I got 99 blog posts but this link ain’t one:
Archive: June, 2015
Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
100 words 100
Writing, editing, films, sandwich, atemporality, troll, mudshark, poetry, mandolin, falsehoods, transatlantic, wedding, secrets, phone, notifications, Dao, seamless, sparks, Dean, Isaac, Sunday, space, launch, beach, free, travel, speaking, history, inverse, reading, Spring, pow-wow, toggle, gentrification, web, bliss, Atanasoff, feast, components, CERN, intern, app, typography, books, late, Lusitania, ramen, indie, webmention, conference, conditions, spying, collaboration, Spacewar, correction, photograph, workshop, tools, trains, Greenwich, rehearsal, pride, birthday, ally, power, quiz, scale, Sophie, naming, Jeffrey, meetings, Interstellar, future, guests, practice, market, games, extended, dogs, decade, host, iPad, Cobh, tourist, Brighton, fecund, growth, tomorrow, special, comedown, solstice, weather, Codebar, animation, dConstruct, quieter, Edge, gas, exactly, done.
Style Guides with Jeremy Keith
A transcript of an interview I gave on the Style Guides podcast hosted by Brad Frost and Anna Debenham.
It’s time to progress
Many believe we should leave the term “progressive enhancement” behind and start anew, but why not educate developers, clients and stakeholders and change many of the misconceptions surrounding it? Changing the name won’t change anything unless we address the real fundamental problems we have when describing the underlying concepts.
I really enjoyed last year’s Edge conference so I made sure not to miss this year’s event, which took place last weekend.
The format was a little different this time ‘round. Last year the whole day was taken up with panels. Now, panels are often rambling, cringeworthy affairs, but Edge Conf is one of the few events that does panels well: they’re run on a tight schedule and put together with lots of work in advance. At this year’s Edge, the morning was taken up with these tightly-run panels as usual, but the afternoon consisted of more Barcamp-like breakout sessions.
I’ve got to be honest: I don’t think the new format worked that well. The breakout sessions didn’t have the true flexibility that you get with an unconference schedule, so there was no opportunity to merge similarly-themed sessions. There was, for example, a session on components at the same time as a session on accessibility in web components.
That highlights the other issue: FOMO. I’m really not a fan of multi-track events; there were so many sessions that sounded really interesting, but I couldn’t clone myself and go to all of them at once.
But, like I said, the first half of the day was taken up with four sequential (rather than parallel) panels and they were all excellent. All of the moderators did a fantastic job, and I was fortunate enough to sit in on the progressive enhancement panel expertly moderated by Lyza.
The event is called Edge for a reason. There is a rarefied atmosphere—and not just because of the broken-down air conditioning. This is a room full of developers on the cutting edge of web development technologies. Being at Edge Conf means being in a bubble. And being in a bubble is absolutely fine as long as you’re aware you’re in a bubble. It would be problematic if anyone were to mistake the audience and the discussions at Edge as being in any way representative of typical working web devs.
One of the most insightful comments of the day came from Christian who said, “Yes, but this is Edge Conf.” You’re going to need some context for that quote, so here it is…
On the web components panel that Christian was moderating, Alex was making a point about the ubiquity of tools—”Tooling was save you”, he said—and he asked for a show of hands from the audience on who was not using some particular tooling technology; transpilers, package managers, build tools, I can’t remember the specific question. Nobody put their hand up. “See?” asked Alex. “Yes”, said Christian, “but this is Edge Conf.”
Now, while I wasn’t keen on the format of the afternoon with its multiple simultaneous breakout sessions, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the ones I plumped for. Quite the opposite. The last breakout session of the day, again expertly moderated by Lyza, was particularly great.
- It’s not about making all of your functionality available; it’s making your core functionality available: everything else can be considered an enhancement and it’s perfectly fine if not everyone gets that enhancement.
And yet the misunderstanding persists. For that reason, most of the people in the discussion at Edge Conf were in favour of simply dropping the term progressive enhancement and instead focusing on terms like availability and access. Tim writes:
I’m not sure what we call it now. Maybe we do need another term to get people to move away from the “progressive enhancement = working without JS” baggage that distracts from the real goal.
And Stuart writes:
So I’m not going to be talking about progressive enhancement any more. I’m going to be talking about availability. About reach. About my web apps being for everyone even when the universe tries to get in the way.
But Jason writes:
I completely disagree that we should change nomenclature because there exists some small segment of Web designers unwilling to expand their development toolbox. I think progressive enhancement—the term—remains useful, descriptive, and appropriate.
I’m torn. On the one hand, I agree with Jason. The term “progressive enhancement” is a great descriptor. But on the other hand, I don’t want to end up like that guy who’s made it his life’s work to change every instance of the phrase “comprises of” to “comprises” (or “consists of”) on Wikipedia. Technically, he’s correct. But it doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend your days.
I guess my worry is, if I write an article or give a presentation, and I title it something to do with progressive enhancement, am I going to alienate and put off the very audience I’m trying to reach? But if I title it something else, am I tricking people?
Words are hard.
Why availability matters
A superb illustration of why playing the numbers game and dismissing even a small percentage of your potential audience could be disastrous.
Thriving in Unpredictability - TimKadlec.com
This is the way to approach building for the web:
I want to make as few of those assumptions as possible. Because every assumption I make introduces fragility. Every assumption introduces another way that my site can break.
It’s progressive enhancement, but like Stuart, Tim is no longer planning to use that term.
Monday, June 29th, 2015
100 words 099
This is the penultimate post in my 100 days project.
I’ve had quite a few people tell me how much they’re enjoying reading my hundred word posts. I thank them. Then I check: “You know they’re exactly 100 words long, right?”
“Really?” they respond. “I didn’t realise!”
“But that’s the whole point!” I say. The clue is in the name. It’s not around 100 words—it’s exactly 100 words every day for 100 days.
That’s the real challenge: not just the writing, but the editing, rearranging, and condensing.
After all, it’s not as if I can just stop in the
Sunday, June 28th, 2015
as days pass by — Availability
Stuart writes up his thoughts on progressive enhancement following the great discussions at Edge Conf:
So I’m not going to be talking about progressive enhancement any more. I’m going to be talking about availability. About reach. About my web apps being for everyone even when the universe tries to stop it.
100 words 098
When I’m grilling outside, I cook on a gas barbecue. There are quite a few people who would take issue with this. Charcoal is clearly better, they claim. And they’re right. But the thing is, I can fire up my gas barbecue quickly and just get down to cooking.
When I’m programming on the server, I code in PHP. There are quite a few people who would take issue with this. Any other language is clearly better, they claim. And they’re right. But the thing is, I can fire up my text editor quickly and just get down to coding.
Saturday, June 27th, 2015
100 words 097
It’s the weekend …and I got up at the crack of dawn to head to London. Yes, on this beautiful sunny day, I elected to take the commuter train up to the big city to spend the day trapped inside a building where the air conditioning crapped out. Sweaty!
But it was worth it. I was at the Edge conference, which is always an intense dose of condensed nerdery. This year I participated in one of the panels: a discussion on progressive enhancement expertly moderated by Lyza. She also led a break-out session on the same topic later on.
Before Sunrise :: Responsive Day Out
Another great in-depth round-up of the third and final Responsive Day Out, this time from Katja Durrani.
A few thoughts on Responsive Day Out 3
It’s rare for me to visit a conference and come away thinking that everyone gave a great presentation. This was that conference. Nice one.
Getting ready to participate in a panel on progressive enhancement at @EdgeConf, all shiny and chrome—WITNESS ME! #iLive #iDie #iLiveAgain
Friday, June 26th, 2015
100 word 096
It was another beautiful day in Sussex and the other Clearlefties made full use of it by going on a cross-country hike culminating with a well-earned beer’n’food stop in a pub.
I couldn’t join them though because I had band practice: three hours of hammering out Salter Cane songs. This time though, the hammering was a touch lighter. We’ve got a gig in The Greys pub coming up on Saturday, July 11th—come along!—and it’s not the most spacious of venues (to put it mildly) so we tried practicing a bit quieter than we normally would.
Still sounded great.
When Responsive Images Get Ugly by Taylor Hunt on CodePen
This is a deep, deep dive into responsive images and I can only follow about half of it, but there are some really useful suggestions in here (I particularly like the ideas for swapping out images for print).
2 Kinds of People
Dividing the world in two.
Every half-decade or so, web devs cry out for a :parent selector in CSS—no luck yet.
Thursday, June 25th, 2015
100 words 095
I’m not organising dConstruct this year—Andy is—but it’s still an exciting day for everyone when the website launches; we’ve got something of a tradition of having some fun with it.
This year Andy commissioned Paddy Donnelly to come up with a design direction, partly because we were slammed with client work, but mostly because he’s really talented. Graham then took that design and executed it beautifully.
Gorgeous. Responsive. Performant. These qualities don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
There’s room for improvement and there’s plenty more to be done, but I’m still blown away by the dConstruct 2015 site.
That @gablaxian did an amazing job developing the @dConstruct site—I doff my hat in his general direction.
…And we’re live—dConstruct 2015: Designing The Future!
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
100 words 094
On the way into work this morning I listened to the first episode of Motion and Meaning—a new short-run podcast all about animation, hosted by Cennydd and Val.
When I got to work, I had a sneak peak of a site that Graham has been working on. If everything goes according to plan, it will launch tomorrow. It’s a gorgeous piece of work with some very subtle bits of animation.
At the end of the day, I sat in on the weekly roundtable design crit. Richard finished it by soliciting ideas for animation effects on another upcoming site launch.
Practical Questions around Web Components - Ian Feather
An in-depth look at where web components stand today, together with some very good questions about where they might be heading tomorrow.
The W3C Mobile Checker
A new handy little performance testing tool from the W3C along the lines of Page Speed Insights.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
100 words 093
There are many web-related community events in Brighton. There’s something going on pretty much every evening. One of my favourite events is Codebar. It happens every Tuesday, rotating venues between various agency offices. Tonight it was Clearleft’s turn again.
At the start of the evening, students and teachers get paired up. I was helping some people with HTML and CSS as they worked their way through the tutorials.
It’s a great feeling to watch things “click”; seeing someone making their first web page, style their first element, and write their first hyperlink—the very essence of the World Wide Web.
Web Typography – a handbook by Richard Rutter — Kickstarter
You’ll want to back this—you’ll want to back the hell out of this!
A Practical Guide to SVGs on the web
Handy tips for creating, optimising, and using SVG on the web, be it in CSS or HTML.
Where Do We Go From Here?, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson
The full text of Aaron’s magnificent closing keynote from Responsive Day Out.
Monday, June 22nd, 2015
100 words 092
The weather’s been pretty good lately. That shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as it’s the middle of June but this is England.
Brighton really shows its best side in the sunny weather (once everyone’s done starting fires with unattended barbecues). We get to have picnics out on the deck at the Clearleft office. And sometimes we end the day on the beach having a nice cold beer.
But today it was pissing down.
Cue the usual weather banter about summer being all done.
It cleared up in the afternoon and the sun came out. Makes you appreciate it even more.
Responsive Day Out: The Final Breakpoint – dyscribe.com
A great round-up of Responsive Day Out 3:
The conference only lasted one day but came packed with the insane number of 12 speakers in total. There was only one speaker track, so you got to see all of them during the day — no hard choices to make. It was highly compressed, almost overwhelming knowledge hammering into my brain, in a density that I had rarely experienced before. It was awesome!
Writing for Yourself (& the Power of Absolute Positioning)
What a day out! What a lovely responsive day out!
The third and final Responsive Day Out is done and dusted. In short, it was fantastic. Every single talk was superb. Statistically that seems highly unlikely, but it’s true.
I was quite overcome by the outpouring of warmth and all the positive feedback I got from the attendees. That made me feel really good, if a little guilty. Guilty because the truth is that I don’t really consider the attendees when I’m putting the line-up together. Instead I take much greedier approach: I ask “who do I want to hear speak?” Still, it’s nice to know that there’s so much overlap in our collective opinion.
Amazing time at #responsiveconf! Learned so much, thank you @clearleft and @adactio for a great event & for supporting @CodebarBrighton :)— Jacqueline C (@jaxcurrie) June 19, 2015
Keep thinking what a weekend, and it’s not even the weekend.Fantastic day at #responsiveconf, too much to tweet, hopefully in longform soon— Katja Durrani (@kdurrani) June 19, 2015
Oops, Responsive day out did it again - what a day! Thank you @adactio and the team #responsiveconf— ajara (@nagare_ip) June 19, 2015
Had a brilliant day at Responsive Day Out 3 - The Final Breakpoint! Thank you to @clearleft for such an interesting & inspiring day— codebar Brighton (@CodebarBrighton) June 19, 2015
Responsive day out was a really inspiring conference with some great talks. Big focus on accessibility and people. The essence of the web.— Rob Mills (@robjmills) June 20, 2015
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the day, I had a couple of complaints myself, and they’re both related to the venue. My issues were with:
- the seats and
- the temperature.
The tiered seating in the Corn Exchange is great for giving everyone in the audience a good view, but the seats are awfully close together. That leaves taller people with some sore knees.
And the problem with having a conference in the middle of June is that, if the weather is good—which I’m glad it was—the Corn Exchange can get awfully hot and sweaty in the latter half of the day.
Both those issues would be solved by using a more salubrious venue, like the main Brighton Dome itself, but then that would also mean a doubling of the cost per ticket (hence why dConstruct and Responsive Day Out are in different price ranges). And one of the big attractions of Responsive Day Out is its ludicrously cheap ticket price. That meant sacrificing a lot of comforts—I just wish that comfortable seats and air temperature weren’t amongst them.
Still. Listen to me moaning about the things I didn’t like when in fact the day was really, really wonderful.
Orde liveblogged every single talk and Hidde wrote an in-depth overview of the whole day. If you were there, I would love it if you would share your thoughts, preferably on your own website.
Guess what? The audio from all the talks is already online. As always, Drew did an amazing job. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your podcatching software of choice. Videos will be available after a while, but for now you’ll have to make do with the audio.
Oh, and speaking of audio, if you liked the music that was playing in the breaks, here’s the playlist. My thanks to all the artists for licensing their work under a Creative Commons license so that I could dodge one more expense that would otherwise have to be passed on to the ticket price.
Now. The number one question that people were asking me at the pub afterwards was “why is this the last one?” I really should’ve addressed that during my closing remarks.
But here’s the thing: the first Responsive Day Out was intended as a one-off. So really the question should be: why were there three? To which I have no good answer other than to say it felt about right. With three of them, it gave just about everyone a chance to get to at least one. If you didn’t make it to any of the responsive days out, well …you’ve only got yourself to blame.
In the end, I’m glad that I ended up doing three events. Now I can see the arc of all the events as one. Listening back to all the talks from all three years you can hear the trajectory from “ARGH! This responsive design stuff is really scary! How will we cope‽” to “Hey, this responsive design stuff is the way we do things now.” There are still many, many challenges of course, but the question is no longer if responsive design is the way to go. Instead we can talk about how we can help one other do it well.
At the end of the third and final Responsive Day Out, I thanked all the speakers from all three events. It’s quite a roll-call. And it was immensely gratifying to see so many of the names from previous years in the audience at the final event.
I am sincerely grateful to:
- Sarah Parmenter,
- David Bushell,
- Tom Maslen,
- Richard Rutter,
- Josh Emerson,
- Laura Kalbag,
- Elliot Jay Stocks,
- Anna Debenham,
- Andy Hume,
- Bruce Lawson,
- Owen Gregory,
- Paul Lloyd,
- Mark Boulton,
- Stephen Hay,
- Sally Jenkinson,
- Ida Aalen,
- Rachel Andrew,
- Dan Donald,
- Inayaili de León Persson,
- Oliver Reichenstein,
- Kirsty Burgoine,
- Stephanie Rieger,
- Ethan Marcotte,
- Alice Bartlett,
- Rachel Shillcock,
- Alla Kholmatova,
- Peter Gasston,
- Jason Grigsby,
- Heydon Pickering,
- Jake Archibald,
- Ruth John,
- Zoe Mickley Gillenwater,
- Rosie Campbell,
- Lyza Gardner, and
- Aaron Gustafson.
Many thanks also to everyone who came along to the events, especially the hat-trickers who made it to all three.
I’ve organised a total of six conferences now and I’m extremely proud of all of them:
- dConstruct 2012: Playing With The Future,
- the first Responsive Day Out,
- dConstruct 2013: Communicating With Machines,
- Responsive Day Out 2: The Squishening,
- dConstruct 2014: Living With The Network, and
- Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
…but they’ve also been a lot of work. dConstruct in particular took a lot out of me last year. That’s why I’m not involved with this year’s event—Andy has taken the reins instead. By comparison, Responsive Day Out is a much more low-key affair; not nearly as stressful to put together. Still, three in a row is plenty. It’s time to end it on a hell of a high note.
That’s not to say I won’t be organising some other event sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll even revive the format of Responsive Day Out—three back-to-back 20 minute talks makes for an unbeatable firehose of knowledge. But for now, I’m going to take a little break from event-organising.
Besides, it’s not as though Responsive Day Out is really gone. Its spirit lives on in its US equivalent, Responsive Field Day in Portland in September.
Visual Essentials for Product Design — Cennydd Bowles
This one-day workshop that Cennydd is running in London on July 22nd looks like it’s going to be really good.
adactio : responsiveconf3 on Huffduffer
Just over 48 hours since the third and final Responsive Day Out finished, and all of the audio is available! Here’s the podcast feed.
That Drew is something else.
Responsive Day Out 3 by adactio on SoundCloud
If you were at Responsive Day Out on Friday and you liked the music that was playing during the breaks, here’s the track listing. Creative Commons licensed.
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
100 words 091
It’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the day.
Last year I spent the summer solstice visiting a telescope in the woods outside Riga:
we were inside the observatory getting a tour of the telescope at the precise moment that the astronomical summer began.
Later that evening, when I was back in my hotel room, I fired off a quick DM to Chloe, simply saying “Happy Birthday!” (it’s an easy date to remember).
She responded the next day with a curiously distant message. “Thanks Jeremy. Hope you’re well.”
And that was the last DM I ever got from Chloe.
Responsive day out 3: the final breakpoint | hiddedevries.nl
A fantastically-detailed write up of the whole day out. Each talk is described, and then the threads are tied together at the end. Great stuff!
As may have become clear from my notes above, Responsive Day Out 3 was a day full of variety. I had the feeling it could have easily been called Web Day Out, and I guess that makes sense, as responsive web design has naturally grown to be a pleonasm in the past few years.
She would’ve turned 30 today.
Saturday, June 20th, 2015
100 words 090
Responsive Day Out was immensely rewarding but also immensely tiring. So today I’ve been taking it nice and easy, coming down from yesterday’s high.
What’s really nice is that quite a few of the speakers and attendees are still around in Brighton today, also taking it easy and wandering around town. I met up with a bunch of people for breakfast and then spent the day with Emil ostensibly looking for the right kind of herrings to celebrate midsummer. But actually it was just a excuse to go from coffee shop to bar, enjoying a nice lazy Saturday in Brighton.
Ambling down to The Greys for a pint (hint, hint @heydonworks and @stopsatgreen).
Posts from June 19th 2015 | Blog | Decade City
Orde liveblogged every single talk from Responsive Day Out 3!
Paul Robert Lloyd | Responsive Principles | CSS Day on Vimeo
I really like the way that Paul’s talk builds on top of ideas laid down by Ethan and Frank. Good stuff.
Jaime Caballero on Instagram: “Live blogging by @adactio. He almost didn’t make it for his 100 words challenge.”
When you’re out celebrating at the end of Responsive Day Out and realise it’s just a few minutes to midnight and you haven’t published your 100 words yet.
Having a nice cup of tea and one of the lovely stroopwafels that @zomigi brought from Amsterdam for me.
Friday, June 19th, 2015
100 words 089
Today was quite special. The third and final Responsive Day Out was a splendid event. Every single speaker was superb. I know that sounds like a statistical unlikelihood considering there were twelve of them, but it’s true.
The day flew past. It was over before I knew it. Then it was time to stand out in the summer sun, have some pints, and chat about responsive design, accessibility, progressive enhancement, CSS, and all the other topics that were raised during the day.
During the post-conference wind-down, I was presented with two different cards, signed by attendees, thanking me. I’m verklempt.
Overwhelmed and verklempt by the outpouring of warm feelings from Responsive Day Out attendees. Genuinely touched. Thank you all for coming!
Thursday, June 18th, 2015
100 words 088
Tomorrow is the big day—Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
All the speakers are in town, safely ensconced in their hotel. To welcome them to Brighton and to get them relaxed for tomorrow, we all went out for a magnificent meal this evening. I hired out the pop-up restaurant Isaac At. What better way to welcome people to Sussex than to sample local seasonal food (and drinks) prepared by an immensely talented team. It was really great—great food, great company; just right.
Now I will attempt to get a night’s sleep before tomorrow’s overload of responsive brilliance.
Clearleft Graduate Internship
Know any talented recent graduates? Let ‘em know about this 3-month internship at Clearleft.
Not expecting a good response to my proposed W3C Working Group name.
Tiny two way data binding
More of this kind of thing, please!
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
100 words 087
Clearleft is ten years old this year (and yes, we do have some celebrations planned). It’s funny to think back to 2005 when Andy, Richard, and myself joined forces to make a little design agency with no clients and no office.
Here we are in 2015 and we have our own building, we’re working with great clients, and there are 21 of us now …not that growth is any indicator of success—we’ve always stayed cautious in that regard.
Andy, Richard, and myself got together for dinner this evening—a surprisingly rare event these days. It felt like old times.
Paul Ford: What is Code? by Paul Ford
It seems grossly unfair to refer to this as an article. It’s a short book. It’s a very good short book; lucid and entertaining in equal measure. A very enjoyable read.
It is, unfortunately, surrounded by some distracting “enhancements” but perhaps you can use your cleaner-upper software of choice to route around their damage: Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, whatever works for you.
Finished reading that @ftrain article.
What year is this‽ WHO IS THE PRESIDENT!‽?
Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
100 words 086
It’s summertime. Suddenly everything green seems to be growing with amazing fecundity. It’s quite something to see so much life blooming all at once.
Jessica and I have two little patches of earth in raised beds in our back garden. Right now they’re positively overflowing with lettuces: mustard greens, rocket, and a lovely variety called “marvel of four seasons”. Collectively they are the gift that keeps on giving. I can go out in the evening and harvest a great big bowlful of salad, and by the time I go out the next evening, there’s a whole new green feast waiting.
Keep The Web Healthy
I really like this impassioned love letter to the web. This resonates:
The web is a worthy monument for society. It cannot be taken away by apps in the app store or link bait on Facebook, but it can be lost if we don’t continue to steward this creation of ours. The web is a garden that needs constant tending to thrive. And in the true fashion of the world wide web, this is no task for one person or entity. It will require vigilance and work from us all.
Progressive Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul – Infrequently Noted
I really like Alex’s framing of best-of-breed progressively enhanced websites as “progressive apps” (although Bruce has some other ideas about the naming).
It’s a shame that the add-to-homescreen part isn’t standardised yet though.
Monday, June 15th, 2015
100 words 085
I’m back in Brighton after a thoroughly lovely weekend in Ireland. I must remember to visit Cobh more often in the summertime when there’s quite a lot of fun things to do.
But it’s nice to be back in Brighton too. This is the time of year when a seaside town really comes alive. And this is a particularly good week to be in Brighton—in just a few more days it’ll be time for third and final Responsive Day Out. I know it’s going to be an excellent event, packed with great talks. I’m really looking forward to it.
Russell Davies: Unbooked: How to live mindfully in a literate world
The many benefits of an analogue detox. There’s neuroscience and everything.
It’s so important that we take the time to connect and switch on.
Countdown to Indie Web Camp Brighton By Charlotte Jackson
If you’re not sure if Indie Web Camp is for you, have a read of Charlotte’s take on it:
The reason I didn’t attend last time is because I didn’t know if I had enough experience to spend a weekend working on something completely new. Turns out it doesn’t matter how much coding experience you have. I know I won’t be the only new person at Indie Web Camp. The idea is that we figure out solutions together.
Sunday, June 14th, 2015
100 words 084
Cobh really has become quite the tourist town. Today we—myself, Jessica, and my mother—took a boat over to Spike Island and enjoyed strolling around the fort and taking in the magnificent views. Then we went back across to town and had lunch where the White Star Line office used to be, sitting right next to the pier used to load goods and passengers for the Titanic.
We finished the evening in a pub listening to some great tunes (once the bodhrán player got the hint and left). Plenty of sunshine and plenty of pints. A really nice day.
On the 20th anniversary of Rory Gallagher’s death, listening to a tribute band in an Irish pub and thinking back to seeing him play live.
Saturday, June 13th, 2015
100 words 083
I’m back in my hometown of Cobh this weekend to visit my mother. Usually my trips back here happen at Christmas time so this is the first time in ages that I’ve been here during the Summer time. It turns out that there’s quite a lot to see and do for the Summertime visitor.
Today we went out to Fota House and walked around the gardens. It was all very civilised. Tomorrow we’re planning on taking a boat trip over to Spike island. There we can take in all the history and also get a different perspective on Cobh, literally.
PHP is the right tool for the job (for all the wrong reasons) - Sam says you should read this
I think there’s a lot of truth to this. By any objective measurement, PHP is clearly inferior to just about every other programming language out there …but its preinstalled out-of-the-box nature means it’s the path of least resistance.
Clifford Levy on Twitter
I’d like to do this for all Clearleft web projects.
How important is mobile for @nytimes? We’re blocking access to our home page on desktop in our building.
Taking a sabbatical to read that @ftrain article.
Friday, June 12th, 2015
100 words 082
Apple launched the iPad five years ago. A few months after its release, I bought one of those first-generation iPads. I used it for a while before concluding that, much as I had suspected, it wasn’t the right device for me. But it was the perfect device for my mother. So I gave the iPad to my mother.
Sure enough, it worked out great for her. But now it’s getting quite long in the tooth. So now I’ve given her a new iPad for her birthday; one that’s lighter, faster, and—crucially—comes with a camera. It’s a Facetime device.
Bumped into @TomScott at Gatwick.
“Where are you off to?” he asks.
“Cork,” I say. “You?”
Thursday, June 11th, 2015
100 words 081
Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a parasite that infects cattle by manipulating ants.
Once the parasite has been ingested by an ant, it compels the ant to climb to the top of a blade of grass every evening until together, they are ingested by a passing ruminant.
I wonder if the ant thinks that it decided to climb that blade of grass.
Humans are hosts to many microbes. A typical human carries ten times more bacterial DNA than human DNA: about 100 trillion bacteria.
We think that we decide to explore. But perhaps a human being is just a microbe’s space programme.
git commit -m “Make sure https://spoken.co/ audio is huffduffable”
About A Warboy.
If you didn’t get your ticket to http://responsiveconf.com/ yet …you’re too late. They’re all gone now.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
100 words 080
This year marks quite a few decadal anniversaries. In 2005 I published my first book. I went to South by Southwest for the first time and, together with Andy, gave my first talk.
The real story of how the Internet became so vulnerable | The Washington Post
The first in a series of articles about the architecture of the internet and its security issues, this is a great history lesson of how our network came to be.
What began as an online community for a few dozen researchers now is accessible to an estimated 3 billion people. That’s roughly the population of the entire planet in the early 1960s, when talk began of building a revolutionary new computer network.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
The Words On Dogs
100 words 079
Today was dogtastic at Clearleft. I knew in advance that Daphne the dachshund was going to be coming by—Kate had given us all the heads-up. But when I arrived in the office, who should greet me but …Poppy the beagle!
I hadn’t seen Poppy in years. But she remembered me. See, when Poppy was just a young dog, we’d play together. I’d get the dog all worked up into a frenzy and then say goodbye, leaving Richard to deal with a hyperactive puppy. That’s why, even now, Poppy’s reaction to me is to howl in a “let’s play!” way.
There are ten days until Responsive Day Out in Brighton.
There are ten tickets left.
A Complete Guide to SVG Fallbacks | CSS-Tricks
An up-to-date round-up of the various techniques available when you want to provide a fallback for SVG.
Viewport vs Percentage Units - bitsofco.de
A comparison of when to use percentages and when to use vw/vh in your CSS.
One day we will escape from our proprietary silos and all that will be left will be the writing scrawled on the wall, “WHO KILLED THE WEB?”
Monday, June 8th, 2015
100 words 078
I’ve noticed lately that my experience of films is lasting long after leaving the cinema. I end up reading opinion pieces and listening to podcasts about the film for days or even weeks afterwards.
Interstellar, Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road …I enjoyed each of them in the cinema, and then I enjoyed thinking about them again by huffduffing related material to catch up on.
Sometimes I find myself doing it with other media too. I finish a book, and then listen to reckons about it afterwards.
I guess this is the water cooler effect, but extended to the internet.
‘That pig was a good influence’ with Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman on Unfinished Business on Huffduffer
I had a lot of fun recording this episode with Andrew and Jeffrey. It is occasionally surreal.
Stick around for the sizzling hot discussion of advertising at the end in which we compare and contrast Mad Men and Triumph Of The Will.
Sunday, June 7th, 2015
100 words 077
Today was a very lazy day. I suppose that’s okay—it is a Sunday after all. But I do feel guilty. I had planned to get some writing done. At the very least I could have made the most of the beautiful weather and gone for an invigorating constitutional perambulation. Instead I stayed in, playing the occasional tune on the bouzouki, but mostly playing a computer game: Portal 2. I know it’s ancient in the dog years of gaming, but as the most casual of casual gamers, I get to reap the rewards of good games long after their prime.
Saturday, June 6th, 2015
100 words 076
The Open Market is situated just off London Road in Brighton. For the longest time, it—along with London Road itself—was the kind of place you really didn’t want to venture into. It was sort of seedy, and not a little bit off-putting.
But in the past few years The Open Market has had a complete overhaul. Now it’s downright pleasant. There are funky stalls, a great butcher shop, a good fishmonger, multiple fruit’n’veg places, and a truly excellent Greek café.
The atmosphere on the weekends is particularly convivial. If this is gentrification, then bring it on I say.
Constantly thinking of @meyerweb this weekend.
Friday, June 5th, 2015
100 words 075
Today was a Salter Cane practice day. It was a good one. We tried throwing some old songs at our new drummer, Emily. They stuck surprisingly well. Anomie, Long Gone, John Hope …they all sounded pretty damn good. To be honest, Emily was probably playing them better than the rest of us.
It was an energetic band practice so by the time I got home, I was really tired. I kicked back and relaxed with the latest copy of Spaceflight magazine from the British Interplanetary Society.
Then I went outside and watched the International Space Station fly over my house.
Thursday, June 4th, 2015
100 words 074
We had an epic front-end pow-wow today. With plenty of Beerleft Goldenrods on hand we ploughed through discussing current client work and then turned to our guests. Today we were joined by Tracy Osborn, who told us all about her lovely new self-published book, Hello Web App. Then we got a demo from our friends at the confusingly named Ind.ie—no relation to the indie web—who gave us a demo of what they’ve been working on. We gave our feedback, including a heartfelt plea to dial down the rhetoric in their public pronouncements.
I’ve been using Yahoo Pipes to generate https://huffduffer.com/inspiration
It’s really useful.
So of course Yahoo is shutting it down.
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
A Practical Guide to Flexbox: Don’t Forget about flex-shrink by Noah Blon on CodePen
A deceptively simple but powerful use of flexbox.
Going outside to watch a space station fly over my house.
100 words 073
The future Earth we see in Interstellar is a post-apocalyptic society. The population of the planet has been reduced to just a fraction of its current level. There have been wars and food shortages. And now the planet is dying and the human race is on its way out.
But instead of showing a dog-eat-dog battle for survival in the wasteland, we see people just getting on. It goes against the conventional wisdom that presupposes that if our Hobbesian Leviathian of civilisation were to be destroyed, our lives would inevitably revert to being nasty, brutish and short.
Interface Experience Maps, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson
This sounds like it could be a very useful tool to introduce early in projects to get a shared understanding of progressive enhancement.
Dev.Opera — Making websites that work well on Opera Mini
Using Progressive Enhancement makes your site better for all users and enables the 275 million users of Opera Mini worldwide.
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
100 words 072
Today was tiring. I didn’t do anything too strenuous—I was in the office in the morning and then up in London in the afternoon, but for some reason I just felt very tired out. Travelling to London and back will do that.
So when I got home, I had a nice relaxing evening. After dinner, I opened a bottle of Dark Star Sunburst ale, made some popcorn, and put on Interstellar.
This was my third viewing and it was just as gripping as the first two.
It’s a film that’s really divided opinion but I’m most certainly a fan.
“I can’t be arsed—that’s not an excuse; that’s a fact!”—@LotteJackson giving up on her 100 Days challenge.
Monday, June 1st, 2015
Amazon.com: Wilton Silver Color Mist: Kitchen & Dining
Oh, what a spray! What a lovely spray!
100 words 071
Today was a day full of meetings, as so many Mondays are these days. But they weren’t bad meetings. These were necessary meetings. Not a single one of them was a client meeting. Instead I spent the day bouncing from one Clearleft meeting to another.
There was the weekly Monday morning meeting. We even managed to have that outside, before the raindrops started to fall. Then there was a resourcing meeting. Then I had a meeting with Anna about some potential upcoming work. Then there was the director’s meeting with Andy and Rich. Sounds cabalistic but it’s actually quite pedestrian.
I’m on Team @Aerotwist.
Indie Web Camp Brighton is happening on July 11th and 12th. Yay!
You should come: https://adactio.com/journal/9043
Indie Web Camp Brighton 2015
Indie Web Camp Brighton is happening again. It will be on the weekend of July 11th and 12th (coinciding with the big US Indie Web Camp in Portland at the same time) and it will once again be at 68 Middle Street.
You should come.
If you haven’t been to an Indie Web Camp before, you should definitely come. The event is always inspiring and productive in equal measure. The first day consists of Barcamp-style talks and discussions. The second day is filled with heads-down work, made all the more productive by the presence of other people working on similar issues that are more than happy to help out.
There are two kinds of people who should come to Indie Web Camp Brighton:
- Someone who has their own website and is looking to make it better, and
- Someone who wants their own website.
That’s basically it. There’ll be nitty-gritty discussions and implementations of formats and tools to help out, but basically it’s all about having a place on the web to call your own.
At Indie Web Camp Germany a few weeks ago—which was excellent—there was a really nice emergent thread on building blocks: microformats, webmention, micropub, and all that nerdy stuff.
At the same time, there was a really great thread on interface design. How do we make writing on our own websites as nice as writing on Medium?
I can imagine a similar two-pronged approach emerging at Indie Web Camp Brighton. That’s why I’d love to see just as many designers as developers showing up.
So basically, whether you’re in the world of UX, design, or development, and whether you’ve already got your own website or you’d like to have your own website …you should come.
You can sign up to attend here.
Once you’ve done that, if you’ve got your own website, you can log in to the Indie Web Camp wiki using your domain and add yourself to the list of participants (if you don’t have your own website or can’t log in, I can add you to the list).
It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I guarantee it’s also going to be highly productive—hope to see you there!