Jens Oliver Meiert (sum.cumo, W3C, O’Reilly) on web development and design, and sometimes philosophy, art, and adventure. Writing about quality code and world views since 1999.
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 is an important part of 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.
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.
It’s smart to have a vision for what one wishes to achieve for the performance of a site or app. Yet even the soundest approaches to performance visions have their problems, and in them we recognize that performance, or performance optimization, is indeed a process.
Arguments for a “no” to a recurring question: Why we may want to give designers all freedom in the world, not to be limited in what they’re trained to do best.
“Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.”
Web Performance has over the age of the Web not only turned into a discipline by itself, but also a complex one at that. While important much less so for revenue but for user experience and accessibility reasons, there’s a particular angle at performance that makes the matter very simple: the pragmatic angle.
Google’s Lighthouse is a great tool even though it has some issues. Fortunately, it’s possible to configure Lighthouse to one’s own views on what matters. Here’s the config that I like to use.
Notification on updates: RSS feed.
Jens Oliver Meiert is a technical lead and author. He loves trying things, including in the realms of philosophy, art, and adventure.
As a web developer Jens is specialized in the management and quality assurance of complex international websites (Google), works on standards (W3C), and writes for technical publishers (O’Reilly: Webdesign mit CSS, The Little Book of HTML/CSS Frameworks, Coding Guidelines, and Website Quality Control; cf. On Web Development and CSS Optimization Basics).
As a philosopher, Jens focuses on metaphysics. He emphasizes self-responsibility (How to Work on Oneself). As an artist Jens plays with (moving) photography and poetry (199 Love Haiku); as an adventurer he explores activities (100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer) and localities (Journey of J.).