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Smashing Conf San Francisco

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf San Francisco, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Author:

As would be expected from a former manager of the Web Standards Project, Aaron Gustafson is passionate about web standards and accessibility. He has been working on the Web for two decades now and is a web standards advocate at Microsoft, working closely with their browser team. He writes about whatever’s on his mind at aaron-gustafson.com.

Twitter: Follow Aaron Gustafson on Twitter

Experimenting With speechSynthesis

I’ve been thinking a lot about speech for the last few years. In fact, it’s been a major focus in several of my talks of late, including my well-received Smashing Conference talk “Designing the Conversation.” As such, I’ve been keenly interested in the development of the Web Speech API.

Experimenting With speechSynthesis

If you’re unfamiliar, this API gives you (the developer) the ability to voice-enable your website in two directions: listening to your users via the SpeechRecognition interface and talking back to them via the SpeechSynthesis interface. All of this is done via a JavaScript API, making it easy to test for support. This testability makes it an excellent candidate for progressive enhancement, but more on that in a moment.

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Developing Dependency Awareness

I’m sure you’ve heard the proverb, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” probably many times. Its written origin dates back to the 18th century, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was much, much older. And though the work we do has little to do with actual chains, this proverb is every bit as relevant to us.

Developing Dependency Awareness

Remember when Azer Koçulu unpublished more than 250 of his modules from npm (Node Package Manager)? If that name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this function name will: left-pad. In case you’re still scratching your head wondering what the heck I’m talking about, Azer removed a bunch of functions from the canonical library of reusable Node.js code and, in doing so, brought thousands of projects to their knees, including high-profile ones like Babel and React.

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