Published articles I've written

Here are some examples of articles I've had published over the last few years:

Drop Cap: The Next Generation
Published at SitePoint

“Recently I wrote about the drop-cap technique used in the newly re-designed SitePoint Blogs, and one comment there really caught my interest, because it was asking about a situation I'd never even considered: a drop cap where the text flows around the shape of the letter, rather than just around its bounding box, so the letter feels more like a part of the text and less like a separate entity...”

Spice up your Firefox Extensions with a Dash of HTML
Published at SitePoint

“Want your Firefox extension to stand out from the crowd? Wish extensions were as easy to style as web pages? In this article, James shows us how to give an extension that extra bit of flair by mixing HTML right into an XUL document...”

10 Things They Never Tell You In Firefox Extension School
Published at SitePoint

“This is a follow-up article to my recent ebook, Build Your Own Firefox Extension — an extra selection of useful tips, tricks, and hacks that I've collected from my experience with building extensions for Firefox, including CodeBurner, the SitePoint Reference extension...”

Multi-threading in JavaScript
Published at SitePoint

“Before we begin, let me come clean and admit that the title of this article is a little sensationalist! JavaScript doesn't really have multi-threading capabilities ... however, we can simulate a kind of multi-threading in order to gain one its practical benefits — the ability to run extremely intensive code that would otherwise freeze-up the browser...”

XHTML or HTML: Does It Really Matter
Published at SitePoint

“Eight years on, is HTML stuck in a rut? James looks at the underlying causes of its eight-year sleep, dispels some myths, and considers the XHTML options open to the standards-aware developer in the meantime...”

Beyond CAPTCHA: No Bots Allowed!
Published at SitePoint

“The popular CAPTCHA solution can help lock out robots and reduce spam, but it's far from failsafe — and it causes major accessibility headaches. In this article, James looks at the problems, issues, and alternatives to requiring a human to prove that they're not a bot.”

Stop Using Ajax!
Published at Dev.Opera

“In this controversial article, James "Brothercake" Edwards argues that we should stop using Ajax until we have ironed out the issues surrounding its lack of compatibility with accessible technologies such as screenreaders, and suggests how you can stick to accessible web standards-based techniques, instead of resorting to Ajax.”

The Art and Science of JavaScript
Published at SitePoint

“In this tutorial, we'll look at a technique for using CSS and JavaScript to build a first-person-perspective maze, in homage to old-school adventure games like Dungeon Master and Doom. In truth, the scripting involved is fairly complex, and it won't be possible for me to spell out every nuance of the code in this single tutorial. What I can do, though, is introduce you to the principles of creating shapes and perspective with CSS, and the task of using JavaScript to generate those shapes on demand.”

Accessible JavaScript: Beyond the Mouse
Published at SitePoint

“In this article, I'd like to provide a little gratification to those attempting to make their web applications accessible. To achieve this, I'll talk about some of the more basic, solvable issues relating to JavaScript accessibility, as we take an introduction to device-independent scripting.”

Showing Good Form
Published at 24 ways

“Earlier this year, I forget exactly when (it's been a good year), I was building a client site that needed very specific form widgets, where the fields are arranged in a grid. Building this was a challenge not just in CSS, but in choosing the proper markup - how should such a widget be constructed?”

AJAX and Screenreaders: When Can it Work?
Published at SitePoint

“We've all heard a great deal of buzz about AJAX in the last few months, and with this talk has come a legion of articles, tips, presentations and practical APIs designed to explore the possibilities and try to arrive at best-practice techniques. But, for all of the excitement and hype, still very little has been said on the subject of AJAX and accessibility.

“And that's why I've written this article: to present some of the data and analysis I've compiled, and see if it points to a useful conclusion.”

Script Smarter: Quality JavaScript from Scratch
Co-written with Cameron Adams and published at SitePoint; this article is an excerpt from The JavaScript Anthology.

“If you've avoided JavaScript, or only knew it in its previous 'toy language' incarnations, now's the time to step up and get to know the newer, smarter JavaScript. This hands-on tour will get you started with JavaScript before illuminating the ways in which the DOM can be utilised via JavaScript, the practicalities of pop-up windows, and how JavaScript can work within a web page to produce slick DHTML effects.”

Beat Any Website into Shape with Greasemonkey
Published at SitePoint

“Ever frustrated by a site you really like apart from one annoying thing it does, or felt the desire to customise sites you visit often? Just as user CSS allows you to change the way websites appear, so user JS allows you change the way websites behave.

“This article looks at user scripting in general, and Greasemonkey in particular, to explore some of the possible applications, and discuss any issues that arise.”

Invasion of the Body Switchers
Co-written with Andy Clarke and published at A List Apart

“Wouldn't it be great if we could update the classic ALA Style Switcher to accommodate multiple users and devices, including some that aren't even traditional browsers, all from a single JavaScript and CSS file? Well, now we can! Enter the Body Switcher.”

Like to read more?

Check out the blog posts archive, plus there are more articles and commentary in the reference section.

Recent posts at SitePoint

Lessons from a Failed Experiment in JavaScript Accessibility <mmxv.v.xviii>

When you tick the 'show password' box on a site you expect to be able to see your password. But what happens for users with screenreaders?

Accessible Drag and Drop with Multiple Items <mmxv.iii.ix>

I'd like to show you how to extend the capabilities of HTML5 drag and drop — so it can handle multiple elements, and support keyboard interaction, for sighted and screen reader users.

older posts →

So how can I help you?

Please do get in touch, and let me know what you need.

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[brothercake] a round peg in a square hole, that still fits