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Smashing Conf New York

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. 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. our upcoming SmashingConf New York, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Author:

Bruce has been working on accessibility, web standards and browsers since 2001. That's why he looks that bad. You can follow him at @brucel, or read his ramblings at www.brucelawson.co.uk.

Twitter: Follow Bruce Lawson on Twitter

World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 2)

In part 1 of this article, we looked at where in the world the new entrants to the World Wide Web are, and some of the new technologies the standards community has worked on to address some of the challenges that the next 4 billion people are facing when accessing the web. In short, we've tried to make some supply-side improvements to web standards so that websites can be made to better serve the whole world, not just the wealthy West.

World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 2)

But there are other challenges to surmount, such as ways to get over creaky infrastructure in developing markets (which can be done with stopgap technological solutions, such as proxy browsers), and we'll also look at some of the reasons why some of the offline billions remain offline, and what can be done to address this.

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World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 1)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” said Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in the famous scene in which Hamlet teaches Horatio to be a web designer.

World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 1)

Horatio, as every schoolchild knows, is a designer from Berlin (or sometimes London or Silicon Valley) who has a top-of-the-line MacBook, the latest iPhone and an unlimited data plan over the fastest, most reliable network. But, as Hamlet points out to him, this is not the experience of most of the world’s web visitors.

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Why We Shouldn’t Make Separate Mobile Websites

There has been a long-running war going on over the mobile Web: it can be summarized with the following question: "Is there a mobile Web?" That is, is the mobile device so fundamentally different that you should make different websites for it, or is there only one Web that we access using a variety of different devices? Acclaimed usability pundit Jakob Nielsen thinks that you should make separate mobile websites. I disagree.

Why We Shouldn't Make Separate Mobile Websites

Jakob Nielsen, the usability expert, recently published his latest mobile usability guidelines. He summarizes, "Good mobile user experience requires a different design than what's needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work."

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Sexy New HTML5 Semantics

Much of the excitement we’ve seen so far about HTML5 has been for the new APIs: local storage, application cache, Web workers, 2-D drawing and the like. But let’s not overlook that HTML5 brings us 30 new elements to mark up documents and applications, boosting the total number of elements available to us to over 100. Sexy yet hollow demos aside, even the most JavaScript-astic Web 2.0-alicious application will likely have textual content that needs to be marked up sensibly, so let’s look at some of the new elements to make sure that your next project is as semantic as it is interactive.

HTML5 Semantics

To keep this article from turning into a book, we won’t look at each in depth. Instead, this is a taster menu: you can see what’s available, and there are links that I’ve vetted for when you want to learn more. Along the way, we’ll see that HTML5 semantics are carefully designed to extend the current capabilities of HTML, while always enabling users of older browsers to access the content. We’ll also see that semantic markup is not “nice to have,” but is rather a cornerstone of Web development, because it is what enhances accessibility, searchability, internationalization and interoperability.

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HTML5: The Facts And The Myths

You can't escape it. Everyone's talking about HTML5. it's perhaps the most hyped technology since people started putting rounded corners on everything and using unnecessary gradients. In fact, a lot of what people call HTML5 is actually just old-fashioned DHTML or AJAX. Mixed in with all the information is a lot of misinformation, so here, JavaScript expert Remy Sharp and Opera's Bruce Lawson look at some of the myths and sort the truth from the common misconceptions.

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Once upon a time, there was a lovely language called HTML, which was so simple that writing websites with it was very easy. So, everyone did, and the Web transformed from a linked collection of physics papers to what we know and love today. Most pages didn't conform to the simple rules of the language (because their authors were rightly concerned more with the message than the medium), so every browser had to be forgiving with bad code and do its best to work out what its author wanted to display.

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