A lovely Yuletide present from Brian and co.—an exploration of the proverbs embodied in Bruegel’s painting.
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Yet another brilliant far-ranging talk from Bret Victor.
I’ve tried to get him to come and speak at dConstruct for the past few years, but alas, with no success.
Saturday, December 27th, 2014
This cat believes in owning its own data.
Chloe would’ve loved this.
Sunday, December 21st, 2014
I just noticed that I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements of this most handy of W3C documents. This pleases me disproportionately.
Saturday, December 20th, 2014
A handy starting point for creating a front-end styleguide: a single document of HTML elements.
A look at long-term cultural and linguistic preservation through the lens of Egyptology.
This is a nifty little service: if your site has a webmention endpoint, people can comment on your articles by sending an email.
That means you can comment on any post on my site by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (in the email, include the URL of the post you’re commenting on).
Friday, December 19th, 2014
Airships in the atmosphere of Venus. More plausible than it might sound at first.
This page does a great job of explaining Mozilla’s thinking behind “pinned apps”—an idea that would be great for the whole web, not just Firefox users.
Watch this space.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Curiosity’s journey so far, nicely visualised.
Like caniuse.com, but for typography features. Find out what’s supported in browsers today.
If your site is written in Ruby (even if it’s made with a static site generator like Jekyll), you can add webmention support with Jason’s newly-open-sourced code.
You Don’t Need jQuery! – Free yourself from the chains of jQuery by embracing and understanding the modern Web API and discovering various directed libraries to help you fill in the gaps.
The tone is a bit too heavy-handed for my taste, but the code examples here are very handy if you’re weaning yourself off jQuery.
Print out the plans, fold and glue/sellotape the paper together, and you’ve got yourself the best sci-fi robots in recent cinema history.
Monday, December 15th, 2014
Seb will be running this workshop again at the start of February—details here. I can’t recommend it highly enough—it’s so, so good!
Sunday, December 14th, 2014
I had the great honour of being invited to speak on the 200th edition of the Working Draft podcast (there are a few sentences in German at the start, and then it switches into English).
I had a lot of fun talking about indie web building blocks (rel=me, indieauth, webmention, h-entry, etc.). Best of all, while I was describing these building blocks, one of the hosts started implementing them!
Saturday, December 13th, 2014
This is quite beautiful in its simplicity: the hexadecimal colour value of the current time.
Friday, December 12th, 2014
Tim Carmody on James Cameron’s meisterwerk (and technology in sci-fi films in general).
A really handy command-line tool that scans your site for mixed content — very useful if you’re making the switch from http to https.
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Scenes of space from sci-fi films.
With all my talk about extending existing elements instead of making new ones, I was reminded of one of my favourite examples of custom elements in action: Github’s extensions of the
James takes a tour through the English countryside, while venturing into areas of the electromagnetic spectrum that may as well be labelled “Private Property. No Trespassing. Keep Out.”
My contribution to this year’s edition of the web’s best advent calendar.
You can’t win the game. It exists only to destroy your mind.
Monday, December 8th, 2014
A superb article by Josh on planning for progressive enhancement—clearly laid out and carefully explained.
Sunday, December 7th, 2014
Sounds like a cute idea, right?
In fact it’s the best thing you’re ever likely to read on Peruvian ursine immigration.
Saturday, December 6th, 2014
This is an awareness project I can get behind: a Clarke-like Project Spaceguard to protect the Earth from asteroid collisions. This campaign will focus awareness of this issue on one single day…
Now if only the front page of this website actually said when that day will be.
Update: And now it does.
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
A fascinating look at how the humble password gets imbued with incredible levels of meaning.
It reminds me of something I heard Ze Frank say last year: “People fill up the cracks with intimacy.”
This is a superbly-written, empathetic, nuanced look at the issues around Creative Commons licensing, particularly the danger of inferring a “spirit” in a legal agreement.
“Spirit” as it’s being used in this conversation is a relative term. You have the spirit of the user, the spirit of the license, the spirit of the community, the spirit of the service, and the spirit of the law. All these can align and all these can diverge and that’s OK. It is also the reason we have a legal system that sets clear parameters for how things can be interpreted: Spirit is relative, legal decisions and documents are not (at least in theory). The whole idea of a legal contract (under which we can find CC licenses) is that there is no room for interpretation. The meaning of the document is singular, unambiguous, and not up for debate. Of course this is purely theoretical, but that’s the idea anyway.
The problem arises when the spirit – or intent – of the user when applying a license differs from the actual legal interpretation of that same license.
The title is harsh, but this is a good summation of the issues involved in choosing a Creative Commons licence.
Open licensing is about giving up control so that other people can benefit. That’s all it will cost you: control. Having control feels nice. But you should ask yourself what it really gets you. And you should think about what others might gain if you were able to let go.
Think carefully and decide what you need. No one is going to make you tick that Creative Commons box. But when you do, it’s a promise.
A concept browser from Yandex that takes an interesting approach to URLs: on the one hand, hiding them …but then putting them front and centre.
But the main focus of this concept browser is to blur the line between browser chrome and the website it’s displaying.
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Typeset In The Future is back with another cracking analysis. This time—following on from 2001 and Moon—we’ve got Alien.
In her final recorded message before hypersleep, Ripley notes that she is the sole survivor of the Nostromo. What she forgets to mention is that she has not once in the past two hours encountered any Eurostile Bold Extended.
I completely share Bruce’s concern about the year-zero thinking that’s accompanying a lot of the web components marketing:
Snarking aside, why do so few people talk about extending existing HTML elements with web components? Why’s all the talk about brand new custom elements? I don’t know.
I’m a fan of web components. But I’m increasingly worried about the messaging surrounding them.
A history lesson and a love letter to the early web, taking in HTML, Photoshop, and the web standards movement.
Those were long years, the years of drop-shadows. Everything was jumping just slightly off the screen. For a stretch it seemed that drop-shadows and thin vertical columns of text would define the web. That was before we learned that the web is really a medium to display slideshows, as many slideshows as possible, with banner ads.
Stuart has implemented webmentions on his site, which is great. It’s also fitting, as he is the inventor of pingback (of which webmention is a simpler reformulation).
Many of the free fonts available from Google are pretty bad, but this site showcases how some of them can be used to great effect.