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Category: semantics

That Time I Tried Browsing the Web Without CSS

CSS is what gives every website its design. Websites sure aren’t very fun and friendly without it! I’ve read about somebody going a week without JavaScript and how the experience resulted in websites that were faster, though certain aspects of them would not function as expected. But CSS. Turning off CSS while browsing the web wouldn’t exactly make the web far less usable… right? Or, like JavaScript, would some features not work as expected? Out of curiosity, I decided to give it a whirl and rip the CSS flesh off the HTML skeleton while browsing a few sites. Why, you might ask? Are there any non-masochistic reasons for turning off CSS? Heydon Pickering once tweeted that disabling CSS is a good way to check some accessibility standards: Common elements like headings, lists, and form controls are semantic and still look good. A visual hierarchy is still established with default styles. The content can still be read in a logical order. Images still exist as tags rather than getting lost as CSS backgrounds. A WebAIM survey from 2018 reported that 12.5% of users who rely on any sort of assisted technology browse the web with custom stylesheets, which can include doing away with every CSS declaration across a site. And, if we’re talking about slow internet connections, ditching CSS could be one way to consume content faster. There’s also the...

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Too Much Accessibility

I like to blog little veins of thought as I see them. We recently linked to an article by Facundo Corradini calling out a tweet of ours where we used an where we probably should have used an . Bruce Lawson checks if screen readers are the victims of these semantic mistakes… Whenever I read “some browsers” or “some screenreaders”, I always ask “but which ones?”, as did Ilya Streltsyn, who asked me “what is the current state of the text-level semantics in HTML reality?” Léonie Watson to the rescue! Over Twitter, Watters wrote Most are capable of reporting these things on demand, but do not as standard. So you don’t hear the text/font characteristics being announced as you read, but you can query a character/word etc. to discover its characteristics. This is based on the visual presentation of the text though, rather than through any recognition of the elements themselves Which I suppose is to say that if you’re really fretting about screen readers misinterpreting the nuanced usage of your semantic emphasis… you can relax on that one. Bruce’s article led me toward Steve Faulkner’s article “Screen Readers lack emphasis” from 2008. Using the semantic elements strong and em does not convey any useful information to users of JAWS or Window Eyes under typical browsing conditions. While it is good to know this, it is not a reason...

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Why don’t we add a `lovely` element to HTML?

, , , … It’s not hard to come up with a list of HTML elements that you think would be useful. So, why don’t we? Bruce Lawson has a look. The conclusion is largely that we don’t really need to and perhaps shouldn’t. By my count, we now have 124 HTML elements, many of which are unknown to many web authors, or regularly confused with each other—for example, the difference between and . This suggests to me that the cognitive load of learning all these different elements is getting too much. Direct Link to Article — Permalink The post Why don’t we add a `lovely` element to HTML? appeared first on CSS-Tricks....

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World wide wrist

After all the hubbub with WWDC over the past couple of days, Ethan Marcotte is excited about the news that the Apple Watch will be able to view web content. He writes: If I had to guess, I’d imagine some sort of “reader mode” is coming to the Watch: in other words, when you open a link on your Watch, this minified version of WebKit wouldn’t act like a full browser. Instead of rendering all your scripts, styles, and layout, mini-WebKit would present a stripped-down version of your web page. If that’s the case, then Jen Simmons’s suggestion is spot-on: it just got a lot more important to design from a sensible, small screen-friendly document structure built atop semantic HTML. But who knows! I could be wrong! Maybe it’s a more capable browser than I’m assuming, and we’ll start talking about best practices for layout, typography, and design on watches. I had this inkling for a long while that there wouldn’t ever be a browser in the Watch due to its constraints, but instead I hoped that there might be a surge of methods to read web content aloud via some sort of voice interface. “Siri, read me the latest post from James’ blog,” is probably nightmare fuel for most people but I was sort of holding out for devices like this to access the web via audio. Another...

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