Engineers who care about the open culture of the web should recognize that the threats to that culture come not only from Digital Enclosure by large, private companies of the most important pieces of the web.
They should also recognize the risks of Technical Enclosure, and the non-technical value of the #ViewSource affordance in perpetuating the open culture of web development.
The slides and transcript from a great talk by Maggie Appleton, including this perfect description of the vibes we get from large language models:
It feels like they’re either geniuses playing dumb or dumb machines playing genius, but we don’t know which.
In the fullness of time, the files you create are more important than the tools you use to create them. Apps are ephemeral, but your files have a chance to last.
A false sense of security persists surrounding digitized documents: because an infinite number of identical copies can be made of any original, most of us believe that our electronic files have an indefinite shelf life and unlimited retrieval opportunities. In fact, preserving the world’s online content is an increasing concern, particularly as file formats (and the hardware and software used to run them) become scarce, inaccessible, or antiquated, technologies evolve, and data decays. Without constant maintenance and management, most digital information will be lost in just a few decades. Our modern records are far from permanent.
Years before becoming Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak wrote this report, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure.
A great reminder of just how much you can do with modern markup and styles when it comes to form validation. The
:user-valid pseudo-classes are particularly handy!
4 design principles I use every day to avoid bad UX and create products that work for everyone – Adam Silver – designer, London, UK
- Good design works for everyone
- Good design makes things obvious
- Good design puts users in control
- Good design is lightweight
Once a privately owned, centralized platform closes its public APIs, the platform will invariably lose any usablity except for people who publicly or privately admire Hitler.
If we’re serious about creating a sustainable future, perhaps we should change this common phrase from “Form follows Function” to “Form – Function – Future”. While form and function are essential considerations, the future, represented by sustainability, should be at the forefront of our design thinking. And actually, if sustainability is truly at the forefront of the way we create new products, then maybe we should revise the phrase even further to “Future – Function – Form.” This revised approach would place our future, represented by sustainability, at the forefront of our design thinking. It would encourage us to first ask ourselves, “What is the most sustainable way to design X?” and then consider how the function of X can be met while ensuring it remains non-harmful to people and the planet.
This is a terrific talk by Jack on how to deal with the tooling involved in modern front-end development:
- Maintaining control,
- Dependency awareness,
- Lean on browser primitives,
- Have an exit strategy.
AMP succeeded spectacularly. Then it failed. And to anyone looking for a reason not to trust the biggest company on the internet, AMP’s story contains all the evidence you’ll ever need.
This is a really good oral history of how AMP soured Google’s reputation.
Full disclosure: I’m briefly cited:
“When it suited them, it was open-source,” says Jeremy Keith, a web developer and a former member of AMP’s advisory council. “But whenever there were any questions about direction and control… it was Google’s.”
As an aside, this article contains a perfect description of the company cultures of Facebook, Apple, and Google:
“You meet with a Facebook person and you see in their eyes they’re psychotic,” says one media executive who’s dealt with all the major platforms. “The Apple person kind of listens but then does what it wants to do. The Google person honestly thinks what they’re doing is the best thing.”
Of course, users can learn over time what prompts work well and which don’t, but the burden to learn what works still lies with every single user. When it could instead be baked into the interface.
Ahmad runs through some of the scenarios where
text-wrap: balance could be handy.
Even though it’s not well-supported yet in browsers, there’s no reason not to start adding it to sites now; it’s classic progressive enhancement.
A new organisation with the stated goal of keeping podcasting open.
My only worry is that many of the companies behind this initiative are focused on metrics and monetization—I hope they don’t attempt to standardise tracking and surveillance in podcasts.
The Podcast Standards Project, a grassroots coalition working to establish modern, open standards, to enable innovation in the podcast industry.
This isn’t an opinion piece. This is documentation.
Interesting to see an article on web performance on the BBC. Perhaps we should be emphasising green over speed?
Container queries can’t be used in the
sizes attribute for responsive images. Here, Jason breaks down why that is (spoiler: it’s the lookahead pre-parser) and segues into a truly long term solution: a “magical” image format.
If you’ve ever thought it felt weird to put media conditions inside the HTML for responsive images, this will resonate.