Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development

Making the Web Developer’s Pilgrimage

Have you read the HTML specification? Have you marked highlights, taken notes, and reviewed what you learned? Have you reported issues and made suggestions to the HTML working group, giving back and improving the standard? On our field’s â€śpilgrimage.”

Post from October 21, 2021, filed under .

Declaring Page Language—and Declaring Changes in Language

Popular screen readers don’t seem to pick up changes in language automatically. We may need a push on screen readers to improve detection of changes in language, and a shift of attention from declaration of page language to marking up changes in language.

Post from September 29, 2021, filed under .

Comparing Page Language Declaration Setups in Screen Readers

One best practice in web development is to declare the document language via the lang attribute, on the html start tag. That is useful, but also not the only option. How well are different setups supported in screen readers? A few data points.

Post from September 28, 2021, filed under .

Not Releasing Late on Fridays, a Matter of Courtesy

Why don’t we, in engineering departments, prefer not to release late on Fridays—or late on others days? Occasionally, developers and stakeholders believe that’s because of a lack of confidence in our code and our systems. The true reason is not that:—

Post from September 24, 2021, filed under .

HTML Concepts: Indicators for Layout Tables

You use tables for data, and therefore not for layout purposes (as was popular in the past). But how would you recognize a layout table? That’s what we’re looking at today in “HTML Concepts.”

Post from September 13, 2021, filed under .

5 Eleventy Tweaks That Make My Sites Better (and Maybe Yours)

Currently setting up my third site with Eleventy, I’ve run into a few things that proved useful. Here are five of them, including centrally defined layouts, title sorting, and easier hiding of posts.

Post from August 31, 2021, filed under .

One Favicon to Rule Them All

I think the situation around favicons sucks. For an HTML minimalist, the ideal world consists of this when it comes to defining a website or app icon: one image file—no code. This is the minimalist’s dream, and we aren’t there yet—or are we?

Post from August 18, 2021, filed under .

HTML Concepts: Constraint Validation

When a form element has attributes that define requirements for the element’s value, then these requirements—constraints—are being validated by the user agent. On the validation of constraints, validity states, and a link to CSS.

Post from July 27, 2021, filed under .

CSS: “:has()” and the Lost Paradigm

On the :has() pseudo-class and the forgotten school of ID- and class-less development.

Post from July 21, 2021, filed under .

The 3-Second Frontend Developer Test

“Do you validate?” Be a frontend developer who ships valid HTML and CSS; hire frontend developers who ship valid HTML and CSS. End the time of unconditionally accepted sloppiness in professional frontend development.

Post from July 14, 2021, filed under .

Use the “i” Element, and Use It Appropriately

“Use em instead of i” is in the Top 25 of bad advice you can get in HTML development. The two elements have different meanings, the blunt rule ignores all context, and i is a valid element with legitimate use cases.

Post from June 29, 2021, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part XII

Content security policies. Promotions. Words. Tracking. Link types. Meta information. VG WORT. Social markup. Living the dream.

Post from June 21, 2021, filed under .

HTML Concepts: The “Nothing” Content Model

There’s a content model in HTML that contains—nothing. Details on what this means, and how it relates to “empty” or void elements.

Post from June 17, 2021, filed under .

Thoughts for the Aging Web Developer

There may be a time when you’ll feel “too old” for web development. When you begin to feel that, here are a few thoughts. They might not be all you need but—maybe they are of use.

Post from May 31, 2021, filed under and .

98% of the Top 100 U.S. Websites Use Invalid HTML (in 2021)

Is frontend development in the bad shape it’s said to be? Is it hyperbole when frontend developers are accused of poor quality work? When you look at the code of the most popular websites, the answer is clear.

Post from May 18, 2021, filed under .

The cover of “Upgrade Your HTML III.”

Upgrade Your HTML III

If you care about HTML as a craft, if you consider yourself an HTML minimalist, if you believe in pushing for boundaries (and sometimes overdoing it), then this is a right book (and a right book series) for you—with 10 fresh examples from the field that get inspected and improved.

Post from May 13, 2021, filed under .

Engineering Management Ă—12

Ideas and principles for managing engineering teams: From “googliness” and “competence, caring, conviction” to systems and processes to communication and delegation to team focus and health to trust and humility.

Post from May 11, 2021, filed under and .

HTML Concepts: â€śBody-Ok”

“body-ok” relates to link type keywords, and denotes what link elements are okay to be used in the document body.

Post from May 4, 2021, filed under .

Code in Quarantine

In the current paradigm, we often work with components and have a 1:1 relationship of HTML to CSS. This makes maintenance more predictable. However, it also pronounces the problem of rarely used code—which can be useful to put in quarantine.

Post from March 31, 2021, filed under .

33 Additional Web Development Terms You May Not Have Heard Of

As you know, Web Development has its own, special vocabulary that easily consists of several thousand terms. Do you like to try your knowledge again, on how many of the following 33 terms you know?

Post from February 12, 2021, filed under and .

HTML: The 16 Content Categories and Their Elements

HTML puts elements into content categories. This article serves as a boring, brief, but updated overview over the broad and overlapping categories of HTML, and which elements fall into them.

Post from January 20, 2021, filed under .

In Critical Defense of Frontend Development

The field of frontend development is in another crisis, largely due to an incomplete, misinterpreted definition and a bizarre mess created by “web development as a commodity” and “web development as software development.” How frontend development is more than development, and what we can (and should) do.

Post from January 12, 2021, filed under .

Ignore AMP

In 2018, my recommendation was to avoid AMP, to use AMP for the most relevant pages, or to use AMP only. In 2020 my recommendation is to ignore it, because AMP largely appears meaningless now. Upgrade Your HTML II gives an opinionated idea why.

Post from December 21, 2020, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part XI

Welcome to another round-up of possible website improvements, this time going from several types of link updates to table of contents CSS upgrades to CDN integration and privacy policy checks.

Post from December 14, 2020, filed under and .

Notes on HTML 3.2

Would it still be useful to read the HTML 3.2 specification—from 1997? A few observations.

Post from December 6, 2020, filed under .

If you like what you see here, consider the ebook version of all of my 2005–2015 posts on web design and development: On Web Development.

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Cover: The Web Development Glossary.

Perhaps my most comprehensive book: The Web Development Glossary (2020). With explanations and definitions for literally thousands of terms from Web Development and related fields, building on Wikipedia as well as the MDN Web Docs. Available at Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.

Cover: Upgrade Your HTML III.

My book series: Upgrade Your HTML (2019–2021). Good HTML isn’t easy. Minimal HTML is underrated. Production HTML can often be improved. This series does so. Available at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.

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Last update: October 21, 2021

Professional frontend developers produce valid HTML and CSS.