Lack of news and some hot topics

Has anyone noticed the lack of hopping in web development over the past month or so? The industry is usually so active that we can find new stories coming up in our RSS feeds every week. Maybe it’s the feeds I subscribe to, but the stories have been trickling in lately. Maybe we’re all off building our mobile web sites.

Here’s some things we can read up on in preparation of the new web.

The Web Beyond the Desktop

An article by David Shea written in April based on a presentation by him and John Allsopp at Web Directions North 2008 in Vancouver. David talks about how there is a movement beyond the desktop computer to mobile devices, Wii, PS3, and anything with web browsing capabilities. This is an important article and was my main arguement for getting a Wii in the office here… it didn’t work but my arguement was still valid.

Mobile Web Design

A book by Cameron Moll giving a great jumping-off point for anyone looking to get into mobile development and talks about the inevitable collision between web standards and the mobile web. Cameron provides a very well written introduction the the mobile web in a round 100 pages (which I love). It’s not long-winded like many books, it gets right to the point, and its not expensive… hightly recommend.

Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users

An article by Tomi Ahonen highlighting the impact of mobile technologies in recent times. There’s a good follow up article by Tomi to this as well: When there is a mobile phone for half the planet: Understanding the biggest technology. Both these articles are pretty long, but very good and considered to be required reading for anyone diving into the mobile web.

WAI ARIA accessibility support

I first heard of WAI ARIA in an article on A List Apart called “Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA” and it seemed very interesting, but unsupported. Then in a talk by Derek Featherstone, I heard it mentioned again and it peaked my interest.WAI ARIA is a way to make all these cool Ajax apps more accessibile by describing the role of a certain area of the page (like giving your navigation a role of “navigation”). It also allows users to navigate by section of the web site rather than tabbing through all the links or using a skip menu.

Content Delivery for Mobile Devices

An article from dev.mobi on the best practices for serving up web content on a mobile device. Delivering content to mobile devices has been a very tricky subject. Developers who came into the mobile world were usually confronted with a new and unknown paradigm, where very little information could be found on how to determine devices’ capabilities and to deliver content to them (used a q tag for the first time right there).

I feel like this post was mobile-heavy, but it’s important to not forget about the basics of web standards while developing in these new buzzwords; and more basics like learning JavaScript and the XMLHttpRequest before you heavily use jQuery or Prototype. Reading Bulletproof Ajax helped me with that.

Anyway, I hope this gets some RSS feeds stirring. Thoughts? Comments? Complaints about my awful grammar?

with ease,
Tim