📝 This Week in Web Design and Development

[Chris]: I did a little reflection thread the other day where I went into some of the variety of sites I’ve worked on in my career. I’ve worked on some eCommerce sites. I’ve worked on brochure sites. I’ve worked on sites that were about as “big web app” as you get. I’ve worked on blogs and content-focused sites.

The tech behind the sites varied too, and it doesn’t always match up how you think it might. Some big apps I’ve worked on were raw PHP with no framework at all. Some content sites I’ve worked on were built from React components. You can’t silo tech into categories for what it is for, because the world will surprise you. You just never know how people will use particular technologies and where they will take it.

Just right now, some sites I work on:

  • CodePen = Ruby on Rails, React, Apollo GraphQL, Sass, CSS modules, CodeMirror (and a million more things)
  • CSS-Tricks = WordPress, Sass/Babel via Gulp, jQuery, Prism, (handful of other things)
  • ShopTalk Show = WordPress with Advanced Custom Fields
  • Email is good = Basic theme on WordPress.com
  • I’m also working on a tiny brochure site in Webflow

I think this variety gives me a certain amount of perspective about web tech that I benefit from. Still, I look around at what other developers I know are working on, and they are building things with tech I’ve never used and for products I don’t know much about. There is so much to know out there that none of us will come close to a complete understanding.

“The web is a big place,” they say. So why would I get all uppity about tech choices when I don’t understand it all myself? Just build websites.

(My recent talk isn’t 100% about this, but it’s highly related.)

🔗 Links from around the web

The Accessibility Object Model is something I’ve never heard of before and so this post by Hidde de Vries makes for interesting reading:

The proposed Accessibility Object Model (AOM) will be “a JavaScript API to allow developers to modify (and eventually explore) the accessibility tree for an HTML page”. In other words: it gives developers direct access to the accessibility tree. In a way, that’s a bit like what Service Workers do for the network and Houdini for style: give developers control over something that was previously done only by the browser. All in the name of an extensible web: control over these low-level features enables developers to experiment and create new things without waiting for the standards process. Perhaps, with AOM, people could define Web Components that don’t exist in HTML just yet.

This sounds… interesting! I’m super excited to start experimenting with this stuff.