Fascinating fodder for Huffduffer:
Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country to create audio diaries about their lives. NPR’s All Things Considered aired intimate portraits of five of these teens: Amanda, Juan, Frankie, Josh and Melissa. They’re now in their 30s. Over this past year, the same group has been recording new stories about where life has led them for our series, Teenage Diaries Revisited.
A profile in The Guardian of the Internet Archive and my hero, Brewster Kahle (who also pops up in the comments).
Armchair travelling to Ballardian locations.
Charles Arthur analyses the data from Google’s woeful history of shutting down its services.
So if you want to know when Google Keep, opened for business on 21 March 2013, will probably shut - again, assuming Google decides it’s just not working - then, the mean suggests the answer is: 18 March 2017. That’s about long enough for you to cram lots of information that you might rely on into it; and also long enough for Google to discover that, well, people aren’t using it to the extent that it hoped.
Tantek steps back and offers some practical approaches to reclaiming a more open web from the increasingly tight clutches of the big dominant roach motels.
Notice that he wrote this on his own domain, not on Branch, Medium, Google+, Facebook, or any other black hole.
A handy step-by-step guide to all the ways you can use CSS for layout.
The slides from Andy’s excellent pragmatic talk on performance and aggressive enhancement at the Responsive Day Out.
I believe this may be Australia’s first open device lab. I hope it’s the first of many.
A great meaty piece from Cennydd, diving deep into the tricky question of context.
An in-depth look at the portrayal of hackers on film.
A lovely new responsive(ish) website dedicated to science and the environment.
A collaborative writing tool built by a dream team. I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s very nice indeed.
Communal satellite eyes. A Mac screensaver is also available.
Another Tom Scott project:
I had to take one more quick, cheap shot — and I think a Tumblr blog is the quickest, cheapest shot it’s possible to take.
A really good introduction to front-end performance techniques. Most of this was already on my radar, but I still picked up a handy tip or two (particularly about DNS prefetching).
At this stage it should go without saying that you should be keeping up with this kind of thing: performance is really, really, really important.
Investigating the options for off-world backups.
Data is only as safe as the planet it sits on. It only takes one rock, not too big, not moving that fast, to hit the Earth at a certain angle and: WHAM! Most living species are done for.
How the hell is your Twitter archive supposed to survive that?
A great breakdown of mobile traffic to The Guardian website over time.
The Guardian’s front-end patterns library. The modules section contains their equivalent of a pattern primer. Very nice!
A really terrific piece about wireframing for responsive designs. Again, it’s all about the prototypes.
It’s all about the signalling.
Less wireframing, more prototyping.
A worrying look at how modern web developers approach accessibility. In short, they don’t.
The low-hanging fruit of accessibility fixes; it’s worth bearing these in mind.
Celebrating the work of the tireless men and women who shorten headlines so they’ll fit on your iPhone.
Remember when I linked to the Github repository of The Guardian’s front-end team? Well, now—if you’ll pardon the mixing of metaphors—you can start to kick the tyres of the fruits of their labour. This beta site shows where their experiments with responsive design might lead.
This is quite an astounding piece of writing. Robert Lucky imagines the internet of things mashed up with online social networking …but this was published in 1999!
Useful advice from Tim on preparing your responsive site for IE10’s new “snap mode”. Don’t worry: it doesn’t involve adding any proprietary crap …quite the opposite, in fact.
Chloe uses interactive text in an attempt to explain what lexical-gustatory synesthesia is like.
A great in-depth explanation by Aarron on why Mailchimp dropped their Facebook and Twitter log-in options. Partly it was the NASCAR problem, but the data (provided by user testing with Silverback) also brought up some interesting issues.
Well, this is quite something. Matt will be interviewing the creators of Bloom in London this Friday. You might have heard of that Eno chap.
Those clever chaps at The Guardian are experimenting with some mobile-first responsive design. Here’s how it’s going so far.
The code is on Github.
Another great in-depth round-up from Brad, this time looking at your options for complex navigation patterns in responsive designs.
This starts out a bit hand-wavy with analogue nostalgia, but it wraps up with some genuinely good ideas for social software.
This cold-war era soviet manual for post-nuclear life is as fascinating as it is horrifying.
A good recap of the recent online/offline/does-it-really-matter discussion …although it does lend a bit too much credence to the pronouncements of that king of trolls, Nicholas Carr.
I think Derek is on to something here. Maybe online communities and profit are simply incompatible?
The bigger you go, the harder the road. Meanwhile, small, focused, and yes, exclusionary community sites flourish.
You know what? I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.
An excellent follow-up to the recent posts on the myth of mobile context.
You often hear about cutting content to cut clutter. I support this—if you’re cutting the clutter from everywhere, not just a mobile experience.
Maybe the answer isn’t cutting. Maybe it’s learning better skills for designing and structuring complex information to be usable and enjoyable in small spaces.
The history of the WELL, a truly remarkable community.
It’s worth remembering sometimes just how amazing Twitter can be.
People who don’t know us wanted to send their friendship to a 15 year old learning-disabled girl who was sad. For no reason other than their own humanity. This is a beautiful thing.
Cameron’s travelling to Ethopia to help with Charity Water, thanks to the generosity of the users of Authentic Jobs.
Sure, this is a bleedin’ one-to-one copy of feckin’ Wikipedia. Give it an aul’ spin.
A really great markup and CSS pattern for “content first, navigation second” from Aaron.
Jake demonstrates his technique for preprocessor-generated stylesheets for older versions of Internet Explorer (while other browsers get the same styles within media queries).
This is an excellent idea from Jake: use a preprocessor to automatically spit out a stylesheet for older versions of IE that includes desktop styles (garnered from the declarations within media queries).
If you’re a dab hand with Ruby and you’d like to see this in SASS, you can help.
Nine years and five months after he began publishing every entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary, Phil Gyford posts the last entry.
Robin Sloan compares Facebook and Google in an interesting way:
Really, Facebook is the world’s largest photo sharing site—that also happens to be a social network and a login system.
Google is getting good, really good, at building things that see the world around them and actually understand what they’re seeing.
Some sensible advice from Oliver Reichenstein. Cluttering your social media icons isn’t helping and may actively be hindering your audience.
This is kinda funny (because it’s kinda true).
A heartbreaking article about just how badly Yahoo fucked up with Flickr. It’s particularly sad coming out right as the Flickr devs roll out an improved uploader and a more liquid photo page …but it seems like band-aid development at this point.
An algorithmically-generated font sounds like a terrible idea but I actually quite like the end result.
The Old Aesthetic.
Advice on creating responsive designs from Google. It’s not exactly the best tutorial out there (confusing breakpoints with device widths) but it’s great to see the big guns getting involved.
Dan writes about how data saved his life. That is not an exaggeration.
He describes how, after receiving some very bad news from his doctor, he dived into the whole “quantified self” thing with his health data. Looking back on it, he concludes:
If I were still in the startup game, I have a pretty good idea of which industry I’d want to disrupt.
Another call for design-based (rather than device-based) breakpoints in responsive sites.
A great step-by-step tutorial from Brad on developing a responsive site with a Content First mindset.
Albert-László Barabási and Robin Dunbar are among the authors of this paper — it’s the scale-free network equivalent of the Avengers.
An excellent longish-zoom article by Alexis Madrigal with an eerily accurate summation of the current state of the web. Although I think that a lack of any fundamentally new paradigms could be seen as a sign of stabilisation as much as stagnation.
Algorithmically-generated combinations of tweets in iambic pentameter. Some of the results are really quite lovely. I’m imagining a poetry reading of this stuff in a hip café …it would be fun.
Tim has published the results of a whole bunch of testing he did on how different browsers deal with hidden or replaced images.
Glenn gives a rational thoughtful explanation of why he’s as pissed off as I am about Google’s destruction of the Social Graph API.
Anger is an energy, especially when it’s coming from Tom …and for once, it’s not about the Semantic Web.
Seriously though, this is a great piece of writing. This is what blogs are for.
Notes in manuscripts and colophons made by medieval scribes and copyists …in 140 characters or fewer.
Emily walks us through a responsive design case study, stressing the importance using percentages for layout.
A sweet little meditation on the nature of the web and responsive design.
A collection of articles on the tricksy art of Futurism from—amongst others—Bruce Sterling, Annalee Newitz, and Matt Novak, creator of the Paleofuture blog.
An excellent piece by Stephanie on how to approach print stylesheets. I’ve always maintained that Print First can be as valid as Mobile First in getting you to focus on what content really matters.
A great article from David with some concrete proposals for media companies.
By the way, how nice is David’s new responsive design? Very nice. Very nice indeed.
Using em-based media queries to incrementally bump up the font size for larger viewports.
A trip to Buzludzha in Bulgaria, a derelict monument to an abandoned ideology.
Jeff documents some of the techniques he’s using to tackle responsive design, with some tips specifically for SASS.
Wilson has turned his site into a single-serving page that’s doing some interesting things with media queries (using height as well as width).
A detailed overview by Filament Group on progressively enhancing navigation for responsive sites.
Josh goes through the talking points from the recent Responsive Summit he attended. Sounds like it was a great get-together.
A rallying cry for a content-focused—rather than device-focused—approach to responsive design. Despite the awful title and occasionally adversarial tone, this article is making a very good point about being future friendly.
Google are shutting down the Social Graph API. Twunts.
The Kiwi Foo Space Program (a weather balloon with an Android device attached) captured some beautiful images.
Another plea for content-out rather than canvas-in design.
Wallow in nerd nostalgia and experience the Proustian rush of rebooting old operating systems.
Stephen gives an excellent run-down of flexbox and how you can use it today.
I had exactly the same resistance to Instagram as Dan and I had exactly the same Yuletide conversion.
What would Google+, YouTube and Facebook have looked like in 1997?
A trojan horse for plagiarised college papers, much like the fakery on maps (“Lie Close”, “Arlington”) and in dictionaries; traps to be sprung on the hapless copy’n’paster.
Joni points out a great advantage to the mobile-first approach if you choose not to polyfill for legacy versions of IE: you can go crazy with all sorts of CSS3 goodies in the stylesheet you pull in with media queries.
This helps to clarify the difference between native semantics and ARIA additions.
Add this one to your Instapaper/Readability queue: the behind-the-scenes story of the train wreck that was the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
Cennydd is a gent, slow to anger. So it took a lot to get him wound up enough to write about this issue. I’m glad he did.
Remembering the camgirl community.
Documentation of an ongoing project to create a mobile-first responsive MediaWiki theme.
If you use Sass, this could be a really handy technique for handling IE<9 support with mobile-first responsive designs.
This post from Maciej might initially seem negative but read it through to the end: there’s a very powerful positive message.
This whole “supercut” thing …you still don’t get it, do you?
Possibly the least imaginative concept video ever made, this piece commissioned by Blackberry shows a dystopian near-future ruled by security departments run by people with very, very tired arms.
This thread on whether HTML5 Boilerplate should include Respond.js by default (and whether the CSS should take a small-screen first approach) nicely summarises the current landscape for web devs: chaotic, confusing …and very, very exciting.
A wonderfully in-depth article from Zoe on all the practical aspects of using media queries for layout.
Reminiscences of the BBSs of yesteryear that could in time be applied to the social networking sites of today.
This isn’t recommended as a robust means of delivering responsive images, but it’s still quite clever: using media queries to pass information to the server about the viewport size.
An eye-opening insight into web usage on mobile devices in Asia from Paul Rouget.
A look under the hood of the dConstruct website (including some nth-child selectors I threw in there).