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No More Shame

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.

The info itself wasn't dreadful or violating. It was something that many of you already know. But having it blasted into a new area made me realise how much awful power that info has over me. The resulting fear and anxiety from the leak made me realise how much of a horrible semi-closeted life I lead on this matter.

It made me


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.

So, #ReactGate has become a thing. What's been fomenting for a while blew up last week, with two prominent White Men In Tech having little tantrum Twitter breaks, and a wonderful woman of colour working as a dev/designer feeling she is no longer welcome in our industry and planni

Construction work, code, and what we value

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 ac

The Real Dark Web

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

A11y Club is super fab, and I always love coming here. Here's some live notes.

Manuel Matuzović - Accessible React

8 tips for React apps.

1. Create a sound document outline

  • Screen readers navigate by headings. Skip direct to heading.
  • React heading component. Automatically sets heading levels.
  • use tools to determine outline. Toberly?
  • also benefits SEO

2. Hide content correctly

  • You can hide headings visually.
  • Don't use display: none as it hides things from a11y tree
  • But

Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf 2019

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.

Sonnie's Edge

While I was away traveling last week I received slightly befuddling few tweets:

"Really glad that they made a show about @sonniesedge's username".

@sonniesedge omg have you seen this thing with you in???”


It wasn't until my return to Berlin that I was able to search for what they’re talking about and found a new Netflix series called Love, De

Week note 2

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

Week Note 1

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 f

The Old Country

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 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 i

CMS Procrastination

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.

But it was a constant toil to get anything working in Metalsmith - it assumes you're going to write everything


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 Friday 21 September, 2018

CMS via Dropbox

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.<

IndieWeb Camp Berlin 2018

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.

Some interesting highlights included...

Microsub on the indieweb

The mysterious case of missing URLs and Google's AMP

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.

In fact some browsers already go so far as hiding parts of the URL. Safari, for examp

It's time to say goodbye to Twitter

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.

Because fast forward a decade and an average day on Twitter is witnessing virulent transphobia, arguing with literal nazis, and spending resulting time blocking all those fucks and their followers and living in an

Removing Site Tracking

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.

Google Analytics is in the same breed of tracking software as Facebook, and I'm sure you all know how vehemently against Facebook I am ("Facebook are fucks" is my official statement). So why would I allow one of those things on my site, but not the other, when they enable exactly the same level of awfulness

Getting started with data science tools

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 day without JavaScript

As I write this it's raining outside, and I'm trying to avoid having to go out into the murk and watch the Germans conduct their annual diversity maneuvers. I've therefore decided to pass my time by doing the one thing that counts as a religious crime in web dev land: I'm going to turn off javascript in my browser and see what sites work and what sites don't.

I know, I know, my life is simply too exciting.

Now, I know that because I write a lot about the universal web and progressive enhancement, people assume that I must hate ja