September 2018

  1. Undertale

    Videogame, 2015

    Played on Mac 30 September 2018

    Brilliant in mechanics and narrative. Absolutely fantastic soundtrack. Got a bit too high on its own supply at the end there, which left me somewhat emotionally detached. That disconnect might just have been due to expectations, though: I was anticipating a more adult-ish, less “anime” overarching feeling. But I guess anime is real.

  2. My struggle to learn React
    bradfrost.com

    Brad Frost:

    JavaScript is eating the world and the rest of the frontend stack with it. Those server-side languages people used to write in? Node. HTML? JSX. Styling? We do that in JS now too. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are three sturdy, capable languages that each have their own histories, nuances, and best practices. I do worry that as we author more and more in JS we risk losing those hard-won HTML/CSS best practices. Of course, it’s totally possible to preserve those HTML/CSS best practices even as we write everything in JS, which is why I want to make sure libraries like React are accessible to frontend people like me who don’t come from a JavaScript/programming background.

  3. Upgrade

    Film, 2018

    Watched 13 September 2018

    Cool and exciting, but the low budget/high ambition combo leaves it stuck in a sort of uncanny valley — the kind of sci-fi that never quite manages to hide its seams. Still, very enjoyable and made me wish for more cyberpunk movies. I’ll probably go watch Ghost in the Shell for the fiftieth time now.

  4. The top four web performance challenges
    adactio.com

    At the top of Jeremy’s list, other people’s Javascript:

    At number one with a bullet, it’s all the crap that someone else tells us to put on our websites. Analytics. Ads. Trackers. Beacons. “It’s just one little script”, they say. And then that one little script calls in another, and another, and another.

    It’s so disheartening when you’ve devoted your time and energy into your web font loading strategy, and optimising your images, and unbundling your JavaScript …only to have someone else’s JavaScript just shit all over your nice performance budget.

  5. Design with Difficult Data
    alistapart.com

    Steven Garrity:

    The inability to deal with long strings of text is the most basic and maybe most common way components can fail when coming in contact with real data. You thought the tab would be labelled “Settings”? Well, now it’s called “Application Preferences.” Oh, and the product launches tomorrow.

  6. Google Wants to Kill the URL
    wired.com

    Lily Hay Newman, for Wired:

    Google's Chrome browser turns 10 today, and in its short life it has introduced a lot of radical changes to the web. From popularizing auto-updates to aggressively promoting HTTPS web encryption, the Chrome security team likes to grapple with big, conceptual problems. That reach and influence can be divisive, though, and as Chrome looks ahead to its next 10 years, the team is mulling its most controversial initiative yet: fundamentally rethinking URLs across the web.

  7. The Nerdwriter: AKIRA — How To Animate Light
    youtube.com

    Evan Puschak:

    Otomo has said that he wanted Tokyo itself to be a major character in Akira, and one of the ways he fleshes this out is with light. Particularly, neon.

    Neon has a special significance for both Tokyo and the cyberpunk genre. It is the bitter, but beautiful light that signifies both the colorful radiance and the gaudy consumerism of modernity.

    Man, this movie is just so cool. I rewatched it recently; it has lost none of its power to mesmerize me.

  8. Accessibility is not a feature.
    ethanmarcotte.com

    Ethan Marcotte:

    Lately, I’ve been reflecting on some of the language I use to talk about accessibility—or, more specifically, to talk about the people I’m designing for. Like, I’ve spoken in the past about “screen reader users” or “users who navigate primarily by keyboard.” (Heck, maybe you have too.) And I’ve been wondering if that language is problematic, since it implicitly treats those groups as monoliths: as though every single person using a given piece of assistive technology would browse, behave, and think exactly the same. In other words, if two different people visit your site with the same speaking browser, each of those people will have their own expectations of how a website should work, and how information will be arranged.