each year as performance has become a growing concern on the forefront of our minds, but Tammy has keen insights that are worth reading because she suggests that user experience isn't always about page size and that bloat is far from the only metric we should be concerned.

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Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)?

The big takeaway in this post is that screen readers do not always read content the way it is styled in CSS. Toss in the fact that not all screen readers speak or read markup the same way and that there are differences in how they render content in different browsers and the results become...well different. Kind of like cross-browser testing CSS, but with speech.

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Upgrade Your JavaScript Error Monitoring

Automatically detect and diagnose JavaScript errors impacting your users with Bugsnag. Get comprehensive diagnostic reports, know immediately which errors are worth fixing, and debug in a fraction of the time compared to traditional tools.

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