Tags: application

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Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Random thoughts and data on hiring from recent experience by Chris Coyier

I recently put the call out for freelance front-end devs on Twitter, and my experience mirrors Chris’s.

Not having a personal website was a turn-off. I don’t know if it matters industry-wide or not, but I’m one person with my own opinions and I’m the one making the call so it mattered here. A personal website is the clearest place I can get a sense of your taste, design ability, and writing ability.

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Origin story

In an excellent piece called The First Web Apps: 5 Apps That Shaped the Internet as We Know It, Matthew Guay wrote:

The world wide web wasn’t supposed to be this fun. Berners-Lee imagined the internet as a place to collaborate around text, somewhere to share research data and thesis papers.

In his somewhat confused talk at FFConf this year, James Kyle said:

The web was designed to share documents.

Douglas Crockford said

The web was not designed to do any of things it is doing. It was intended to be a simple—even primitive—document retrieval system.

Some rando on Hacker News declared:

Essentially every single aspect of the web is terrible. It was designed as a static document presentation system with hyperlinks.

It appears to be a universally accepted truth. The web was designed for sharing documents, and was never meant for the kind of applications we can build these days.

I don’t think that’s quite right. I think it’s fairer to say that the first use case for the web was document retrieval. And yes, that initial use case certainly influenced the first iteration of HTML. But right from the start, the vision for the web wasn’t constrained by what it was being asked to do at the time. (I mean, if you need an example of vision, Tim Berners-Lee called it the World Wide Web when it was just on one computer!)

The original people working on the web—Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Jean-Francois Groff, etc.—didn’t to try define the edges of what the web would be capable of. Quite the opposite. All of them really wanted a more interactive read-write web where documents could not only be read, but also edited and updated.

As for the idea of having a programming language in browsers (as well as a markup language), Tim Berners-Lee was all for it …as long as it could be truly ubiquitous.

To say that the web was made for sharing documents is like saying that the internet was made for email. It’s true in the sense that it was the most popular use case, but that never defined the limits of the system.

The secret sauce of the internet lies in its flexibility—it’s a deliberately dumb network that doesn’t care about the specifics of what runs on it. This lesson was then passed on to the web—another deliberately simple system designed to be agnostic to use cases.

It’s true that the web of today is very, very different to its initial incarnation. We got CSS; we got JavaScript; HTML has evolved; HTTP has evolved; URLs have …well, cool URIs don’t change, but you get the idea. The web is like the ship of Theseus—so much of it has been changed and added to over time. That doesn’t mean its initial design was flawed—just the opposite. It means that its initial design wasn’t unnecessarily rigid. The simplicity of the early web wasn’t a bug, it was a feature.

The web (like the internet upon which it runs) was designed to be flexible, and to adjust to future use-cases that couldn’t be predicted in advance. The best proof of this flexibility is the fact that we can and do now build rich interactive applications on the World Wide Web. If the web had truly been designed only for documents, that wouldn’t be possible.

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Why I hate your Single Page App by Stefan Tilkov

A linkbaity title for a ranty post. But it’s justified.

My point is that from an architectural perspective, most single page apps are the result of making the wrong choices and missing important opportunities.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Steaks.

Steaks.

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Tagliatelle with lamb ragu and broad beans.

Tagliatelle with lamb ragu and broad beans.

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Pork’n’peaches.

Pork’n’peaches.

Pork chops and peaches.

Pork chops and peaches.

Gin and tonic featuring ice cubes in the shapes of a Star Destroyer and the Death Star.

Gin and tonic featuring ice cubes in the shapes of a Star Destroyer and the Death Star.

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Pasta.

Pasta.

Salad.

Salad.

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Grilling veggies.

Grilling veggies.

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Bagels and iced flat whites.

Bagels and iced flat whites.

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Tamatoes and peaches with burrata and basil.

Tamatoes and peaches with burrata and basil.

Courgette pasta with pesto.

Courgette pasta with pesto.

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Thai shrimp noodle salad.

Thai shrimp noodle salad.

Pork skewers.

Pork skewers.

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Chicken wings and salads.

Chicken wings and salads.

Fish burger on the beach.

Fish burger on the beach.

Monday, June 29th, 2015

BBQ’d sausage.

BBQ’d sausage.

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Grilled butterflied leg of lamb.

Grilled butterflied leg of lamb.