The boring front-end developer - Adam Silver, Front end developer, based in London
My name is Jeremy and I am a boring front-end developer.
Why I Joined the IndieWeb Movement - Wingin’ It
I hope that many of you will watch me on this journey, and follow in my wagon tracks as I leave the walled cities and strike out for the wilderness ahead.
Startups and Shit, HTML-first
The Android vs. iOS debate is one hinges around whether you think it makes more sense to target a (perceived) larger market, or target one that the technorati favor. But why choose? Building a good responsive web app has a series of benefits, the primary one being that you target users on every platform with one app. Every user. Every platform. All the time. Release whenever you want. A/B test with ease. Go, go go.
How did Twitter become the hate speech wing of the free speech party?
A look back at how Twitter evolved over time, with examples of seemingly-trivial changes altering the nature of the discourse.
Kevin finishes with a timely warning for those of us building alternatives:
Progressive Enhancement Basics
Some thoughts on progressive enhancement, although I disagree with the characterisation of progressive enhancement as being the opposite choice to making “something flashy that pushes the web to it’s limits”—it’s entirely possible to make the flashiest, limit-pushing sites using progressive enhancement. After all…
it’s much more a mindset than a particular development technique.
Blogging Known Style
Companies go out of business, get bought and change policies, so what if you had one place to originate all of your content then publish it out to those great social services? And hey, why not pull comments from those services back to your original post?
That’s the idea behind Indie Web Camp: have your own website be the canonical source of what your publish. But right now, getting all of the moving parts up and running requires a fair dollop of tech-savviness. That’s where Known comes in:
It’s similar to the WordPress model: you can create a blog on their servers, or you can download the software and host it on your own.
This post is a good run-down of what’s working well with Known, and what needs more work.
Physical Web by google
This is what Scott Jenson has been working on—a first stab at just-in-time interactions by having physical devices broadcasting URLs.
Walk up and use anything
15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging - Anil Dash
I’d go along with pretty much everything Anil says here. Wise words from someone who’s been writing on their own website for fifteen years (congratulations!).
Link to everything you create elsewhere on the web. And if possible, save a copy of it on your own blog. Things disappear so quickly, and even important work can slip your mind months or years later when you want to recall it. If it’s in one, definitive place, you’ll be glad for it.
Lillian Karabaic: The Indie Web is the new Zines
I really like this comparison:
As a zinester and zine librarian, I see the Indie Web as a pretty direct correlation to 1980’s and 1990’s zine culture. The method of production may be completely different (photocopiers and direct mail vs web posts and servers) but the goals are almost identical – controlling the way in which your message and identity are displayed, crafted, and stored while avoiding censorship that corporate media might impose. The end goal of both zine and indieweb technologies is ownership of your own identity without a filter.
But there also challenges:
The key issue right now for diverse populations utilizing the Indie Web is accessibility. As long as the tools for creating & controlling your own identity online are still relatively obtuse & technical to implement, we won’t have great diversity within the Indie Web.
[this is aaronland] upload.js
A really handy bit of code from Aaron for building a robust file uploader. A way to make your web-based photo sharing more Instagrammy-clever.
A Fundamental Disconnect, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson
Extensible Web Summit Berlin 2014: my lightning talk on Web Components | soledad penadés
Soledad Penadés also went to the Extensible Web Summit in Berlin, where she gave a lightning talk. Sounds like it was really good.
This also includes some good advice that, again, Alex might want to consider before denouncing any disagreement on Web Components as “piffle and tosh”:
If the W3C, or any other standardisation organisation wants to attract “normal” developers to get more diverse inputs, they/we should start by being respectful to everyone. Don’t try to show everyone how superclever you are. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t scare people away, because then only the loud ones stay, and the quieter shy people, or people who have more urgent matters to attend (such as, you know, having a working business website even if it’s not using the latest and greatest API) will just leave.
Bruce Lawson’s personal site : Reflections on Extensible Web Summit, Berlin
Bruce went to the Extensible Web Summit in Berlin and wrote up his notes.
Sounds like he shares my excitement, but also my nervousness.
There’s also this important point, that Alex would do well to remember before crying “Piffle and tosh!”:
We need to ensure that all devs who want to can participate by allowing ease of collaboration, courteous discourse.
Notes on notes (of smart people) about web components
Uncomfortably Excited – Infrequently Noted
Alex’s response to my post about Web Components, in which he ignores my excitement and dismisses my concerns as “piffle and tosh.”
I gotta say: I think cautious optimism and nervous excitement are healthy attitudes to have about any technology. For Alex to dismiss them so summarily makes me even more worried. Apparently you’re either with Web Components or you’re against them. Heaven forbid that you might voice any doubts or suggest any grey areas.
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Hello, Again — Craig Mod
Craig has redesigned and pulled various bits of his writing from around the web into his own site, prompting some thoughts on the indie web.
The Personal Blog – AVC
There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.
Here I Go Again On My Own : Elizabeth Spiers
In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously.
Jeffrey Zeldman: 20 years of Web Design and Community on Vimeo
A really nice little documentary about my friend Jeffrey.
The shoebox - a manifesto for transmat.io
Glenn eloquently gives his reasons for building Transmat:
When I was a child, my brothers and I all had a shoebox each. In these we kept our mementoes. A seashell from a summer holiday where I played for hours in the rock pools, the marble from the schoolyard victory against a bully and a lot of other objects that told a story.
The Internet’s Original Sin - The Atlantic
Ethan Zuckerman riffs on Maciej’s talk at Beyond Tellerrand about the vortex of nastiness that we’ve spiralled down thanks to the default business model of the web: advertising.
Tantek Çelik - The once and future IndieWeb - YouTube
Tantek’s great talk on the Indie Web from Web Directions Code in Melbourne earlier this year.
Ind.ie Summit - Video 8 - Jeremy Keith on Vimeo
Doing is knowing: “Sweet Jane” and the Web — Wordyard
When Rock’n’roll and Web 2.0 collide, the result is not pretty.
Web Archeology - daverupert.com
A bit of web history reacted by Paravel: the Microsoft homepage from 1994. View source to see some ooooold-school markup.
We Work in a World of Assumptions – The Pastry Box Project
Dan Donald gets to the heart of progressive enhancement:
Assumptions in themselves don’t have to be inherently bad but let’s recognise them for what they are. We know very little but that can hopefully enable us to be far more flexible and understanding in what we create.
The Web Manifest specification | HTML5 Doctor
The Web Manifest spec is still very much in draft, but it’s worth reading through Bruce’s explanation of it now. Basically, it will provide a way for us to specify in one external file what we currently have to specify in umpteen meta tags and link elements.
A lot can change in 6 years - Allen Pike
An astute comparison of the early years of the web with the early years of the app store. If there’s anything to this, then the most interesting native apps are yet to come. App Store 2.0?
The Mobile Web should just work for everyone - IEBlog
One more reason why you should never sniff user-agent strings: Internet Explorer is going to lie some more. Can’t really blame them though—if developers didn’t insist on making spurious conclusions based on information in the user-agent string, then browsers wouldn’t have to lie.
Oh, and Internet Explorer is going to parse -webkit prefixed styles. Again, if developers hadn’t abused vendor prefixes, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Ten facets of web development that you can choose to focus on. One of them is from me …but other nine are worth paying attention to.
The Virtual Haircut That Could Change the World | Design | WIRED
A nice profile of BERG’s Little Printer. That Matt Webb is a smart cookie. He is also a very thoughtful cookie.
A Brief History of Bloggering - The Morning News
An alternative history from a parallel timeline.
He started coding his own just weeks after Tim Berners-Lee, a tunnel engineer helping to build the STERN protein collider, discovered ancient scrolls buried in the Swiss soil that revealed the secrets of HTML.
“The Internet Never Forgets” — sixtwothree.org
The Internet forgets every single day.
I’m with Jason.
I encourage you all to take a moment and consider the importance of preserving your online creations for yourself, your family, and for future generations.
Jeremy Keith on progressive enhancement - YouTube
Almost six minutes of me squinting in the sun and sharing my reckons while seagulls squawk in the background.
How to build the sensory web by John Allsopp
John peers behind the surface veneer of the web’s current screen-based setting:
The challenge for us as developers and designers for the web becomes less about screens and pixels and buttons and much more about how the web augments our lives, both actively and passively; how it makes us know ourselves and our homes and workplaces and environments better.
Web 2024 | Robin Berjon
Here’s a dystopian vision of the web in ten years time, where professional developers are the only people able to publish on the web.
The Developer’s Dystopian Future – The Pastry Box Project
My interest in rich client-side apps has almost entirely reversed, and now I’m more interested in doing good ol’ server rendering with the occasional side of progressive enhancement, just like we did it in 2004.
This post resonates with me 100%.
Monday, 7 July 2014 – The Pastry Box Project
Words of wisdom from Scott on the clash of brand guidelines and the flexible nature of the web:
One thing I am pretty sure of though, is that having a fast, accessible, user-friendly site can reflect incredibly well on a company, and I’d love to see more guidelines and expectations that prioritize these aspects of a service as branding requirements in addition to the usual visual details.
Marginalia | Parallel Transport
What it means to be a Front-end Developer in 2014 – The Pastry Box Project
I can very much relate to what Dan is talking about here. I have no idea what I do any more.
No doubt we’ll always feel we’re behind the curve as there always seems like more to learn. That’s OK. No-one knows it all, but it is hard knowing what people expect of you.
Tantek Celik, “Why We Need the IndieWeb”, #PDF14 - YouTube
Tantek’s talk at the Personal Democracy Forum on the past, present, and future of independent publishing on the web.
Responsive Special - Web Talk Dog Walk
If you’re coming to the Responsive Day Out next week, bring your dog. Laura is organising a special Web Talk Dog Walk for the next day.
New section: Reading | susan jean robertson
There are many services out there for keeping track of what you’re reading. Susan has found the best one:
Slowly, ever so slowly, as I realize how things come and go on the web, I realize that this is my home. Because this is my home, I want all the things that matter to me to reside here.
rel=search on Flickr
Here’s a nice little UI addition to Chrome. When you focus on the URL bar, if the current site has site-specific search discoverable via rel=”search”, then you get a greyed-out hint to press tab so you can start searching the site.
The web idealists have a point: content can’t truly blossom in walled gardens
A great little piece by Russell Davies on the Indie Web movement.
5by5 | The Web Ahead #73: DRM with Jeremy Keith and Doug Schepers on Huffduffer
Here’s the chat I had with Jen and Doug about the prospect of DRM in browsers.
Sending Webmentions with Craft — sixtwothree.org
If you use the Craft CMS to power your blog, you can now send webmentions, thanks to this handy plug-in by Jason.
Have a look through the README file on Github.
What If Browsers And The Web Didn’t Exist? What If There Were Only Native Apps?
I, for one, don’t welcome our applinks overlords.
So, you’re checking out your news feed on your Facebook app and you see a CNN post that you want to read. After reading the post on CNN, you decide you want to to read the source article on TMZ…
Using Encapsulation for Semantic Markup on CSS-Tricks
I really hope that this is the kind of usage we’ll see for web components: enhancements for the browsers that support them without a good ol’ fashioned fallback for older browsers.
Known: taking a big bet on the #indieweb
When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.
Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.
One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.
Indie Tech Summit - Brighton, UK - July 4th, 2014
I’ll be speaking at this event that Aral is putting on here in Brighon on the fourth of July (independence day — geddit?).
It’s OK not to use tools by Jonas Downey of Basecamp
Today, a basic HTML/CSS site seems almost passé. But why? Is it because our new tools are so significantly better, or because we’ve gone overboard complicating simple things?
He’s right, y’know.
Index cards | A Working Library
A truly wonderful piece by Mandy detailing why and how she writes, edits, and publishes on her own website:
No one owns this domain but me, and no one but me can take it down. I will not wake up one morning to discover that my service has been “sunsetted” and I have some days or weeks to export my data (if I have that at all). These URLs will never break.
Open-Source Projects by Filament Group
Those smart people at Filament Group have gathered their open-source code into one handy place. Useful!
Ingredients by Mark Boulton
A lovely post by Mark on the value of URLs.
Antisocial Networking by Tyler Finck
A decisive Indie Web move:
This site has become the place that I’m ready to host almost everything I make.
The Once and Future IndieWeb
Slides from Tantek’s recent talk at Web Directions Code about the Indie Web.
Burying the URL - Allen Pike
Right now, this move to remove URLs from the interface of Chrome is just an experiment …but the fact that Google are even experimenting with it is very disturbing.
“Who? Me? No, I was never going to actually blow the web’s brains out—I just wanted to feel the heft of the weapon as I stroked it against the face of the web.”
What Comes Next Is the Future by Matt Braun
This has the potential to be a terrific little documentary. What say we get it funded?
Why the Indie Web movement is so important
Well, this is pretty bloody brilliant—Dan Gillmor has published an article on Slate about the Indie Web movement …but the canonical URL is on his own site.
We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet the most important medium in history – a decentralized platform where the people at the edges of the networks – that would be you and me – don’t need permission to communicate, create and innovate.
This isn’t a knock on social networks’ legitimacy, or their considerable utility. But when we use centralized services like social media sites, however helpful and convenient they may be, we are handing over ultimate control to third parties that profit from our work, material that exists on their sites only as long as they allow.
And They All Look Just the Same
Greg isn’t just lamenting a perceived “sameness” in web design here. He’s taking a long-zoom view and pointing out that there’s always a sameness …and you can choose to go along with it or you can choose to differentiate.
The Indieweb | Parallel Transport
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.
Mediating Music by Rudiger Meyer
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
Airbag Intl. / Archives
We need a web design museum.
I am, unsurprisingly, in complete agreement. And let’s make lots of copies while we’re at it.
Daring Fireball: Rethinking What We Mean by ‘Mobile Web’
John echoes some of my recent thinking about what qualifies as a web browser and, by extension, what qualifies as the web:
We shouldn’t think of “the web” as only what renders in web browsers. We should think of the web as anything transmitted using HTTP and HTTPS. Apps and websites are peers, not competitors. They’re all just clients to the same services.
That said, I think he is perhaps underestimating the power of URLs. Addressability—particularly over an extended time period—remains the powerful feature of the web.
FIRST web page viewed by “FIRST” browser via c.1965 modem and terminal - YouTube
What a wonderful way to go online!
The Pastry Box Project: The Values of the Web by Brad Frost
I don’t work in the tech industry. I work on the Web.
Rise of the IndieWeb - Amber Case - FutureTalks - YouTube
A great talk by Amber on the history of personal publishing and the ideas and technologies driving the Indie Web movement.
1995 Vannevar Bush symposium: closing Panel
So Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, Ted Nelson, and Tim Berners-Lee walk into a panel…
Bruce Lawson’s personal site : Notes on accessibility of Web Components
Bruce’s thoughts on ensuring accessibility in Web Components. He thinks that the vocabulary of ARIA is up to the job, so that’s good enough for me.
Section for peer-reviewed Custom Elements · Issue
Some sensible thoughts from Addy on how Web Components might be peer-reviewed.
Aerotwist - Web Components and the Three Unsexy Pillars
A healthy dose of scepticism about Web Components, looking at them through the lenses of accessibility, security, and performance.
I share some of this concern: Web Components might look like handy ready-made out-of-the-box solutions, but the truth is that web developers have to do much more of the hard graft that was traditionally left to the browser.
Meet the Geniuses on a Quixotic Quest to Archive the Entire Internet | TIME.com
A short video featuring Jason Scott and Brewster Kahle. The accompanying text has a shout-out to the line-mode browser hack event at CERN.
Our Comrade The Electron
This is a wonderful piece by Maciej—a magnificent historical narrative that leads to a thunderous rant. Superb!
Device-Agnostic by Trent Walton
A terrific post from Trent, touching on all the important facets of building for the web: universality, progressive enhancement, performance …great stuff!
Learning about, and deploying IndieWeb tools | Dan Gillmor
Well, this is pretty nifty: Dan Gilmour is at Indie Web Camp in San Francisco and he’s already got some code up and running on his site.
Y’know, I’m not missing South by Southwest in the slightest this year …but I’m really missing Indie Web Camp.
Can This Alternative Smartphone Deliver Real Privacy to the Masses? | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
Fast Company features Aral’s tantalising Indie Phone project that he’s been working on at Clearleft Towers.
Good to see Oskar the dog getting the recognition he deserves.
On the top floor of a commercial building in the old maritime city of Brighton, England, Balkan has been quietly hacking away at Indie Phone for the last several months with the rest of his team—Victor Johansson, an industrial designer, Laura Kalbag, a professional web designer (and Balkan’s partner), and her Husky, Oskar.
Platformed. — Unstoppable Robot Ninja
The importance of long-term thinking in web design. I love this description of the web:
a truly fluid, chaotic design medium serving millions of imperfect clients
Early History of HTML - 1990 to 1992
A fascinating look at the early history of HTML, tracing its roots from the dialect of SGML used at CERN.
Realizing One Web
A nice look at responsive design, progressive enhancement, and the principle of One Web.
Web-Thang is a chrome extension that replaces all instances of the term ‘web thang’ or ‘web thang/web thang’ with the term ‘web thang’.
Endangered species of the Web: the Link by Christian Heilmann
Chris is putting together a series about the neglected building blocks of the web. First up; the much-abused hyperlink, the very foundation of the world wide web.
It is the most simple and most effective world-wide, open and free publishing mechanism. That it is why we need to protect them from extinction.
The Long Web - Jeremy Keith at FOWD NYC 2013 - YouTube
There were some technical difficulties with microphones, and it was a bit weird presenting inside a cinema, but I still had fun yapping on at last year’s Future Of Web Design in New York.
New service: WebMentions for static pages
Want to implement webmentions but you’re using static pages a-la Jekyll? No problem. Pelle’s got you covered.
The Pastry Box Project, Wednesday, 25 December 2013
I like Erin’s list.
Frank Chimero × Blog × Homesteading 2014
I’m with Frank. He’s going Indie Web for 2014:
I’m returning to a personal site, which flips everything on its head. Rather than teasing things apart into silos, I can fuse different kinds of content together.
Homesteading instead of sharecropping:
So, I’m doubling down on my personal site in 2014.
Neave’s Notes — Why I create for the web
Follow this link to receive a love letter to the humble hyperlink.
This is a Website – Jeffrey Zeldman
We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.
Toward A People Focused Mobile Communication Experience - Tantek
Some good brainstorming from Tantek that follows on nicely from Anne’s recent manifesto.
Poll Results: “Sites” vs “Apps” | CSS-Tricks
Some excellent research from Chris, canvassing opinions on whether there’s a difference between web “apps” and web “sites”. His conclusion:
Almost none of the points above ring true for me. All I see are exceptions and gray area.
If nothing else, the fact that none of the proposed distinctions agree with one another show how pointless the phrase “web app” is—if people have completely differing ideas on what a phrase means, it is completely useless in furthering discussion …the very definition of a buzzword.
This leads me to think perhaps the “web app” moniker (certainly the newer of the two) is simply just a fashionable term. We like the sound of it, so we use it, regardless if it truly means anything.
But all of this is, I think, missing the more important point: why? Why would you want to separate the cornucopia of the web into two simplistic buckets? What purpose does it serve? That’s the question that really needs be answered.
If we could pin down a super accurate definition that we agreed on, even then it might not be particularly useful. And since we can’t, I argue it’s even less useful.
Chloe Weil — Hipster
Chloe is going all in on the Indie Web. Here, she outlines how she’s posting to Twitter from her own site with a POSSE system (Post to Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere).
The (other) Web we lost
John shares his concerns about the increasing complexity involved in developing for the web.
The Pastry Box Project | 2 December 2013, baked by Anne van Kesteren
Coming from anyone else, this glorious vision might seem far-fetched, but Anne is working to make it a reality.
Building for the device agnostic web | Talks | Decade City
Some excellent practical advice on progressive enhancement.
A nice bit of markup archeology, tracing the early development of HTML from its unspecced roots to the first drafts.
I recognise some of the extinct elements from the line-mode browser hack days at CERN e.g. HP1, HP2, ISINDEX, etc.
Against the Balkanization of the Web
A fascinating snapshot from 1995, arguing for the growing power of HTML instead of the siren song of proprietary formats.
I’m very happy that this is still available to read online 18 years later.
What Screens Want by Frank Chimero
Frank’s fantastic closing talk from this year’s Build. There’s a lot of great stuff in here about interaction design, and even more great stuff about what’s been happening to the web:
We used to have a map of a frontier that could be anything. The web isn’t young anymore, though. It’s settled. It’s been prospected and picked through. Increasingly, it feels like we decided to pave the wilderness, turn it into a suburb, and build a mall. And I hate this map of the web, because it only describes a fraction of what it is and what’s possible. We’ve taken an opportunity for connection and distorted it to commodify attention. That’s one of the sleaziest things you can do.