Kind of fun, but weird. And not weird in a good way — weird in a “not sure what it wants to be” way. It tries to be a thriller, but the plot is way too messy and clichéd to be interesting. It tries to be a comedy, but there is no real intent to the humor; just a residual layer of silliness, no courage about it. I guess this tone was intentional, but it simply did not work for me. The longer it went on, the less satisfying it became.
Felt rushed and incomplete. The interview with Billy McFarland did not really add much depth, and several of the more interesting people featured in the Netflix documentary were missing altogether. The poorly-edited-in internet memes and patronizing attitude detracted from the experience and eroded the point being made. Meh.
The human factor of keeping a science project going for 500 years seems a lot more complicated than the actual science:
Opening vials, adding water, and counting colonies that grow from rehydrated bacteria is easy. The hard part is ensuring someone will continue doing this on schedule well into the future. The team left a USB stick with instructions, which Möller realizes is far from adequate, given how quickly digital technology becomes obsolete. They also left a hard copy, on paper. “But think about 500-year-old paper,” he says, how it would yellow and crumble. “Should we carve it in stone? Do we have to carve it in a metal plate?” But what if someone who cannot read the writing comes along and decides to take the metal plate as a cool, shiny relic, as tomb raiders once did when looting ancient tombs?
David Heinemeier Hansson thinks that web design quality is at risk of regressing now that it’s increasingly difficult for designers to work directly with code:
Amazon has embedded itself so thoroughly into the infrastructure of modern life, and into the business models of so many companies, including its competitors, that it’s nearly impossible to avoid it.
I expected the charm and fuzzy feelings, but not the nuanced, topical take on immigration, delivered with the utmost efficacy. Bravo!
It’s all very wholesome and hard to criticize, though I think it could have benefited from some more Spirited Away-style bittersweetness, and a more complex antagonist. But hey, it works.
Sidenote: the wonderful art direction somehow reminded me of Spielberg’s Tintin and, in contrast, how much of a disappointment that was.
Still on the topic of web development job titles, Andy Bell hits the nail on the head. This paragraph describes my exact problem assigning a title to myself:
I tried to avoid the issue altogether and go with a short description instead of a title — “design and code for the web” is what I ended up with. But when pressed for a title, I do fall back to “front-end web developer,” which feels lamer every time I say it.
Andy suggests “web designer.” Despite the baggage, it does seem to fit the bill. I like it. I promptly added myself to Andy’s personalsit.es directory with that as my top tag.
It’s 2019, and I have a blog now. This party is just getting started, right?
I managed to cheat the system and avoid kicking things off with an empty slate; I began collecting links about a year ago, and my notes go even further back. Looking at the whole feed, it’s beginning to look like something.
I expect to continue posting small updates frequently, but I want to turn that momentum into more substantial writing. That’s the exciting (and scary) part of this endeavor — the part I’ve always put off, with the lame excuse of not having some place on the web I could call my own.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. It took me over a year of overcomplicating it, but I now have a universe. Apple pie forthcoming.
Chris Coyier tries to make sense of what “front-end web developer” means now, and gets to the core of why I avoid calling myself one:
When companies post job openings for “Front-End Developer,” what are they really asking for? Assuming they actually know (lolz), the title front-end developer alone isn’t doing enough. It’s likely more helpful to know which side of the divide they need the most.
Two “front-end web developers” can be standing right next to each other and have little, if any, skill sets in common. That’s downright bizarre to me for a job title so specific and ubiquitous. I’m sure that’s already the case with a job title like designer, but front-end web developer is a niche within a niche already.
Most of the proper publications I’ve written for, even the net-native ones, have been dense enough to hold an atmosphere.
And guess what? So have Twitter and Facebook. Just by enduring, those places have become places for lasting connections and friendships and career opportunities, in a way the blogosphere never was, at least for me. (Maybe this is partly a function of timing, but look: I was there.) And this means that, despite their toxicity, despite their shortcomings, despite all the promises that have gone unfulfilled, Twitter and Facebook have continued to matter in a way that blogs don’t.
(You can’t just ask people what you want to know. Sorry.)
The most significant source of confusion in design research is the difference between research questions and interview questions. This confusion costs time and money and leads to a lot of managers saying that they tried doing research that one time and nothing useful emerged.
David Heinemeier Hansson:
We don’t all need to quit Facebook outright, foreswear Uber entirely, and never shop at Amazon again to have an impact. All of these companies are already walking a precarious tightrope of towering expectations. They don’t need to miss a quarter by more than a few percent before it’s a calamity that’ll get everyone’s attention.
So here’s what you can do: A little bit. It helps. Really.
David Heinemeier Hansson:
Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.
Dave Rupert comments:
Blogging is back, baby! Awooo!
I’m definitely feeling the momentum. I’ve been acutely aware of it as I’ve worked on getting this blog up and running over the past year, and it’s only getting stronger.
Florian goes over a set of confusingly named properties and values from the css-text-3 specification that control what happens to white spaces when laying out text, and how line breaking works. He explains the logic of the system, different ways the properties can be used to achieve various results, and looks into some of the complication caused by incomplete implementations.
I care about this topic a lot, but it really tests my patience. If only browser support for these properties were consistent, I could start to build a mental model that takes them all into consideration. As it stands, it’s such a mess that I routinely have to spend time reading about it, and still not be super confident with the results.
A really clever (if somewhat opaque) use of flexbox to achieve some semblance of container-based layout breakpoints. Intrinsic Web Design for the win!
Jonathan Snook tried to make it more understandable, and Heydon published a follow-up post with some optimizations.