Articles on high quality web development, especially on HTML and CSS optimization (and, occasionally, on philosophy, art, and adventure).
Random improvements and notes around compression and caching, content security and feature policies, IndieWeb markup, protocols in links, entity references, image formats, and ISBNs in URL paths.
I’ve written a very short book on improving HTML code: Upgrade Your HTML. Upgrade Your HTML is about one thing: Picking examples of HTML in the wild, and explaining how to make that code better. Kindly. Constructively. Thoroughly, as finding a balance between detail and brevity permits.
As HTML is so important and yet also so easy, everyone writes HTML, and everyone says they can write HTML. And with that they don’t just mean they are able to write HTML, but that they write good HTML, where “good” means “high quality.” That would be great news.
Working closely with designers makes sense and is awesome, notably for mutual understanding and efficiency. And yet there are also good reasons not to work closely with designers. For developers it’s important, for otherwise foolish, to be aware.
Web developer, n.: A person who—
Optional HTML can be left out to improve performance, to guide code comprehension, and to hone the craft. An overview over all optional tags, rules around quotes for attribute values, and omissible attribute value defaults, as well as notes on pitfalls and tools.
In 2014, for idealistic transparency and enthusiastic link love, I’ve shared the feed sources I was following at the time. I’m still a huge believer in and user of feeds. As I also still like to be transparent I thought to share an update.
srcset and the whole family of ideas around it from the start because doing the same thing for the same purpose several times has usually looked like too much DX cost for too little UX gain to me. Two angles at what to use when.
We’ve all seen approaches to team management and leadership that work, and others that don’t. A brief and scrappy list of the mistakes I’ve witnessed (or committed), together with thoughts on how not to make them.
Setting up image compression tooling is easy—and for those who want to err on the safe side automatically employing lossless compression, it’s even easier with a solution from sum.cumo: Merlin.
Checklists are a great way to make sure nothing gets forgotten, yet they are problematic when they contain items that aren’t important. A few general thoughts and a very specific review of The Frontend Checklist—of which 33 guidelines appear useful, and 41 not (yet).
Ad blockers are popular. Yet, they also appear to be a problem. They appear to be a problem that can be broken into three sub-problems, sub-problems that may speak not only against the use of ad blockers but their very existence.
Image compression plays an important role for performance optimization. It seems straight-forward but is a little deceptive, however, because it consists not of one but two parts—and it’s usually lack of understanding of one part that causes problems.
16×16, 30×30, 32×32, 48×48, 57×57, 60×60, 64×64, 70×70, 72×72, 76×76, 90×90, 96×96, 114×114, 120×120, 128×128, 144×144, 150×150, 152×152, 160×160, 167×167, 180×180, 192×192, 195×195, 196×196, 228×228, 256×256, 270×270, 310×310, 558×558.
The maintenance and maintainability of websites is a much neglected topic. This is problematic because: We cannot not maintain. Yet primarily we may deal with a visibility problem that we could explore more options for.
It may be rather clear that life is not all about being happy.
In 2016, I wrote 1,000 short poems, haiku-style. I wrote those poems to challenge myself as a writer. I launched a website for the haiku and I shared the story. Today, I’ve published the 199 haiku that a few friends and I liked the most as a book.
Many sites are not prepared for print, and yet our users print, and they save through print. Therefore: Have a print style sheet, and be it a negative one. Hide what’s not usable or useful. Always test, and tweak when you want better.
lang attribute is one of HTML’s global attributes. If one doesn’t simply take it for granted, it begs a number of questions—and these suggest to drop W3C requirements around it, and to demand software to do the job.
“Our system of education turns young people out of the schools able to read, but for the most part unable to weigh evidence or to form an independent opinion.”
Following a few philosophy posts to be archived, here are past entries related to web development. Nothing more, nothing less.
Google+ is shutting down, pulling everything with it. I’ve used Google+. And although I’ve changed and would put a few things differently now, I decided to archive a few of the somewhat philosophical Google+ posts.
As experts we should know what code is optional and leave it out, and our production systems should do a better job assisting us with that. After all the years of neglecting basic HTML optimization, let’s think about taking the next step and not ship optional HTML markup.
A review of Lighthouse’s PWA audits and the PWA category as a whole. Just in time to see it be superseded by Lighthouse 4, the major update that solves some (unfortunately not all) of those issues.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m a web developer and author. I love trying things, including in the fields of philosophy, art, and adventure.
As a web developer I specialize in getting the maximum out of HTML and CSS, contribute to technical standards, and write books (The Little Book of HTML/CSS Frameworks, Coding Guidelines, and Website Quality Control; On Web Development, CSS Optimization Basics, Upgrade Your HTML).
In philosophy I focus on metaphysics (except in How to Work on Oneself). When it comes to art I mostly play with photography. For adventure I enjoy exploring both places (Journey of J.) and activities (100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer).