I believe strongly in the indieweb principles of distributed ownership, control, and independence. For me, the important thing is that this is how we get to a diverse web. A web where everyone can define not just what they write but how they present is by definition far more expressive, diverse, and interesting than one where most online content and identities must be squished into templates created by a handful of companies based on their financial needs. In other words, the open web is far superior to a medium controlled by corporations in order to sell ads. The former encourages expression; the latter encourages consumerist conformity.
Friday, September 30th, 2022
Tuesday, September 27th, 2022
I really like the format of this bit of journo-fiction. An interview from the future looking back at the turning point of today.
It probably helps that I’m into nuclearpunk just as much as solarpunk, so I approve this message.
Atomkraft? Ja, bitte!
Monday, September 26th, 2022
Y’know, I started reading this great piece by Claire L. Evans thinking about its connections to systems thinking, but I ended up thinking more about prototyping. And microbes.
Modern computing is far too rigid. Applications can only function in preset ways determined by some far away team. Software is trapped in hermetically sealed silos and is rewritten many times over rather than recomposed.
This community catalogs and experiments with malleable software and systems that reset the balance of power via several essential principles…
I like this approach to offering a design system. It seems less prescriptive than many:
Designed not as a rule set, but rather a toolbox, the Data Design Language includes a chart library, design guidelines, colour and typographic style specifications with usability guidance for internationalization (i18n) and accessibility (a11y), all reflecting our data design principles.
This is a great analysis by Amy of the conflicting priorities tugging at design systems.
No matter how hard we work to foster these socialist ideals, like community, collaboration, and contribution, it feels as though we’re always being dragged to a default culture of individualism.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2022
Spoiler: the answer to the question in the title is a resounding “hell yeah!”
Scott brings receipts.
I love how easy it is to use these icons: you can copy and paste the SVG or even get it encoded as a data URL.
Tuesday, September 20th, 2022
Have I reached the Douglas Adams Inflection point (or is modern tech just a bit rubbish)? – Terence Eden’s Blog
This chimes with something I’ve been pondering: we anticipate big breakthoughs in software—AI!, blockchain!, metaverse! chatbots!—but in reality the field is relatively stagnant. Meanwhile in areas like biology, there’s been unexpected advances. Or maybe, as Terence indicates, it’s all about the hype.
I like the way this work-in-progress is organised—it’s both a book and a personal website that’ll grow over time.
Monday, September 19th, 2022
But is it always the case that faster websites are greener websites? We reluctantly have to consider another facet: if making a website for a car manufacturer faster leads to an increase in the number of cars sold, can we really say that our website is greener?
This is very timely for me, given that Clearleft is currently engaged on a project that’s making me decidedly queasy for this exact reason—the success metrics of the project would be net negative for the world.
Saturday, September 17th, 2022
I love the thoughtfulness that Sally put into her personal write-up of dConstruct.
Well, now I’m really glad I wrote that post about logical properties!
We’re not there yet. So how do we get there?
Well, I don’t know for sure – but articles like this are very helpful as we try to work it out!
Thursday, September 15th, 2022
Wow, what a day. A really diverse selection of talks that went all over the map. From building vast world-changing health systems, to scaling and archiving global online communities, to the beauty and joy of calligraphy. And lasers. I enjoyed the lot, which is rare for me at an event like this.
A rather lovely write-up of the final dConstruct!
Above all it was nice to see the diversity of approaches and reasons for doing ‘design’ / art / whatever. Some of us are solving the hard problems, some of us are thinking philosophically or creating new tools, and some of us are just having fun – and all approaches are valid and useful.
As designers, with every new project we tend to leverage existing symbols and reinforce their meaning to be able to benefit from mental associations people will naturally make. But we also have the power to modify and repurpose those symbols, should that be our intention.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2022
Software quality is more the result of a system designed to produce quality, and not so much the result of individual performance. That is: a group of mediocre programmers working with a structure designed to produce quality will produce better software than a group of fantastic programmers working in a system designed with other goals.
This talks about development, but I believe it applies equally—if not more—to design.
And this is very insightful:
Instead of spending tons of time and effort on hiring because you believe that you can “only hire the best”, direct some of that effort towards building a system that produces great results out of a wider spectrum of individual performance.
Matcalfe’s Law in action:
Companies keep choosing React because they know there’s a massive pool of candidates who know it; candidates keep learning React because they know companies are hiring for it. It’s a self-sustaining cycle.
But the problem is:
React isn’t great at anything except being popular.
Tuesday, September 13th, 2022