Stream

This is a mirror of my tweets in an attempt to follow the indieweb movement.

February 13, 2024

The delights of putting smart in things that shouldnt be

February 12, 2024

Im a sucker for this kind of content of “lets build a cpu in the most random places” or “this thing is turing complete”. Love it.

February 12, 2024

It always amazes me the kind of things that you can do with redstone.

January 13, 2024

Maybe im in a nostalgia train, but i love the idea that a group of fans are trying to recreate and let you experience how things worked in the past.

January 13, 2024

On the fringes of the internet, where things are small and specialized (even when they’re grim or shocking), there’s something far more captivating than the sanitized, controlled environments we’ve established on the modern web. And it is still very much out there, and I believe it is growing.

From Reversing the boring web by The History of the Web

January 13, 2024

JavaScript in the address bar, as a protocol for a URL, was possible virtually from day one of the language, effectively creating JavaScript URLs.

[…] And pretty early on, people realized that these JavaScript URLs were also bookmarkable, just like any other URL.

And, crucially, easily shareable as links.

From Wait, what’s a bookmarklet? by The History of the Web

A little history of bookmarklets, something that i really like and even shared in my posts

January 13, 2024

More software running as a kernel space driver? What could go wrong?

January 13, 2024

When I say “I don’t know where everyone went,” I know everyone’s out there surfing the web, of course, but it feels like it’s a different place now. When the algorithms are determining everything we should be seeing, it’s a much less personal internet. The “For You” pages of the world are right, I am interested in that content, but I’m not seeing it from my friends, or that one author I like, or that random blog I found when I was learning about an obscure hobby.

From I miss human curation by Cassidy Williams

I also found myself mourning in the last weeks the old communities that i had on the internet.

January 12, 2024

Over the past year or so, I’ve been working with other BlueSCSI developers to add Wi-Fi functionality to their open-hardware SCSI device, enabling Wi-Fi support for old Macs and other vintage computers going back some 36 years.

From Adding Wi-Fi to the Macintosh Portable by Joshua Stein

I always like this kind of posts bringing old tech to modern life with open source (hard/soft)ware

January 8, 2024

Inicio de argenteam con mensaje de despedida al dia 08/01/2024

Hoy me entere de esta horrible noticia, de las pocas ultimas comunidades que aun sobrevivian en internet frente al avance industrial y de jardines privados. Sin embargo, me hicieron conocer este relato.

January 7, 2024

So when I teach about HTML I always start with the elements that are obviously interactive. I show them the multitude of UX layers of a link, I show them the layers and layers of UX that are added to a well considered form. I show them what happens on a phone when you use an input with a default text type instead of the proper type of email. First we need to get people exited about HTML by showing all the free yet complex layers of UX you get when you use the interactive elements properly. And then, when they do understand the interactive elements, when they’re really excited and they ask for more, show them the more obscure UX patterns.

From The UX of HTML by Vasilis Van Gemert

January 6, 2024

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a very cool research project around using the sound of touch gestures on your face to create new interactions with interfaces.

After reading the paper, I decided to try and recreate something similar using JavaScript. I’ve experimented with using sound data and machine learning in the past and the result was quite successful, however, I had never thought about working with more subtle sounds like the ones this research is focusing on.>

From Control UIs using wireless earbuds and on-face interactions by Charlie Gerard

Almost all of Charlie’s interactions are amazing, and this isnt the exception.

January 6, 2024

So in this article I’m digging into what JSX is, where it comes from and how one might go about using it as a simple server-side HTML template engine.

From Using JSX on the server as a template engine by Evert Pot

I also found myself making my own JSX Factory for a personal project recently for a similar use-case

January 6, 2024

I spent almost all of this year working on projects for other people. While I am proud of the work I did, and enjoyed it, there’s still something special about making tools for yourself. Does anyone else in the world want to make their websites in a weird dialect of Lua? Maybe not. But I do, and that’s enough.

Try building something for yourself. Try writing code for you, and you alone. Don’t worry about whether it will look good on your resumé or attract lots of stars on GitHub. Just write something that feels good to you. Explore a weird idea and see where it takes you.

Who knows—maybe someday other people will like it too.

From I made JSX for Lua (because I hate static sites) by Ben Visness

I dont share some of the thoughts, but i always like this thing of doing something for you because its fun.

January 6, 2024

This began as a quick-and-dirty experiment to visualize the UK National Minimum Wage in real-time, inspired by Blake Fall-Conroy’s Minimum Wage Machine.

Then I added the US Federal Minimum Wage, since a sizeable proportion of this blog’s readership are US-based. Did you know the US also has a Youth Minimum Wage? I didn’t.

Then I got curious, and added some CEOs for comparison. The vast disparity is nothing new to me, but seeing it like this…

It’s fucking sobering.

From Minimum Wage Clock by Luna

I LOVE THIS. Similar to my Comparate con Forbes Argentina but so much better. It has a real sense of time is worth.

January 4, 2024

Shared state isn’t all doom and gloom. It causes problems when you have asynchronous or threaded code and unclear access patterns.

But your database is a repository of shared state and that works great. The cache in your networking layer is a type of shared state. Works fine. State management libraries popular in modern app development are all about sharing state and they can be fantastic.

What gives?

Explicitly declared state dependencies with strict guidelines around access patterns make all the difference. If a compiler or linter can enforce those patterns, even better.

From Avoid spooky action at a distance by Swizec Teller

January 4, 2024

When you’re spitballing at a meeting and it all fits together and makes so much sense, nobody knows you’ve written 5 deep articles about this topic exploring it from all sorts of directions. They just see a fuckin’ genius who can anticipate their arguments, has answers ready, and has a proposal that stands up to scrutiny.

From Why write by Swizec Teller

January 2, 2024

Tech is not neutral. It can’t be. It is always the sum total of human decisions, priorities, and tradeoffs, deployed to meet certain ends and desires, and particularly capitalistic interests. AI is far from being an exception to the rule. And in this case, any desire for image generation models to be able to represent me is going to butt heads with another incentive: the desire to avoid shocking users with body horror.

Successive model retrainings have made rendering humans much more accurate, and tighter restrictions on prompts have made it much harder to generate body horror, even intentionally. As a consequence, non-normative bodies are also incredibly difficult to generate, even when the engine is fed hyperspecific prompts.

It is something of an amusing curiosity that some AI models were perplexed by a giraffe without spots. But it’s these same tools and paradigms that enshrine normativity of all kinds, sanding away the unusual. As tech continues to charge headfirst into AI hype, this is going to have far-reaching, yet largely invisible to the mainstream, consequences to anyone on the wrong side of that normativity. Better hope you have spots.

From I’m a Spotless Giraffe. by Ben Myers

December 31, 2023

Pessimistically, I believe the app promotes homogeneity, based on the reel formulas I see creators using. They are all the same, and it’s not the fault of creators. It’s the fault of the product itself.

More often that not it’s the fault of the need for unlimited growth, whether it’s news users or monthly recurring revenue. I suspect some poor product manager is doing what they have to do to drive more people to pay to play.

Not everyone wants to pay though. One of the reasons we might post to social media is to share with the world, in hopes of finding like-minded people, not necessarily to sell anything. How do we find those like-minded people if we only see what an app forces us to see instead of discovering it organically?

From Instagram killed creativity with the removal of recent hashtags by Stephanie Stimac

December 31, 2023

To avoid shitty logic, you need to know what’s happening in your code. If there’s “magic” anywhere in the mix, you have a black box with no obvious cause and effect. This means that what you think is happening and what actually happens start to diverge.

Software is built by humans and humans make mistakes. Therefore, software should be everything but magic. It shouldn’t be overly concise and clever — it should be explicit and predictable. It shouldn’t make assumptions — it should throw errors.

Make the final product magical, not the software that runs it.

From Magical Software Sucks by Hristiyan Dodov

December 31, 2023

Like one day I’ll stumble on a website that’s gloriously corpo in the best possible way: smart typesetting, clean imagery, plain copy. The blog posts are pristine, helpful, perfunctory. It’s a business card, really. Perfect. I get it. But despite my jealousy of how clean and straightforward they are, within twenty seconds I’ve forgotten about them.

I want weirder, more broken websites!

And a personal website should capture that thing we’re all trying to avoid, as cheesy as it sounds: that we are a poem and not software.

From I am a poem I am not software by Robin Rendle

December 31, 2023

But modern websites are not worthy. They’re slow, hard to navigate, and plagued with visual crap; pop-ups, bad typography, newsletter modals, and everything else imaginable. And that’s just the baseline. When I use a website on my phone I likely won’t trust it to show me the same information, I won’t trust interactions when I click buttons or fill in forms or even when I try to navigate elsewhere.

I don’t even trust the back button any more.

When I find a website that doesn’t hijack the scroll, or a website with pleasantly sized text, or a website that loads in under 300ms then it makes me bolt upright in my chair. I wonder at what tech they’re using under the hood, what kind of conversations they had in those rooms, I try to imagine what kind of grueling process the team went through to make something so quiet and simple. All the things they had to say no to.

From Why are websites embarrassing? by Robin Rendle

December 30, 2023

I’m not sure why, but we seem more willing to spend money on good fruit jam than on good software. I notice that I spend less on personal software than I do on groceries and many basic things. Yet software is one of the few things I pay for that truly gives me leverage. Consider its cost per use. Independent makers of quality software go out of their way to make apps that are better for you. They take a principled approach to making tools that don’t compromise your privacy, and don’t lock you in. Independent software makers are people you can talk to. Like quality jam from the farmer’s market, you might become friends with the person who made it — they’ll listen to your suggestions and your complaints. If you want to live in a world with more than a handful of software makers, then spend a bit more on quality independent software. It deserves your hard-earned cash.

From Quality software deserves your hard‑earned cash by Steph Ango

December 29, 2023

My friend, all tech is political. All technology either reinforces or fights against existing social systems. In a modern capitalist society, nearly all technology requires ethical concessions. But that doesn’t mean we should just give up and support obviously bad shit.

From I follow you for tech, not politics by Chris Ferdinandi

December 29, 2023

Then I explained that if you want to make this span behave like a real link, you have to add a tabindex, a role, CSS to style it, javascript to give it a :visited state, much, much, much more javascript to give it a context menu that makes sense (which is impossible to do right, because every browser has a different context menu for a link), and then you’ll have to test if this “link” shows up in the list of links in a screen reader. I don’t think it does. There are so many hidden layers of UX in this simple HTML element. And these layers of UX are the details that matter, of you ask me. These details are why everybody should care about HTML.

From Let’s reinvent the wheel by Vasilis Van Gemert

December 29, 2023

As Jeremy illustrated in his talk Of Time And the Web, it’s easy to overlook the profound positive changes that can happen over larger timescales. Things we take for granted today, like the eradication of a disease like smallpox, are actually things that we would have considered “too good to be true” just a few years earlier. In much the same way, every little step we take, every decision we make, can add up to make a profound difference.

From No Borders by Matthias Ott

December 28, 2023

Whether it’s Slack, email, Twitter replies (or literally any text communication), many conversations just die. There’s no “thank you!” or “talk later!” to wrap things up. Apparently, it’s okay to just move the human interaction off the todo list.

From Conversation closure by Stefan Judis

December 28, 2023

The Chrome Developer “blog” homepage is a perfect example of the awfulness of modern web dev: A page that is updated maybe once a week is dynamically client-side generated A page that has almost no interactivity needs 109 requests (mostly JavaScript) to load A page with maybe 400 words of text requires 1.3MB plus 10MB for resources

A 70KB RSS file provides more value and is more readable A blog without an RSS feed isn’t a blog. Find another word.

From An RSS Feed for the Google Chrome Developer Blog by Cross Dominant

December 28, 2023

So I went to work to explore this idea of checking if a number is odd or even by only using comparisons to see how well it works in a real world scenario.

From 4 billion if statements by Andreas Karlsson

This is the kind of stuff i want to read about. People doing things just for fun.

December 16, 2023

If buying isn’t owning, piracy isn’t stealing

December 8, 2023

I like how piracy came full circle from something illegal to being the source of preservation.

December 8, 2023

Since the dawn of October 1st 2022, the world has been plagued by the question: Would accelerated backhopping give you a competitive advantage in the 100m dash? In this deranged ramble blog article we shall attempt to answer the question once and for all.

Gordon Freeman at the Olympic Games by Luna is the kind of science that i like.

December 8, 2023

Can it run doom? Its not more, now its Minecraft

December 8, 2023

You either build for a device or you build for the web. You can’t build a web-app that’s just for the iMac. If you try, people will access it from other devices and rightfully expect to be able to use it, because that’s what the web is. When we build for the web, our initial design should respond to what we know about our users, and the layout and content should be able to subtly respond to a user’s capabilities on the fly. That’s how we build a more responsive web. Not a mobile web, or a desktop web, or an iPad web, or any other kind of web we might try to predict.

This is a quote from a very old post (2011) that its still relevant today that recently appeared again in my feed. From New Website by Ariel Salminen

November 12, 2023

In computer networking, IP over Avian Carriers (IPoAC) is a joke proposal to carry Internet Protocol (IP) traffic by birds such as homing pigeons.

IP over Avian Carriers

August 21, 2023

I flew on a plane from my land locked metropolis to the beach in a different state. After a few taps on my phone, I am transfigured into an expert on local marine life and tide cycles. […] The power to access infinite knowledge is intoxicating.

At the same time, I feel the Internet and these pocket computers created a world of expert idiots. We’re quick to equate a list of facts as knowledge.

Again, the access to knowledge is incredible. It’s the overwhelming confidence that comes along with it that I wonder about.

From Expert Idiot by Dave Rupert

August 18, 2023

“Stick to boring architecture for as long as possible, and spend the majority of your time, and resources, building something your customers are willing to pay for.” - Kelsey Hightower

As engineers, we are, by nature, attracted to novel solutions. However, it’s critical to discern between what’s exciting and what’s right for your use case. Often, “boring” technology – those stable, well-understood, and perhaps previous-generation tools – have a lot to offer. They are usually tried and tested, have proven scalability, and come with extensive documentation and community support.

Before adopting a new technology, ask yourself: “Does it solve a specific problem or significantly enhance my product? Is it worth the learning curve and potential instability? Is this going to help us further down the line?”

From Stick to boring architecture for as long as possible by Addy Osmani

August 18, 2023

We often romanticize the notion of programming, presenting it as an abstract form of art, a science, or even a form of magic. The truth, however, is much more practical and grounded. Code, in its essence, is communication.

Good code is sincere and unadorned with unnecessary complexity. It’s considerate, mindful of the next developer who will decipher it.

Patterns don’t just make code scalable, maintainable, and efficient, but also readable and understandable. They provide a shared vocabulary for developers, enabling them to express intricate software designs with universally recognized structures.

It does not apply patterns just for the sake of it, but because they add value to the solution, they make the code more comprehensible, and they ensure the longevity of the codebase

The beauty of our creations, however, is not judged solely by the elegance of our algorithms or the efficiency of our code, but by the joy and ease with which others can build upon our work. As developers, our task is not just to solve today’s problems but also to ensure we do not become tomorrow’s problem.

From Good code is like a love letter to the next developer who will maintain it. by Addy Osmani

August 18, 2023

Good software seamlessly integrates itself into users’ lives, enhancing their capabilities and experiences without necessitating significant conscious effort on their part. In that sense, software is indeed a vehicle, its design and functionality facilitating the journey of its users from one point of need or desire to another.

Becoming lost in these tools can lead to a kind of tunnel vision, where the focus is placed more on how to leverage the latest technology than on the value that the software is intended to deliver. As a result, software projects can risk becoming technologically impressive but functionally lacking or unnecessarily complex. It is akin to constructing a sleek and state-of-the-art vehicle that, for all its advanced features, does not transport passengers comfortably or safely.

From Software is a vehicle for delivering value to people. by Addy Osmani

August 17, 2023

If your components only have one place to go, then you probably don’t need Web Components. Even if your components service a couple different apps or product teams that all use the same uniform tech stack, you probably don’t need Web Components. Where Web Components shine is when your components need to go to many places. Components in a large company not only need to go to the React app, they also need to go to the Drupal site, the old Rails app, the internal Java app, the Vue app, or the static Eleventy site some intern built; the list goes on and on. Web Components offer a path to deliver components without delivering complex build toolchains, so they can more easily graft into situations where teams face a wide surface area of languages and frameworks whether through decades of decision making, mergers and acquisitions, or chasing the latest hotness.

I’ll leave you with Rupert’s Law of Web Components: As diversity of platforms increases within your company, so does the need for Web Components.

From If I’m already using React, why should I rewrite my app with Web Components? by Dave Rupert

August 14, 2023

Remember. Every design tool available to us is just that, a tool. If you’re determined to be the best you can be, you will become that with whatever tool you choose. It’s always your creativity that is key here.

From Creativity is always key, not the tool by Marc Andrew

August 12, 2023

It is based on the intriguing idea what would have happened if the Nazis had access to the internet, social media, mobile devices and card payment systems.

The NSA department tries to show off to the Nazi regime by proving that they can find out who is hiding Jews. They do this by tracking all the food people bought over a period of time and how many people live in their flats. A huge discrepancy in those numbers indicates that there are probably more people living there than are in the official registry

Although fiction, another example of how technology control cant be used by “the good guys against the bad guys”. And how everyone should fight against this.

From What if the Nazis had the internet and social media? by Christian Heilmann

August 12, 2023

It’s a good reminder when you’re working on something to continually ask yourself about the purpose behind what you’re making. It’s very possible you might have to deviate from the “best practices” or “accepted conventions” in service of a goal that is different or beyond the tradition of any medium or form.

It’s also an intriguing example of how far a principle can take you. In their case, stealth above all else made people invent some intriguing and creative workarounds to the otherwise traditional constraints and pre-conceived notions of an airplane’s design.

In this way, best practices are kind of like a grid in design: useful to follow, but where it gets interesting is where you break out of the grid with purposeful intent.

From Stealth Airplanes & Best Practices by Jim Nielsen

August 12, 2023

I really like this article from Rohan D “Every Phone Should Be Able to Run Personal Website”.

In it, they make the convincing case that phones are perfectly capable of hosting websites and - if we want more people to escape the walled-gardens - this could be a good way to get people back into self-hosting.

I loved hosting a small site on my Nokia N95 back in the day, and I’d be overjoyed if modern phones allowed this. But there are a few pitfalls.

I LOVE this idea of truly personal and selfowned websites. Although pretty hard to do in real life.

From Should your phone be a webserver? by Terence Eden

August 10, 2023

Miller’s interest in MrBeast resulted in a new academic paper, written with Eddy Hogg, in which Miller places MrBeast in the context of a media-studies concept called the “audience commodity,” the idea that media consumption is essentially a form of labor, because people spend time creating a valuable commodity - an audience - that is then sold to advertisers.

Do users see themselves as workers?

From If my eyeballs are being resold to advertisers then it had better be worth my time by Matt Webb

August 9, 2023

Magic technology that would allow the “good guys” to hack the “bad guys” but not the “bad guys” to hack the “good guys” simply doesn’t and will never exist. It’s wishful thinking.

If a vulnerability exists, it can be used by anyone with the resources to exploit it, and in today’s interconnected and globalized world it means a lot of people.

What can go wrong when an hostile State will use the same vulnerabilities to hack your country and “influence” the elections?

Reminds me of that time that Apple tried to make its CSAM NeuralHash.

From Legalizing spyware. What can go wrong? by Sylvain Kerkour

August 9, 2023

The problem with the information paradigm is how “information” is ripped out of its context: the people, the inherited knowledge, the culture that produced it. Everything is seen as an atomic digestible, and there is little regard for the processes, conversations, debates that produced those digestibles.

With Google, all of that was shattered to the winds, indexed, optimized, and presented to you in under 100 milliseconds. Connection and commitment are irrelevant and frankly unnecessary when you can just instantly retrieve the directions in a new city with Google Maps, you can discover the most common medication based on your symptoms, and so forth. All without interacting with any single human being. Or at least not directly, because ultimately all of this comes from communities of people.

I started reading and highlighting and when i finished, almost everything was highlighted. An excellent read for the current times.

From Google shattered human connection by André Staltz

August 7, 2023

But what ultimately turns a disparate group of professionals (i.e. developers) into a community (i.e. Jamstack community) is communication and connection. Everyone working within their own silos, even if they share common interests, does not make a community. And right now there is no means remaining of connecting those folks in whatever was once a Jamstack community. The meetups are dead, the conference appears to be gone (no 2023 date has been announced) and now the Discord is gone.

Yes, many of these same people may be on the tool-specific communities, but what made them part of a larger Jamstack community was the connections beyond each specific tool.

Honestly, this is all ultimately has little impact on how developers do their jobs, whether they considered themselves Jamstack developers or not. But when it comes to those connections, it probably means a deepening siloing of developers around their specific tools.

From Is Jamstack Officially Finished? by Brian Rinaldi

August 7, 2023

Maybe it’s because blogging is often a much quieter affair than posting on social media, but I love these little blips and boops of connection. They hit harder than comments and likes and reblogs. They feel more personal. They remind me to reach out and email people (or write them a card!) when their work strikes a chord.

From One Quick, One Slow by Lucy Bellwood

Because it’s not really Twitter that I miss: it’s the activists and artists and writers I followed; the voices who weren’t like mine, the people who walked different paths than I did, each of whom taught me so much.

From Post by post. by Ethan Marcotte

Maybe for another offering, winning isn’t about constant scale or growth, but about smaller, more sustainable longer term communities. Maybe winning isn’t always about who becomes the richest and the biggest. Nothing lasts forever anyway, not the big ones and not the smaller ones. So why not allow for different kinds of winning?

From The Great Social Media Wars of 2023 by Leah Reich

August 6, 2023

For the most part, I think the RSS reader apps that we have now are actually much nicer than Google Reader ever was. So my nostalgia is very tempered. But the social features of Google Reader, I don’t think, have quite been replicated yet.

I imagine David considers it trite because, these days, the vast majority of people would use a social network to share/comment on a link. A select few might blog.

You can follow my starred articles though, thanks to a clever Feedbin feature that makes a feed out of them.

I think this is the final thing missing in the RSS world. The parts are there, you can already share your starred articles, and blog with comments in a section of yours. The only thing missing is a user experience that makes this easy for everyone.

From Social RSS by Chris Coyier

August 6, 2023

One of the most fascinating things I took away from so many of our sessions was how little people cared about our software — especially the user interface.

All they ever wanted was to get a job done, and our interface was nothing more than a delivery mechanism for the thing they actually wanted.

In fact, customers would often specifically mention how little they cared for the “usability” of our software. They vowed they’d go through the most tedious workflows imaginable if they could ultimately get the primary thing they wanted from us, which was not software.

It made me think of the different kinds of software I use and how I am willing to deal with difficult, obtuse software if it means I can get the thing I ultimately want which is often beyond the software itself. The software is often merely a means to an end.

From User Feedback by Jim Nielsen

August 5, 2023

File over app is a philosophy: if you want to create digital artifacts that last, they must be files you can control, in formats that are easy to retrieve and read. Use tools that give you this freedom.

File over app is an appeal to tool makers: accept that all software is ephemeral, and give people ownership over their data.

Today, we are creating innumerable digital artifacts, but most of these artifacts are out of our control. They are stored on servers, in databases, gated behind an internet connection, and login to a cloud service. Even the files on your hard drive use proprietary formats that make them incompatible with older systems and other tools.

From File over app by Stephan Ango

August 5, 2023

Procrastination is the state of waiting for motivation to come. Paradoxically, the most reliable way to create motivation is to start doing the thing.

Actions precede feelings. If you want to feel a certain way, create the environment that allows you to nibble your way there. Don’t hope that inspiration will come. Take a small bite. Action precedes inspiration, not the other way around.

From Nibble and your appetite will grow by Stephan Ango

August 5, 2023

Here’s what I’ll do today and it would be great if you would join me. On the website you’re working on today, find a stylesheet and add the following rule. *, *:hover { cursor: none !important; } That forces you to use the keyboard. If you find something that makes it hard or impossible to do using the keyboard, fix it! Not just for yourself but for everyone relying on keyboard accessibility. Edit: fixed code formatting

From a toot that i found in This link is only available by keyboard navigation by Terence Eden.

August 5, 2023

The function of a system is its output. If you have dog grooming machine that sometimes smashes puppies and you keep running it, you’re in the dog smashing business. If you work for a mass surveillance company that keeps enabling genocide and undermining democracy…

I don’t think you need to be civil to those people who are deliberately trying to harm you. Sure, you might get a more positive reaction if you gently cajole them or politely help them see the error of their ways. But sometimes it is important to let people know vociferously just how much their plans will hurt you and your puppies.

From I don’t think you need to be civil to puppy-smashers by Terence Eden

August 5, 2023

One of the many great things about the Fediverse (Mastodon, PixelFed, Lemmy, etc) is that your account is portable. (…) What happens to the people who blocked and muted you?

An interesting point in the fediverse world that still needs to be solved.

From Fediverse Account Portability And Blocking from Terence Eden

August 4, 2023

Yesterday I read a toot about google’s new privacy policy: google reserves the right to use any public content to train their AIs. The crazy thing about this change in their privacy policy is, of course, that it somehow gives them permission to do so, even if you never use any of their services. Simply by existing they think they have the right to use content on my website.

Google’s search results are pretty bad to begin with. There’s no clear distinction between results based on content and paid results, which makes it completely untrustworthy. You should never use their search engine (as you should probably never use any of their services).

From How to disagree with google’s privacy policy by Vasilis van Gemert

August 4, 2023

Me? I watch all of this unfold like Doctor Manhattan on Mars. I have no great connection to any of these places. They’re all just syndication endpoints to me.

When the current crop of services wither and die, my own website will still remain in full bloom.

From The syndicate by Jeremy Keith

August 1, 2023

Ask yourself: If you visit the website of your local doctor’s surgery to find out the opening hours, which browser is best: The one that displays the opening hours of the surgery, or the one that displays an XML parsing error message?

One of the great things about browsers is they’re error-tolerant, and browsers weren’t interested in giving that up.

Another excellent point about the power of the web. Even with a malformed document, browser could give you some partial information.

From The case against self-closing tags in HTML by Jake Archibald

July 30, 2023

Ultimately, we want a world where people are in control of their computing experiences. People should be able to teach their computers the meaning behind their data, and choose how that data gets transformed and displayed in helpful ways—in service of adorning our computer-embroidered reality with hundreds of individual personal expressions.

Everything by the folks at Ink & Switch is amazing, and Potluck Dynamic documents as personal software is no exception.

A clear example of how a well thought user experience, mixed with a little standarization that they call personal micro-syntax and the tools that we already been using for years, could make a WHOLE difference without needing cutting edge technology.

You could try a demo, but better go read the full article.

July 30, 2023

Documentation is one of those things that you don’t appreciate until you have to work without it—trying to make sense of a code base, library, or API without documentation can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience, and it can cause all sorts of problems for your team.

Nobody can point out shortcomings on your team quite as well as new hires can.

Good documentation not only helps your seasoned developers to navigate unfamiliar areas of the product and amass more domain knowledge, but it also helps newcomers to get up and running more quickly and familiarize themselves with your team.

In practice, good documentation should go beyond the code itself and also cover your team, the product, your work process, areas of specialization, and many other important details.

The bigger and more complex your product, the more likely it is to consist of many moving pieces that work together. Senior developers on your team probably have intimate knowledge of this data flow, but other developers may only specialize in one or two areas, and newer developers will need to spend time working with the product before they understand how all or even some of the pieces relate to one another.

Navigating a new code base on a new team at a new company without documentation is like hiking in the middle of nowhere without a map or compass: Eventually, you’re going to lose your way. Documentation—especially the right kind of documentation—can make a world of difference for your team

From Writing Better Documentation by Aleksandr Hovhannisyan

July 29, 2023

Sound is another beautiful and deep explanation full of amazing visuals by Bartosz Ciechanowski. All his posts are a treasure.

July 27, 2023

Believe it or not, a whole Internet “world” exists beyond Zuckerberg’s and Musk’s walled gardens. In fact, social media is only a part of the Internet. Extensive exploration will reveal uncounted personal blogs, many of which are informative, thought-provoking, and in many ways superior places to spend one’s online time than the social media walled gardens. I am sure you know about other sources of entertainment like Netflix, YouTube, and the many YouTube alternatives. Were you aware that hundreds of free documentary films exist on websites like Top Documentary Films, Documentary Heaven, and Open Culture? Are you aware of the free books that can be found on line? Have you visited the Gutenberg project lately, or ever? I trust you have heard of podcasts. Many unpaywalled online newspapers still exist. Have you heard of RSS feed readers for delivering content of your choosing instead of content chosen for you by an algorithm designed to addict you? My point is that social media walled gardens are actually only a small part of the Internet, and believe it or not, you can live without them.

If you have an unsatisfied need for better social media experiences, leave the slums of Facebook, Twitter, and similar billionaire-created, vermin-infested areas of the Internet and search for better places to be social. If you have been restrained in one of those pens for many years, you may not be aware of the wide variety of alternatives available. Smaller Internet communities are always springing up. Unfortunately, many are also dying, but those on the Fediverse allow you to take your data with you when they do. So, if social media is what you crave, go find better sites than the ones billionaires offer.

Find a small community that suits you. Join it and make online friends in an atmosphere that is not intended to drive you crazy because crazy makes the platform owners rich.

Perhaps the best thing about smaller social media sites is that their users know each other. Not only that, but when they have a question about or an issue with the platform, they actually have someone to talk to who they can be reasonably assured will respond. Small social sites have formed actual communities beyond the reach of billionaires who sometimes seem bent on stomping out that type of behavior at all costs. Those who run smaller sites take the time to solve problems rather than pretending they don’t exist while ignoring users’ reasonable complaints. The reason for this is that those running small sites are not focused on wasting their lives playing the so-you-want-to-be-a-billionaire game. They are focused on creating places where they too can enjoy socializing.

Avoid the toxic walled gardens. Seek out better social media sites with people you can identify with and with whom you can enjoy interacting.

I think those who are willing to spend a substantial amount of time exploring beyond the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter, and the other large social media sites will eventually learn for themselves that parts of the Internet remain unmarred by crass commercialism. Non-toxic, non-addictive, and non-depressing social media sites still exist in many hidden corners of the web and on other networks not visited by the large search engines. Valuable knowledge can still be gleaned from a large part of the Internet. Interesting conversations can still be engaged in. Online friends can still be made far beyond the control of the money-motivated gatekeepers, toxic social media networks, and psychopathic billionaires.

From Finding “The Internet” Toxic and Depressing? Consider Leaving Your Walled Garden. by Cheapskate’s Guide to Computers and the Internet

July 27, 2023

With the way the Internet works these days, if you don’t have anonymity, you don’t have privacy. […] The only way of retaining any privacy is by making the association of your identity with your traffic as difficult as possible. […] In other words, anonymity is the only guarantee you have that any private data associated with your identity will not be used against you when it is eventually sold, stolen, or turned over to some government agency. The only way of doing this is to either not give any private information in the first place or not provide a way for anyone to associate the information you give with your true identity. Since the former is not always possible these days (for example, in the case of opening an account without providing an email address or phone number), that leaves the latter.

Unfortunately, many organizations now require an email address before they will give you the time of day.

Back at the end of the 1980’s when the Internet first came to the attention of the masses, anyone who had the required knowledge, a personal computer, and an “always-on” Internet connection could run his own email server and have free email without having to deal with any sort of email provider, and he could also give his friends free email. Anyone with these resources has always been able to run his own email server because email uses an open protocol. Thanks to the inherently free nature of email (free as in freedom), most companies were simply unable to charge for email services. That would have been like charging for air to breath.

From The Age of Anonymous Email is Nearly Over by Cheapskate’s Guide to Computers and the Internet

July 27, 2023

In 100 years there will be a viral podcast or whatever about tracking down this once-famous, now-lost art, and how it ended up in the hands of a Dubai crypto speculator and then left on an abandoned and rotting blockchain. It’s weird seeing this “losing” step play out in real-time.

Whether or not the owners of /watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM have set the video to private or not, this URL now belongs to the world, and at the very least it needs to be preserved and a link added to explain what kind of monument this is.

An interesting look at how today’s content will be preserved in the future. Dont be a prisoner of walled gardens. Own your content.

From Charlie Bit My Finger should be acquired for the nation by Matt Webb

July 27, 2023

From “Whose web is it, anyway?” My axe-con talk by Bruce Lawson on how the web is the most democratizing and accesible platform to build today. Giving power and control to the user. Although i dont fully share the idea that Safari is preventing the web from moving even further

July 21, 2023

When you think about building fluid layouts these days isn’t about having fixed-width breakpoints anymore. Instead, the layouts we build today need to work on nearly any device size.

I talk with clients and designers who think responsive design is simply having a web page designed with two versions: one for desktop, and the other for mobile. This is considered an old, outdated way of dealing with the web nowadays.

First things first, right? For me, I consider that the web is responsive by default. When you think about it, adding a bunch of HTML elements without any CSS, works on any screen size.

It’s responsive by default until we decide to move things next to each other. […] So, the web is responsive by default, unless we start getting creative in designing our layouts.

From The Guide To Responsive Design In 2023 and Beyond by Ahmad Shadeed

July 21, 2023

More and more devices that we use every day that were once dumb machines now come with embedded computers and software that is often set to update automatically over the Internet. Televisions, toasters, refrigerators, automobiles, ovens, DVR’s–even speakers, light bulbs, and toothbrushes. Seemingly, whatever a manufacturer can possibly stuff a computer into is now fair game. And we are told that we must update our software constantly, because ransomware gangs and other criminals are prowling every IP address on the Internet looking for vulnerable devices to pry their way into.

One may point to multiple examples in which bad software updates have led to great inconvenience for their owners. One was highlighted by Apple’s 113 million court settlement in 2020 over iOS updates that slowed the operation the iPhone 7 and 6S. In fact, the slowdown was so severe that some customers felt the need to buy new iPhones. Another event occurred in 2019 when a Chinese NIO electric automobile stopped in traffic and imprisoned its occupant for over an hour after it was disabled by an over-the-air software update. At least one Lucid Air EV was also disabled the same way in 2022. Windows users are very familiar with reports over the years of certain Windows updates breaking users’ computers. And finally, a recent automatic update of firmware that was designed to prevent the use of third-party ink “rendered some models of HP OfficeJet printers useless for weeks”. Customers were forced to mail their printers back to HP for repairs.

From Automatic Software Updates: Blessing or Curse?

July 17, 2023

Reading Whose Cert Is It Anyway? by Jan Schaumann i found the following bug reports that are hilarous, along some of its comments. Add Honest Achmed’s root certificate, Add my root CA cert to mozilla’s trusted root CA cert list, Security concerns with the e-Tugra certificate authority

Resolved invalid? What’s the difference between Honest Achmed and the other CAs? Just an audit report? The community should chip in!

Considering the problems at DigiNotar I vote for giving Honest Achmed a second chance!

The reality is that nobody really cares, nothing that bad has happened (at least in the western world, ignoring the spyware and dead journalists, and repression in various countries). I have a briefing on this and it boils down to “if you want to be especially paranoid do what VISA does (https://developer.visa.com/pages/trusted_certifying_authorities), there’s no point in trying to prevent bad CAs from getting in or staying in”.

And finally, a quote from the article itself

If you’re wondering whether you really need to have over 160 different CAs in your trust bundle, I suspect the answer is “no”; you could likely get away with fewer than 20 and wouldn’t notice the difference. But whether that’s a good thing, whether it’s wise for the entire internet to place all – well, >99% – of its certificates/eggs into fewer than 10 CAs/baskets seems more than questionable.

It seems that we arent living the decentraliced dream that we believe, and the security of all the internet is at hands of a few companies.

July 17, 2023

User Experience matters. That’s why Usenet lost. It was hard to set up, there was a ton of terminology to learn, sticky posts with group etiquette didn’t exist, trolls and grieffers couldn’t be moderated away, and the whole thing looked like a 1990s shareware accountancy package.

I’m a little sad that Reddit is further enclosing the commons. And I doubt this will lead to a resurgence in Usenet. But I hope it will give open source and open standards developers a little jolt towards designing user experiences which are fun and easy to use.

From Why did Usenet fail? by Terence Eden

July 16, 2023

Screenshot of the feature

Reading Animated Pride Flags (a beautiful and wonderful post as everything that he does) by Josh W. Comeau, i found about The Trevor Project and this EXCELLENT feature.

Press ESC three times and leave the site, even replacing the current history entry.

Although is extremly awful and sad that this kind of features have to exists in our world

July 16, 2023

But to answer your question, the World Wide Web never stays still so there’s always something to get excited about. Equally, the longer the web exists, the more sense it makes to examine the fundamental bedrock—HTML, accessibility,progressive enhancement—and see how they’re just as important as ever. And that’s also something to get excited about!

Seriously though, the thing that’s really bugged me for the past decade is the increasing complexity of “modern” frontend development when it isn’t driven by user needs. Yes, I’m talking about JavaScript frameworks like React and the assumption that everything should be a single page app.

Honestly, the mindset became so ubiquitous that I felt like I must be missing something. But no, the situation really has spiralled out of control, much to the detriment of end users.

From Five questions by Jeremy Keith

July 15, 2023

We ended up with a lot of these meta-commands. ParallelCommand, LoopCommand, ConditionalCommand…the list goes on. The more we did this, the worse it felt to me. We were basically creating a crappy programming language out of Java classes. And while this did make things a little more reusable, it doubled the boilerplate and split it into tiny pieces.

The students really struggled with this. It’s already difficult for beginners to reason about a single function, much less a meta-function whose pieces are spread across ten different files. I struggled with this when I was a student too, with my commands stomping on each other, ruining each other’s exit conditions, etc.

And at the end of the day, none of this even looks like programming. We would teach students how to write procedural code, with if statements and loops and local variables, and then our autonomous code would throw it all out the window. They weren’t writing Java any more, they were writing Command Code.

After using coroutines successfully for a couple years, I can confidently say that we are never going back. For the first time in a decade, our autonomous code feels like code, and the students can actually write it!

Notice how none of these things have to do with how the program actually works. Although they can’t articulate it, beginners can recognize when they are not learning anything tangible or useful. If you have a hard time persuading a student that some idea is important, consider that it probably isn’t.

Commands were a perfect example of this. No amount of explaining the lifecycle methods of init, execute, isFinished, and end really stuck with the students - I was always met with blank stares.

From Coroutines make robot code easy by Ben Visness

July 15, 2023

Because Google is Google, the only thing that we as users can trust is that if they can make money with ads, the product is more likely to live, otherwise it’s going to die.

Google has sunk its teeth into our daily lives with Gmail and Google Calendar and YouTube and Drive (and more), and they’ve made these tools (amongst others, Google Domains included) really convenient. They all just work together, and their APIs are solid enough that third party developers can build off of them relatively easily. And because they own the APIs as a centralized system, developers are at the whim of whatever they decide to change. They can monetize it however they want, and control how content is served to an extent.

When you use communication software that is fully proprietary, you’re at the mercy of the creators of that software and how (and sometimes what) they want you to communicate. When you use software based on open standards, you’re able to more easily transfer how you communicate and work to other platforms if you want to.

When you contribute to the standard in addition to your own software, you’re benefitting everyone, which is ultimately good for your business.

From Open standards, trust, and Google by Cassidy Williams

July 14, 2023

Look at almost any job posting for front-end development and you’ll see that CSS still isn’t valued as its own skill. Never mind that you could specialise in a subset of CSS—layout, animation, architecture—and provide 10× value to an organisation, the recruiters are going to play it safe and ask you if you know React.

Rachel Nabors and I were chatting about this gap between the real and perceived value of modern CSS. She astutely pointed out that CSS is kind of a victim of its own resilience. The way you wrote CSS ten years ago still works, and will continue to work. That’s by design. Yes, you can write much better, more resilient CSS today, but if those qualities aren’t valued by an organisation, then you’re casting your pearls before swine.

That said, it’s also true that the JavaScript you wrote ten years ago also continues to work today and will continue to work in the future. So why is it that devs seem downright eager to try the latest JavaScript hotness but are reluctant to use CSS that’s been stable for years?

Or perhaps that’s not an accurate representation of the JavaScript ecosystem. It may well be that the eagerness only extends to libraries and frameworks. There’s reluctance to embrace native JavaScript APIs like Proxy or web components. There’s a weird lack of trust in web standards, and an underserved faith in third-party libraries.

She compared the number of “front-end” conferences dedicated to JavaScript—over 50 listed on one website—to the number of conferences dedicated to CSS. There’s just one. CSS Day.

From Days of style and standards by Jeremy Keith

July 12, 2023

The idea is that if I found it confusing, lots of other people probably did too, even though the information might theoretically be out there on the internet somewhere. Just because there is information on the internet, it doesn’t get magically teleported into people’s brains!

technology changes, and the details matter. Maybe the exact details about how to do something have changed in the last 5 years, and there isn’t much written about the situation in 2023!

I think the reason I keep writing these blog posts encouraging people to blog is that I love reading people’s personal stories about how they do stuff with computers, and I want more of them.

I’ve looked at page view analytics a lot in my life, and I’ve never really gotten anything out of it. Comments like this one mean a lot more to me:

Hey, @b0rk. Just wanted to let you know that this post really helped me to improve my skill of understanding a complex concept. Thanks! :) If it helps one person, I figure I’ve won. And probably it helped 10 other people who didn’t say anything too!

Blogging isn’t for everyone. Tons of amazing developers don’t have blogs or personal websites at all. I write because it’s fun for me and it helps me organize my thoughts.

From Some blogging myths by Julia Evans

July 12, 2023

This demand touches absolutely everything, and shapes the evolution of web technologies in ways I don’t think we fully appreciate. You want to add a new selector type? It has to be performant. This is what blocked :has() (and similar proposals) for such a long time. It wasn’t difficult to figure out how to select ancestor elements — it was very difficult to figure out how to do it really, really fast, so as not to lower typical rendering speed below that magic 60fps. The same logic applies to new features like view transitions, or new filter functions, or element exclusions, or whatever you might dream up. No matter how cool the idea, if it bogs rendering down too much, it’s a non-starter.

From First-Person Scrollers by Eric Meyer

July 12, 2023

It’s kind of amazing you can create a whole new platform/device and everything on the web “Just Works”.

It’s 2023 and would you look at that: semantic, accessible HTML is still as important as ever. HTML isn’t just for old beige tower computers connected to cathode-ray tube monitors. It’s being relied on by the most technologically advanced AR/VR consumer device in 2023.

From Thoughts from “Meet Safari for Spatial Computing” by Jim Nielsen