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Site design standards


This site may look bare-bones on the surface, but I put much thought into it. I hold myself to a long list of requirements. I make mistakes; if part of my site violates these standards, please contact me!

Note: all references to "pixels" (px) refer to CSS pixels.

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Accessibility statement

I hold seirdy.one to the highest accessibility standards possible. For more information about seirdy.one’s accessibility-related work, read .

Conformance status

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defines requirements for designers and developers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. It defines three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. I make seirdy.one fully conformant with WCAG 2.2 level AA.

Fully conformant means that the content conforms to the accessibility standard without any exceptions.

More accessibility considerations

I conform to all WCAG AAA success criteria (SC) except the following:

SC 2.4.9 Link Purpose (Link Only)
SC 2.4.9 conformance is a work in progress. Let me know if any link names need improvement! Link purpose in context always makes sense.
SC 3.1.5 Reading Level
Required reading ability often exceeds the lower secondary education level.
SC 3.1.6 Pronunciation
I do not currently offer any pronunciation information.

I have only tested WCAG compliance in mainstream browser engines (Blink, Gecko, WebKit). For full details on how I meet every WCAG success criterion, read Details on WCAG 2.2 conformance.

The WCAG presents a starting point, not a stopping point. Here are some non-WCAG accessibility criteria I consider:

  • Rather than follow SC 2.5.5’s advice to achieve a minimum tap target size of 44 by 44 pixels, I follow Google’s more strict guidelines. These guidelines mandate target sizes of at least 48-by-48 pixels, with no overlap against any other targets in a 56-by-56 pixel range. I follow this guideline for any interactive element except inline hyperlinks surrounded by non-interactive text.

  • I ensure at least one such 56-by-56 px non-interactive region exists on the page, for users with hand tremors or anyone who wants to tap the screen without clicking something.

  • Except for text borders, I only set custom colors in response to the prefers-color-scheme: dark media query. These custom colors have an Advanced Perceptual Contrast Algorithm (APCA) lightness contrast close to the ideal value of 90. I use autism- and overstimulation-friendly colors: the yellow links have low saturation to reduce harshness.

  • I ensure narrow viewports don’t cause two-dimensional scrolling. I test this at widths narrower than 200 CSS pixels; this is much stricter than the WCAG threshold values.

Assessment and evaluation

I test each WCAG success criterion with the mainstream browser engines: Blink, Gecko, and WebKit. I test using multiple screen readers:

  • Orca (primary, with Firefox and Epiphany)
  • NVDA (with Firefox and Chromium)
  • Windows Narrator (with Microsoft Edge)
  • Apple VoiceOver (with desktop and mobile Safari)
  • Android TalkBack (with Chromium)

I also accept user feedback. Feel free to contact me through any means linked on my About page.

The following automated tools supplement manual testing:

WAVE reports no errors. AXE sometimes fails to measure contrast, but otherwise reports no errors. IBM Equal Access reports no errors, and finds some items which need manual review.

I run axe-core, the IBM Equal Access Accessibility Checker, the Nu HTML Checker (local build, latest commit), and webhint on every page in my sitemap. After filtering out false-positives (and reporting them upstream), I receive no errors. I repeat this run with every change to my Hugo templates and stylesheets.

To work around issue 1008 in IBM Equal Access Checker, I remove all instances of content-visibility from my site’s CSS before running achecker from the command line.

Compatibility statement

This website uses well structured, semantic, polygot XHTML5 (including WAI-ARIA and DPUB-ARIA extensions where appropriate), enhanced with CSS for styling.

This website does not rely on modern development practices such as CSS Grid, Flexbox, SVG 2, Web fonts, and JavaScript; this improves support in older browsers such as Internet Explorer 11. Users can access this site without extra plug-ins or polyfills. The site does use strictly-optional modern features (e.g. CSS containment) that don’t create significant visual differences.

This website conforms to Web standards. Each build runs xmllint to catch syntax errors. Every few commits, I run a local build of the Nu HTML Checker and html proofer, and see no errors. I do filter out false Nu positives, and I report and fix false-positives when possible.

I also perform cross-browser testing for HTML and XHTML versions of my pages. I test with, but do not necessarily endorse, a large variety of browsers:

Mainstream engines
I keep excellent compatibility with mainstream engines: Blink (Chromium, Edge, QtWebEngine), WebKit (Safari, Epiphany), and Gecko (Firefox).
Tor Browser
My Tor hidden service also works well with the Tor Browser, except for a page containing an <audio> element. The <audio> element appears non-interactive in the Tor Browser due to a bug involving NoScript and Firefox’s handling of the sandbox Content Security Policy CSP directive. To work around the issue, I include link to download the audio.
Mainstream engine forks
Pale Moon and recent versions of K-Meleon use Goanna, a single-process fork of Firefox’s Gecko engine. Ultralight is a proprietary, source-available fork of WebKit focused on lightweight embedded webviews. My site works in these engines without any noticeable issues.
Alternative engines
I test compatibility with current alternative engines: the SerenityOS browser, Servo, NetSurf, Kristall, and litehtml. I have excellent compatibility with litehtml and Servo. The site is usable in NetSurf, and the SerenityOS browser. Servo is the only engine in this category with support for <details>. The SerenityOS browser lacks ECDSA certificate support, but the Tildeverse mirror works fine. Update : SerenityOS LibTLS merged support for these ciphers in October 2023, resolving this incompatibility. The SerenityOS browser also has issues displaying my inline SVG avatar.
Textual browsers
The site works well with textual browsers. All features except <details> work in Lynx and Links2. I include felinks (an ELinks fork), edbrowse, and w3m in my tests. w3m doesn’t support soft hyphens, but the site is still otherwise usable in it. I support these engines by making CSS a strictly-optional progressive enhancement and by using semantic markup. I test with Edbrowse less often. No textual browser supports <details>.
Abandoned engines
I occasionally test abandoned engines, sometimes with a TLS-terminating proxy if necessary. These engines include Tkhtml, KHTML, Dillo,note 1 Internet Explorernote 2 (with and without compatibility mode), Netscape Navigator, old Presto-based Opera versions,note 3 and outdated versions of current browsers. No abandoned engine supports <details>. I use Linux, but testing in Internet Explorer depends on my access to a Windows machine. Besides the <details> issues, the site works well in Internet Explorer 11 and Opera Presto. The site has layout issues but remains usable in Tkhtml, KHTML, and Netscape.

I support compatibility to the following degrees:

  • Works without major issues in mainstream engines, the Tor browser, Goanna, and Ultralight.
  • Fully operable in textual browsers, litehtml, and NetSurf. Some issues (e.g. missing <details>) might make the experience unpleasant, but all major functions work.
  • Basic features in abandoned engines, Dillo, the SerenityOS browser. Some ancillary features may not work (e.g. forms for Webmentions and search), but users can browse and read.

Some engines I have not yet tested, but hope to try in the future:

Machine-friendliness

I use machine-friendliness as an alternative perspective to traditional search-engine-optimization, the latter of which incentivizes low-quality content. It’s a major part of what I’ve dubbed “agent optimization”.

Markup

This site is parser-friendly. It uses well-formed, semantic, polygot (X)HTML5 markup validated by the Nu HTML checker and xmllint.

All HTML pages have an XHTML5 counterpart; the content-type HTTP header is their sole difference. All pages parse correctly with all the XHTML parsers I tried. To see this counterpart, do one of the following:

  • Add index.xhtml to the end of a URL
  • Request a page with an Accept header containing application/xhtml+xml, but not text/html.

My markup includes structured data in four syntaxes, for four different vocabularies:

  1. HTML classes convey Microformats vocabulary to provide IndieWeb compatibility. This improves Webmentions and enables VCard-generation.
  2. Microdata syntax conveys Schema.org vocabulary. This enables many forms of content-extraction, performed by “reading mode” implementations and search engines.
  3. RDFa syntax conveys Creative Commons vocabulary.
  4. <meta> properties convey Open Graph metadata. Instant-messengers and social media use that metadata to generate link previews.

I make Atom feeds available for articles and notes, and have a combined Atom feed for both. These feeds are enhanced with OStatus and Activity Streams XML namespaces.

Reading mode compatibility

The aforementioned structured data improves reading-mode compatibility.

The only article distillation algorithm I actively support is Readability; it powers Firefox and Vivaldi’s reading-modes. Although Brave’s reading-mode has multiple article-distillers, it’s the sole distiller Brave uses on seirdy.one.

This site happens to distill well under Safari’s Reader Mode and Microsoft’s Azure Immersive Reader (AIR); the latter powers Microsoft Edge’s reading-mode. AIR’s stylesheet makes code figures difficult to read: it centers text in figures, included pre-formatted blocks. I filed an issue on the AIR feedback forum, but Microsoft later deleted that forum.

This site works well in the Diffbot article extractor. Diffbot powers a variety of services, including Instapaper.

This site has poor compatibility with the Chromium DOM Distiller’s flawed techniques. Regions with high link-densities, such as citations, get filtered out. DOM Distiller also removes footnotes, and sometimes DPUB-ARIA sections near the end of an article (acknowledgements, conclusions).

Static IndieWeb

I want to show how far I can take IndieWeb concepts on a fully static site, leaving dynamism to ancillary services.

The IndieMark page lists all the ways you can “IndieWeb-ify” your site.

Static site

In multiple senses of the word, my public pages are static.

  • I generate and serve all pages statically, except for the search-results pages.
  • My CSP blocks scripts, eliminating all client-side dynamism besides <details> and forms.

IndieWeb features implemented

I’ve implemented several features from IndieMark:

  • IndieAuth compatibility, using the external IndieLogin.com service.

  • Microformats: representative h-card, in-text h-card and h-cite when referencing works, h-feed.

  • Sending and receiving Webmentions. I receive Webmentions with webmentiond, and send them from my own computer using Pushl.

  • Displaying Webmentions: I render backlinks, IndieWeb “likes” (not silo likes), and comments below posts. I model their appearance after Tumblr’s display of interactions.

  • Backfeeding content from silos: I’m only interested in backfilled content containing discussion, not “reactions” or “likes”. Powered by Bridgy.

IndieWeb features skipped

IndieWeb sites need not implement every IndieWeb standard. Progressive enhancement and graceful degradation let me implement interesting features, and skip less interesting ones. Skipped features include:

  • Authoring tools, in the form of protocols (MicroPub) or dynamic pages. I prefer writing posts in my $EDITOR and deploying with git push, letting a CI job build and deploy the site. I can participate in the IndieWeb and write code with the same tools; I juggle enough already.

  • Full silo independence. My site provides a public, searchable, and filtered view of myself. On other silos I might shitpost or post short-lived, disposable content. These public, but I want them to remain less prominent. I POSSE content to other places, but I don’t exclusively use POSSE.

  • Sharing my “likes”, “favorites”, and “re-posts”. I find these a bit too shallow for seirdy.one. I prefer “bookmarks” where I give editorialized descriptions of shared content. I’ll confine likes and reposts to silos.

  • Rich reply-contexts. I use quoted text to respond to specific snippets, and prefer that users follow links to see full reply contexts. Most of my replies respond to Fediverse posts; many people on the Fediverse feel aversion to content-scraping and archiving. For that reason: I limit reply-contexts to tiny excerpts, and ask for permission to POSSE replies to unlisted posts by #nobot accounts.

Future IndieWeb features

I’m not done IndieWeb-ifying my site. I plan to implement these features:

  • WebSub. I had some issues with Superfeedr; I think I’ll resort to running my own single-user hub.

  • Automatic POSSE to the Fediverse (difficult with reply-contexts, and Bridgy lacks non-Mastodon features such as HTML).

  • Taxonomies (tags).

Low-priority features I have some interest in

I’m not opposed to these features, but I probably won’t implement support for them.

  • RSVPs: I don’t attend many events, let alone events worth an “RSVP” entry.

  • Event posts: same reason.

  • Running my own IndieAuth authorization endpoint to replace the external IndieLogin service.

  • Some sort of daemon to replace the Bridgy service. I don’t plan to run my own Bridgy instance: Bridgy requires Python, but I prefer installing statically-linked native executables.

Privacy

This site is privacy-respecting. Its CSP blocks all scripts, third-parties, and other problematic features. For details on this site’s privacy, read the privacy policy.


Footnotes

  1. Although no official announcement of Dillo’s demise exists, the browser’s development halted years ago. The Dillo website’s domain name expired, so I mirrored the Dillo repository

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  2. Internet Explorer’s engine isn’t abandoned. Microsoft discontinued the consumer version, but supports the browser for enterprise users. I used to have access to the latter; I now test with “Internet Explorer Mode” in Edge when I can access a Windows machine. 

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  3. Strictly speaking, Opera still supports Presto to a limited degree. Opera Mini’s “Extreme” mode still uses a server-side Presto rendering engine; see . That said, I do test with the outdated desktop Presto engine in a sandboxed environment. 

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