An Event Apart 2011

Went to An Event Apart in DC this year and had a good time, met a lot of nice people and saw some great presentations. Nice to see the front-end developer role becoming more professionalized and really push to (continue) to make a better web.

It’s put on by the guys who do A List Apart (not surprisingly), and many of the authors of books published by the highly recommended A Book Apart participated.

One of the big themes across talks was content. How to manage it, present it, structure it, make it responsive and accessible to all. Tech-wise, there were some interesting presentations on refinements and new techniques being used in HTML5 and CSS3 and how we can be using this stuff now (again) in order to provide “progressive enhancement”.

Some notable highlights:

Andy Clarke’s presentation had more fun CSS3 animation demos – like: the-letter-heads plus some interesting thoughts on semantic markup for CSS3 animations ( view this source: view-source: then check out the animation )

Something you may have heard about but haven’t used yet (due to limited browser support) is Flexible Boxes see the Eric Meyer blurb on the AEA site and Google for plenty of examples. It’s something that definitely has the potential to change the approach to how we code layouts and has implications for responsive/mobile as well ( ).

We also went to an accessibility workshop, which should be a separate internal RF workshop – we’re trying to get someone who can demo some assistive reader technologies, etc. The presenter at the conference, Derek Featherstone, is one of the leaders in accessibility, you can check out his sites for more info:

Of particular interest is how much iOS has native support for accessibility and a good way to experience a site or app is to turn on the accessibility settings like VoiceOver on iPad/iPhone and then turn on the screen curtain (triple-tap!) so you can’t cheat.

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