The missing links.
- Elegant and simple solution by Mr. M. that shows breakpoint information during website development. So simple that it surprises me this isn’t being used widely yet.
Emil Björklund adds a slight twist and a few notes.
- VERY cute animated avatar. Simple, subtle, efficient animations FTW!
- Excellent article about designing with grids. Not exactly a tutorial; more like a showcase of how to bring all those grid elements together to form a nice, and above all non-standard site design.
- Good piece by Ronald Méndez on ALA about earning a seat at the table as a front-end engineer. His early steps mirror the ones I made about ten years earlier: the biggest change was me just sitting down with graphic designers to go over their work before showing it to clients. This worked amazingly, as Ronald also found.
Anyway, worth a read if you feel under-appreciated as a web developer.
- Stuart muses about collecting data, and shows that it’s possible to collect meaningful data without compromising individual users’ privacy. The trick is that users should lie. Not all the time, and not all the users, but you should ask a certain percentage of your users to lie.
If, say, 10% of Chrome users say they use Firefox and 10% of Firefox users say they use Chrome, the aggregate browser use statistics remain roughly the same, but you cannot say with certainty which browser an individual is using.
Unfortunately, the technique causes accessibility issues because screen readers cannot follow CSS order — just DOM order. So they ignore the sorting.
It seems to me we can invoke progressive enhancement for some problems. Table isn’t sorted? Pity; it works OK enough without being sorted. Patrick Lauke disagreed, but I feel he’s arguing strictly from a worst-case scenario.
Anyway, make up your own mind — as long as you remember CSS variables are awesome.
- Frank Chimero defines spaghetti toolchains. I wish I thought of that term.
simply npm your webpack via grunt with vue babel or bower to react asdfjkl;lkdhgxdlciuhw
[...] Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager. That’s when I closed my laptop and slowly backed away from it. We’re a long way from the CSS Zen Garden where I started.
If you go talk to a senior software developer, you’ll probably hear them complain about spaghetti code. [...] while I can’t identify spaghetti code as a designer, I sure as hell know about spaghetti workflows and spaghetti toolchains. It feels like we’re there now on the web.
- Chris Coyier reacts to that article. He doesn’t exactly disagree, but points out that the web is a big place, and while some sites don’t need complexity, others do.
Developers generally aren't asked to innovate on the business and product side. They build what they are told to, so they use their smarts to innovate on their own tools.
What I’m afraid of, though, is that today a simple website is regarded as a sub-optimal solution. A website has to opt into everything the web has to offer, or ... well, I’m not sure why, but there must be a huge downside to not making it complex.
We talk about complexity, but it's all opt-in. A wonderfully useful (and simple) website of a decade ago remains wonderfully useful and simple. Fortunately for all involved, the web, thus far, has taken compatibility quite seriously. Old websites don't just break.
- An inside look at Facebook in the 2016 campaign, and more in general the way it sells ads, with controversial ads getting a discount.
No Russians necessary. The Russian involvement existed, but it was hyped up by the tech caste in order to show that technology was still magic, and was gratefully accepted by “moderate” right-wing voters wishing to be absolved from Trump — and possibly hardcore Clinton supporters wanting to shift blame away from her.
The Trump and Clinton campaigns bid ruthlessly for the same online real estate in front of the same swing-state voters. But because Trump used provocative content to stoke social media buzz, and he was better able to drive likes, comments, and shares than Clinton, his bids received a boost from Facebook’s click model, effectively winning him more media for less money.
As Matt Yglesias said:
Given that Trump’s strongest support is among the least-online generation we should be a little skeptical of attributing anything to digital wizardry.
- Jeremy continues last week’s AMP discussion with the fundamental question: should we countenance companies’ power over the web, even if they mostly use their power for good?
One of my greatest fears for the web is that building it becomes the domain of a professional priesthood. Anything that raises the bar to writing some HTML or CSS makes me very worried. Usually it’s toolchains that make things more complex, but in this case the barrier to entry is being brought right into the browser itself.
[...] some CSS will be off-limits until they meet the entry requirements of HTTPS …even though CSS and HTTPS have literally nothing to do with one another. [...]
No doubt Mozilla (and the W3C Technical Architecture Group) believe that they are doing the right thing. [...] They believe that, in this particular case, the ends justify the means.
I strongly disagree.
- Interesting examples of AR by Luke Wroblewski.
- Samsung puts on its first own web conference, Samsung Create. I approve of browser makers setting up their own conferences. It makes the engineers accessible to web developers, and allows both sides to find out what the other is thinking. Also, I approve of more browser vendors, since it helps diversity. Pity the conference is in San Francisco; let’s hope for a European edition. Also a pity there’s not much more information yet.
- And Tomi gives us the definitive 2017 smartphone stats.
WTF is BBK? Read the article; was new for me, too.
- Have a tip for the next Linkbait? Or a comment on this one? Let me know (or here or here).