Considering the average website is less than ten years old, that old warning from your parents that says to “be careful what you post online because it’ll be there forever” is like the story your dad told you about chocolate milk coming from brown cows, a well-meant farce. On the contrary, librarians and archivists have implored us for years to be wary of the impermanence of digital media; when a website, especially one that invites mass participation, goes offline or executes a huge dump of its data and resources, it’s as if a smallish Library of Alexandria has been burned to the ground. Except unlike the burning of such a library, when a website folds, the ensuing commentary from tech blogs asks only why the company folded, or why a startup wasn’t profitable. Ignored is the scope and species of the lost material, or what it might have meant to the scant few who are left to salvage the digital wreck.
A short list of opinions on typography. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but it’s all fairly sensible advice.
Scroll up to the Kármán line.
I don’t agree with all of these takes-of-varying-spiciness, but Rich Harris is always worth paying attention to.
I not only worry that “cli-fi” might not be an effective form of environmental expression – I have come to believe that the genre might be actively dangerous, stunting our cultural ability to imagine a future worth living in or fighting for.
This isn’t an opinion piece. This is documentation.
This is a terrific walkthrough from Andy showing how smart fundamentals in your CSS can give you a beautiful readable document without much work.
Design systems as codified constraints.
This video was in my “Watch Later” queue for ages but I finally got ‘round to watching it this weekend. It’s ace! Great content, great narrative, great delivery—would’ve made a good dConstruct talk.
This game is hard:
Sayable Space is a television game for 1 or more people, it consists of saying “Space” out loud at the same time as Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) during the intro to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Or actually that’s just half of the game. The second half is saying “Space”, and the first half is remembering that you are playing this game.
I guess the biggest criticism here is that it feels like people who believe in the superiority of single page applications and the entire ecosystem focus more on developer experience (DX) than user experience. That sounds like a dangerous blanket statement, but after all these years, I never had the feeling that the argument “better DX leads to better UX” was ever true. It’s nothing more than a justification for the immense complexity and potentially significantly worse UX. And even if the core argument isn’t DX, other arguments like scalability, maintainability, competitive ability, easier recruiting (“everyone uses React”), and cost effectiveness, in my experience, only sound good, but rarely hold up to their promises.
Imagine the web is a storefront, React is a hot dog car, and here’s Create React App dressed as a hot dog:
HTML is the cornerstone of the web — so why does creating a “React app” produce an empty HTML file? Why are we not taking advantage of the most basic feature of the web—the ability to see content quickly before all the interactive code loads? Why do we wait to start loading the data until after all the client-side code has finished loading?
The positively steampunk piece of hardware used for tracking Alexei Leonov’s Apollo-Soyuz mission.
I’ve come to believe the best way to look at our Mars program is as a faith-based initiative. There is a small cohort of people who really believe in going to Mars, the way some people believe in ghosts or cryptocurrency, and this group has an outsize effect on our space program.
Maciej lays out the case against a crewed mission to Mars.
Like George Lucas preparing to release another awful prequel, NASA is hoping that cool spaceships and nostalgia will be enough to keep everyone from noticing that their story makes no sense. But you can’t lie your way to Mars, no matter how sincerely you believe in what you’re doing.
And don’t skip the footnotes:
Fourth graders writing to Santa make a stronger case for an X-Box than NASA has been able to put together for a Mars landing.
NASA is posting some lovely pictures on Flickr from the first Artemis mission.
Designing a Utopian layout grid: Working with fluid responsive values in a static design tool. | Utopia
James describes his process for designing fluid grid layouts, which very much involves working with the grain of the web but against the grain of our design tools:
In 2022 our design tools are still based around fixed-size artboards, while we’re trying to design products which scale gracefully to suit any screen.
This is so cool—Ariel was on BBC World TV News live during the Artemis launch!
In a way, I find these pictures—taken by someone from the ground with regular equipment—just as awe-inspiring as the images from the James Webb Space Telescope.