Links

9765 sparkline

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

Tree views in CSS

Styling a list of nested details elements to create a beautiful lokking tree view, all in CSS, all nicely accessible.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

Shift Happens

Marcin’s book is coming along nicely—you just know it’ll be a labour of love.

You’ve never seen a book on technology like this. Shift Happens is full of stories – some never before told – interleaved with 1,000+ beautiful full-color photos across two volumes.

The Kickstarter project launches in February. In the meantime, there are some keyboard-based games here for you to enjoy.

Reentry | A Working Library

The first day back at work after some time away is a kind of reentry: you’ve been in orbit, untethered from the gravity that typically keeps you in your chair, and now the friction of the atmosphere is rapidly warming you up, and weight is coming back into your bones, and it’s a lot to feel all at once.

Fragile Technologists – Terence Eden’s Blog

If you’ve made a computer do something - anything - in a logical fashion, you’re a programmer. Scratch? Programmer! CSS? Programmer? Conditional formatting in Excel? Programmer!

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

We Live In The Age of The Bullshitter ❧ Current Affairs

We also have a culture in which arrogance is rewarded rather than kept in check, and people can see that with enough shameless bluster you might become the richest person in the world or the president of the United States. There is no quick fix for the problem—if I offered one, I would be the very kind of bullshitter I strive to avoid being—but we at the very least need to recognize what it is we are trying to change. We are trying to create a culture of thoughtfulness and insight, where people check carefully to see whether what they’re saying is true, and excessively egotistical people are looked upon with deep suspicion. With time and patient effort, perhaps we can create a world in which the people who rise to the highest offices and reap the greatest rewards are not also the ones who are most full of shit. 

On the current decentralisation movement – Manu

The more I look at this “issue” the more I’m convinced the solution is already right there and it’s called the web. Want to have an unblockable, unbannable user profile? Buy yourself a domain and get a personal website. Want to have a space where you can say and do whatever the fuck you want? Get a webspace and put up a blog.

Why Not Mars (Idle Words)

I’ve come to believe the best way to look at our Mars program is as a faith-based initiative. There is a small cohort of people who really believe in going to Mars, the way some people believe in ghosts or cryptocurrency, and this group has an outsize effect on our space program.

Maciej lays out the case against a crewed mission to Mars.

Like George Lucas preparing to release another awful prequel, NASA is hoping that cool spaceships and nostalgia will be enough to keep everyone from noticing that their story makes no sense. But you can’t lie your way to Mars, no matter how sincerely you believe in what you’re doing.

And don’t skip the footnotes:

Fourth graders writing to Santa make a stronger case for an X-Box than NASA has been able to put together for a Mars landing.

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

(Almost) no one cares

Every time I’ve thought “this is a niche subject or random thought, no one will be interested but I’ll publish anyway” someone will let me know that it was the EXACT train of thought they were thinking or thing they were looking for.

Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

Why the super rich are inevitable

The interactive widgets embedded in this article are excellent teaching tools!

The Independent Type Foundry Advent Calendar 2022 · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer

For 24 days this month, Matthias featured a different independent type foundry, writing about each one and selecting some lovely examplars of their typefaces.

How We Verified Ourselves on Mastodon — and How You Can Too – The Markup

It gives me warm fuzzies to see an indie web building block like rel="me" getting coverage like this.

User Stylesheets Are Still Pretty Great and Should Be More Widely Supported — Pixel Envy

Hear, hear!

If you have even a passing knowledge of CSS, I encourage you to experiment with its possibilities.

Monday, December 26th, 2022

The Institutions of Science With Lord Martin Rees

I love just about every answer that Martin Rees gives in this wide-ranging interview.

Saturday, December 24th, 2022

12 Days of Web

All twelve are out, and all twelve are excellent deep dives into exciting web technologies landing in browsers now.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

Latewood | A Working Library

As this year draws to a close, you might be tempted to make some ambitious new year’s resolutions for yourself. But maybe read this first.

Dormancy isn’t stagnant; it’s potentiating. It’s patient. If you’ve grown a lot in the past however many months or years and now feel that growth coming to a close, don’t fret right away. Wait. Reflect on what you’ve learned. Look for signs of spring. Move to where there’s water, if you need to. But don’t rush. There will be time again for running and jumping, when you’re ready.

The Performance Inequality Gap, 2023 - Infrequently Noted

It is not an exaggeration to say that modern frontend is so enamoured by post-scarcity fairy tales that it is mortgaging the web’s future for another round of night drinking at the JavaScript party.

Strong—and true—words from Alex.

This isn’t working for users or for businesses that hire developers hopped up Facebook’s latest JavaScript hopium. A correction is due.

I concur.

Frontend’s failure to deliver in today’s mostly-mobile, mostly-Android world is shocking, if only for the durability of the myths that sustain the indefensible. We can’t keep doing this.

If you disagree, I encourage you to dive into the data that Alex shares.

Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

Network effect

Mastodon is not a platform. Mastodon is just a tiny part of a concept many have been dreaming about and working on for years. Social media started on the wrong foot. The idea for the read/write web has always been different. Our digital identities weren’t supposed to end up in something like Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

Decentralisation, Federation, The Indie Web: There were many groups silently working on solving the broken architecture of our digital social networks and communication channels – long, long before the “web 3” dudes tried to reframe it as their genius new idea.

I’ve been a part of this for many years until I gave up hope. How would you compete against the VC money, the technical and economical benefits of centralised platforms? It was a fight between David and Gloiath. But now Mastodon could be the stone.

Pluralistic: Better failure for social media (19 Dec 2022) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Mastodon has gotten two things right that no other social media giant has even seriously attempted:

  1. If you follow someone on Mastodon, you’ll see everything they post; and
  2. If you leave a Mastodon server, you can take both your followers and the people you follow with you.

The most common criticism of Mastodon is that you must rely on individual moderators who may be underresourced, incompetent on malicious. This is indeed a serious problem, but it isn’t the same serious problem that Twitter has. When Twitter is incompetent, malicious, or underresourced, your departure comes at a dear price.

On Mastodon, your choice is: tolerate bad moderation, or click two links and move somewhere else.

On Twitter, your choice is: tolerate moderation, or lose contact with all the people you care about and all the people who care about you.

Monday, December 19th, 2022

Empty Pointers and Constellations of AI

AI becomes a stand-in term for whatever technologies and techniques are new, shiny, and just beyond the grasp of our understanding. We use it to gesture at a future we cannot fully comprehend or currently realise. As soon as we do, it will no longer be “AI.”

Sunday, December 18th, 2022

Indiekit

Paul’s indie web project is live!

Meet the little Node.js server with all the parts needed to publish content to your personal website and share it on social networks.

You can read the accompanying blog post.