Mind the gap

Mind the gap - Chris Heilmann

  • web development has always been about gaps
  • we did weird alignment things with the alignment of our code, removing the issues introduced by IE 6 & 7
  • the star-hack, IE 6 & 7 were cool with it. Others, not so much
  • stop trying to work around the issues, feedback to the browser vendors so they can fix it?
  • abstractions on top of the browser to help us fix the issues… jQUery
  • we can get rid of the abstraction once the browser vendors catch up
    • except we never do
  • a lot of the web is not working the way it should
  • the average page
    • 15 seconds - the average speed to wait to fully load
    • 5.5 seconds to interact
    • 2MB in size
    • 170 resources
    • missing basic image optimisations
  • whose fault is this?
    • pretty much ours
    • all these cool things we could be using
    • web development is still governed by looks alone
    • clients expect the same on every device
    • speed trumps quality in releases
    • “make it work now, fix it later”, but late never comes
    • we try to impress each other
  • not everybody is responsible for innovating the web, Some of us should just concentrate on keeping the wbe a solid foundation
  • there are so many solutions about the industry, it’s crazy, you can’t keep up with them all

my job was to kill Internet Explorer

  • presenting Microsoft Edge
  • you have IE11 hidden away in there too, you can’t break the web, IE11 will load sites using old technology
  • http://dev.modern.ie/tools/staticscan/ - also available on github
  • the biggest issues
    • aggressive sniffing
      • don’t fix for the browser, fix the specific version
    • outdated libraries and polyfills
    • if it works in iOS Safari, that’s what matters, regardless of the official spec
    • edge had to account for 4200+ issues from people developing for other specific browsers (like -webkit-only prefixes)

Learned from working for browser creators

  • every developer mistake gets catered for
  • the pressure is immense
  • a score of 10% in feature tests makes no sense
  • most speed increases come from fixing bad developer code
  • stop giving people a massive set of tools to auto-fix things
  • stop fully supporting old browsers, give them a basic site and enhance with feature detection
  • stop with the quick fixes
  • keep things accessible for everyone (no technical baseline to using a website)
  • we’re not in a healthy state right now as a community
    • stop building just to impress each other
    • we feel rushed and not good enough - all the time
    • we feel it’s all going slow, while not using the latest developments
  • first step to happiness is: make it happen
    • improve basic skills, see what’s good on caniuse.com
    • start helping people
    • report problems, demand basic features (not hot, new, half-baked ones)
    • reach out beyond your echo chamber, tell those from the outside