So, some drama happened recently that resulted in my personal info being sent out to an undesired context. Oh, don't worry. It wasn't anything targeted, or sinister. An honest fuck up by those who didn't mean ill. But it nonetheless threw me for a loop.
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UPDATE: just to clarify that any implication that Dan Abramov was having a Twitter break because of a tantrum was unwarranted. It seems he was taking a self-care break after dealing with all the awfulness of Twitter. We feel you, Dan.
Having spent a week DIYing, I find myself thinking of devs who claim "I can do anyone else's job, but no one else can do mine". Mate, as the daughter of a Trade family, I implore you go work on a construction site for a month. I guarantee that it will fucking BREAK you. You couldn't handle it. I say this as someone who grew up on building sites, who drove diggers, who learned to saw before she could write.
"But code is hard, and manual stuff is easy". Haha, NO. Code is currently WELL PAID, which is why you think it's hard. That's a very different thing from one actually being more difficult than the other. (Homework: reflect on how you use capitalism to determine the worth of others)
Dark matter permeates the universe. In fact it does more than permeate. It is the universe. 85% percent of everything that exists is actually dark matter. We can't detect it, we can't see it. But it's there. In fact, the universe that we actually perceive, what you and I are made of, is the so-called Baryonic matter, a mere percentage froth on top of the deep dark universe that we are scarcely aware of.
I was perhaps thinking about dark matter when I read this tweet from Andy Bell.
A11y Club is super fab, and I always love coming here. Here's some live notes.
Quite possibly the most inspirational event that I've ever been to. I will 100% recommend Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf to anyone who cares about design and humanity and tech. I'm trying to record my notes here for those talks I attend.
Let’s say I wanna bring back webrings. How should I build it?— Tatiana Mac (@TatianaTMac) April 6, 2019
First communities are gonna be #a11y, #PerfMatters, #CSSGrid, and #BoyBandWebmasters.
(ICYMI: Webrings were curated communities with dope badges that you could explore with simple `< prev` and `next >` links.)
When I saw this tweet by the ebullient and lovely Tatiana Mac I was intrigued. What would it take to bring webrings back?
While I was away traveling last week I received slightly befuddling few tweets:
"Really glad that they made a show about @sonniesedge's username".
I spent most of this week travelling in the UK for work. As always, a visit to the motherland was simultaneously comforting and intensely weird. I always forget that London is enormous, and it can be utterly overwhelming after being in Berlin. I also forget that Londoners are decadent and spend-happy in a way that I would find disgusting in Berlin. I do not blame Londoners for this, but instead blame the prevalence of contactless payment cards, and the delicious food and drink everywhere.
My flight from Berlin to London was delayed and I was forced to spend seven unnecessary hours in Tegel Airport. This must surely fall under some kind of UN declaration against cruel and unusual punishment.
I've heard the phrase "week note" bandied about by some people. I love the idea: each week you sit down and you force yourself to write, summarising the previous seven days, and anything interesting you've found out during them. As someone who fancies herself as a writer (in the full Victorian sense), but rarely types anything more creative than a policy document, this forced writing mode is very appealing. So. - I've spent far, far, FAR too long fucking about with my website. Having started out with Geocities, then HTML, then Moveable Type, then Wordpress, the Drupal, then Jekyll, then Hugo, then Metalsmith, then Craft CMS, I have finally landed back at Drupal. No, don't fucking scoff at that. For a start, I know it well: I contracted as a Drupal developer for several years. I've been through the enormously steep learning curve (a curve not owing to particularly high tech features, but simply because there's so many ways of dealing with it all). Secondly, it's well supported, has a huge community, and perfectly serves my primary need. Namely, owning my own data...
I've always known that my family was Irish descended in some way. We're too prone to doughiness and large multi-generational households to be anything but that. What with Brexit looking to be an absolute shitshow and me wanting to, you know, make the effor to STILL BE EUROPEAN, I thought it'd be worth looking into my family history in detail. Someone recommended ancestry.co.uk to me for this. I was skeptical at first, but my god it is actually incredibly useful. If you're interested in this kind of thing then pay the money for it - it's worth it. You can hook into existing searches done by others, you can easily look up births marriages and deaths. It's so easy and amazing! (Ancestry.co.uk, please feel free to sponsor me at any point).
I have officially (lol, officially) migrated my blog from a Metalsmith static site to Craft CMS, hosted by Fortrabbit. I really enjoyed working with Metalsmith and Netlify. It was fantastic to have such a small tiny core app that you could expand out as you needed to. Netlify made building and deployment an absolute breeze.
reserve all other single-letter-dash prefixes for future use. In practice we have seen very little (if any) use of single-letter-dash prefixing of class names by web developers/designers, and thus in practice we think this will have little if any impact/collisions. Certainly far fewer than existing generic microformat property class names like "title", "note", "summary". Ah, well, no. Lots of people use single letter prefixes for CSS. The global company that I work for does exactly this. Famous web authors use it.
I'm experimenting with serving the content of this static site from Dropbox, rather than Github. While deploying from Github is a million times easier than dealing with the Dropbox SDK, I've found myself blocked from writing by not wanting to go through the annoyance of writing a file, applying frontmatter, commiting to git (which might mean stashing work on another branch, and pushing it. I've also found myself not wanting to write drafts on the site, fearing that some overly interested imaginary horde is going to read the public Github codebase and critique my pre-published prose.
I've just spent the day at IndieWeb Camp Berlin. It's been so amazing hanging around with some very lovely and clever people, all talking about how the web should be owned by the people who use it, rather than the corporations mining it for data.
The event is being hosted at Mozilla's Berlin HQ. Those Mozillan's are provided with snacks, drinks and a beautiful view in a way that makes my eyes water with envy.
When I saw a speculative article about Google wanting to "kill" URLs appear in my news feed, I didn't think too much about it.
Trying to hide "ugly" URLs... well, that feels like a natural thing for an app to try and do. Designers of apps often (erroneously) assume that users cannot cope with "technical" things like URLs and try to hide them away, lest the user start bleeding from their eyes.
When I first got on Twitter it was like usenet in the 90s. Just a bunch of people talking shit about things that they enjoyed. It was small enough that everyone seemed to know each other, but large enough that there were still interesting nerdy people to find and get to know and enjoy the company of. The perfect little club.
But at some point it went horribly wrong.
I've just pushed a commit to my site that will remove Google Analytics tracking from this site for good. It was just 4 or 5 lines of code, but it represented me being complicit in the tracking of you, the beautiful person reading this, as you moved across the web.
My girlfriend recently attended an introduction to data science workshop at Thoughtworks that assumed that the attendees had a working knowledge of package managers and tech tooling. As she's an actual, you know, post-doctoral research scientist helping build insights into Alzheimer's Disease, she really doesn't have to time to fuck around learning tech tools for fun, and so didn't have a machine ready to deal with this stuff. But being the kind soul that I am (and who likes having a happy partner), I wrote up how to get a machine working with data science tech tools, and I'm sharing it with you here.
I know, I know, my life is simply too exciting.