30 Mar 2016, 09:30

Around the Web - March 2016 - Javascript, Citus DB and Dependencies

Javascript

Postgres

Dependencies

28 Oct 2015, 09:30

Around the Web - October 2015 - WebAssembly and Google deprecates _escaped_framgent_ urls

WebAssembly

Maybe with this topic I should rename the blog post as "beyond the web" due to what is or more precisely will be WebAssembly.

  • On 17th June 2015, Brendan Eich (creator of the Javascript language) announced the WebAssembly project, a common effort with Google Chromium, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Webkit and Microsoft Edge teams, to bring new low level primitives to the web — a move that will make it easier to compile projects written in languages like C & C++ to run in browsers and other JavaScript environments.
  • If you read the long interview of Brendan Eich or look at the use cases, it could mean that heavy applications can be brought into the browser (or any javascript environments) such as Games (like Electronic Arts ones, you know the big ones, really !) or Image/video editor (like Photoshop), etc. You could see your browser as a new target for games, in the same way you have a PS4, a Wi-U, etc versions.
  • WebAssembly is not about to replace Javascript, it's more about to provide a binary format (optimised, etc) than can provide low-level actions for which Javascript is not suitable. WebAssembly and Javascript are to run in the same virtual machine. It's also well describre in this article with some schema.
  • For other languages, firstly c/c++, compilers shoud allow them to build a WebAssembly binary file which will then be used into a browser.
  • Project is still at early stage but some incremental releases are to happen in 2017/2018. In the same way HTML5 was a rolling release, WebAssembly will appear progressively and polyfill will alow to start using it.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • Google deprecated its AJAX crawling scheme and thus, you no longer need to use the "_escaped_fragment_" urls trick. So Google improved the way they can render moder sites and thus index them.

26 Aug 2015, 09:30

Around the Web - August 2015 - ES6/ECMAScript 2015 & Premium Media

Javascript

Welcome to ES6 In Depth! In this new weekly series, we’ll be exploring ECMAScript 6, the upcoming new edition of the JavaScript language [Note : ES6 was approved as ECMA-262, 6th Edition, ECMAScript 2015 Language Specification mid June 2015]. ES6 contains many new language features that will make JS more powerful and expressive, and we’ll visit them one by one in weeks to come. But before we start in on the details, maybe it’s worth taking a minute to talk about what ES6 is and what you can expect.

Xebia published (in French) a PDF about ES6 with a card system. Each card wil present the old and new way to code javascript and provide explainations.

Premium content

  • Streamiing media on demand with Media Sources Extensions : where you will learn how to get rid of Flash and old streaming mechanism and use new features built-in HTML5. A sample will also show you on how to prepare your video for streaming in the browsers. Media source extensions (MSE) are about adaptive bittrate streaming in order to display and brodcast video in your browsers in a smooth way.
  • Moving to HTML5 premium media : Microsoft Edge Team introduces how they plan to implement MSE in their browser, with also some samples and explainations.

27 May 2015, 09:30

Around the Web - May 2015

API

Misc

  • A day at Devoxx France (in French) : a summary from Xebia about the Devoxx France conference (Java based but not only) and their findings.
  • Mix-IT Web was in Lyon in April, and the M6 Web tech team wrote a feedback in French - Day 1 - Day 2 ; it deals both with tech and agile topics.

Browsers

PHP

UX

  • The Apple Watch: User-Experience Appraisal : a review on how you app should behave (or not behave) on the new Apple IWatch ; transition with iPhone is also managed and the way to dealt with content and how you should manage your interactions.

Web performance

NoSQL, ElasticSearch

  • Elastic released a new (commercial) plugin for ElasticSearch caled "Watcher" and which aims to raise "alerts" when some events occured and according to some conditions, it may generate an action (email being sent, interaction with another system, etc).
  • M6 Web Tech team published a video (in French) about an introduction to Cassandra.

Geolocation

  • Indoor geolocation technology : article (in French) about indoor geolocation technology, describing and comparing Wifi vs NFC vs Beacon vs Magnetic field to provide geolocation.

25 Feb 2015, 09:30

Around the Web - February 2015

UX

  • The Fold manifesto : why the page fold still matters ; even if we get used to scroll, we need to be encourage to do it. Thus the fold is strategic to convince the user to make the effort to go beyond this limit ; whatever the size of the device is (RWD included).

API

Javascript

  • OCTO was at DotJS and try to sum up what is the status of frontend frameworks (in French) mentionning Web Components, Isomorphic javascript (ie both in frontend and backend side) and some ideas around the announcement of the AngularJS 2.0 which generated a lot of noise.

CoreOS, Docker & co

  • Discover Docker; another blog from OCTO, about CoreOS. So if you don't know about CoreOS, Etcd and Fleet, the article is for you so that you have an overview of what is CoreOS.
  • Nuxeo made a summary of their use of CoreOS (including Fleet & Etcd), Docker and the tools they build for Nuxeo.io platform. Very interesting summary.
  • If you are interested in minimalist OS, this post on Docker blog mentions "of course" CoreOS but also Ubuntu Snappy Core (Ubuntu based) or Project Atomic (closed to RedHat/CentOS/Fedora system).

Responsive Webdesign

ReactJS, Flux

HTML5

  • Making a complete polyfill for the HTML5 details element : if you were to bridge the gap by providing a feature a browser does not include, it is very interesting to see the how it is done from a methodological point of view.
  • Improve your lists with style ! Now that counters are "stylable", you can do a lot of things to improve the rendering of your lists (no more bullet points but some shiny icon ?, manage padding, etc). HAve a look at the demo (requires a modern browser)

26 Nov 2014, 09:30

Around the Web - November 2014

DNS

HTTPS

MySQL

HTML5/CSS/Responsive Web Design

  • 7 CSS Units you may not know about : rem, vh, vm, vmin, vmax, ex and ch. I did not know the two latter. Some more examples for the vh/vm and vmin/vmax.
  • About rem and em more specially, if you want to move from a fixed approach (ie pixel one) to a more fluid/adaptive one (em/rem), you should read this article  and then this one which explain the issue with pixels and the new way to manage it. You can also use em/rem for positionning content ; em/rem are not only about text.
  • 5 obsolete features in HTML5: hgroups tag, pubdate and scope attributes, command and center elements. With the good way to implement them and/or some workaround if you still need them.
  • RWD adoption 2014 : top 100/1000/10.000 sites are evaluated - from to what extend is RWD implemented to mobile site vs RWD benchmarks in terms of performance.
  • 6 technologies that will change the web platform : asm.js, paralleljs, ECMAScript 6, web components, installable webapps, CSS Grid layout
  • The state of Web Animation 2014 : Between the post-Flash area and the Web Animation API to be implemented in all browsers, a review of current challenges and polyfill to bring animations into the browsers. Comments are also worth to read to get more resources.
  • If you are interested in a book about RWD, seems the latest book from A book apart may interested you : Responsible responsive web design (related review)

Browser

Web Performance

  • M6 Tech team made a review of their participation to Velocity conf (day 1, day 2, day 3), a web performance oriented conference. Even if their synthesis is in French, related slides and video are in English. You can also find the one of 2013 (day 1, day 2, day 3)

AngularJS

React (Facebook)

  • React through the ages : an interesting introduction (from origin to what's coming) about React, a JS library to build user interfaces.

23 Apr 2014, 09:30

Web Roundup - 23/4

This blog is not (yet) dead ; some links :

  • Internet Explorer Web Platform Status and Roadmap : To know if/when some features of HTML5/CSS3/JS have been implemented in Internet Explorer from IE9 to "Under Consideration" or "Not currently planned"
  • If you want to build Windows 8 apps in JS (instead of .net technologies) but also more general UI in HTML/CSS/JS (more sceptical on this one), you may be interested by WinJS, recently opensourced by Microsoft. You can even try it first and then look at the code/project.
  • HTML5 Security Cheat sheet : some security points to have in mind
  • WTF, HTML and CSS? : Reasons HTML and CSS might make you say what the fuck. A curated list of commonly frustrating HTML and CSS quandaries, miscues, and dilemmas.
  • A "Should I use" in French about some ergonomic pitfalls like caroussel, intrusive pop-in, fixed headers/footers, etc with samples. Still work in progress but with some good examples.

Till next time !

06 Nov 2013, 09:30

Web Roundup - 6/11

Keeping on frontend side to change from my current backend tasks (SSO/Kerberos, Postgresql, etc) :

  • Touch and Mouse : together again for the first time :
    • You may consider so far that your application is either used in a touch context (on a tablet) or a mouse on (on the desktop). However with the rise of Touch & Mouse devices (think Microsot Surface, ChromeBooks, etc), you will have to consider both at the same time.
    • Often developers also consider that mouse and touch events are similar, the article will show you some differences. Fortunately, with Pointer Events initiated by Microsoft, there is a standard in progress for managing both at the same time through a standardised API.
    • You can start using Pointer Events with these JS libraries : PointerEvents.js and Hand.js
  • Icon & Pictogram (in French) : a very interesting article to distinguish icons / pictograms and the right way to use them. Not as obvious as we may think first. A good pictogram = icon illustrating the right concept in the right context, being meaninful for most people with/without the associated label, etc.

  • Reminder : do not use @import to load your css files ; prefer the link notation as files would be downloaded in parralel and not one after another.
  • Still about webperf, a "latency for dummies" article to learn more about latency (what is it ? how it impacts my site ? etc.)
  • And to finish, if you want to hightlight differences between HTML4 and HTML5, there is an app a web page for that.

16 Oct 2013, 09:30

Paris Web 2013

I had the opportunity to attend Paris Web last week. For those who don't know Paris Web, it's a conference about webdesign, accessibility and quality, but not only/strictly and 2013 was the 8th edition, gathering 600 people in Palais Brongnart and almost 600 online too with the live. All the conferences were recorded, so if you are interested, you'll be able to watch them online later.

For me, It was 2 days with a lot of insights, values and beliefs on what the web should be and how we should work and somehow live with the Web.

Below a summary of the talks I attended.

Day 1:
  • "La folle journée ou la fourberie d'un projet" : a funny introduction with a story with all the "clichés" about a web project : use of trainee, lack of specs, lack of organisation, etc.
  • "API Best practices" by Eric Daspet (slides) : Eric provides some feedbacks about his own exprience on builind API ; a few lessions he learnt and shared :
    • Dates are ambigous, especially when you deal with timezones ; be the most defensive as you can against date (don't assume lazy people will provide UTC based date for example but more a local date with timezone)
    • Plan additional langues to avoid breaking your JSON object and more globally your API when adding a new languages
    • Pagination : your collection can change between two requests ; so implement a strict filter and some before/after pagination than using offset and limits/quantity
    • Enforce pagination and limits to avoid a client making a query on the whole collection
    • Versioning : be compatible but not that much. You will fail to some extend, assume you will have to redesign your API and have a v1, v2, etc
    • Structure : be predictible with your URI schema ; don't have more than 3 levels (collection / item / link)
    • Encoding : avoid special characters to avoid some double encoding in some code (yours or the one of your client)
    • Security : never implement your own system, rely on standards like HTTP-Baisc and oAuth ; provide a mandatory SSL/TLS channel.
    • Make your API simple to start with but the most flexible/opened also to be easily extended later
    • Mix a bunch of state of the art, standards and pragmatism to have the right balance to build your API
  • "I code so I test" :
    • Remember that Ariane 5 rocket exploded for a cost of 370 millions $ for a code from Ariane 4 which was not tested and for a test estimation about 300.000$
    • Review of the main tools for testing (unit / integration / functionnal / UI / validity / compatibility testing)
    • Aim is not to improve code quality by the test ifself but the process it requires
    • Imrprove code resilience, maintenance and evolutivity
    • Imrpove the trust you have in the code, even if you are not the one who developed it
    • There is a learning curve which is not that much about the tools but about the experience on how/what to test
    • Be realistic/pragmatic in your tests but always tests
    • Start better with a wrong test than with none. Never wait for the perfect test and you will improve them over time.
  • HTML5 accessibility (slides) :
    • There is still a long way to go even if browsers do mostly their job. It's because of the WIP status of HTML5 but also the fact that browser are not always connected to the "Assistant tools" to which they should provide information. Even if not up to date, you can check HTML5Accessibility.com.
    • Overuse of "section" tag in HTML5 is what we had with "div" tag in HTML4, whereas "section" are visible in audio system (and not always div, creating too much noise but at least being visible)
    • Aria is to make the bridge for accessibility when native tags are not sufficient. It will use shadow dom
    • Tip 1 : if you use a "section", provide a heading to make your section meaningful for audio/screen reader devices
    • Tip 2 : if you try to enhance some native html tags (like input) to make it looks fine for non paired people, think about accessiblity
    • Tip 3 : Use native html tag instead of Aria components when possible
    • Tip 4 : Do not change/alter native HTML semantics
    • Tip 5 : all interactive ARIA controls must be able to use with keyboard
  • Subtile accessibility :
    • On mobile, you have no keyboard nor short description ("infobulle"). So you need to find alternatives to make your content accessible.
    • Some patterns (navigation, links management, etc) are reviewed with a few tips to improve the accessibility. Some tips can be used also to improve UX for non paired users.
  • Learning to love : crash course in emotional ux design
    • Starts with reminding that design is not just about how it looks like but also how it works (cf Steve Jobs quote)
    • Impaired people have difficulties to choose because of this lack of "emotion".
    • Before an application can create an emational relation with user, it must meet basic needs first.
    • It's not because a product is useful that a product is usable.
    • When for email you use the "no-reply@domain.com", you just say you users you don"t care about them ; you should better use a please-reply@domain.com
    • Introduce emotional design smoothly with a progressive adoption, starting by fixing an issue so that you have a first rolling point for emotional design.
  • A small step for "em", a big step for the Web by Nicolas Hoizey (slides)
    • Start with a reminder that we should allow user to set his own preferences (font size, etc) to adapt the site to its needs, and thus we need to give them control on the site but with keeping the control on main layout.
    • For these need, please enter "em"  (and "rem") units both for font-size but also for vertical and horizontal grid. Idea is to adopt proportional/relative size and adopt the elastic rendering (which is not the same as fluid which was more a fixed side but set in percentage)
    • If you also mix an "em" approach with responsive web design, you should both offer a good accessibility and user experience with an adaptated rendering.
    • Promotion of the Future Friendly movement, which I'm also really fan about and share the vision of the web.
  • Impactful user experience user strategy : thoughts about UX based on a delivery issue use cases, making think about the whole process and the vision of each participants and how it impacted the whole user experience.
  • HTML5 Javascript API : based on a memo game html/js/css based, the author introduced some CSS/JS/HTML5 - I did not find it that interesting but maybe because it was end of the 1st day.

Day 2 :

  • Adaptive images for responsive webdesign : a review of some techniques to make adaptive images and for each of them a review in termes of performance, complexity (use of dependencies, etc). We can conclude so far that there is no obvious solution and that so far you need to find the solution adpated for your needs. So it's still a nightmare to some extend for a frontend developer and the fact that CMS would also have to manage it for end contributors, is another challenge.
  • Integration, the "it depends" universe (slides) : Frontend devs needs to know from day 1 the requirements and the constraints of the project to make the right assumptions on how they will integrate the site at a HTML/CSS/JS point of view and choose the right solutions. The latter you provide information/constraints to him, the more impacts it can have.
  • Retroactions loops or how to customise your application :
  • Think Mobile UX (slides) : a very interesting talk on mobile UX by focusing on "degrated" moments (when waiting, when out of connection, etc)
    • Challenge : need to think about interruption and breaks, with a requirement of efficiency, on a short and narrow screen
    • Work on the waiting time the user felt and not the real waiting time to allow him keeping focus on his task and without making him angry about your app. like trying to provide an app skeleton to make feel the app is loading, or provide first local features or assume your connection and transaction will succeed and provides an immediate feedback and do the transaction asynchronously (like when the like is displayed in instragram)
    • Focus on the main task of the app to make it damend simple and fask. Secondary task can then be sub-optimised
  • Rusy web (slides) : a "philosophical" talk about data resilience, what should be kept/deleted, who should do that, etc. More open questions than anything else but an interesting talk as the web is only 20 years. What may seem useless now may be useful later for historians but you also have the privacy issues and your digital legacy.
  • Designing with sensors, creating adaptive experience
    • Not really related with web topics but was very interesting especially for the issue it raised about use of data, if robots could make human dumb, etc.
    • Adaptive design is to make a user experience dependant on context and user (so it's not responsive design)
    • Sensors and related intelligence start to be everywhere from Google Now to your Heating system sensors or if you enter a shop, your device would awake, open the app of the shop and become a personnal shoping assistant.
  • Mobile and accessibilty, a trojan game (slides) :
    • Accessibility aspect of projects were often neglected making the assumption impaired people were not using your website.
    • When you look closely to mobile web, it makes us feel as impaired people. So web mobile is a great opportunity to make site accessible by meeting the mobile requirement
    • Tip : if you allow transaction on mobile, increase session and use local storage to allow people to go through their transaction even if they are disturbed or punctually disconnected
  • Paradox of choice :
    • The more choice you have, the more disappointed you will be. Indeed the right choice seems impossible to make. For e-commerce, you need then to filter/sort/narrow user's choices to make him chose the right solution for his needs.
    • Tip : instead of suggesting similar products for which you can create a higher deception, better suggest additional products.
    • Focus on the end of the transaction process to provide a feeling of satisfaction ; what happens before does not matter that much
  • Lighning talks session (people to present 1 topic in 4 minutes)
    • Two devs from Microsoft made two live coding talks with the BabylonJS framework, one to show how to implement a tetris game in HTML/JS/CSS and one about building a first version of the solar system. It was really impressive !
    • I stopped to save the world : what happens when you stop being a hero in all your projects and that even if it may explode to some extent, gains are higher than keeping being a hero both for you and your firm and projects.
    • Others were nice but not that worth to be mentionned :)


What I liked by attending Paris Web :

  • It makes you think about your job, your values/beliefs, your vision of the Web. I should definitely have attended earlier and I need to find how to stay close to these microcosm/universe to sustain skills/values/beliefs.
  • Some topics seems very far away from my current challenges but who knows...
  • It confirms/extend your knowledge on some topics but also let you discover new ones

Videos of each conferences should be available soon - I strongly encourage you to watch them and attend the 2014 edition.

Extra resources :

09 Oct 2013, 09:30

Web Roundup - 9/10

Responsive web design

  • Viewport resizer, which defines itself as follow : Viewport resizer is a browser-based tool to test any website’s responsiveness. Just save the bookmarklet, go to the page you want to test, click on your created bookmarklet and check all kinds of screen resolutions of the page
  • RWD Bookmarklet : a bookmarklet which allow to see you to what extend your site is responsive with some features like making a keyboard appear, etc.

User Experience

Javascript

HTML/CSS

  • Clipping & Masking in CSS or how to use CSS to apply some "filters" on your images.
  • CSS @supports (CSS & JS) to detect browser support for a given (CSS) style directive. It means you will structure your code based on feature detection. Not fully convinced but worth to know it exists.