Interesting article. I wasn’t aware that Vint Cerf was deaf, or that Joybubbles, one of the first phreakers, was born blind.
I can remember some of those Flash-based sites from the early 2000s. Good times.
This is why the web beats native applications. You can indeed make a better interface in native code; you can’t maintain it, and you can’t port it. The native dev is constantly chasing a new API that breaks everything past, and fighting with garbage tools like Xcode. The web dev just needs ed or another text editor, and only has to target the browser, which is a moving target but has backfills and a compatibility policy, and native browsers generally work on the last two major OS releases.
As someone who had been both a software developer and a web designer at various points in my career, I can say from experience that the websites I designed might not work as fully today, but at least they can be opened and viewed. Native apps will always be able to do more, but the OS foundation they sit on will always be at risk of breakage or even deprecation.
People deride web apps packaged using Electron or similar, and some of that derision is deserved, particularly memory consumption. But, increasingly, such cross-platform apps make a lot more sense, both from a development and end-user perspective.
Maybe we’re better off turning our backs on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. and taking our content with us. Hard to see how they can be changed now.
The title may sound sensationalist, but the potential for segregation of people with blindness or other vision impairment online is very real. The Web should be accessible by default.
Lots of links from this article to places where you can view historical documents and photos. And a reminder that the Internet can still be a source of wonder and inspiration. 🙂
AMP is a solution in search of a problem to solve. We have the means to make web pages faster and less bloated, just the will is lacking. And email needs less tracking, not more.
The legacy of NextStep, the weirdness of Internet Explorer for Mac, and the rise of WebKit.
(Be aware, you’ll likely be hit with ‘please agree to be tracked’ banner.)
Ethan Marcotte discussed the depressing results of a recent survey by WebAIM of the top one million home pages and their accessibility. This is important, because in time this may well affect you and I.
Related to last post—I still have a lot of love for Mozilla Firefox, and the current ‘Quantum’ version is a major improvement. And I’m a big fan of their Container system for isolating various groups of websites so they cannot leak tracking info or follow you elsewhere.