Snips purports to be the “first private by design voice assistant” that you can deploy on your own Raspberry Pi, Android, or Linux device. It’s a compelling concept and there are some intriguing projects over on GitHub.
Basecamp‘s Michael Berger details how they recently improved the accessibility of their product’s Jump Menu. This is a stellar example of how Web-based tools can be visually attractive, useful, and accessible.
This is the IndieWeb Directory. It is a directory of people with personal websites on the IndieWeb. As well as being a list of wonderful people it also serves as a API in order to help you build nickname caches or other cool tools.
That should be corrected if anyone invents a time machine.
Cindy brought people together. She was the ultimate connector, and even though she’s gone, the connections she made with all of the people she impacted all over the world will remain. […] She was a vortex of love, and fun, and whimsy, and adventure, and you weren’t just along for the ride, you were an integral part of it.
It’s kind of mind-blowing that games that originally sold for over $30 ($70+ in 2018 money) can now be completely stored in a QR code on a small piece of paper.
The GitHub Engineering team recently completed a gradual transition away from jQuery and wrote in-depth about the experience. There’s a lot of good detail in the post, but I’m particularly fond of this bit:
Stick around through the end of the article for more on how the team is using Custom Elements to enhance the user interface.
A “quick-start” guide for embedding accessibility and inclusive design practices into your team’s workflow.
Accessibility is a crucial part of government product design. First, it’s the law. Federal agencies face legal consequences when they don’t meet accessibility requirements. Second, it affects us all. Whether you have a motor disability, you sprained your wrist playing dodgeball, you need a building to have a ramp for your wheelchair or stroller, or you literally just have your hands full, we all find ourselves unable to do certain things at different points in our lives. Accessible products are better products for everyone.
Congratulations to Maya and everyone else on the team for launching this useful accessibility guide!
Programming time, dates, timezones, recurring events, leap seconds… everything is pretty terrible.
The common refrain in the industry is Just use UTC! Just use UTC! And that’s correct… sort of. But if you’re stuck building software that deals with time, there’s so much more to consider.
It’s time… to talk about time.
With this beautifully designed online companion to a series of presentations, Zach Holman goes deep on time as it pertains to computing history.
This build is a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm replica of the NeXT Computer to house a Raspberry Pi computer. An original NeXT Computer was used by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee as the first web server and this replica was in homage to that.
This delightful project by Nina Richards demonstrates how she created a case for a Raspberry Pi that mimics the industrial design of the very first Web server.
About 400,000 service members move every year, and let’s just say the technology to support them in this time of stress has been less than adequate. For example, the Defense Personnel [sic] Property System (DPS), run by the U.S. Transportation Command, was reliable only 16 percent of the time, was not mobile friendly and would crash, making it difficult to schedule moves.
Starting last year and continuing into this summer, the U.S. Digital Service is beginning to relieve some of the stress that comes with moving.
I’ve worked on aspects of the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) since joining USDS last year. While most of the article focuses on the work my teammates continue pursuing, the article does make mention of our big relaunch of Move.mil.
Another piece to the project was simplifying the website Move.mil, which [designer and project manager Lauryn] Fantano described as a Wikipedia tool of how to move in the military. USDS worked with the command to remove government speak and answer the questions that families most care about when it comes to moving. USDS relaunched Move.mil in December.
It’s nice to see folks taking note of the important work we’re doing. If you’d like to help improve government services through better technology, head on over to usds.gov/join.
💪🏼 🖥 🇺🇸
Taylor Hunt goes deep on HTML’s surprisingly complex and powerful
There’s lots going on with lang, the global attribute that defines the language an element contains. Information about it is scattered, so I’ve collected here what I’ve found.
When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as “tofu.” They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.
Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see “no more tofu.” Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all.
Collecting a few of Jen Simmons‘ tweets:
Learned on today’s CSSWG call—I had a fundamentally out-of-date mental model of how the display property structures its values.
display: <value>;. It’s
display: <outer-value> <inner-value>;.
This realization won’t change what I write in my code, but it does change how I think about what I’m writing.
display: grid; = display: block grid; display: flex; = display: block flex;
display: inline grid;
You can write
display: inline-grid;, but that’s actually out of date. It makes more sense to write
display: inline grid;
Learn about how iOS devices roam in an enterprise Wi-Fi environment.
This is a fascinating support document from Apple running down in excruciating technical detail how their devices interact with wireless networks. Found via Cyril Bouthors tweet where he notes how useful this is when designing a home network.
Do you often look for cool background gradients for your UI?
WebGradients is a free collection of 180 linear gradients that you can use as content backdrops in any part of your website.
A handy resource that includes CSS rules as well as Sketch and Photoshop templates.
The U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) is a library of design and code guidelines to help agencies create trustworthy, accessible, and consistent digital services. The Design System is being used on over one hundred government sites, with an audience of 120 million users. In this 12th post in our series, we sat down with Jason Garber, front-end web developer at the U.S. Digital Service (USDS)‘s Defense Digital Service, to talk about his work creating a Ruby gem for the new Move.mil that integrates the Design System into a Ruby on Rails application.
Looking for more great links organized by year? Browse the archives.