Tags: ep



Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

Replying to

See you there!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Replying to

I don’t think I’ll be able to make it, I’m afraid.

Replying to

I do have a web-based interface (a form behind a log-in) for publishing blog posts.

But, to be honest, I usually end up writing the blog posts in a Markdown editor first anyway, so a static site wouldn’t be that different in practice.

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Replying to

Does it not bother you that Phil Lynott couldn’t figure out exactly where a jailbreak might take place? I mean, “somewhere in this town?” Really, Phil? Somewhere? Not a specific place, like, oh, I don’t know …the JAIL!?

Baldur Bjarnason -

This is kind of brilliant:

Maybe what’s needed for websites and web apps is a kind of Prepper Web Dev?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

Replying to

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

This is what you’re nostalgic for - The History of the Web


I believe we aren’t nostalgic for the technology, or the aesthetic, or even the open web ethos. What we’re nostalgic for is a time when outsiders were given a chance to do something fun, off to the side and left alone, because mainstream culture had no idea what the hell to do with this thing that was right in front of it.

Monday, August 8th, 2022

Replying to

Design is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.

(with apologies to Melvin Kranzberg)

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Portrait of a beautiful brown dog with a brown nose and soulful brown eyes sitting in a pub garden in front of any ivy-covered wall.

My buddy Brody is very handsome (and A Very Good Boy).

Replying to

The Clearleft Podcast 🙂


Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Replying to

Chris, you acknowldge yourself that you’re notoriously bad at picking up on vibes. I was trying to let you know that offering unsolicited observations about mask-wearing when people post pictures of happy events is …not helpful.

Replying to

Chris, you seem to think I’m advocating for something I’m not.

I’m in favour of mask-wearing indoors.

But I don’t go around passing judgement on every picture I see of an indoor gathering. It doesn’t help.

Replying to

If you think that anyone who disagrees with you is automatically an asshole, then I can understand why you feel such sadness at everyone else’s behaviour.

Me, I’d rather assume better of people.

Replying to

Yes, I’m being defensive (because I found your judginess offensive).

Replying to

I’m totally with you on mask-wearing.

But I don’t think that Kool-Aid Man-ing into people’s photos will lead to behaviour change.

Replying to

Pointing out the lack of mask-wearing in photos of concerts, weddings, dinners, and other happy events has a bit of an “all lives matter” vibe to it—technically correct, but dickish.

Just point out a fact. People get mad about that.

Replying to

Now, if you’re one of those people, then, yea, I guess I was judging you too.

— also literally what you said.

Replying to

Yes, I am judgy about people willfully endangering others.

— literally what you said.

Monday, July 25th, 2022


In two of my recent talks—In And Out Of Style and Design Principles For The Web—I finish by looking at three different components:

  1. a button,
  2. a dropdown, and
  3. a datepicker.

In each case you could use native HTML elements:

  1. button,
  2. select, and
  3. input type="date".

Or you could use divs with a whole bunch of JavaScript and ARIA.

In the case of a datepicker, I totally understand why you’d go for writing your own JavaScript and ARIA. The native HTML element is quite restricted, especially when it comes to styling.

In the case of a dropdown, it’s less clear-cut. Personally, I’d use a select element. While it’s currently impossible to style the open state of a select element, you can style the closed state with relative ease. That’s good enough for me.

Still, I can understand why that wouldn’t be good enough for some cases. If pixel-perfect consistency across platforms is a priority, then you’re going to have to break out the JavaScript and ARIA.

Personally, I think chasing pixel-perfect consistency across platforms isn’t even desirable, but I get it. I too would like to have more control over styling select elements. That’s one of the reasons why the work being done by the Open UI group is so important.

But there’s one more component: a button.

Again, you could use the native button element, or you could use a div or a span and add your own JavaScript and ARIA.

Now, in this case, I must admit that I just don’t get it. Why wouldn’t you just use the native button element? It has no styling issues and the browser gives you all the interactivity and accessibility out of the box.

I’ve been trying to understand the mindset of a developer who wouldn’t use a native button element. The easy answer would be that they’re just bad people, and dismiss them. But that would probably be lazy and inaccurate. Nobody sets out to make a website with poor performance or poor accessibility. And yet, by choosing not to use the native HTML element, that’s what’s likely to happen.

I think I might have finally figured out what might be going on in the mind of such a developer. I think the issue is one of control.

When I hear that there’s a native HTML element—like button or select—that comes with built-in behaviours around interaction and accessibility, I think “Great! That’s less work for me. I can just let the browser deal with it.” In other words, I relinquish control to the browser (though not entirely—I still want the styling to be under my control as much as possible).

But I now understand that someone else might hear that there’s a native HTML element—like button or select—that comes with built-in behaviours around interaction and accessibility, and think “Uh-oh! What if there unexpected side-effects of these built-in behaviours that might bite me on the ass?” In other words, they don’t trust the browsers enough to relinquish control.

I get it. I don’t agree. But I get it.

If your background is in computer science, then the ability to precisely predict how a programme will behave is a virtue. Any potential side-effects that aren’t within your control are undesirable. The only way to ensure that an interface will behave exactly as you want is to write it entirely from scratch, even if that means using more JavaScript and ARIA than is necessary.

But I don’t think it’s a great mindset for the web. The web is filled with uncertainties—browsers, devices, networks. You can’t possibly account for all of the possible variations. On the web, you have to relinquish some control.

Still, I’m glad that I now have a bit more insight into why someone would choose to attempt to retain control by using div, JavaScript and ARIA. It’s not what I would do, but I think I understand the motivation a bit better now.

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Replying to

For fuck’s sake, Chris,

  1. You weren’t there,
  2. It’s a picture of the back of people’s heads (the mask goes on front—you should know that by now).