456 Berea Street highlights of 2006

It has become a tradition of mine to end each year by posting a list of the most popular (in terms of linkage and comments) or important (in my opinion) articles that I have written or co-written during the year. It’s a chance to catch up in case you missed one or two of them.

Thank you, everybody who takes the time to read what I write. Double thanks to those of you who also compose and post insightful comments that make my articles more useful than they would have been on their own (though there have been occasional problems keeping comments civil and constructive). It takes quite a bit of hard work to keep a site like this going, but your participation makes it worth it.

So, here are the articles I have picked, listed in chronological order:

Published on 456 Berea Street

CSS 3 selectors explained
CSS 3 brings us many powerful new CSS selectors. Browser support is currently lacking, but taking a look at what lies ahead is still useful.
The myth of the overpriced Mac
Even if Apple were to give away Macs for free, there would still be fanatic Mac-haters complaining that they are expensive and overpriced.
Coping with noise in the workplace
Different sources of noise in the workplace, and various methods for coping with the noise or reducing it.
Validity does not equal best practices
It takes more than using valid markup to make a website follow best practices. Much more.
The target attribute and opening new windows
How bad is it really to use an invalid target attribute to make a link open in a new window?
Content Management Systems used by public sector websites found lacking
A survey shows that CMSs used by Swedish public sector websites are lacking with respect to accessibility and web standards.
Alt text is an alternative, not a tooltip
Alternative text should never be displayed at the same time as the image it provides an alternative for.
Indicating language choice: flags, text, both, neither?
Do not use flag icons to indicate language choice. Instead use the name of the language as text in the language itself.
Evaluating website accessibility
An introduction to a series of articles that explain techniques for evaluating the accessibility of a website. Useful to both developers and website owners.
Levels of HTML knowledge
Descriptions of a few different levels of HTML knowledge among people working in the web industry.
CSS Reboot participants far from standards-based
The majority of sites participating in the CSS Reboot of Spring 2006 use invalid HTML, CSS, or both.
Google valid and strict
Making Google’s home page use valid HTML 4.01 Strict and CSS for layout reduces file size by 21 percent.
Light text on dark background vs. readability
The recent design trend of light text on dark backgrounds is reducing the readability and usability of many sites for certain people.
10 things businesses should know before building a website
Ten tips for organisations about to start a new website project, whether they are building a completely new website or redesigning their current one.
CSS Frames v2, full-height
Create the visual effect of HTML frames with CSS and make the scrolling area stretch to 100 % height regardless of the amount of content.
Automatic pullquotes with JavaScript and CSS
How to use JavaScript and CSS to create pullquotes without duplicating content in your markup.
Transparent custom corners and borders, version 2
A technique that combines CSS and JavaScript to create flexible boxes with custom corners and borders and optional alpha transparency.
CSS Validator colour warnings are not errors
Messages about missing colours or background-colours are not errors and can often safely be ignored.
Opening new windows with JavaScript, version 1.2
A new window script that uses object literal notation for better portability and lets you choose which attribute-value pairs will open links in new windows.
Barrier-free Web design, a.k.a. Web accessibility 2.0 (co-authored with Tommy Olsson)
An attempt to explain why we believe that including everybody does not risk excluding people with disabilities.
Have your say about the future of HTML (co-authored with Lachlan Hunt and Molly E. Holzschlag)
The WHATWG is seeking feedback from the community. Here is your chance to influence the direction of the future development of HTML.
Comment posting guidelines
A few simple guidelines for improving the quality of comments you post on this and other blogs.
Resolution vs. browser size vs. fixed or adaptive width
If you want to make your design look its best at a certain width, optimise it for that width. But there is little reason to constrain the site to that width.
Click here and other meaningless link phrases
Many sites use link phrases that are anonymous and meaningless. Help improve the Web by making yourself and your clients think before you link.
You cannot rely on JavaScript being available. Period.
Three popular online services use JavaScript in ways that make them fail, without warning or explanation, when JavaScript is disabled or blocked by firewalls.
10 must haves in IE Next
My ten most wanted bug fixes or new features in whatever becomes the next version of Internet Explorer.
97% of websites still inaccessible
97 percent of websites examined in a global survey on behalf of the United Nations do not meet even the most basic accessibility requirements.
Six things that suck about the Web in 2006
A rant about some of the trends that I find really annoying about the Web in 2006.
Internet Explorer and the CSS box model
Various methods of dealing with the incorrect CSS box model used by older versions of Internet Explorer for Windows.

Published on Vitamin

Why standards still matter
Please keep on writing helpful tutorials and informative articles and books on Web standards, accessibility, and best practices in general.

As you will notice if you look through the list it contains a mix of tutorials, opinions, open questions, and rants. Comments are still open, so if you have something to add, please do.

Posted on December 27, 2006 in Web General


  1. Man, that’s a lot of terrific stuff, Roger. Thanks so much for all that you put out there. You’ve done so much for web standards, accessibility, and so on! Keep up the great work, man.

  2. Thanks for all of your useful content. I look forward to reading your entries in 2007.

  3. Roger!

    Ahh… I missed a few good posts! This post alone is worth bookmarking.

    For me, it was a good year, overall. Can’t complain.

    All the best for you in 2007, and keep it up!

    Regards, Mau

  4. I missed some good ones too. Thanks for this list and for your time and effort. Much appreciated.

  5. Suddenly, but I missed few ones also.

    Thank you very much for this review!

    And I wish you to be even more productive next year!



  6. Really nice list, i had missed some gems here and there too. Thanks for 2006, Roger!

  7. Thanks for a great year, Roger! I keep enjoying your insights :)

  8. December 28, 2006 by Ronaldus

    Although not accordingly to your comment posting guidelines I would like to compliment you with these contributions. I learned a lot from your articles.

    Thanks and I wish you a healthy and happy 2007!

  9. Most of these articles are what have inspired me to start learning and writing about web standards and accessibility. 2006 was a great year for me in that I found some direction, an area of expertise that I want to work towards, and I would like to thank you, Roger, for being part of that inspiration. If every web professional (and browser programmer!) read just the articles above, the web would be a better place.

    Have a great 2007, I look forward to reading much of the same and hopefully making a little splash myself!

  10. It’s always a good read here, please continue posting more amazing stuff! :)

  11. Roger, thank you for another year of very insightful and educational posts about web standards and accessibility! I look forward to seeing what you write in 2007.

  12. Highlights also for low-vision users!

  13. December 29, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Thanks for your great comments everybody!

  14. December 29, 2006 by Miles Ward

    That’s just a lot of solid content. Way to add to the space!

  15. Thanks Roger!

  16. Yes. Thanks, Roger. This is a great resource!

  17. January 9, 2007 by Jessica

    Ditto all of the above comments. This is an amazing resource and like Phil in c#9, it has been one of many sources of inspiration to me in finding an area I am passionate about and hope to contribute to throughout my career.

    Happy 2007 + beyond.

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