Tags: work

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Intervening against document.write() | Web Updates - Google Developers

Chrome is going to refuse to parse document.write for users on a slow connection. On the one hand, I feel that Google intervening in this way is a bit icky, but I on the other hand, I totally support this move.

This keeps happening. Google announce a change (usually related to search) where I think “Ooh, that could be interpreted as an abuse of a monopoly position …but it’s for ver good reason so I’ll keep quiet.”

Anyway, this should serve as a good kick in the pants for bad actors (that’s you, advertisers) to update their scripts to be asynchronous.

Offline content with service workers · MadebyMike

This is a really great step-by-step walkthrough of adding a service worker to a website. Mike mentions the gotchas he encountered along the way, and describes how he incrementally levelled up the functionality.

If you’ve been going through a similar process, please write it down and share it like this!

Museum of Wi-Fi

The Museum of Wi-Fi exists to preserve these vestiges of our neighbourhood battlefields.

Some are brilliantly smart, some are just purely gross. They all belong in the museum.

Web Animation Workshops

Val Head and Sarah Drasner have teamed up to offer a two-day workshop on web animation. If you have a chance to attend, do it!

Web development as a hack of hacks - QuirksBlog

PPK reads a Hacker News thread so you don’t have to.

The Internet Should Be a Public Good | Jacobin

A gripping history lesson of the internet and the ARPANET before it, emphasising the role of government funding.

Silicon Valley often likes to pretend that innovation is the result of entrepreneurs tinkering in garages. But most of the innovation on which Silicon Valley depends comes from government research, for the simple reason that the public sector can afford to take risks that the private sector can’t.

It’s precisely the insulation from market forces that enables government to finance the long-term scientific labor that ends up producing many of the most profitable inventions.

Today we have an internet effectively controlled by a small number of private companies.

Instead of trying to escape the bigness of the Internet, we should embrace it — and bring it under democratic control. This means replacing private providers with public alternatives where it’s feasible, and regulating them where it’s not.

There is nothing in the pipes or protocols of the Internet that obliges it to produce immense concentrations of corporate power. This is a political choice, and we can choose differently.

SpeedCurve | PWA Performance

Steve describes a script you can use on WebPageTest to simulate going offline so you can test how your progressive web app performs.

An intro to progressive web apps | 8th Light

A nice introduction to progressive web apps. There’s a little bit of confusion about permissions—whether a site has been added to the home screen or not has no effect on the permissions granted to it (for things like push notifications)—but the wrap-up nails the advantages of using the web:

No more waiting to download an app, no more prompts for updating an app. From a developer perspective, it means we will be able to iterate a lot quicker. We don’t need to wait for app store approvals anymore, and we can deploy at our own leisure.

Another advantage that a progressive web app has over a native mobile app is that it is linkable, hence it is easier to share and, probably even more importantly, can be indexed by search engines. This makes discoverability of the app a lot better.

Cross-origin Service Workers: Experimenting with Foreign Fetch | Web Updates - Google Developers

This one is definitely for service worker nerds only. I’ve been trying to get my head around this idea of “foreign fetch” which allows third parties to install service workers—could be handy for sites with APIs like Huffduffer and The Session. This article does a good job of explaining the somewhat tangled process.

What, Exactly, Makes Something A Progressive Web App? | Infrequently Noted

Alex runs through the features that a progressive web app must have, should have, and would be nice to have.

In general, installability criteria are tightening. Today’s Good-To-Haves may become part of tomorrow’s baseline. The opposite is unlikely because at least one major browser has made a strong commitment to tightening up the rules for installability.

Right now, this is in the nice-to-have category:

Mobile-friendly, not mobile-only.

Personally, I’d put that in the must-have category, and not just for progressive web apps.

Anyway, read on for some advice on testing and tooling when it comes to evaluating progressive web apps.

lyzadanger/pragmatist-service-worker: Pragmatist’s Guide to Service Worker

Lyza put together some example code for her Smashing Conference talk on service workers. If you haven’t written a service worker before, these are really nice examples of how to grok it bit by bit.

Shipping vs. Learning » Mike Industries

Some typically smart thinking from Mike—what if success were measured in learning rather than shipping?

Organizations that learn the quickest seem the most likely to succeed over the long haul.

This really resonates with me, and it aligns so closely with our values at Clearleft that I think this is something we should be pursuing. Fortunately Mike’s post comes with plenty of examples and ideas.

The Building Blocks Of Progressive Web Apps – Smashing Magazine

This is a really good overview of progressive web apps:

An ideal web app is a web page that has the best aspects of both the web and native apps. It should be fast and quick to interact with, fit the device’s viewport, remain usable offline and be able to have an icon on the home screen.

At the same time, it must not sacrifice the things that make the web great, such as the ability to link deep into the app and to use URLs to enable sharing of content. Like the web, it should work well across platforms and not focus solely on mobile. It should behave just as well on a desktop computer as in other form factors, lest we risk having another era of unresponsive m.example.com websites.

Indicating offline | justmarkup

Some interesting interface ideas here for informing users when a service worker is doing its magic.

In the future users may expect a site to work offline after visiting again, but until this happens, I think it is a good idea to let the users know about this feature.

How we made the RioRun progressive web app | Info | The Guardian

The devs at The Guardian walk through the process of building a progressive web app for the Olympics. There were some gotchas with the life cycle of service workers, but the pay-off was worth it:

Once you get there though, it’s quite magical when you load the page on a phone, switch it to airplane mode, reload, and continue using the app as though nothing was wrong.

What is React?

I’m in a similar position to Remy:

I don’t use React. I don’t really gravitate towards larger frameworks, only because my daily work doesn’t require it, and I’m personally more interested in the lower level techniques and parts of the web and JavaScript.

But, like Remy, I’m interested in knowing what are the ideas and techniques embedded within large frameworks that will end up making their way into the web stack:

What I want to know is: what should I be taking away from React into my own continued evolution as a web developer?

There are some good responses in the comments.

gmetais/sw-delta: An incremental cache for the web

Here’s an interesting use of service workers: figure out the difference (the delta) between the currently-cached version of a file, and the version on the network, and then grab only the bits that have changed. It requires some configuration on the server side (to send back the diff) but it’s an interesting approach that could be worth keeping an eye on.

Stuff I wish I’d known sooner about service workers

Some helpful “gotchas” that could save you some frustration if you’re starting out with service workers.

Progressive Enhancement for JavaScript App Developers | De Voorhoede

Build JS apps responsibly - cover your basics, render strategically and enhance into true apps.

sw-toolbox

If you’re going to dip your toes into the world of service workers, this handy library from the Chrome team is a good place to start.

Service worker meeting notes - JakeArchibald.com

Jake has written up the notes from the most recent gathering to discuss service workers. If you have any feedback on any of the proposed changes or additions to the spec, please add them. This proposal is the biggie:

We’re considering allowing the browser to run multiple concurrent instances of a service worker.

ServiceWorker: A Basic Guide to BackgroundSync

A nice introduction to using Service Workers to enable syncing in the background: when the user is offline, tasks get queued up and then when the user is back online, those tasks execute.

Hidden Expectations - daverupert.com

Over the years I’ve come to realize that most difficult part of making websites isn’t the code, it’s the “hidden expectations”, the unseen aspects I didn’t know were my responsibility when I started: Accessibility, Security, Performance, and Empathy.

A workshop for codebar students: Build a portfolio or blog site | Charlotte Jackson, Front-end developer

Charlotte did a fantastic job putting this workshop together on the weekend. It was inspiring!

Adding Service Worker to a simple website - rossta.net

A nice little walkthrough of a straightforward Service Worker for a content-based site, like a blog.

The Service Worker Lifecycle

The life cycle of a Service Worker—with all its events and states—is the one bit that I’ve never paid that much attention to. My eyes just glaze over when it comes to installation, registration, and activation. But this post explains the whole process really clearly. Now it’s starting to make sense to me.

Questions for our first 1:1 | Lara Hogan

Shamefully, I haven’t been doing one-to-ones with my front-end dev colleagues at Clearleft, but I’m planning to change that. This short list of starter questions from Lara will prove very useful indeed.

The best of Google I/O 2016 | Andrew Betts

Andrew picks out his favourite bits from this year’s Google I/O, covering web payments, CSS containment, and—of course—Service Workers and progressive web apps, although he does note (and I concur):

I wish Google would focus as much attention on ‘normal’ sites that perform navigations as they do on so called ‘app-shell’ (which is just a new name for single-page apps, as far as I can tell), but then many people will be building SPAs and these recipes will make those apps fly. In news publishing we seem to flip flop between traditional page navigations and SPAs, but I’ve never found a SPA news site (or a native app) that I really like more than a normal website. Maybe a really good progressive web app will change that. But I’m not convinced.

Still, as he says:

All this really just underscores how flexible ServiceWorker is and that with it we can disagree on what the right solution is, but we can all get what we want anyway.

The Business Case for Progressive Web Apps - Cloud Four

Jason looks at the business reasons for and against building progressive web apps. In short, there’s everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Seriously, why would you not add a Service Worker and a manifest file to your site? (assuming you’re already on HTTPS)

The Progress of Web Apps | Microsoft Edge Dev Blog

The roadmap for progressive web apps from Microsoft; not just their support plans, but also some ideas for distribution.

The Conjoined Triangles of Senior-Level Development - The Frontside

This is relevant to my interests because I think I’m supposed to be a senior developer. Or maybe a technical director. I’m really not sure (job titles suck).

Anyway, I very much appreciate the idea that a technical leadership position isn’t just about technical skills, but also communication and connectedness.

When we boiled down what we’re looking for, we came away with 12 traits that divide pretty cleanly along those three areas of responsibility: technical capability, leadership, and community.

For someone like me with fairly mediocre technical capability, this is reassuring.

Now if I only I weren’t also mediocre in those other areas too…

EmberCamp London Keynote 2016 // Speaker Deck

I really, really like what Ember is aiming for here:

First, we deliver the raw content, ensuring those on slow connections or without JavaScript get they’re after as soon as possible. Next, we load the minimum set of JavaScript needed to interactivity for that page, keeping transfer time and parsing time low. Once the user has an interactive page, we can start preemptively loading other parts of the application, including frequently-accessed data.

That’s how you get the holy grail of resilience and performance:

Subsequent visits and interactions are therefore nearly instantaneous, because they don’t rely on the network.

I sincerely hope other frameworks are paying attention to this layered approach.

Oh, and I also like this observation:

There’s an age-old argument about the difference between “web pages” and “web apps”. In reality, there’s a continuum between the two.

Building Web Applications that Work Everywhere

The second book in Adam Scott’s series on ethical web development is a nice quick read, covering URL design, Service Workers, and performance.

The Internet | Thought Economics

The World Wide Web, with all of its pages, blogs and so on- has allowed human expression in ways that would have been uneconomic and out of reach before. The most dramatic effect has been this ability for almost anyone to express himself or herself whenever they want to- and potentially be heard by many others.

Vint Cerf there, taking part in this wide-ranging discussion with, among others, Kevin Kelly and Bob Metcalfe.

The introduction leans a bit too heavily on Nicholas Carr for my liking, but it ends up in a good place.

The internet connects us cognitively and becomes a membrane through which our minds can interact, manifesting a whole new iteration of our species, who have begun to exist in a connected symbiotic relationship with technology.

The internet is the first technology we have created, that makes us more human.

The Foundation of Technical Leadership · An A List Apart Article

Story of my life:

I have to confess I had no idea what a technical leader really does. I figured it out, eventually.

Seriously, this resonates a lot with what I find myself doing at Clearleft these days.

» Service Workers at Scale, Part II: Handling Fallback Resources Cloud Four Blog

This ongoing series about the nuts’n’bolts of implementing Service Workers is really good. This one is great for getting to grips with the cache API.

Brief History of the Internet - Internet Timeline | Internet Society

From twenty years ago, a look back at the origins of the internet, written by its creators.

Apprenticeship: A better path to mastering our craft | Louder Than Ten

I’ve been thinking a lot about learning, teaching, mentoring, coaching …this article by Ivana McConnell from last year is packed with gold nuggets of wisdom concerning apprenticeships.

As lifelong learners, we may be reluctant to call ourselves “masters.” But that’s missing the point, and it discounts the fact that teaching is learning. We’re not there to guarantee mastery—we’re there to give our apprentices fundamentals, to foster their respect, and make journeymen (or women) out of them. Mastery will come; we just offer the tools.

“Apprenticeships,” an article by Dan Mall

I really love what Dan is doing with his apprenticeship programme—I hope we can do something like this at Clearleft.

Network Effect

The latest piece from Jonathan Harris explores online life in all its mundanity, presenting it in an engaging way, all the while trying to make you feel bad for doing exactly what the site is encouraging you to do.

Going Offline With Progressive Web Apps

Dave turned Day Trip into a progressive web app.

Starting this week, Android users (~13% of our active user base) who use DayTrip more than once will eventually be asked if they want to install our web app to their Home Screen. That’s important real estate for a small startup like ourselves.

It’s ok to say what’s ok | Government Digital Service

I really like this list. I might make a similar one for the Clearleft office so what’s implicit is made explicit.

It’s ok to:

  • say “I don’t know”
  • ask for more clarity
  • stay at home when you feel ill
  • say you don’t understand
  • ask what acronyms stand for
  • ask why, and why not
  • forget things

Progressive Enhancement and Modern JavaScript ― Caolan

I think JavaScript frameworks have been blinkered to the needs of many developers (most websites are not SPAs or run by Node, nor should they be) for too long. We need to find a way to apply the lessons of modern frameworks to the rest of the web - it would be sad if everyone had to run JavaScript on their server and good-old resilient HTML was considered only as a fallback.

Tim Brown: Making time to read

I know exactly how Tim feels. It’s hard not to feel guilty when you’re reading something instead of spending the time doing “real work”, but it always ends up being time well spent:

Reading time can be hard to justify, even to oneself. There is no deadline. It’s not going to move any immediate projects forward (most likely). And it often feels like a waste of time, especially if your interests are diverse. But it’s important. Most great work is the product of collaborative thinking.

Revision 263: Im Gespräch mit PPK, Chris Heilmann und Jeremy Keith | Working Draft

The Working Draft podcast is usually in German, but this episode is in English. It was recorded in a casual way by a bunch of people soaking up the sun sitting outside the venue at Beyond Tellerrand. Initially that was PPK and Chris, but then I barged in half way through. Good fun …if you’re into nerdy discussions about browsers, standards, and the web. And the sound quality isn’t too bad, considering the circumstances under which this was recorded.

Pakyow Web Framework

This looks like a really interesting server-side framework for Ruby developers. The documentation is nice and clear, and puts progressive enhancement at the heart of its approach.

On Building Component Libraries | Clearleft

Mark has dumped his brains!

Seriously, there is a lot of thought that has gone into this, and it’s just the beginning: Mark recounts the experience that Clearleft has had with delivering pattern libraries, laying the groundwork for releasing the library-generating tool that he has been building.

Watch this space.

Beyond Work

An ongoing photography project from Curtis:

Beyond Work tells stories about humans at work, with no judgement or glorification. It’s an attempt at unearthing the social, cultural and functional world of work, that’s become invisible in everyday life.

A debugging thought process

Remy walks us through his performance debugging routine …and now Una must write him a song.

The copy & paste guide to your first Service Worker

Minimum viable Service Worker tutorial. Copy, paste, and don’t ask questions.

Also:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Progressive web apps: the long game

Remy sums up the psychological end goal of progressive apps (HTTPS + Service Worker + manifest JSON file) prompting an add to home screen action:

This high bar of entry will create a new mental model for our users.

If I add this app to my home screen, it will work when I open it.

It’s a shame that this charge to turbo-boast the perception of the web on mobile is a bit one-sided: I would love to see Apple follow Google’s lead here. But if Android succeed in their goal, then I think iOS will have to follow suit just to compete.

Service Workers: Save your User’s Data using the Save-Data Header | Dean Hume

I hadn’t heard of the save-data header. This article shows how you can use a Service Worker to sniff for it and serve up smaller assets, but I’m guessing you could also sniff for it from the server.

How to lint your Sass/CSS properly with Stylelint — Creative Nightly

Linting CSS seems like a very good idea, especially if you’re not the only one writing the CSS. This guide is going to come in very handy when I give it a try.

Connected Copies, Part Two | Hapgood

A really good explanation of how a peer-to-peer model for the web would differ from the current location-centric approach.

What really interests me is the idea of having both models co-exist.

You just have to think about the ways in which our location-centrism is contributing to the problems we are hitting, from the rise of Facebook, to the lack of findability of OER, to the Wikipedia Edit Wars.

» The Power of Responsive Design Sprints

Really interesting to see how Jason, Lyza, and co. are handling the process side of responsive design by using Agile sprints. This is how we’re doing it at Clearleft too.

There’s a really good point in here about starting with small-screen sketching:

For most of the sprint, we focus on small screens. We’re often asked how things will work on wider screens early in a sprint, but we try to resist thinking about that yet.

If you’ve managed to organize your life to fit inside a New York City apartment, you’re not going to have any trouble adjusting to a big house in the suburbs. The same is true of responsive designs.

If you nail the small screen design, the larger sizes will be easy by comparison.

Together • Ludwig Wendzich

Bootstrap is a product of Twitter. If you want your team to work like Twitter’s team, then by all means use Bootstrap. Pick up their design language. Their tool chain. Their decisions. Don’t be surprised when it feels off every time you use it. It will.

The same goes for Material Design. Foundation. These are all products built by other teams to work for their process. Their structure.

Finding the right tool is not what I am advocating for. Making it is.

Developer Resources : Microsoft Edge Dev

Microsoft are officially on board with implementing Service Workers in Edge:

Roadmap Priority: High — We intend to begin development soon.

Link rel=serviceworker - Chrome Platform Status

Ooh, I really like this idea! Pointing to your Service Worker the same way you point to your style sheet makes a lot of sense to me.

Making A Service Worker: A Case Study – Smashing Magazine

Lyza has written an excellent deep dive into Service Workers, complete with code.

I’m really chuffed that she gave me a shout-out to my exhortation:

So if you decide to play around with Service Workers, please, please share your experience.

By the way, I like her point about this being a good opportunity to use ES6/ES2015/HipsterScript features like arrow functions in the browser: any browser that supports Service Workers also supports the latest JavaScript.

Introducing Soundslice offline mode | The Soundslice Blog

Adrian documents how he’s using Service Workers on Soundslice. I could imagine doing something similar for The Session.

Delicious Changes | The Official Delicious Blog

The first big change you’ll notice is our transition from the javascript front-end framework that has been powering the content at https://www.delicious.com. The engineers who crafted this version of the site are incredibly talented, and their code is amazing. It’s beautiful and powerful, but it has posed several significant challenges for us. For example, the search engines have a real problem reading our content, hindering users’ efforts to use Google or Bing to find what they’re looking for on Delicious.

re:Work - Superpowers at work: OKRs

We’re about to start trying out OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) at Clearleft. It’s a terrible, jargony label, and a lot of the discussion around them is steeped in valleywank, but I think they could be a useful way of helping shared understanding within a company.

I’ll be having a read through the accompanying guide.

JavaScript: 2015 in Review

Use a framework if you must but never presume it’s viable over the long-term. Newer and better alternatives will appear before you’re half-way through your project. Never forget frameworks are an option — you don’t have to use one.

Temporary Constellations — Buckley Williams

This is a really lovely project by Dan and Nat—Christmas cards featuring the fleeting invisible constellations formed by the mesh of GPS satellites within which our planet lies.

Setup a Service Worker by Calum Ryan

Calum has set up a Service Worker on his site. Here he muses on the potential for offline experiences.

CarbonGraffiti | When agile’s not creative

Jon writes about the difficulty of maintaining an overall design vision when you’re working to an agile methodology, slicing up work into sprints.

This pairs nicely with Mark’s recent podcast episode: On Agile.

What Progressive Web Apps Mean for the Web - Telerik Developer Network

A hands-on look at building a progressive web app with Service Workers, manifest files, HTTPS, and all that good stuff. This is nice and balanced, extolling the virtues but also warning about the potential difficulties in implementing this stuff.

One nitpick though: there’s talk of graceful degradation, and while I get that that’s the outcome, I think it’s better to think in terms of progressive enhancement, which is the approach.

Peaceful Reflection

Paul takes a look back at a time in his life one decade ago. This is a great piece of personal writing.

Autumn-Earth/serviceWorker.js

Here’s a really nice addition to my Service Worker script—opportunistically add non-critical CSS, JavaScript, and fonts to a cache as you go.

philipwalton/flexbugs

A list of known bugs (and workarounds) in flexbox implementations. This is going to be handy to refer back to.

Performance Calendar » Reducing Single Point of Failure using Service Workers

This is a nifty use of Service Workers—using a cache to mitigate unresponsive Content Delivery Networks.

The stuff in here about Promise.race is particularly useful for “lie-fi” scenarios: instead of thinking about the network connection in a binary way (either it’s available or it isn’t), considering the scenario of a crappy network connection seems more realistic.

The proto-internet | Intelligent Life magazine

Mapping the submarine cables of the Victorian internet.

And by the way, why did nobody tell me about Cartophilia before now? I’m very disappointed in you.

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : Progressive Web Apps: ready for primetime

Bruce gives a great run-down of what’s involved in creating one of those new-fangled progressive apps that everyone at Google and Opera (and soon, Mozilla) are talking about: a secure connection, a service worker, and a manifest file.

Crucially, in browsers that don’t support it, you have a normal website. It’s perfect progressive enhancement.

Funnily enough, this here website—adactio.com—is technically a progressive app now.

At their simplest, Progressive Web Apps are application-like things hosted on your web server. If you’re as old as me, you might call them “web sites”

Instant Loading Web Apps With An Application Shell Architecture | Web Updates - Google Developers

Outlining the architectural thinking required to create what the Google devrel folks are calling progressive apps.

Browsers without service worker support should always be served a fall-back experience. In our demo, we fall back to basic static server-side rendering…

Yay!

…but this is only one of many options.

Hmmm. In my opinion, sending usable HTML on first request isn’t an implementation detail—it’s crucial. But on the whole, this approach is very sensible indeed.

Aerotwist - The Cost of Frameworks

Here’s Paul’s write-up of his excellent talk at FF Conf.

Previously I’ve used the term “developer convenience” when describing the benefits of using a framework. Paul uses the term “ergonomics” to describe those benefits. I like that. I worry sometimes that the term “developer convenience” sounds dismissive, which isn’t at all my intention—making our lives as developers less painful is hugely important …but it’s just not as important as improving the lives of the end users (in my opinion …and Paul’s).

As I look at frameworks, I see the ergonomic benefits (and those are important, I agree!), but I can’t help but feel that, for many developers, investing in knowledge of the web platform itself is the best long-term bet. Frameworks come and go, it just seems to be the ebb and flow of the web, and, as I said above, they do contribute ideas and patterns. But if you ever find that the one you use no longer works for you, or has a bug that remains unfixed, being able to understand the platform that underpins it will help enormously.

You should use [insert library/framework], it’s the bestestest! / Paul Lewis - YouTube

This was one of favourite talks at this year’s FF Conf. But I will readily admit there’s a hefty dollop of confirmation bias in my enjoyment.

An Offline Experience with Service Workers | Brandon Rozek

A great walkthrough of setting up a Service Worker for a blog. The code is here but more importantly, as Brandon says:

I wouldn’t be able to implement this myself if it wasn’t for some of the awesome people I mentioned earlier sharing their experience. So share, share, share!

Making a Simple Site Work Offline with ServiceWorker | CSS-Tricks

Another clear explanation by Nicolas of using Service Worker, this time on CSS Tricks.

Where Did the Internet Begin? - The Atlantic

Ingrid begins her tour into the internet and into the past with a visit to room 3240 at UCLA, home to the first node on the ARPAnet.

In a strikingly accurate replica of the original IMP log (crafted by UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History) on one of the room’s period desks is a note taken at 10:30 p.m., 29 October, 1969—“talked to SRI, host to host.” In the note, there is no sense of wonder at this event—which marks the first message sent across the ARPANET, and the primary reason the room is now deemed hallowed ground.

Reading Right-to-Left | booktwo.org

Suppose the internet is “rewiring our brains” …what of it? Perhaps we can also rewire the brain of the internet.

I’m getting more radical in my view of the internet, this unconsciously-generated machine for unconscious generation. I’m feeling more sure of its cultural value and legacy, and more assertive about stating it. We built this thing, and like all directed culture of the past, it has an agency and a desire, and if you pay attention to it you can see which way it wants to go, and what it wants to fight. We made that, all of us, in time, but we don’t have full control of it. Rather, like the grain of wood, it’s something to be worked with and shaped, but also thought about and conceptualised, both matter and metaphor.

Surfacing

An interactive map of the world’s undersea cables, to accompany Nicole Starosielski’s book The Undersea Network.

SETI: A Networked Galaxy?

A fascinating guest post by Brian McConnell on Centauri Dreams: what if there’s a galactic equivalent to the internet, allowing civilisations to communicate with a system analogous to packet switching.

Unfortunately this kind of focussed signalling would be hard to detect. But on the other hand, it could explain the Fermi paradox.

The InterPlanetary File System Wants to Create a Permanent Web | Motherboard

I’m getting increasingly intrigued by the IPFS protocol and its potential for long-term digital preservation.

What “UX Design doesn’t exist” means to me — Cennydd Bowles

I completely agree with Cennydd (and Peter, and Leisa). If anyone working on a project—whether they’re a designer, developer, or anything else—isn’t considering the user experience, then what’s the point of even being there? By extension, labelling your work as “UX Design” is as redundant and pointless as labelling it “Good Design.”

But my complaint is with the label, not the activities. It’s the UX Design label that has little value for me. These activities happen in all good design: if you’re not trying to create positive experience then I don’t really understand what you are doing.

HTTP is obsolete. It’s time for the distributed, permanent web

The title is hyperbolic, and while I certainly think that the criticisms of HTTP here are justified, I don’t think it will be swept aside by IPFS—I imagine more of a peaceful coexistence. Still, there’s some really good thinking in here and this is well worth paying attention to.

More Proof We Don’t Control Our Web Pages, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

Aaron collects some recent examples that demonstrate

  1. why we should use HTTPS and
  2. why we should use progressive enhancement.

The tough truth of reality by Chris Taylor

Progressive enhancement is not about “what if users turn JavaScript off” but “what happens when the page is loaded in sub-optimal circumstances”.

Locking the Web Open: A Call for a Distributed Web | Brewster Kahle’s Blog

I like a lot of Brewster Kahle’s ideas here for a more distributed peer-to-peer architecture for the web, but I’m very wary of relying on JavaScript: I’d much prefer a simpler declarative format.

Confidence and Overwhelm

Following on from her great conversation with Jen on The Web Ahead podcast, Rachel outlines a strategy to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the deluge of tools, frameworks, libraries, and techniques inundating front-end developers every day:

Learn your core skills well. Understand HTML and CSS, be able to build a layout without leaning on a framework. Get a solid understanding of how a website actually gets from the server to a browser, an understanding of security and accessibility. These are the basics, the constants. These things change slowly. These things sit underneath all the complexity and the tooling, the CMSs and the noise of thousands of people all trying to make their mark on this industry.

She also makes this important point:

As you are doing this don’t forget to share what you know.

The Infinite Trad Session

Okay, this is kind of nuts: some researchers have seeded a neural network with all the tunes from The Session. Some of the results are surprisingly okay. It’s certainly a fascinating project.

90 Days

John is joining us at Clearleft for three months and he’s documenting every single day—in quite some detail!

If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at Clearleft, well, this is pretty close.

Thriving in Unpredictability - TimKadlec.com

This is the way to approach building for the web:

I want to make as few of those assumptions as possible. Because every assumption I make introduces fragility. Every assumption introduces another way that my site can break.

It’s progressive enhancement, but like Stuart, Tim is no longer planning to use that term.

Visual Essentials for Product Design — Cennydd Bowles

This one-day workshop that Cennydd is running in London on July 22nd looks like it’s going to be really good.

Progressive Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul – Infrequently Noted

I really like Alex’s framing of best-of-breed progressively enhanced websites as “progressive apps” (although Bruce has some other ideas about the naming).

It’s a shame that the add-to-homescreen part isn’t standardised yet though.

Supercharging page load (100 Days of Google Dev) - YouTube

A straight-faced Jake talks us through the step-by-step iterations for turning a JavaScript-required web thang into a progressively enhanced zippy experience, supercharged with Service Worker.

The Web is the network

The Indieweb approach has a lot in common with Ev’s ideas for Medium, but the key difference is that we are doing it in a way that works across websites, not just within one.

GSWO Workshop with Sparkbox

Katie, Divya, and the other great designers and developers at Sparkbox run workshops on HTML and CSS for girl scouts. They’ve shared their resources and I might just borrow some of them for Codebar.

The JavaScript-Dependency Backlash: Myth-Busting Progressive Enhancement

Progressive Enhancement remains the best option for solving web development issues such as wide-ranging browser support, maintenance and future-proofing your application.

Browser Prototyping — a one-day workshop for designers

This looks like it’ll be brilliant! Nat is running a prototyping workshop the day before Responsive Day Out:

This workshop is for designers with no coding experience — if you’re an absolute beginner who wants to find out whether coding can help you with your job, this is for you!

Where visual design fits in a process – Occasional writing from @rivalee

I think the distinction between ‘how it works’ and ‘how it looks’ is blurrier than we think.

Alex Feyerke: Step Off This Hurtling Machine

I love this talk.

Alex takes a long-zoom look at the web and our technology stacks, from ’60s counterculture to start-up culture, touching on open source and the indie web along the way.

Natasha Lampard, Friday, 27 March 2015

A long-zoom look at life, work, and success.

I’m not usually a fan of portmanteau neologisms, but I really like Tash’s coining of the word longtrepreneur.

Share podcast episodes from iOS podcatchers directly to Huffduffer by Jan Beck

A walkthrough on using the iOS app Workflow to huffduff audio files from just about any app.

Submarine Cable Map 2015

This year’s map from TeleGeography is looking lovely.

A JS framework on every table - Allen Pike

The Tower of JavaScript Babel.

The “Web Application” Myth — Medium

Sensible words from Christian.

Web applications don’t follow new rules.

And frameworks will not help:

A lot of them are not really fixing fundamental problems of the web. What they do is add developer convenience. … This would be totally OK, if we were honest about it.

BBC - Future - The invisible network that keeps the world running

Tim Maughan reports on the same container ship trip that Dan W. is sending his postcards from.

I like the idea of there being an Apollo-sized project all around us, if you just know where to look.

First, towering above and over the ship, are the loading cranes. Vast structures mounted on huge, four-legged frames, they resemble the naked scaffolding of unbuilt skyscrapers, and trigger nostalgic reminders of Saturn V rocket launch towers from the 1960s.

Once in port at night I saw one suddenly fire into life next to the ship in a stroboscopic explosion of lights, before it tracked slowly above my high vantage point, bathing me in the orange glow of a dozen small halogen suns.

Client-side MVC’s major bug - TimKadlec.com

I’ve said it before: if your client-side MVC framework does not support server-side rendering, that is a bug. It cripples performance.

The problem with Angular - QuirksBlog

I have doubts about Angular 1.x’s suitability for modern web development. If one is uncharitably inclined, one could describe it as a front-end framework by non-front-enders for non-front-enders.

Less than Zero

I have to admit, my initial reaction to the idea of providing free access to some websites for people in developing countries was “well, it’s better than no access at all, right?” …but the more I think about it, the more I realise how short-sighted that is. The power of the internet stems from being a stupid network and anything that compromises that—even with the best of intentions—is an attack on its fundamental principles.

On the surface, it sounds great for carriers to exempt popular apps from data charges. But it’s anti-competitive, patronizing, and counter-productive.

As a new developer | Charlotte Spencer’s Blog

I’m not a new developer, but I can definitely relate to this. In fact, when I’ve spoken to any developer about this, it turns out that everyone feels overwhelmed by how much we’re expected to know. That’s not good. We should open up and talk about this more (like Charlotte is doing here).

Some thoughts on “designing in the browser” | The Haystack

An important clarification from Stephen:

You don’t actually design in the browser

When I speak of designing in the browser, I mean creating browser-based design mockups/comps (I use the terms interchangeably), as opposed to static comps (like the PSDs we’re all used to). So it’s not the design. It’s the visualization of the design—the one you present to stakeholders.

Exactly!

Personally, I think it’s as crazy to start in the browser as it is to start with Photoshop—both have worldviews and constraints that will affect your thinking. Start with paper.

The Nor » Low Latency

Like an Enid Blyton adventure for the 21st century, James goes out into the country and explores the networks of microwave transmitters enabling high-frequency trading.

If you think that London’s skyscraper boom is impressive – the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie, the Cheesegrater, the Gherkin – go to Slough. It is not height that matters, but bandwidth.

Taunus

I like the thinking behind this isomorphic JavaScript library: start with the (Node.js) server and then take over on the client side after the initial page load.

ST4I - Stuff That Talks To The Internet - workshop on Vimeo

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!

Revision 200: The Indie Web on Working Draft on Huffduffer

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!

HUB Interviews - Jeremy Keith on Huffduffer

Here’s a fun little interview I did recently, mostly about work stuff. It’s available for your huffduffing pleasure.

One thing that really bothers me is the way I repeatedly said “guys” to refer to my colleagues at Clearleft. I must stop doing that.

Living on the Electromagnetic Border

Continuous partial City And The City, courtesy of James.

Those of us who reside on the “right” side of fixed, physical borders seem to cross the electromagnetic border every day, whether overtly, by entering the right passwords and credit card numbers, or covertly, as when using VPNs to watch TV programs viewable only in other territories. Those on the “wrong” side are subjected to a different but analogous battery of tests, intensifying at the physical border but often carried out far from it, in networked enclaves or foreign transit zones or aboard floating teleconference platforms in international waters.

Stop Breaking the Web

Angry, but true.

Don’t lock yourself into a comprehensive technology that may just die within the next few months and leave you stranded. With progressive enhancement you’ll never go wrong. Progressive enhancement means your code will always work, because you’ll always focus on providing a minimal experience first, and then adding features, functionality, and behavior on top of the content.

Using ServiceWorker in Chrome today - JakeArchibald.com

It’s very early days for ServiceWorker, but Jake is on hand with documentation and instructions on its use. To be honest, most of this is over my head and I suspect it won’t really “click” until I try using it for myself.

Where it gets really interesting is in the comments. Stuart asks “What about progressive enhancement?” And Jake points out that because a ServiceWorker won’t be installed on a first visit, you pretty much have to treat it as an enhancement. In fact, you’d have to go out of your way to make it a requirement:

You could, of course, throw up a splash screen and wait for the ServiceWorker to install, creating a ServiceWorker-dependant experience. I will hunt those people down.

Against Sharing | Jacobin

But under the guise of innovation and progress, companies are stripping away worker protections, pushing down wages, and flouting government regulations. At its core, the sharing economy is a scheme to shift risk from companies to workers, discourage labor organizing, and ensure that capitalists can reap huge profits with low fixed costs.

There’s nothing innovative or new about this business model. Uber is just capitalism, in its most naked form.

Seeing Like a Network — The Message — Medium

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.

The Internet of Things Will Ruin Birthdays — The Message — Medium

A peak at a near-future mundane dystopia from Joanne McNeil that reminds me of Brian’s spime story

The Virtual Haircut That Could Change the World | Design | WIRED

A nice profile of BERG’s Little Printer. That Matt Webb is a smart cookie. He is also a very thoughtful cookie.

Simplicity

I can relate to every single word that Bastian has written here.

The longer I look at boilerplates, build tools, frameworks and ways to make my life as a developer easier, the more I long for the basics.

Google’s ‘Nearby’ Lets Your Smartphone Talk to the Internet of Things | Motherboard

An early look at the just-in-time interactions that Scott has been working on:

Nearby works like this. An enabled object broadcasts a short description of itself and a URL to devices nearby listening. Those URLs are grabbed and listed by the app, and tapping on one brings you to the object’s webpage, where you can interact with it—say, tell it to perform a task.

Urban Giants on Vimeo

A look at the architectural history of the network hubs of New York: 32 Avenue of the Americas and 60 Hudson Street. Directed by Davina Pardo and written by her husband Andrew Blum, author of Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet.

These buildings were always used as network hubs. It’s just that the old networks were used to house the infrastructure of telephone networks (these were the long line buildings).

In a way, the big server hotel of New York—111 Eight Avenue—was also always used to route packets …it’s just that the packets used to be physical.

Valley of the Meatpuppets | superflux

The transcript of Anab Jain’s talk from the FutureEverything Festival.

Girls Imagineer the Future | Curiosity Hub Event

Jacqueline Currie is running Robotics/Bioengineering/Computing workshops for girls (ages 6-16) this Saturday at the University of Brighton.

Frank Chimero – Only Openings

I guess it goes without saying at this point, but this piece from Frank is beautiful and thought-provoking.

This part in particular touched on some things I’ve been thinking about lately:

Design’s golden calf is simplicity. Speaking as someone who sees, makes, and uses design each and every day, I am tired of simple things. Simple things are weak. They are limited. They are boring. What I truly want is clarity. Give me clear and evident things over simple things. Make me things that presume and honor my intelligence. Shun seamlessness. It is another false token. Make me things that are full of seams, because if you give me a seam and I pull the thread, I get to see how the whole world is stitched together. Give me some credit. Show me you trust me.

New product opportunities for the Internet of Normal Things | Berg Blog

I like Matt’s observation here that the simple combination of a barebones data format like HTML delivered over HTTP is a good-enough low-level API for joining up all kinds of internet-connected things.

In the last 60 years, the biggest software platform for interop and integration – for new products, services, businesses, and value creation – has not been Android, or iOS, or Windows, or the PDP-11. The biggest and best platform has been the web.

One implication is that successful products are not necessarily those with seamless, beautiful, tightly-controlled “experiences”, but rather the ones that are capable of talking to each other.

Small things, loosely joined.

James Bridle — Where You Are

The GPS system is a monumental network that provides a permanent “YouAreHere” sign hanging in the sky, its signal a constant, synchronised timecode.

Using Photoshop in Responsive Workflows - Web Standards Sherpa

A nice summation by Dan of when it makes sense to use a graphic design tool like Photoshop and when it makes sense to use a web browser.

4 Million Ravelers

A lovely bit of data celebration from Ravelry on the occasion of their 4 millionth user.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you want to see a successful example of a real social networking site, don’t look at Facebook; look at Ravelry.

Why we left AngularJS: 5 surprisingly painful things about client-side JS

It’s funny: while I agree with the warning that this article provides (“rich client-side JavaScript frameworks aren’t a good fit for every site, especially content sites”), the reasons given here aren’t the reasons that I have any issues with.

Robin Rendle › A Visual Lexicon

Some great thoughts in here about web development workflow and communication between designers and developers.

I believe that the solution is made up of a variety of tools that encourage conversation and improve our shared lexicon. Tools such as styleguides, pattern libraries, elemental and modular systems that encourage access not only by developers, but by designers, shareholders and editors as well.

Notes on a responsive Guardian redesign – Lozworld™

A great write-up of the design process behind The Guardian’s responsive site. It’s really gratifying to see UX designers talking about performance.

There are no small changes | Inside Intercom

Des is right, y’know.

Scope grows in minutes, not months. Look after the minutes, and the months take care of themselves.

How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine? - O’Reilly Radar

A great analysis of how centralised hubs are the easiest attack vector for bad actors like the NSA and GCHQ:

How did we get such industry concentration? Why is a network famously based on distributed processing, routing, and peer connections characterized now by a few choke points that the NSA can skim at its leisure?

Photography, hello — Software ate the camera, but freed the photograph by Craig Mod

Craig recently had a piece published in the New Yorker called Goodbye, Cameras. It’s good …but this follow-on piece on his own site is truly wonderful.

Read. Absorb. Ponder.

Being close to the network does not mean being on Facebook, thought it can mean that, too. It does not mean pushing low-res images to Instagram, although there’s nothing wrong with that. What the network represents, in my mind, is a sort of ledger of humanity. The great shared mind. An image’s distance to it is the difference between contributing or not contributing to that shared ledger.

Time - YouTube

The video of my closing talk at this year’s Full Frontal conference, right here in Brighton.

I had a lot of fun with this, although I was surprisingly nervous before I started: I think it was because I didn’t want to let Remy down.

The (other) Web we lost

John shares his concerns about the increasing complexity involved in developing for the web.

Prerender - AngularJS SEO, BackboneJS SEO, or EmberJS SEO

I despair sometimes.

Here’s a ridiculous Heath-Robinsonesque convoluted way of getting the mighty all-powerful Googlebot to read the web thangs you’ve built using the new shiny client-side frameworks like Angular, Ember, Backbone…

Here’s another idea: output your HTML in HTML.

That solution works for machines and humans. As a bonus, outputting your HTML in HTML avoids turning JavaScript into a single point of failure.

PixelPyros - Free digital fireworks in Brighton

Brightonians, get yourselves along to the Corn Exchange on Monday evening for some fun with Seb’s digital fireworks.

Deskbeers

This looks like something that Clearleft would use. A lot.

I don’t think they deliver to Brighton though.

Moving in, moving on — Paul Robert Lloyd

I’m going to miss having Paul around at Clearleft …and it sounds like he’s going to miss us too.

In many respects, Clearleft can be regarded as a family. Andy and Rich are the parents while perhaps Jeremy is the fun uncle sending postcards from his adventures around the world.

By the way, we’re hiring (two roles, because that’s what it’ll take to fill Paul’s unicorn shoes).

How to see through the cloud

This is a great explanatory piece from James Bridle in conjunction with Mozilla’s Webmaker. It’s intended for a younger audience, but its clear description of how web requests are resolved is pitch-perfect primer for anyone.

The web isn’t magic. It’s not some faraway place we just ‘connect’ to, but a vast and complex system of computers, connected by actual wires under the ground and the oceans. Every time you open a website, you’re visiting a place where that data is stored.

Enabling new types of web user experiences - W3C Blog

Scott gives us an excellent State Of The Web address, looking at how the web can be central to the coming age of ubiquitous computing. He rightly skips through the imitation of native apps and gets down to the potential of just-in-time interactions.

The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia.

I have a lot of admiration for Reverend Dan Catt.

I don’t want to be in a position where I say “Hey, I’m working at Google, no no, don’t worry, the good bit of Google”, because goodness knows I did enough of that at Yahoo.

My Metaphorical Job Title - That Emil

Get out my head, Emil! This is pretty much exactly how I feel about my work, especially this bit:

In trying to be the best web developer I can, I feel a need to understand the web. That involves a lot of what some of my friends who are not in the web business think my job is about, i.e. “clicking on funny links all day”. I read copiously about new and old technologies. I bookmark them, I try to classify them, see them in the light of history as well as projected future. Follow up on them. Try them out. Even if they’re not specifically about what I do for a living, the nature of them might have a bearing on my understanding of how other people use the web.

Galaxy Zoo Quench

This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.

There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.

This Recycling Bin Is Stalking You by Siraj Datoo in The Atlantic Cities

I, for one, welcome our new recycling bin panopticon overlords.

You might want to put your phone’s MAC address into this form.

From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter, a short story by Bruce Sterling

H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.

Progressive Enhancement: Still Not Dead. - That Emil

A great post by Emil on the importance of using progressive enhancement for JavaScript — an increasingly unpopular position in today’s climate of client-side-only frameworks and libraries.

There’s something fundamental and robust about being able to request a URL and get back at least an HTML representation of the resource: human-readable, accessible, fault tolerant.

James Somers – Web developer money

A well-written piece on the nature of work and value on the web, particularly in the start-up economy.

Craft a better web.

A new PHP-based content management system. It uses Twig for the templating, which I like.

On Thingpunk

Perhaps we are fetishising physical things because our digital creations are social media junk food:

It’s easy to fetishize Brutalist buildings when you don’t have to live in them. On the other hand, when the same Brutalist style is translated into the digital spaces we daily inhabit, it becomes a source of endless whinging. Facebook, for example, is Brutalist social media. It reproduces much the same relationship with its users as the Riis Houses and their ilk do with their residents: focusing on control and integration into the high-level planning scheme rather than individual life and the “ballet of a good blog comment thread”, to paraphrase Jane Jacobs.

A Stormy Sky of Cranky Clouds by Scott Jenson

Scott points out a really big problem with the current state of the “internet of things”: everyone is inventing their own proprietary walled-garden infrastructure instead of getting together to collaborate on standards.

The single biggest fallacy I want to blow up is this utopian idea that there is this SINGLE thing called ‘The Cloud’. Each company today reinvents their own cloud. The Cloud as a concept is dead and has been for years: we are living within a stormy sky of cranky clouds, all trying to pretend the others don’t exist.

joshje/svg-for-web · GitHub

If, like me, you’ve been using the “export to SVG” plugin for Fireworks and then opening up the resultant file to trim it down, Josh has got you covered: here’s a version of “export to SVG” that will result in much slimmer files.

The Secure Transport of Light on booktwo.org

A beautiful piece by James on the history of light as a material for communication …and its political overtones in today’s world.

What is light when it is information rather than illumination? What is it when it is not perceived by the human eye? Deep beneath the streets and oceans, what is illuminated by the machines, and how are we changed by this illumination?

Meet the Web’s Operating System: HTTP

A lovely description by Paul Ford of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

That simple handshake is the firmament upon which we have built trillion-dollar cathedrals and bazaars, the base upon which we construct other protocols and networks.

Reorganization by Trent Walton

Trent hammers home the point that the kind of compartmentalisation that’s traditionally been part and parcel of the web dev workflow just won’t cut it anymore.

The canonical smart city: A pastiche by Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird

Sorta sci-fi from Adam.

Consider this a shooting script for one of those concept videos so beloved of the big technology vendors.

I’m done with the web by Randy Luecke

I find it hard to agree with any part of this. To me, it shows a deep misunderstanding of the web—treating the web as just another platform, without understanding what makes it so special.

I think I may have found my polar opposite.

The hilarious obsession with file size is the start of my frustrations with the web community.

ROCA: Resource-oriented Client Architecture

I like these design principles for server-side and client-side frameworks. I would say that they’re common sense but looking at many popular frameworks, this sense isn’t as common as it should be.

Springboard – Coming soon from Clearleft

The latest Clearleft product will be like having an intensive set of discovery, collaboration, and exploration workshops in a box. Perfect for startups and other small businesses short on time or budget.

It starts in Spring but you can register your interest now.

A Responsive Day Out, Brighton by Hydrant

A nice write-up of the Responsive Day Out with all the right take-aways.

Creating a physical internet to save money and energy on logistics

I remember a talk and discussion at SxSW a few years back about trying to improve the efficiency of trade networks by making them more web-like: there are ships full of empty cargo containers, simply because companies insist on using the container with their logo on it. I really, really like the idea of applying the principles of packet-switching to physical networks.

But here’s the hard part:

The technology is not a problem. We could do it all in 10 years. It’s the business models and the mental models in people’s minds.

Responsive web design: the war has not yet been won

This was the crux of Elliot’s excellent talk at the Responsive Day Out. I heartily concur with this:

Once you overcome that initial struggle of adapting to a new process, designing and building responsive sites needn’t take any longer, or cost any more money. The real obstacle is designers and developers being set in their ways.

Submarine Cable Map

This year’s TeleGeography map of the undersea network looks beautiful—inspired by old maps. I love the way that latency between countries is shown as inset constellations.

Test your app under slow network speeds

Some handy tips for simulating slow network speeds on your machine.

The Creeping Garden

I, for one, welcome our slime mould overlords.

The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.

Let’s Talk Solar | LOGO24

Here’s a really useful case study for anyone who wants to do “guerrilla” responsive design: when you’re handed a fixed-width mockup but you know that responsive is the way to go:

I started by styling up every element, without layout. The result was a fully elastic layout that effectively served as a mobile, or small screen, layout, which just needed some tweaking of horizontal spacing.

Bingo! And this approach had knock-on benefits as it “supported writing component-based, or modular, CSS”.

A Responsive Design Case Study – David Bushell – Web Design & Front-end Development

I love seeing the process behind responsive projects. This one is particularly nice.

Why Instagram Works — Rainypixels

It’s all about the signalling.

A List Apart: Articles: Responsive Comping: Obtaining Signoff with Mockups

A peak behind the scenes at the responsive design and development workflow at Bearded. It makes a lot of sense.

Connections

This is quite an astounding piece of writing. Robert Lucky imagines the internet of things mashed up with online social networking …but this was published in 1999!

The Airfix Responsive Workflow by Jordan Moore — Web Designer

A nice look at some possible ways to approach workflow on a responsive project.

Laying Down our Burdens: Steps towards simplifying the mobile Web

Amen, Lyza, Amen. Instead of treating web development for the multitude of devices out there as an overwhelming nigh-on-impossible task, let’s accept the fact that there are certain things that are beyond our control. And that’s okay.

Let’s build on the commonality core to the web where we can. To do this, I think we need to let go of a few things, to lay down our burdens.

Related: do websites need to look the same in every browser? NO!

Scott Jenson | Exploring the world beyond mobile

Excellent! Scott has his own URL now. If you haven’t read everything he has written so far, start from the start and read every single post.

dConstruct glowsticks on Flickr

A beautiful sight: the digital and the physical interacting through glowsticks.

dConstruct glowsticks

Work is being done here on Vimeo

A short piece on the experiment that James conducted with Lighthouse in the foyer of the Cleareft office building, trying to show some kind of physical representation of coding.

A future friendly workflow | Opinion | .net magazine

Some more thoughts on how our workflow needs to adapt to the current ever-changing device landscape.

The Internet of Things - Readlists

Those articles about the “Internet of Things” I linked to? Here they are in handy Readlist form.

» Explaining the iOS and Android mobile browser usage disparity Cloud Four Blog

A really fascinating analysis by Jason into the apparent disparity in web browsing between Android and iOS devices: it turns out that the kind of network connection could be a big factor.

Matthew Butterick: Reversing the Tide of Declining Expectations

I don’t agree with everything in this presentation—there’s a nostalgic bias to the non-existent “good ol’ days”—but this is still very engaging and thought-provoking.

fberriman » Accidental designer

Everything Frances has written here resonates with me.

I don’t really want a label. I hate labels. I loathe the term “user experience designer”, because I still believe that “user experience” is just a fundamental to what you’re doing, and shouldn’t need stating. There is nothing but user experience design if you’re building products for people.

Derek Powazek - What If Social Networks Just Aren’t Profitable?

I think Derek is on to something here. Maybe online communities and profit are simply incompatible?

The bigger you go, the harder the road. Meanwhile, small, focused, and yes, exclusionary community sites flourish.

You know what? I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

Bringing a knife to a gunfight — my slide deck from An Event Apart, Austin 2012 | Stuff & Nonsense

Andy remarks on the same synchronicity I talked about at An Event Apart Austin:

Every An Event Apart conference feels special, but at this one the (unplanned) recurring themes were spooky.

Client/Agency Engagement is F*cked, Waterfall UX Design is a Symptom | disambiguity

Leisa nails it. The real stumbling block with trying to change the waterfall-esque nature of agency work (of which Clearleft has certainly been guilty) can be summed up in two words: sign off.

And from a client’s perspective, this emphasis on sign-off is completely understandable.

It takes a special kind of client to take the risk and develop the level of trust and integration required to work the way that Mr Popoff-Walker any many, many other inhabitants of agency world would like to work.

UX Design at Digital Agencies is F*cked | RossPW

This resonates a lot with me. It also hits very close to home: at Clearleft, we’ve definitely been guilty of taking the wrong approach as described here.

Grids, Design Guidelines, Broken Rules, and the Streets of New York City (Global Moxie)

Josh writes about the importance of using rules and systems as tools without being bound by them.

United Pixelworkers — Brighton

Now you can proudly sport a Pixelworkers T-shirt of England’s finest seaside geek town.

As We May Think - The Atlantic

Vannevar Bush’s original 1945 motherlode of hypertext.

» 29 June 2012, baked by Lea Verou @ The Pastry Box Project

I thoroughly agree with Lea’s approach. It’s all about the craft.

Officrèche: Flexible childcare and office space with parent community

A co-working space in Brighton combined with a crèche: such a great idea!

Welcome Clearleft • MATTER

I’m really pleased to be working with Bobbie on Matter.

Pictures and vision

Robin Sloan compares Facebook and Google in an interesting way:

Really, Facebook is the world’s largest photo sharing site—that also happens to be a social network and a login system.

Google is getting good, really good, at building things that see the world around them and actually understand what they’re seeing.

Responsive workflow

One developer shares how his workflow has changed thanks to responsive design. It’s insightful.

Kiwibank: Standing Up for Something New — Paul Robert Lloyd

Paul interviews the team behind Kiwibank’s responsive homepage. There are some great insights into their process here, like the way that copywriters worked side by side with developers.

API Panel

The video of the panel I moderated on device and network APIs on the second day of Mobilism in Amsterdam. It’s not quite as snappy as the browser panel (which, given the subject matter, is unsurprising) but it was still good fun.

HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS

This amuses me. I am amused.

Mocking Up Is Hard To Do

This seems like an eminently sensible thing to do when building responsive sites: ditch mock-ups entirely. The reasons and the workflow outlined here make a lot of sense.

Toast | A simple CSS framework

This is interesting, not because it’s yet another grid framework (which I never use anyway) but because of the way it’s doing layout: with border-box and inline-block, rather than floats. If you’re only serving up your layout styles to browsers that support media queries (which would discount older versions of IE anyway), this could make a lot of sense.

Sex differences in intimate relationships : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Albert-László Barabási and Robin Dunbar are among the authors of this paper — it’s the scale-free network equivalent of the Avengers.

Prontotype :: Data-driven interactive prototyping framework

Mark has put together this rather excellent prototyping tool. It’s basically the V from an MVC system. You can easily move stuff around, change data …all the good stuff you want to do quickly and easily when you’re prototyping in the browser.

» 28 March 2012, baked by Cennydd Bowles @ The Pastry Box Project

I like Cennydd’s thoughts on the fundamental difference between skill and process:

Skilled people without a process will always find a way to get things done. Skill begets process. But process doesn’t beget skill.

Fashionably flexible responsive web design (full day workshop) // Speaker Deck

The slides from Andy’s one-day responsive design workshop are well worth a perusal.

Webstock ‘12: Jeremy Keith - Of Time and the Network on Vimeo

The video of my talk from Webstock, all about wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff like networks and memory.

How I’m implementing Responsive Web Design – JeffCroft.com

Jeff documents some of the techniques he’s using to tackle responsive design, with some tips specifically for SASS.

Responsive Summit » Blog » Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot jots down some of the issues discussed at the responsive summit.

JoshEmerson.co.uk · Blog · The Responsive Process

Josh goes through the talking points from the recent Responsive Summit he attended. Sounds like it was a great get-together.

United Pixelworkers — Welcome

Pixelworkers have relaunched with a very nice responsive design.

The developer’s guide to mobile frameworks | Feature | .net magazine

Jonathan gives a thorough overview of the various tools and frameworks out there to help build native, hybrid and mobile web apps. He also shares his decision-making process on when to build what.

stevenberlinjohnson.com: Anatomy Of An Idea

Steven Johnson describes the beautifully chaotic way that ideas collide and coalesce. Oh, and this bit…

Listening to Cerf talk about the origins of the Internet — and thinking about the book project — made me wonder who had actually come up with the original idea for a decentralized network. So that day, I tweeted out that question, and instantly got several replies. One of those Twitter replies pointed to a Wired interview from a decade ago with Paul Baran, the RAND researcher who was partially responsible for the decentralized design.

That reply on Twitter was from me!

The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog)

This post from Maciej might initially seem negative but read it through to the end: there’s a very powerful positive message.

A recipe for creating a great workshop | Toby’s Technical Ramblings

Toby’s write-up of the workshop I led for the Build conference. I enjoyed myself so it’s immensely gratifying to know that the attendees did too.

Retreats 4 Geeks presents Progressive Enhancement — 25–30 March 2012

Roll up, roll up! Get five nights food and lodging at a fantastic luxury horse ranch in the Rockies in March.

Oh, and myself and Aaron will be running workshops on progressive enhancement for you during that time too.

Foundation: Rapid Prototyping and Building Framework from ZURB

A framework for banging out ready-made responsive designs.

Follow the lives of four Londoners during World War 2 via Twitter – Network’43

A nicely-designed project to highlight everyday life in a three-week period in England in 1943 by imagining how four people would have used Twitter.

Just keep going — Owltastic — writing about web design by Meagan Fisher

A very honest post from Meagan that I can relate to (and Jessica too, I suspect).

The Ruins of Dead Social Networks - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic

Reminiscences of the BBSs of yesteryear that could in time be applied to the social networking sites of today.

Secret Servers | booktwo.org

A great piece by James on the architecture, aesthetics and perception of datacenters.

Fluid Baseline Grid - A sensible HTML5 and CSS3 development kit

A set of default styles to get started on a mobile-first responsive design.

The Technium: Why the Impossible Happens More Often

A wonderful reminder by Kevin Kelly of the amazing interconnected world we live in, thanks to network effects.

Swarmanoid, the movie - YouTube

I, for one, welcome our autonomous swarming robot overlords.

agile approach | The Anatomy of a Design Decision: Examiner’s 2012 Campaign Site

Samantha gives the rundown of a hands-on use of Style Tiles.

Golden Grid System

I’m usually not a fan of CSS “frameworks” but I like the thinking that’s gone into this fluid, responsive system. I particularly like this advice:

Take it apart, steal the parts that you like, and adapt them to your own way of working.

Content Choreography | Trent Walton

A wonderful post by Trent Walton on the thinking and workflows we can employ with responsive design. So many opportunities!

Web designers will have to look beyond the layout in front of them to envision how its elements will reflow & lockup at various widths while maintaining form & hierarchy. Media queries can be used to do more than patch broken layouts: with proper planning, we can begin to choreograph content proportional to screen size, serving the best possible experience at any width.

2011 Mobilism workshops announced · Blog · Mobilism

Stephen and PPK are taking their two-day mobile workshop on the road, including two dates in the UK (one of which is Brighton!). There’s a welcome emphasis on testing.

Two Years — Paul Robert Lloyd

On the two-year anniversary of his arrival at Clearleft, Paul takes a look at where the craft of web design is today and where it’s heading tomorrow.

In a Brooklyn Loft, Twitter Stars Find Common Ground - NYTimes.com

A profile of those whacky Brooklyn Studiomates.

United Pixelworkers — Ethan Marcotte

I am very fond of this T-shirt that Ethan designed.

The Technium: What Books Will Become

Kevin Kelly asks “What is a book?” and provides some thought-provoking answers. There’s some inspiring crystal-ball gazing in here.

How To Steal Like An Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) - Austin Kleon

Present day Austin Kleon gives ten pieces of advices to past Austin Kleon.

BLDGBLOG: Islands at the Speed of Light

Freaky stuff. If you’ve seen Kevin Slavin or James Bridle talking about the increase in property prices on Wall Street as the buildings get closer to the network hub …that’s nothing—these are the new centres of world power; places where the speed of light interferes least with the speed of transactions.

Adam Greenfield at Cognitive Cities Conference on Vimeo

On Public Objects: Connected Things And Civic Responsibilities In The Networked City.

Alex Payne — Content-Centric Networks and the Future of the Internet

A brave and probably unpopular stance; could it be that the fundamental technological bedrock of the internet needs to change to avoid the seemingly-inevitable rise of walled gardens?

Wired 9.03: Founding Father

Here’s a gem from the past: a thoroughly fascinating and gripping interview with Paul Baran by Stewart Brand. It’s thrilling stuff—I got goosebumps.

GELLED!

Paul has created a site for tracking usage of the BBC’s GEL (Global Experience Language) visual design language. Nice’n’responsive it is too.

notes.husk.org. The Post-Delicious World.

Paul has some further thoughts on self-hosting bookmarks while trying to retain the social aspect.

YouTube - Why the other line is likely to move faster

This is exactly why I always choose the combined queue in Waitrose even if it looks longer than the queue for a single till.

notes.husk.org. Sticking With Delicious.

Paul explains why he won’t be moving from Delicious: the social network is too valuable.

Mayo Nissen » City Tickets

I really like this idea for connecting cities to the papernet.

80s ALBUM ART RECREATED IN CSS ALONE | Monkeon | Web Design Leeds

A neat little experiment in replicating classic 80s albums using CSS.

random($foo): Secure Connections

Leonard has some handy tips for protecting yourself against Firesheep and its ilk.

With Good References — Unstoppable Robot Ninja

Ethan shares his thoughts on the role of the reference design in the responsive workflow.

Weak Ties, Twitter and Revolution | Wired Science | Wired.com

Responding to Malcolm Gladwell's recent piece in the New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer argues that the strength of weak ties *does* extend to social activism.

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism : The New Yorker

A well-argued piece by Malcolm Gladwell on the relative pros and cons of weak-tie networks and strong-tie hierarchies ...although, as always, Gladwell relies on anecdotes more than data to make his point.

George Lucas Stole Chewbacca, But It’s Okay « Binary Bonsai

A fantastically detailed look by Michael at the evolution of the design of Chewbacca.

Simon Collison | Colly | Journal | dConstruct workshop

Colly shows the results of his dConstruct workshop: great stuff!

Mule Design Studio’s Blog: Why We Don’t Deliver Photoshop Files

Yes, yes, yes: "A PSD is a painting of a website.” We don’t spend weeks or months understanding a client’s complex needs and issues to make them paintings.

Web science a new frontier - Find Events - The Royal Society

This looks like being a thoroughly excellent event at The Royal Society, featuring Tim Berners-Lee and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.

Bobbie Johnson dot org : The shipping news

A response to Tom's "Either you've shipped or you haven't."

scraplab — You’ve Either Shipped or You Haven’t

Tom says it like it is. Making A Thing generates empathy.

Frank Chimero — Holiday

Burnout is a bitch.

Six Degrees of Black Sabbath #6dobs

An extremely addictive bit of fun with small world network theory as applied to music.

Liminal Existence: Identity

Blaine outlines the vision for Webfinger.

An Event Apart News Archive

I'll be delivering half of A Day Apart in Washington DC in September — the HTML5 half. So... there's that.

Akihabara

A framework for creating old-school arcade games in the browser, using HTML5.

I'm quitting the Internet. Will I be liberated or left behind? (1) - By James Sturm - Slate Magazine

James Sturm outlines his plan to give up the internet, which sounds like a good decision for him. Comments are open via snail mail.

Building Social Web Applications

The blog of the book by Gavin Bell.

SXSW Design Workshop - Friday, March 12, 2010 from 2-6pm

Three back-to-back talks on web design at South by Southwest.

Findings - People Share News Online That Inspires Awe, Researchers Find - NYTimes.com

Network data fills me with awe. And now I'm sharing this because I like its positive message.

Assorted GARbage» Blog Archive » The Secret to Transparency with PNG8’s and IE6

I'm kicking myself that I didn't know about this little Fireworks trick.

Machinarium

Beautiful artwork in a fun puzzle game.

Ident Engine

Glenn has taken Google's Social Graph API, YQL and various parsers, and he's wrapped it all up in one JavaScript library. The demos are mind-boggingly impressive.

Social Networks Aren't Good Businesses - washingtonpost.com

An interesting take on the business models of social networking sites.

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

Six degrees of separation as applied to Wikipedia articles. Read on to find the Kevin Bacon of Wikipedia pages.

Is Happiness Catching? - NYTimes.com

An examination of behavioural contagion in social networks.

Disorderly genius: How chaos drives the brain - life - 29 June 2009 - New Scientist

It turns out that the brain is a scale-free small-world network in a state of self-organised criticality. Just like the internet.

Shirky: In Praise of Evolvable Systems

A classic essay from Clay Shirky on the dumb nature of the web.

BBC - Glow JavaScript Library

The BBC have released their JavaScript library. This one is worth paying attention to for its wide browser support base.

Walls Come Tumbling Down presentation slides and transcript | For A Beautiful Web

Andy's excellent presentation from An Event Apart in Boston and @media in London. Required reading/viewing.

Is Spec Work OK?

A single-serving blindingly obvious answer.

HOT SHOTS photography course with lomokev | Garage Studios

Lomokev is teaching photography in Brighton. Learn from the best.

Identify - Firefox entension | Madgex Lab

Okay, I know I said "holy freakin' crap!" the last time I linked to one of Glenn's Social Graph API experiments but now he's gone and created a Firefox plug-in: press alt-i and you can see the social graph for anyone's site. Holy freakin' crap!

"Social Media is Here to Stay... Now What?"

danah boyd addresses the Microsoft Research Tech Fest.

PixelApnea

Andy answers some questions about Clearleft's way of working.

YouTube - Newsnight Goldacre Sigman BBC2 20090224

Behold the double awesomeness of Jeremy Paxman and Ben Goldacre! Susan Greenfield, alas, is simply embarrassing.

Why you should have a Web Site (and other Web 3.0 issues)

This presentation by Steven Pemberton increases in value over time.

Official Google Blog: Introducing Measurement Lab

Vint Cerf announces M-Lab: an excellent resource which will allow people to find out if and how their internet access is being throttled. Viva l'internet!

Experiments in Data Portability - Screencast

Glenn has created a screencast of his superb Skillswap presentation, syncing up the audio with the slides.

How your friends' friends can affect your mood - life - 30 December 2008 - New Scientist

The spread of happiness, obesity and smoking habits through social networks.

SNIF :: Welcome

Social networking for dogs through RFID. Spimy animals FTW!

The Skiff - An intrepid little office in the heart of Brighton

Brighton has a new co-working space right 'round the corner from the Clearleft office: The Skiff.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Online time 'is good for teens'

Mimi Ito talks to the BBC about the findings of a report into teens geeking out online.

Coworking / BrightonCoworkingCafeBar

It looks like Brighton is getting its own dedicated geek coffee bar thanks to Josh.

Designing for hyper-connectivity - SlideShare

This talk that James gave in Bristol last week is chock full of great stuff. Well worth a read/look.

NASA - NASA Successfully Tests First Deep Space Internet

We have a new network protocol, courtesy of Vint Cerf and NASA. Move over TCP/IP, here comes DTN: Disruption-Tolerant Networking.

floor [Dirk]

Dirk is back. The interconnectedness of all things returns as in App Engine form.

QuirksBlog: Slides from acessible Ajax workshop at Fundamentos Web

Download a PDF of PPK's slides from his JavaScript workshop at Fundamentos Web. There's some good advice contained therein.

Time to stop showing clients static design visuals | For A Beautiful Web

Andy makes a great case for presenting clients with designs in HTML/CSS rather than flat, fixed, non-interactive graphics.

Maneki Neko - ScottWiki

It's been years since I read this charming Bruce Sterling short story but there isn't a week goes by that I don't think of it. It has grown more relevant over time.

Networks - a set on Flickr

A collection of network diagrams and visualisations from the simple to the sublime.

Layers of abstraction

Recipes, Food Photos & Discussion at Open Source Food

A seriously nice recipe sharing site. Everything is creative commons licensed and everything looks delicious.

Digital Web Magazine - Portable Social Networks, The Building Blocks Of A Social Web

Ben has written a superb article outlining the hows and whys of distributed social networks with hCard and XFN, finishing with an inspiring call to arms.

Social networks may be imaginary | The Register

My new motto is "The Social Graph is a Spherical Cow."

Unobtrusive JavaScript with jQuery

Simon's slides and demos from his half-day workshop at XTech.

OAuth support for Google Accounts and Contacts API - OAuth | Google Groups

As promised by Kevin Marks in the Q&A after my panel at South by Southwest, the Google Contacts API now supports OAuth. w00t!

Twitter Friends Network Browser

Browse trough your twitter friends, and your friends' friends, and your friends' friends' friends...

THINKING ABOUT NETWORKS

They never taught this in my school.

.CSV » group think

Emergence, network theory, behavioural science ...these things have been occupying my mind a lot lately.

Morethanseven » Why the webstandards world appears to be choosing Django

Gareth tries to figure out why Django seems to strike a chord with standardistas. It may that the separation of concerns resonates with the methodology of progressive enhancement. Some good comments follow

Activate The Death Ray | A demonstration site by Andy Clarke

A holding page for Malarkey's upcoming series of workshops. Add you name if your interested.

960 Grid System

Here's another CSS framework for grids. It could prove to be very useful for wireframing.

Spokeo? More like Spooky-o; bad practice taken to the extreme. at Aral Balkan

Aral points to what is possibly the most egregious password anti-pattern implementation yet: a new startup called Spokeo http://www.spokeo.com/public/join

Licence to Roam » BarcampBrighton - Portable Information

Liveblogged notes from a discussion I participated in at BarCamp Brighton 2 about Social Network Portability.

4 Technologies for Portability in Social Networks: A Primer - ReadWriteWeb

A nice summary of the technologies presented at my SXSW panel.

They’re Working on Their Own, Just Side by Side - New York Times

Coworking is on the radar of mainstream media. This article even includes a mention of Brighton & Hove's very own The Werks.

Google Code Blog: URLs are People, Too

This is great news! Brad Fitzpatrick and Kevin Marks have built a new Google API that will spider XFN links.

Waxy.org: Daily Log: The Times (UK) Spamming Social Media Sites

Andy Baio does a nice bit of investigative journalism in exposing the social network spammer hired by The Times. The internet treats crass marketing as damage and routes around it.

The Existential DiSo Interview on Vimeo

Chris interviews himself about portable social networks and distributed identity.

Is the Tipping Point Toast? -- Duncan Watts -- Trendsetting

Duncan Watts works at Yahoo Research? I had no idea! Ironically, it was Gladwell's Tipping Point that first led me to Watts' work.

If all your friends jumped off of a bridge… at Ben Brown, Internet Rockstar

Ben Brown outlines the reasons why he left Facebook: "I think it is important to note that Facebook, though they claim to be a tool for staying connected, is actually a software tool designed *primarily* to deliver marketing messages to its audience."

It’s high time we moved to URL-based identifiers | FactoryCity

Chris says that URLs are people too: "You’ve got my URL, now, tell me, what else do you really need?"

Preoccupations: Adactio hits St Paul's

David follows up on my talk at St Paul's with cornucopia of thoughts and links that's more in-depth than the talk itself.

nclud's Sketchbook | Cindy Li nclud'ed

Cindy is now working for nclud. That's good for Cindy and good for nclud.

Giant Global Graph | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs

TIm Berners-Lee explains what the "graph" part of "social graph" means. I'm still not keen on the term but I really love the idea (although I also disagree about the building blocks required today).

Portable Social Networks: Take Your Friends with You [Content]

Brian's article on portable social networks is a clear and concise introduction to the subject with explanations of the technologies involved.

DataPortability.org - Share and remix data using open standards

A new site to track the building blocks of portable social networks: OpenID, OAuth, hCard, XFN and more.

The Global Sympathetic Audience - New York Times

An article about Twitter focusing on one threatened suicide and one averted break-up. Leisa and her excellent phrase "ambient intimacy" are quoted.

Third time’s a charm « Davidville

Tumblr has just added a shedload of new features.

hyperpeople » Blog Archive » Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)

The text of Mark Pesce's excellent presentation at Web Directions South.

Web2Summit: Opening Up the Social Graph

David Recordon announces a new developer tool for tracking status changes on social networking sites.

'Lobbyconners' crash tech conferences to schmooze, cut deals

Lobbycon: The practice of schmoozing in lobbies at expensive technology conferences, often without paying. The term is inspired by the lingo of conference names, the titles of which sometimes end with "con."

si scott design

Beautiful artwork in a minimalist interface. But you'd better have your browser window maximised on a big monitor. *sigh*

Designing For Hackability » SlideShare

Brian Oberkirch's presentation from Webmaster Jam looks excellent.

Six Apart - News and Events: We Are Opening the Social Graph

Six Apart are getting ready to make portable social networks a reality. Watch this space for code.

Home :: WEBJAM

This Ning competitor has a lot of really nice UI touches. Also, the fact that you can play around a lot without signing up is a plus point.

Bugroff and do something useful!

Best. Social networking site. Ever.

I work on the web.

Tim Lucas is using machine tagging to aggregate Flickr pics from the "I work on the web" meme started by Lisa Herrod.

The Man in Blue > There are no social networks

Cameron's plea for social network transparency and portability is one of the most lucid and succinct yet.

Last.fm – the Blog · Various Positions

Last.fm are hiring. If you're London-based and in the job market, I can think of a lot worse places to work.

Twitter Blocks

A lovely visual of contacts of your Twitter contacts, exploring those six degrees.

Open Social Graph @ Plaxo

Try Plaxo's identity consolidator for yourself. Give it a URL that includes rel="me".

Plaxo to ship online identity aggregator based on microformats | ScobleShow: Videoblog about geeks, technology, and developers

The guys at Plaxo have not only implemented social network portability, they're sharing the code.

Arsebook | Welcome to Arsebook!

Arsebook is an anti-social utility that connects you with the people YOU HATE.

Portable social networking // James Aylett's diary

James has some quick'n'dirty Python code for extracting relationship data from social networking sites.

Social Network Portability | Google Groups

A mailing list to discuss portable social networks.

Brad's Thoughts on the Social Graph

Another take on social network portability.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Pull down the walled gardens

The need for portable social networks hits the mainstream press: Professor Michael Geist writes an article for the BBC website.

The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Network Sites

"In addition to assessing bonding and bridging social capital, we explore a dimension of social capital that assesses one's ability to stay connected with members of a previously inhabited community, which we call maintained social capital."

Blueprint: A CSS Framework

Pulling together a bunch of CSS tricks from a range of sources: reseting, baseline typography and grids (fixed width, unfortunately).

social-network-portability - Microformats

Tantek, Brian, Daniel and others got together in Ritual Roasters to discuss making portable social networks a reality. Here are the notes.

the 200ok weblog: syndication needs to get social

Ben Buchanan on how most supposedly open Web 2.0 (sic) sites are really walled gardens lacking interoperability.

Portable Social Networks at Mashup Camp :: UltraNormal

Kevin Lawver has implemented portable social networks by mashing up OpenID and microformats in Rails. Read the presentation and download the code.

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace

Danah Boyd's essay is required reading for anyone with even a passing interest in social networks.

Dopplr Blog » Importing your social network from other sites

Portable social networks are no longer just theory: Dopplr makes it a reality.

Hackday London

Hackday has a backnetwork. Nice work, Glenn. This may prove to be very handy.

Panic - Coda - One-Window Web Development for Mac OS X

This looks like an interesting new piece of software from Panic. And the site's got some lovely JavaScript flourishes.

mezzoblue § Chalkwork Basic Royalty-free Icons

Dave has made some icons — very nice ones.

Co-evolution of neocortex size, group size and language in humans

The Dunbar number gets bandied about a lot in conversations about social networks these days. Here's the original paper that shows the research behind the oft-misused term.

Ning - Create your own Social Networks!

Ning has relaunched as a roll-your-own-social-network service. I guess that leaves Yahoo Pipes unchallenged in the roll-your-own-mashup field.

YUI Version 2.2.0 Released: Browser History Manager, DataTable, and Button Components, New Versioning, and More » Yahoo! User Interface Blog

Roll up and get it: hot off the presses; the new version of the Yahoo User Interface library. Happy birthday, YUI.

It's real time at the same time - Los Angeles Times

An LA Times article that "gets" Twitter.

Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » Great to see others talking about decentralized social networking

Marc Canter's been saying it for years: social networks for humans don't scale and lock-in is a no-no. I need to investigate People Aggregator.

Dear JavaScript Library Developers… - Wait till I come!

Christian's wish list for JavaScript libraries.

rikrikrik: Wasted Javascript

How much page weight is being wasted on JavaScript. It's time to shed those pounds.

Velvet Unravelled » Blog Archive » Portable social networks

Sarah mocks up an interface for importing contacts across social networks.

XFN: Services & Technologies

Identity consolidation with the XFN rel="me" value. RTFM on sharing information across social networks.

Mircoformats and portable social network

Glenn weighs in with his thoughts on portable social networks through microformats. Looks like the Backnetwork app might be the first to start doing this.

Web pioneers call for new 'web science' discipline - tech - 03 November 2006 - New Scientist Tech

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and others call for the creation and recognition of a new discipline: "What we really want is for people around the world to start calling themselves web scientists."

MILK&TWO

The ultimate Web 2.0 social application: a bunch of people sign up to be in a tea group. People in the group issue requests for cups of tea. The app randomly picks someone to make 'em. Genius!

d.construct makes you 35% more friendly

Glenn has some interesting statistics from the d.Construct backnetwork.

jonsonblog » Blog Archive » Male workplace restroom etiquette leads to scientific breakthrough

Me? I'm just pee-shy. From The Meaning of Liff: KETTLENESS (adj.) The quality of not being able to pee while being watched.

Adobe Labs - Spry Data Set and Dynamic Region Overview

The Spry framework from Adobe looks like it could be worth further investigation. I certainly like the underlying philosophy: lightweight, standards-based, and declarative.

The JavaScript Library World Cup [JavaScript & DHTML Tutorials]

Dan Webb does an excellent job of comparing the big four JavaScript libraries that were discussed at @media.

Yahoo! 360° - The Department of Style - Choose Your Ajax

Douglas Crockford proposes an acid test for JavaScript libraries - "If JSLint finds problems in a library, then dump it and move on to the next one."

Code Igniter

An interesting looking lightweight framework for PHP.

The no-framework PHP MVC framework - Rasmus' Toys Page

The creator of PHP offers an antidote to the profusion of frameworks out there.

Album covers of questionable taste - a photoset on Flickr

John put together this disturbing collection of bygone album covers.

Let me touch him

Google Secure Access

Looks like Google is getting into the WiFi game.

An Event Apart News: Lightning Strikes

Eric and Jeffrey are going to the city of brotherly love.