A handy little bookmarklet for quickly checking how a site might look at different screen sizes, and you can customise it to use whichever screen sizes you like.
April 23rd, 2014
I’ve been puttin together the website for this year’s dConstruct and I reckon it’s in a decent enough shape to ship, so without further ado, I present to you…
Here’s what you need to know:
- dConstruct 2014 takes place on September 5th in the Brighton Dome.
- Tickets will cost £150+VAT.
- Tickets go on sale at 11am on May 19th.
- It will be bloody brilliant.
To clarify that last point, it will be bloody brilliant because of the people who will be speaking. Like, ooh, I don’t know …Warren Fucking Ellis!
I’m ludicrously excited about the line-up for this year’s event, and what’s on the website isn’t even the full roster; there’s more to come. But I can’t contain my excitement any longer and I just have to share this with everyone.
Now, you may not recognise every name on the line-up. Heck, you may not recognise any the names on the line-up. But if you were at dConstruct last year (or the year before) than I hope I’ve earned your trust. And trust me, this is going to be a fantastic day.
So put Monday, May 19th in your calendar so you can grab your ticket when they go on sale (don’t worry—there’s plenty to go around). And put Friday, September 5th in your calendar and I’ll see in the Brighton Dome for the event of the year.*
This visual approach to demonstrating how CSS selectors work is really handy.
I’m not sure if I agree completely with every point, but this is a great shortlist of things you can do to make your code more resilient and understandable (thereby making you, by any sensible definition, a better programmer).
Eileen Gunn writes in the Smithsonian magazine on the influence of science fiction.
Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions.
or: how I learnt to stop worrying and love the blog.
This is a really nice introduction to the basics of the Indie Web …with nice illustrations too.
I like this idea. It would be nice to see it catch on…
- Report a bug for any website or browser.
- Our team of volunteers diagnoses the bug.
- We send a fix to the site owner or browser.
April 22nd, 2014
A thoughtful in-depth piece that pulls together my hobby horses of independent publishing, responsive design, and digital preservation, all seen through the lens of music:
Music, Publishing, Art and Memory in the Age of the Internet
April 21st, 2014
I like Matt’s observation here that the simple combination of a barebones data format like HTML delivered over HTTP is a good-enough low-level API for joining up all kinds of internet-connected things.
In the last 60 years, the biggest software platform for interop and integration – for new products, services, businesses, and value creation – has not been Android, or iOS, or Windows, or the PDP-11. The biggest and best platform has been the web.
One implication is that successful products are not necessarily those with seamless, beautiful, tightly-controlled “experiences”, but rather the ones that are capable of talking to each other.
Small things, loosely joined.
April 18th, 2014
The GPS system is a monumental network that provides a permanent “YouAreHere” sign hanging in the sky, its signal a constant, synchronised timecode.
April 17th, 2014
Some interesting thoughts that follow on nicely from Scott Jenson’s ideas around just-in-time interactions:
What if the technology was actually already in the room when we got there? Maybe that’s the kind of Internet-of-things that will be more sustainable and will win long-term.
I really like the way that Cennydd emphasises the importance of being able to explain the reasoning behind your design decisions:
If you haven’t already, sometime in your career you’ll meet an awkward sonofabitch who wants to know why every pixel is where you put it. You should be able to articulate an answer for that person—yes, for every pixel.
That reminds me of something I read fourteen(!) years ago that’s always stayed with me. In an interview in Digital Web magazine, Joshua Davis was asked “What would you say is beauty in design?” His answer:
Being able to justify every pixel.
It’s called fragmentions and it builds on the work done by Eric and Simon. They proposed using CSS selectors as fragment identifiers. Kevin’s idea is to use the words within the text as anchor points (like an automatic Command+F):
To tell these apart from an id link, I suggest using a double hash - ## for the fragment, and then words that identify the text. For example:
That link will work in your browser because of this script, which Kevin has added to his site. I may well add that script to this site too.
Fragmentions are a nice idea and—to bring it back to Cennydd’s point—nicely explained.
A nice summation by Dan of when it makes sense to use a graphic design tool like Photoshop and when it makes sense to use a web browser.
April 16th, 2014
If you insist on having a fixed header on your site, please, please, please add this script to your site. I often use the spacebar to page down so this would be a life-saver.
April 12th, 2014
Many people are—quite rightly, in my opinion—upset about the prospect of DRM landing in the W3C HTML specification at the behest of media companies like Netflix and the MPAA.
This would mean that a web browser would have to include support for the plugin-like architecture of Encrypted Media Extensions if they want to claim standards compliance.
A common rebuttal to any concerns about this is that any such concerns are hypocritical. After all, we’re quite happy to use other technologies—Apple TV, Silverlight, etc.—that have DRM baked in.
I think that this rebuttal is a crock of shit.
It is precisely because other technologies are locked down that it’s important to keep the web open.
I own an Apple TV. I use it to watch Netflix. So I’m using DRM-encumbered technologies all the time. But I will fight tooth and nail to keep DRM out of web browsers. That’s not hypocrisy. That’s a quarantine measure.
From what I’ve seen, this is a discussion of pragmatism: given that DRM exists and movies use it and people want movies, is it a good idea to integrate DRM movie playback more tightly with the web?
His conclusion perfectly encapsulates why I watch Netflix on my Apple TV and I don’t want DRM on the web:
The argument has been made that if the web doesn’t embrace this stuff, people won’t stop watching videos: they’ll just go somewhere other than the web to get them, and that is a correct argument. But what is the point in bringing people to the web to watch their videos, if in order to do so the web becomes platform-specific and unopen and balkanised?
As an addendum, I heard a similar “you’re being a hypocrite” argument when I raised security concerns about EME at the last TAG meetup in London:
I tried to steer things away from the ethical questions and back to the technical side of things by voicing my concerns with the security model of EME. Reading the excellent description by Henri, sentences like this should give you the heebie-jeebies:
Alex told me that my phone already runs code that I cannot inspect and does things that I have no control over. So hey, what does it matter if my web browser does the same thing, right?
I’m reminded of something that Anne wrote four years ago when a vulnerability was discovered that affected Flash, Java, and web browsers:
We have higher standards for browsers.
I love the thinking behind this plugin that highlights the weasel words that politicians are so found of.
This is a wonderful piece of writing and thinking from Frank. A wonderful piece of design, then.
A personal view on generalists and trans-media design
April 10th, 2014
Some sleuthing uncovers an interesting twist in New York’s psychogeography:
All of the buildings have been demolished, and in some cases the entire street has since been erased. But a startling picture still emerged: New York once had a neighborhood for typography.
Here’s the font that Brian created at the line-mode browser hack day at CERN.
April 9th, 2014
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.