Web We Want Progress Update - November 2020
13 November 2020
We've been driving the Web We Want for over a year now, asking developers what they think is missing from the web platform or DevTools.
Before COVID-19, we had run 9 WWW sessions at events with plans to do more. Behind the scenes we’ve been working out a plan on how to evolve this session for the current virtual situation we’re in and still be meaningful.
Stay tuned for news to come there but for now I wanted to provide a brief update on some of the Wants that had been submitted and their current status.
Landed features & in-progress work #
- Developers want a source order viewer for rearranged content: The Source Order Viewer was presented at the Web We Want session at Smashing Conf NYC last October and was the Judge's Pick. This feature has landed in Edge Canary.
- Developers want accessibility tools front & center: the DevTools team took this as an opportunity to surface accessibility hints in the Issues panel of the browser DevTools.
- Developers want a 3D Viewer like in Firefox DevTools: This feature was in-progress when the Web We Want submission came in and is now available in the Edge DevTools.
- Developers want better HTML Form Controls: We've received numerous submissions about improving HTML Controls. Edge, Chrome and Salesforce are working alongside the Open UI initiative to drastically overhaul and improve styling controls which is a validated (and large) pain point for developers.
Standards related Wants #
- Developers want the ability to flow content dynamically from one container to another using CSS: This proposal relates to CSS Regions, a spec under the W3C that hasn't been updated since 2014 might be worth a revisit with the advent of dual screen devices.
- Developers want state-based pseudo-classes for media elements: This want is currently a part of the Selectors Level 4 specification which has been updated as recently as September 2020.
- Developers want an overhaul of the Date object: There is a TC39 proposal that provides standard objects and functions for working with dates and times.
- Developers want container queries: A continually hot topic of discussion in the web community. The spec hasn't been updated since February 2018, but this is something developers continue to ask for frequently. As of November 5, 2020, the Chrome team has set out an intent to prototype.
- Developers want multi-line truncation via CSS : This is currently being addressed in the CSS Overflow Module Level 3 spec, which has been updated as recently as September 2020 but prioritization among browsers for landing this feature is unclear.
- Developers want the ability to specify 'line-spacing' instead of 'line-height': The CSS Inline Layout Module Level 3 specification addresses this issue with 'leading-trim'. Microsoft Design is sponsoring the authoring of this spec.
A better way for discussion #
We’ve made some updates as well to allow for a more collaborative environment with the submitted Wants. All of them have been moved to GitHub Discussions in the Web We Want repo where we can add supporting documentation and have a discussion with community members about implementation or standards work already in progress.
We’d love for more community involvement to help drive some of these things. If you’re interested in contributing to an explainer or being involved in the development and future of something, head on over and browse submissions and start a discussion. We’re listening!
Other ways to participate #
Though submissions aren’t being driven by the normal events we would be at, this initiative is still taking submissions.
You can participate by letting us know what you want for the web and filling out the form on the site or by going through the submitted Wants and upvoting what you want to see in browsers or DevTools. We’re paying attention to those upvotes.
We have some more surveys in the works to help prioritize submissions as well. So if you’d like to stay up to date on those and the latest news with the Web We Want, give us a follow on Twitter.
This is a community effort and we’re thrilled to have some features landing in browsers and others in the works through standards groups. Progress is real and happening and I’m so excited to continue to drive this effort.