Fast software is not always good software, but slow software is rarely able to rise to greatness. Fast software gives the user a chance to “meld” with its toolset. That is, not break flow.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2019
Monday, April 23rd, 2018
Prompted by his recent talk at Smashing Conference, Mark explains why he’s all about the pace layers when it comes to design systems. It’s good stuff, and ties in nicely with my recent (pace layers obsessed) talk at An Event Apart.
Structure for pace. Move at the appropriate speed.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017
Slides from Harry’s recent talk on performance.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
I’m so happy that Ember is moving to a server-side rendering model. Not only that, but as Tom points out here, it’s crucial that the server-side rendering is the default and the client-side functionality than becomes an enhancement.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Tom doesn’t mention the phrase “progressive enhancement” once, but that’s okay—his post is still about progressive enhancement.
FastBoot is coming to Ember. That means server-side rendering. And that means progressive enhancement will become a possibility for Ember apps. Exciting!
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Fast Company features Aral’s tantalising Indie Phone project that he’s been working on at Clearleft Towers.
Good to see Oskar the dog getting the recognition he deserves.
On the top floor of a commercial building in the old maritime city of Brighton, England, Balkan has been quietly hacking away at Indie Phone for the last several months with the rest of his team—Victor Johansson, an industrial designer, Laura Kalbag, a professional web designer (and Balkan’s partner), and her Husky, Oskar.
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Cool your eyes don’t change
At last November’s Build conference I gave a talk on digital preservation called All Our Yesterdays:
Our communication methods have improved over time, from stone tablets, papyrus, and vellum through to the printing press and the World Wide Web. But while the web has democratised publishing, allowing anyone to share ideas with a global audience, it doesn’t appear to be the best medium for preserving our cultural resources: websites and documents disappear down the digital memory hole every day. This presentation will look at the scale of the problem and propose methods for tackling our collective data loss.
I’ve published a transcription over in the “articles” section.
I blogged a list of relevant links shortly after the presentation.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
Speaking, not hacking
I spent last week in Belfast for the Build conference, so I did.
The day of the conference itself was filled with inspiring, uplifting talks full of positive energy …except for mine. My talk—All Our Yesterdays—had an underlying sense of anger, especially when I spoke about the destruction of Geocities. If you heard the talk and you’d like to explore some of the resources I mentioned, here’s a grab-bag of links:
- Stock and Flow by Robin Sloan.
- Archive Fever by Matt Ogle.
- This Place Is Not A Place Of Honor on Damn Interesting.
- The 10,000 Year Clock by The Long Now Foundation.
- Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan’s Ultimate Mix Tape by Radiolab.
- Small Pieces, Loosely Joined by David Weinberger.
- Lest We Forget or Why I chose the World Wide Web as a repository for archival material by Simon Pockley.
- Cool URIs Don’t Change by Tim Berners-Lee.
- “The original URL for this prediction (www.longbets.org/601) will no longer be available in eleven years.” on Long Bets.
- Game Web 2.Over? by Meg Pickard.
- Link Rot by Connor O’Brien.
- Ugly and neglected fragments by Phil Gyford.
- Yahoo!locaust by Jason Scott.
- Goodbye Pownce, Hello Six Apart on the Pownce blog.
- Why you should have a website: it’s the law! by Steven Pemberton.
- The Domesday Project by the BBC.
- Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services by the Open Planets Foundation.
- Swiss Fort Knox.
- Validation by Owen Briggs.
- [whatwg] several messages about HTML5 by Ian Hickson.
- Accelerando by Charles Stross.
- Microsoft and FairUse4WM by Bruce Schneier.
- Forever by Mandy Brown.
I thought I had delivered the talk reasonably well only to discover that my American friends in the audience misinterpreted my quote from Tim Berners-Lee as “Cool your eyes don’t change.”
Still, it was wonderfully surreal to be introduced by Jesse Thorn.
My appearance at Build was an eleventh hour affair. Ethan was originally set to speak but he had to cancel. Andy asked me to step in. At first I didn’t think it would be possible. Last Thursday—the day of the conference—was the day I was supposed to fly to San Francisco for Science Hack Day. Luckily I was able to change my flight.
That’s why I was up at the crack of dawn the day after Build to catch an early-morning flight to Heathrow where I would have to dash from the lowest to the highest numbered terminal to get on my transatlantic hackrocket.
So you can imagine how my heart sank as I sat in the departure lounge of Belfast International Airport listening to the announcement of a delay to the first flight. First it was one hour. Then two.
When I did finally make it to Heathrow, there was no chance of making the flight to San Francisco. I was hoping that perhaps it too had been delayed by the foggy weather conditions but no, it took off right on time. Without me.
As my flight from Belfast was a completely separate booking rather than a connecting flight, I couldn’t get on a later flight unless I paid the full fare. So I simply accepted my fate.
C’est la vie, c’est it is.
It looks like Science Hack Day San Francisco—to the surprise of absolutely no-one—was a superb event. There’s a write-up on the open.NASA blog outlining some of the amazing hacks, including the cute (and responsive) Space Ipsum and the freakishly brilliant synesthesia mask: syneseizure.
Monday, October 10th, 2011
I never made it to the Build conference in Belfast last year or the year before. I think it clashed with previous commitments every time.
This was going to be the third year in a row that I was going to miss Build. I had already slapped my money down for the excellent Full Frontal conference which is on the very same day as Build but takes place right here in Brighton in the excellent Duke Of York’s cinema.
But fate had other plans for me.
Ethan was going to be speaking at Build but he’s had to pull out for personal reasons …so Andy asked me if I’d like to speak. I may be a poor substitute for Ethan and it’s a shame that I’m going to miss Full Frontal but I jumped at the chance to join the stellar line-up.
As well as speaking at the conference itself on November 10th, I’ll be leading a workshop on responsive design and progressive enhancement on the preceding Tuesday. The conference is sold out but there are places available for the workshop so grab yourself a slot if you fancy spending a day working on a content-first approach to planning and building websites.
That attire would also be suitable for my post-Build plans. The day after the conference I’ll be travelling to San Francisco for Science Hack Day on the weekend of November 12th. If the last one is anything to go by, it’s going to be an unmissable excellent weekend—I highly recommend that you put your name down if you’re going to be in the neighbourhood.
Looking forward to seeing you in Belfast or Düsseldorf or San Francisco …or wherever.
Friday, December 11th, 2009
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at Refresh Belfast. I enjoy any opportunity to geek out about building Huffduffer in front of a captive audience. This captive audience seemed to actually enjoy it. It seems like Belfast has a pretty vibrant geek scene.
It was my first time being in Northern Ireland, which is somewhat shameful given that I grew up in Ireland. Belfast felt a little strange to me; an equal split of where I grew up (Ireland) and I where I live now (England). But mostly, it has a character all its own.
Andy took great care of me while I was in town, showing me the sights. We took a black cab tour ‘round the city. The historical part of the tour was informative and the political part was …um… interesting.
Do you want to get out and take pictures? asked the cab driver. Somehow, taking snapshots on Shankhill Road just didn’t sit right with me. It’s not exactly ancient history. It reminded me of when I was last in Berlin where tourists now have the opportunity to have their picture taken with a fake East German border guard. I didn’t take any pictures of the murals.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not waxing nostalgic. I’ll take present-day slightly tacky tourism over the utterly tacky violence of the past.
Still… to the woman sitting next to me on the flight home, carrying a bodhrán emblazoned with the faces of the hunger strikers: lady, that is socially unacceptable on so many levels.
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
The Scenius of Brighton
It seems like Brighton has a high scenius level.
There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why Brighton should be a geekier place than any other UK town. Sure, we could retroactively discover geographical or social conditions that favour Brighton but I think the truth is that it’s just a large-scale Schelling point.
And it’s not just a geek thing either. The music scene in Brighton is maintaining its reputation, although the scene is somewhat lessened by the recent demise of The Gilded Palace of Sin.
Occasionally, the worlds of geekiness and music mesh to form a glorious venn diagram of fun. The £5 App Musical Christmas Special was one such scenius supercollider. It featured free booze, live music from 100 Robots, and many tales of hackery including a demo of the absolutely wonderful Therething from Toby Cole of Build Brighton, one of the many Brighton geek institutions.
Lest I become too comfortable in my Brighton hive, I’m off to explore another geek scene tomorrow. I’m going over to Belfast to meet the geeks of N’orn Ireland. I’ll be speaking at Refresh Belfast about personal projects in general and the building of Huffduffer in particular. I’m looking forward to it. If you’re in the area, come along and say hello.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
A foodblog about one cafe in Newcastle.