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August 2019

  1. Less Data Doesn’t Mean a Lesser Experience
    timkadlec.com

    Tim Kadlec explores strategies for dealing with the Save-Data header without degrading the experience, because not every user that enables it will be aware of the potential consequences:

    The possibilities are endless. If you treat data as a constraint in your design and development process, you’ll likely be able to brainstorm a large number of different ways to keep data usage to a minimum while still providing an excellent experience. Doing less doesn’t mean it has to feel broken.

  2. Lucas Pope on the challenge of creating Obra Dinn’s 1-bit aesthetic
    pcgamer.com

    PC Gamer’s Steven T. Wright interviews Lucas Pope on the process of creating Return of the Obra Dinn:

    “When you’re developing a game as one person, you have a lot of advantages and a lot of disadvantages,” he says. “One of the advantages is that you can afford to make a game for two years without even really knowing what it is, which is exactly what I did. One of the disadvantages is that you have to do something different visually to stand out. This means I have to solve all sorts of problems that nobody else has solved, at least recently. But I think that can be fun in its own right.”

    The game’s development seems to have been more of a process of discovery and improvisation than one of decisive creativity. That explains a lot.

  3. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    Watched 26 August 2019

    It might be a case of too much of a good thing, but I was not as entranced by this one as I was with the others. It might have benefited from a bit more breathing room around the mayhem, more of an emotional connection to its origins, maybe even (dare I say it?) a little less violence. It is spectacular, but numbingly so.

  4. Return of the Obra Dinn

    Played 16–18 August 2019 on Mac

    A man's skeleton lies on the deck of a large 19th century ship; it's seen from the first person view of someone holding a pocket watch bearing a skull design.

    A masterpiece of game design. An impossible combination of brilliant ideas and flawless execution that is so unlike any other game I’ve ever played, it’s hard to understand how it could even be conceived.

  5. What I Like About Eleventy
    daverupert.com

    Dave Rupert is, like me, a longtime Jekyll user. He’s trying out Eleventy — which I’m super curious about — and getting good results. The massive performance difference when compared to Jekyll is very compelling to me, but so is the flexibility to write little bits of code to extend functionality without much fuss:

    On the Cathedral vs. Bazaar spectrum, Eleventy operates more on the bazaar end. By that I mean it doesn’t prescribe much. You want a bunch of filters? Write your own, Eleventy only comes with two. You want multiple layouts? Write a bit of JS to get those registered. Did you remember to setup an .eleventyignore? Even the Sass and JS pipelines are BYO.

  6. Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It
    wired.com

    Zeynep Tufekci on the miracle of open source software:

    As a social scientist myself, I can say that convincing a colleague from the past that Wikipedia and Linux actually work the way they do would be a pretty huge lift. Given the assumption, common to many 20th-century schools of thought, that humans act in incorrigibly selfish ways, the notion that tens of thousands of people would collaborate to create, respectively, a living monument to human knowledge and a foundational piece of computing infrastructure, free of charge, simply sounds too fanciful.

  7. IndieWeb Link Sharing
    mxb.dev

    Max Böck:

    Posting a new short “note” on my site currently requires me to commit a new markdown file to the repository on Github. That’s doable (for a developer), but not really convenient, especially when you’re on the go and just want to share a quick link.

    It me.

    The new link sharing basically has three main parts:

    • a small Javascript bookmarklet to act as a “share button”
    • a form that collects and sends the shared link data, and
    • a serverless function to process it and create a new file.

    Gotta get on this train! I’m already working on it, though my solution will be based on the Micropub spec. But that live preview is sweet and now I want it too.

  8. A Framework for Moderation
    stratechery.com

    Ben Thompson on internet content moderation:

    The top of the stack is about broadcasting — reaching as many people as possible — and while you may have the right to say anything you want, there is no right to be heard. Internet service providers, though, are about access — having the opportunity to speak or hear in the first place. In other words, the further down the stack, the more legality should be the sole criteria for moderation; the further up the more discretion and even responsibility there should be for content.

    This passage made me feel a little queasy but I think I agree?

    I ultimately reject the idea that publishing on the Internet is a right that must be guaranteed by 3rd parties. Stand on the street corner all you like, at least your terrible ideas will be limited by the physical world. The Internet, though, with its inherent ability to broadcast and congregate globally, is a fundamentally more dangerous medium that is by-and-large facilitated by third parties who have rights of their own.

  9. Why Don’t I Read All My Books?
    lithub.com

    Karen Olsson thinks about the importance of the many books she owns but will never read:

    Perhaps in some cases it has actually meant more to me to possess a book than to read it, because as long as its contents remain unknown to me, it retains its mystery. The unread book is a provocation, a promise of something that might dissipate if I slogged my way through the text. I’ve read a little of Cave, City, and Eagle’s Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2, a sumptuous art book about a 16th-century pictorial manuscript from Mexico […]. I keep this book around even though I don’t wish to make anything of it in a literal sense—I don’t want to write fiction or nonfiction or a nutty screenplay about a mesoamerican document, but I wish for it to somehow whisper in my ear while I write something not at all about the map, for its enigmatic presence to leave some ineffable trace.

    I love this idea, and I must admit that I suffer from the same affliction. Design books, self-help books, nonfiction books… I want them to somehow transmit that “ineffable trace” to me just by virtue of sitting on my desk, mostly unread; no matter how many cookbooks I buy, it seems I always end up going to Serious Eats when I need a recipe.

    I’m trying to read more by divorcing the physicality of owning a book from the process of reading it, so I bought an eReader. Now I get paper versions of the books I want to own, and digital versions of the ones I want to read. Totally normal, I know.

  10. Fast Software, the Best Software
    craigmod.com

    Craig Mod:

    Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile without necessarily knowing why.

  11. Speed Racer

    Rewatched 2 August 2019

    Speed Racer's car spins around the racetrack as all of its colors vividly blend together like liquid.

    Our world doesn’t deserve the unbridled vibrancy and earnestness of Speed Racer. The climactic Grand Prix is so dazzling I had to watch it twice. This film gets better every time I watch it, and I suspect I’ll be doing it quite a few more times.

  12. Ooops, I guess we’re full-stack developers now.
    full-stack.netlify.com

    Chris Coyier’s latest talk puts all the complexity of modern front-end development in perspective:

    All the very huge responsibilities front-end developers already have:

    • Pulling of the design
    • Making the design part of a system
    • Making sure it is accessible
    • Worrying about the performance
    • Testing things across browsers
    • Testing things across devices
    • Sweating the UX

    Oh hello, big pile of new responsibilities

    • Component-driven design, designing our own abstractions
    • Site-level architecture
    • Routing
    • Fetching our own data
    • Talking to APIs
    • Mutating data
    • State management

    Oof.

  13. The Real Dark Web
    sonniesedge.net

    Charlie Owen:

    The vast majority of respondents are still using Sass and vanilla CSS? Wow! This made me pause and think. Because I feel there’s an analogy here between that unseen dark matter, and the huge crowd of web developers who are using such “boring” technology stacks.

    These developers are quietly building their sites and apps, day in, day out. But they are rendered invisible as they are not making use of the cutting-edge technologies that the 1% of the bleeding edge love to talk about.

    They are the 99% of the web universe that is quietly getting on, not blogging about their technology stack, not publishing amazing new tooling. Simply building things.

    Sass and not much else? It me. Though I am using some state-of-the-art tech like the fancy underlines made possible by CSS Text Decoration Module Level 4 😎