Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development

Thoughts on an Accessibility “Get Well” Plan

Have you wondered how to anchor accessibility in an engineering team, one that isn’t yet producing accessible sites or apps? Some options to start with, for further refinement and discussion.

Post from June 29, 2022, filed under .

The Machine-Illustrated Life of a Frontend Developer

You may know DALL·E, what you can do with it, what others do with it, and… be intrigued by it, too. And you may wonder, how would AI depict frontend developers?

Post from June 20, 2022, filed under and .

HTML Concepts: Focusable Areas

When you hear “focusable area,” what comes to your mind? Anchors and form elements that receive focus when being “tabbed through,” i.e., that are highlighted and that can be interacted with? That’s not a bad description!—but also not a complete one.

Post from May 30, 2022, filed under .

Write HTML, the HTML Way (Not the XHTML Way)

You may not use XHTML (anymore), but when you write HTML, you may be more influenced by XHTML than you think. You are very likely writing HTML, the XHTML way.

Post from May 17, 2022, filed under .

2 Approaches to Accessibility on the Web

One can distinguish two approaches to accessibility on the Web: to produce accessible websites and apps (active accessibility), and to produce accessible-making software (passive accessibility). On how largely using one approach would stand in the way of a greater vision for web accessibility.

Post from May 10, 2022, filed under .

The CSS Art Paradox

The fanciest CSS, standing on the shoulders of bloated HTML.

Post from April 28, 2022, filed under and .

3 Books to Become a Better Developer

When a frontend developer chooses A Philosophy of Software Design, The Pragmatic Programmer, and Clean Code.

Post from April 20, 2022, filed under .

HTML Concepts: Commands and Facets

On what you think they are, and something that what you think they are has.

Post from March 29, 2022, filed under .

What Makes You a Professional Web Developer

On a starting point that involves committing to high standards (including validating, and exercising control over oneself), acting ethically, practicing, learning, taking care of oneself, and taking care of others.

Post from March 16, 2022, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part XIII

Lessons from running multiple websites, this time covering SVGs, HTML optimization, auto-completion, semantics tricks, code styling, favicon markup, and social images. Happy Saturday.

Post from March 5, 2022, filed under .

25 Web Development Terms You’ve Never Heard Of

__qems, cyclomatic complexity, homogenous migrations, NUIs, OOPIFs, and everything the web and software developer needs.

Post from February 1, 2022, filed under .

On the Difficulty of Counting the Number of HTML Elements

How many HTML elements are there? What looks like a fairly simple question, isn’t one, because there isn’t one number of HTML elements.

Post from January 17, 2022, filed under .

Reduce the Pressure on Young and Inexperienced Developers

Lower the expectations on young and inexperienced developers, and raise the expectations on their mentoring and coaching: on running gags, unrealistic expectations, and healthier hiring.

Post from January 6, 2022, filed under and .

HTML Concepts: Form Owners

Today in “HTML Concepts”: form owners. It’s not what you are when you put a form on a page. What are form owners? In essence, form elements that so-called form-associated elements are tied to.

Post from December 18, 2021, filed under .

Web Frameworks, Coding Guidelines, Quality Control, and the Craft of Web Development

“Good frameworks aim to be tailored, usable, and extensible”? “Coding guidelines must be communicated, enforced, and reviewed”? “No website should go without a plan for quality control”?

Post from December 1, 2021, filed under .

The 6 Ways of Writing HTML (and Their Combinations)

There are 6 general ways of writing HTML: unsystematic, valid, semantic, accessible, required-only, and hyper-optimized. These types make for 19 combinations—the ways we write HTML.

Post from November 23, 2021, filed under .

HTML Concepts: Common Idioms

Welcome to another brief post in the “HTML Concepts” series. Today we’re going to look at common idioms: popular design patterns for which HTML doesn’t have dedicated elements, but makes suggestions.

Post from November 2, 2021, filed under .

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 .

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: June 29, 2022

Professional frontend developers produce valid HTML and CSS.