Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development (4)

On Declaration Sorting in CSS

I keep on seeing people advocate to sort declarations “by type.” And every time I wonder, why is this idea still going around? Type sorting is extraordinarily ineffective, for it’s extremely slow and consistently unreliable…

Post from September 24, 2014, filed under .

HTML and Specifying Language

I question the importance and ways of marking up language in HTML documents, in particular changes in language. More specifically, I question the officially recommended practice of using the lang attribute to…

Post from August 25, 2014, filed under .

Code Responsibly, Explained

A professional web developer focuses on at least ten priorities in his work. That’s the populist claim Code Responsibly has made since 2008. It was time to explain why these things matter.

Post from July 30, 2014, filed under .

On Web Documents and Web Apps

I’ve just elaborated about research and production code, and why that distinction matters. And I hinted at but put off another distinction: that between web documents and web apps. Pronounced distinction seems important to protect existing document practices…

Post from July 22, 2014, filed under .

All Code Is Not Equal: On Research and Production Code

Web development is at a point at which we need to make more fundamental distinctions. One of them is a more determined one between web documents and web apps, another one is between research and production code…

Post from July 16, 2014, filed under .

5 Questions Web Developers Always Need Answers For

In web development, just as in other fields, it can easily appear as if there are clear-cut solutions for everything. That’s at least the case for many of us neurotic perfectionists, as our world is built on clear-cut solutions. Alas, there aren’t always, and here are five general questions to consider.

Post from April 9, 2014, filed under .

On Links and Accessibility

Hyperlinks and the underlying ubiquitous <a> elements are what make the Web. Just a few weeks back, Christian Heilmann wrote a little about why and how links are important; here it’s about accessibility aspects.

Post from March 6, 2014, filed under .

CSS: When to Use Generated Content

Generated content means a special option in CSS to embed content in documents. It’s achieved through the content property. Fast forward, generated content should only be used for non-critical content; there it can be a very sharp instrument.

Post from February 24, 2014, filed under .

A Word on Contemporary Web Design

These days, and as juror for Design Made in Germany I see a lot of websites, many a designer knows how to make a page appear spacious, even grandiose. Alas, as many appear to have forgotten how to use space effectively…

Post from February 5, 2014, filed under and .

HTML Explained in 123 Tweets: The Google #htmltuesday Archive

Did you know that Google’s Webmaster Team tweeted short statements about all HTML elements, every week, for two and a half years? It was called “#htmltuesday” and ran from 2011 to 2013. All of these tweets are now available in one place: here.

Post from January 21, 2014, filed under .

On Writing a Book with Google Docs and Amazon KDP

Google Docs is okay to write short books and when making limited use of the comment feature. Amazon KDP’s HTML format is a technical disgrace, and Amazon needs to fix it. A few thoughts and tips on completing a book using either.

Post from December 20, 2013, filed under and .

CSS, HTML, and the Problem of Spec Fragmentation

We have not one but two fundamental problems with CSS. One is unrestricted growth and complexity leading to poor understanding and poor code. Another one is spec fragmentation, also an issue with HTML, which results in inefficiencies. We should look for a better balance.

Post from December 5, 2013, filed under .

No to DRM in HTML

It’s been quiet around DRM lately so I like to share my opinion, in brief: DRM doesn’t belong into nor anywhere near HTML. For one, HTML is a language to describe documents and, since HTML 5, applications. I don’t deem DRM in scope for HTML…

Post from November 22, 2013, filed under .

The Curious Case of Breadcrumbs in HTML

We had an interesting thread about breadcrumbs on W3C’s public-html the other day. At first just targeting delimiters, it spawned a debate about the appropriate markup. Here’s my view on breadcrumbs in HTML.

Post from October 3, 2013, filed under .

About Cost in Web Development

Cost is an interesting topic. Oftentimes we think of cost as in “this costs so-and-so much.” Like, the software license costs $2,500. Or three man hours cost $450. I’m not an economist but I like to think of this as something like primary cost. Yet, there’s more…

Post from October 1, 2013, filed under .

A URL Policy for Web Projects

Do your projects suffer from URL inconsistencies? I just noticed how mine do. I also noticed that I did some unnecessary things, like omitting protocols when they were actually useful. And I noticed that I’ve seen similar problems in corporate projects before. So I jotted down a quick “policy.”

Post from August 22, 2013, filed under .

Object-Oriented HTML, and OOCSS

“Object-oriented CSS” is the idea of treating page elements as objects, giving all these objects classes, treating objects’ classes as single entities in style sheets, and taking it from there. I reviewed the old OOCSS site and Smashing Magazine’s introduction.

Post from August 6, 2013, filed under .

How to Order CSS Selectors

There are a number of ways to write style sheets. The domain of style guides, many of them go into some detail. What I, despite my work on a number of guides, including the Google HTML and CSS style guide, have so far missed, is a conclusive reference…

Post from January 30, 2013, filed under .

The CSS Problem

CSS is growing too large while CSS 2 has not nearly been understood by authors. This non-sustainable growth is a big problem for CSS.

Post from November 12, 2012, filed under .

On Browser Testing

The primary goal for cross-browser testing is to make sure that documents are usable and consistent across different user agents and devices. Even if you understand this to entail both functionality and design, the definition of “usable” can be quite interesting.

Post from April 10, 2012, filed under .

HTML and Non-Script Styling

If you are to style a document differently based on whether certain technology is available, you should keep two things in mind: HTML itself is static and separation of concerns is important for maintainability…

Post from February 21, 2012, filed under .

Maintainability: One Story and Three Concerns

To make this a little story, for a long time in my career I wasn’t very concerned about maintainability. I was maintaining projects but didn’t really have an idea about whether what I maintained was actually effective to maintain. I got a sense that things weren’t quite right…

Post from January 31, 2012, filed under .

window.scrollTo() or: When to Stay Clear of User Agents

If you were to ask me whether you as a web designer or developer should do anything about user agent issues, my answer was a clear “no.” It’s not your responsibility. You may lack important insight into decisions made on the user agent side…

Post from January 24, 2012, filed under .

On Semantics in HTML

As web developers we like to talk about “semantic markup,” a somehow inaccurate short form for “markup that is meaningful and used how it’s supposed to be used.” But where is all that meaning coming from? Let’s take a look.

Post from October 26, 2011, filed under .

Print Style Sheets and URLs

Print style sheets are awesome. They’re easy to write, too. Site owners and developers who care about print typically know what to do. Alas there’s one thing that’s done rather the wrong than in any right way: printing URLs…

Post from June 14, 2011, filed under and .

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Last update: May 18, 2018

“The end does not justify the means.”