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Topic: Browsers

Does your content travel well? Can your site’s design and behavior survive from one platform to another, one browser to another, one configuration to another, across existing and future networked devices? “Write once, publish everywhere” is the goal. Are we there yet? Web standards and testing methods. QA and workflow. Bugs and features in desktop and mobile browsers. Vendors and standards bodies, experimentation and support.

  • var to JIT

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    JavaScript language designer Kevin Smith completes the “From URL to Interactive” series. He explains how browsers compile and execute our JavaScript, and what happens from the moment we land on the page to when we leave. Understanding these browser processes leads us to write more performant code.

  • Braces to Pixels

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    We continue on A List Apart’s four-part “From URL to Interactive” series with Greg Whitworth, a member of the W3C CSS Working Group and the CSS Houdini Task Force. He’ll walk through how CSS is parsed, how values are computed, and what the “cascade” in style sheets actually means. Then we’ll discuss layout, painting, and composition. Brace yourselves, we’re about to drive through a one of our most scenic and winding parts of our journey.

  • Tags to DOM

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    In the second installment of A List Apart’s four-part “From URL to Interactive” series, Travis Leithead, former editor of W3C’s HTML spec, walks us through the process of parsing HTML: from how browsers create trees to how the DOM responds to events. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make smarter DOM decisions, reduce time to interactive, and eliminate unintended reflows.

  • From URL to Interactive

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    When we think about it, our whole industry depends on our faith in a handful of “black boxes” few of us fully understand: browsers. We hand over our HTML, CSS, JavaScript, cross our fingers, and hope they render the experience we have in our heads. But knowing how they work can really get you out of a jam when things go wrong. That’s why we’ve assembled a handful of incredibly knowledgeable authors to take us under the hood in this four-part series. Join us on this trip across the web, into the often foggy valley between code and experience.

  • Server to Client

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    Kicking off the first installment in our “From URL to Interactive” series, Ali Alabbas takes us through the journey of how our code makes it to the browser. In “Server to Client”, he discusses how server connections are made, caching, and how service workers factor into the request and response process. You don’t want to miss this master class from a networking expert; grasping this aspect of how things run under the browser hood is essential to understanding performance.

  • Responsive Images

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    The `img` element remains one of the biggest challenges for website performance, especially in responsive designs. In this excerpt from Image Performance, Mat Marquis tells us why, but he also shines a light on the solution.

  • The Slow Death of Internet Explorer and the Future of Progressive Enhancement

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    Should our development practices be hemmed in by the gaping chasm between Internet Explorer and every other major browser? Or should we dash into the future leaving IE users behind? Oliver Williams argues for a middle ground: We can make life easier for ourselves without breaking the backward compatibility of the web.

  • The Best Request Is No Request, Revisited

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    Now that HTTP/2 is enjoying greater ubiquity than ever, it’s especially important to challenge the once unquestionable rule of resource bundling in client side performance. Join Stefan Baumgartner as he walks you through the potential pitfalls and ill effects of bundling in HTTP/2 environments.

  • Fait Accompli: Agentive Tech Is Here

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    Artificial Intelligence is an extremely hot topic. The process in which everyday devices become more aware of our needs and “learn” to adapt to those needs will play a big part in the future of user experience. In this excerpt from Designing Agentive Technology, AI That Works for People Chris Noessel, examines agentive technology and how it works in behalf of the user.

  • Considering How We Use HTTP/2

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    HTTP/2 is a rough experience on incompatible browsers. Jeremy Wagner explains the true extent of real-world performance problems, and how to adapt delivery of site assets to a user’s connection.

  • Using HTTP/2 Responsibly: Adapting for Users

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    Depending on your audience’s capabilities, a site optimized for HTTP/2 may be detrimental for a segment of your users. Jeremy Wagner shows us how adaptive content delivery can improve site performance caused by incompatible browsers.

  • Practical SVG

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    “Sizing svg is more complicated than sizing an img,” writes Chris Coyier in this excerpt from his new A Book Apart title Practical SVG. But, he continues, it’s complicated in a good way—it gives us more control and opens up some interesting new possibilities. Read on.

  • Interaction Is an Enhancement

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    The web has an endless supply of single-point-of-failure horror stories, where sites serve up blank and blocked pages to dumbstruck users. But the fault is not with JavaScript and other technologies—it’s with how we use them, banking on them alone instead of diversifying how we deliver our experiences. In this excerpt from Chapter 5 of Adaptive Web Design, Second Edition, Aaron Gustafson explains why understanding and working within limitations is the key to building resilient websites.

  • Performance: Showing Versus Telling

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    The technical aspects of performance optimization are indisputably important. But the social work—convincing peers, managers, and clients that performance optimization merits their attention—often gets short shrift. Lara Hogan shows us how we can go beyond charts, graphs, and numbers to show performance rather than merely tell it—and effect a genuine culture shift in the process.

  • Instant Web

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    For some, Facebook’s Instant Articles is a sign that the traditional web stack is incapable of giving users a first-class reading experience. But the sluggish performance of the web isn’t due to an inherent flaw in the technology. That particular problem originates between the seat and the keyboard, where builders make choices that bloat their sites. For Mark Llobrera, Instant Articles is a sign that we need to prioritize performance like we actually mean it.

  • WAI-finding with ARIA Landmark Roles

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    Between the intricacies of documentation and the risk of wielding too much power over the browser, WAI-ARIA can be daunting. For the dev uncertain on how to fold accessibility best practices into their daily workflow, Lyza Gardner sets out to summarize one category of roles—the landmark roles. They help user agents map out the territories on a page so the user can navigate them with greater ease, and they’re a great place to start getting familiar with ARIA’s part in assistive technology.

  • Let Links Be Links

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    The notion of the web as an application platform has never been more popular. Single-page frameworks like Ember and Angular make it easy to create complex applications that offer richer, more robust experiences than traditional websites can. But this benefit comes at a cost. Ross Penman tells us what we can do about it.

  • One Step Ahead: Improving Performance with Prebrowsing

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    We want faster websites, and browsers are helping us get there—searching for patterns, analyzing behaviors, and guessing where users might click next. But we know our sites and users best, and we can use that insight to proactively nudge browsers along. Predictive browsing queues up resources before users even ask for them, creating a faster, more seamless experience. Santiago Valdarrama looks at the benefits and costs of three prebrowsing techniques at our disposal.

  • Performance Matters

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    Web performance depends on much more than JavaScript optimization. Fortunately, the W3C’s Web Performance Working Group has given rise to new APIs that help developers measure performance more accurately and write faster web apps.

  • Summer Reading Issue

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    Presenting the second annual ALA Summer Reading Issue—a deep pool of editor’s picks from the recent archives of A List Apart, sprinkled with some of our favorite outside links. This summer’s picks are arranged in clusters that echo the design process, and like all good summer reading, they travel light. (This issue is also available as a Readlist, suitable for reading on Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Readmill, or other ebook reader.) Dive in!