Automatic preview image based on screenshot

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~412 times.

When you share a URl on services like Twitter and WhatsApp, they often display a preview image. This is usually accomplished by the author of the page selecting an image from the page, and adding it to the Page's metadata like this: <meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/preview.png"/> (See the OpenGraph Protocol and Twitter's Guide for more detailed… Continue reading →

Limitations of HTML's title element

by @edent | # # # # | 7 comments | Read ~194 times.
The raw HTML displays in the tab.

How much do you know about the humble <title> tag? It has been there since the earliest HTML specification. The 1995 spec says: There may only be one title in any document. It should identify the content of the document in a fairly wide context. It may not contain anchors, paragraph marks, or highlighting. Remarkably… Continue reading →

The Browser Is The User's Agent. But Who Is The User?

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~122 times.
An alert box saying "⚠ Be careful when playing MP3s - check your country's copyright laws before proceeding ⚠"

I spent 15 years in the mobile phone industry - working variously for big mobile operators, with phone manufacturers, and consulting with industry groups. I say this not to brag, but to let you know that I have experience with these matters. Web browsers are often called a User Agent. They are a software agent… Continue reading →

Mapping in HTML - a proposal for a new element

by @edent | # # # # | 17 comments | Read ~4,857 times.
Two men are confused by a paper map

This is a sketch of a proposal for a new HTML element to simplify displaying maps on a website. I'd like your comments and criticisms before I submit it. This is born out of my frustration of using different JavaScript mapping solutions - my phone has a mapping app, why do I need to share… Continue reading →

Web Based OAuth Is A Security Nightmare For Apps

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~976 times.

Twitter have just released Periscope for Android. I'll do a full review of it later (tl;dr it's Qik with worse resolution) - but for now, I want to focus on the sign up process. You can only sign in with Twitter. That's fine, it's a Twitter product. So I pressed the sign-in button and this… Continue reading →

Why your blog URLs should contain dates.

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~1,369 times.

I have a (very minor and polite) disagreement with Matt Gemmel's argument against dates in URLs. Before I start, let me be very clear; your blog = your rules. If you want to write your URLs as a series of Emoji or in Klingon - go right ahead. There really is no such thing as… Continue reading →

How To Use System Emoji With Webfonts?

by @edent | # # # | Read ~6,488 times.

tl;dr - If a mobile web browser recognises an Emoji, it should display it natively. If not, it should fall back to a supplied web font. Is this possible? When Android and iOS find Emoji in text, rather than display them as black-and-white fonts, they show them off in gorgeous colour. For example, the unicode… Continue reading →

McAfee's Failure of Trust

by @edent | # # # | Read ~226 times.

Running a website is hard. Let me clarify - setting up a website is dead simple - keeping it running and updated is tricky. Now, for some of us, it doesn't really matter whether our sites live or die. But for big companies like McAfee it's not simple to switch off a site - especially… Continue reading →

Homoglyphs for SEO

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~213 times.

Search Engine Optimisation is the (dark) art of getting a site to the top of Google's ranking algorithm. If you're in the business of selling decorations for ponds, you want your shop to be right at the top of the results when people search for "bespoke synthetic frog spawn." The problem is, there are lots… Continue reading →

BBC News Don't Get Responsive Design

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~262 times.

In October, I was interviewed in Econsultancy about the BBC's new "responsive" website. I said: The BBC's mobile site is fairly responsive. If you view it on different sized phones and tablets it adapts quite well. But it is an entirely separate site from the main BBC news site. The BBC are doing device detection… Continue reading →