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.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 30th, 2014
Look, I would never usually link to a “listicle” on Buzzfeed, but this is all kinds of cumulative mirth.
Friday, August 29th, 2014
A really nice little documentary about my friend Jeffrey.
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Mat unveils Boston’s open device lab, and provides a beautiful raison d’être while he’s at it:
Websites work everywhere by default, and they stay that way so long as we know how not to break them. That’s what the Open Web means to me: ensuring that entire populations just setting foot on the web for the first time will find it welcoming, regardless of the devices or connections used to get there.
Hyperlinks relating to the talks delivered at An Event Apart in Chicago, including those connected to my rambling musings on progressive enhancement.
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
Wonderfully creative use of CSS gradients, borders, box-shadows, and generated content.
Monday, August 25th, 2014
Opera Mini is about to be installed as the default browser on a few more million phones.
Josh walks through the process he took to enabling SSL on his site (with particular attention to securing assets on CloudFront).
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
I very much agree with Orde’s framing here: I don’t think it makes much sense to talk about “above the fold” CSS …but it makes a lot of sense to talk about critical CSS.
And, yeah, it’s another example of progressive enhancement.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Alice Bartlett shares her experience of getting aria-live regions to work in a meaningful way.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Modern pop songs retold as Shakespearian sonnets.
I was interviewed for a feature in issue 257 of net magazine.
In this interview, I pause. And continue.
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Harry has written down his ideas and recommendations for writing CSS.
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.
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
Now this is how to shut down a service: switch to a read-only archive, and make the codebase (without user credentials) available on Github.
Friday, August 15th, 2014
I remember reading Gia Milinovich’s reports from the set of the in-production Danny Boyle sci-fi film called Sunshine back in 2005. Then the film came out, exceeded my expectations, and became one of my all-time favourites.
Now the website—which was deleted by Fox—has been lovingly recreated by Gia. (And it’s responsive now.)
Remember when I was talking about refactoring the markup for Code for America? Well, it turns out that Heydon Pickering is way ahead of me.
He talks about the viewpoint of a writer (named Victoria) who wants to be able to write in Markdown, or HTML, or a textarea, without having to add classes to everything. That’s going to mean more complex CSS, but it turns out that you can do a lot of complex things in CSS without using class selectors.
There are slides.
I had a good ol’ chat with Justin Avery from Responsive Web Design Weekly. We talk about performance, Responsive Day Out, and yes, progressive enhancement.
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Tantek’s great talk on the Indie Web from Web Directions Code in Melbourne earlier this year.
How computers work:
One day, a man name Alan Turing found a magic lamp, and rubbed it. Out popped a genie, and Turing wished for infinite wishes. Then we killed him for being gay, but we still have the wishes.
Then we networked computers together:
The network is ultimately not doing a favor for those in power, even if they think they’ve mastered it for now. It increases their power a bit, it increases the power of individuals immeasurably. We just have to learn to live in the age of networks.
We are all nodes in many networks. This is a beautiful description of how one of those networks operates.
Here’s the very brief talk I gave about Indie Web Camp at Aral’s Indie Tech Summit here in Brighton a little while back (I was in the slightly-demeaningly-titled “stop gaps” section).
If you like what you hear, come along to the next Indie Web Camp—also in Brighton—in just over three weeks.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
A peak at a near-future mundane dystopia from Joanne McNeil that reminds me of Brian’s spime story
When Rock’n’roll and Web 2.0 collide, the result is not pretty.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
I’m sad about Robin Williams. I was also a little bit angry with him. In much the same way, I was sad about and angry with Chloe Weil when news of her suicide reached me.
Monday, August 11th, 2014
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
A fantastic collection of short videos from Luke on interaction design for devices of all shapes and sizes.
Make yourself a nice cup of tea, hit “Play all”, sit back, relax and learn from the master.
Friday, August 8th, 2014
A nice bit of interactive citizen science storytelling from Google.
Note: if you have Adblock Plus installed, this won’t load at all. Funny that.
Those lovely people at Filament Group share some of their techniques for making data tables work across a range of screen sizes.
A nice simple little service from Andy Baio that extracts links from Twitter and orders them by freshness and popularity.
If you enjoy writing, or want to enjoy writing, just do it. You’ll probably worry that you have nothing to say, or that what you write is terrible, or that you couldn’t possibly write as well as Neil Gaiman. But silence those voices, get your head down and hit publish on something. Anything. And then do it again. And again.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Of course, you might want to ask yourself why you want a parallax effect in the first place.
Monday, August 4th, 2014
Cole Peters calls upon designers and developers to realise the power they have to shape the modern world and act accordingly.
It is in those of us who work in tech and on the web that digital privacy may find its greatest chance for survival. As labourers in one of the most pivotal industries of our times, we possess the knowledge and skills required to create tools and ecosystems that defend our privacy and liberties.
I don’t disagree, but I think it’s also important to recognise how much power is in the hands of non-designers and non-developers: journalists, politicians, voters …everyone has a choice to make.
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 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.
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?
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.
Friday, August 1st, 2014
The best archivist I ever knew was also a coder and my best friend. Her name was Chloe Weil.