Links

Hand-picked links worth sharing.

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  1. FOREVERYONE.NET
    foreveryone.net

    A great little documentary about the birth of the web, featuring Tim Berners-Lee front and center.

    FOREVERYONE.NET connects the future of the web with the little-known story of its birth. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet creating the world wide web.

  2. CERN 2019 WorldWideWeb Rebuild
    worldwideweb.cern.ch

    Digital archeology — a working simulation of the first ever web browser:

    In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program – WorldWideWeb — is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as “the web” today.

    In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the origins of this transformative technology.

    It’s amazing just how resilient and backwards-compatible HTML is. My site is already quite usable in WorldWideWeb, but now I’ll have to resist the urge to add some optimizations for 1990 web users.

  3. ‘Apollo 11’ Review: Astonishing NASA Documentary Is One Giant Leap for Film Restoration
    indiewire.com

    David Ehrlich writes about the upcoming Apollo 11 documentary, made using recently discovered 65mm footage:

    It’s rare that picture quality can inspire a physical reaction, but the opening moments of “Apollo 11,” in which a NASA camera crew roams around the base of the rocket and spies on some of the people who’ve come to gawk at it from a beach across the water, are vivid enough to melt away the screen that stands between them. The clarity takes your breath away, and it does so in the blink of an eye; your body will react to it before your brain has time to process why, after a lifetime of casual interest, you’re suddenly overcome by the sheer enormity of what it meant to leave the Earth and land somewhere else.

    This looks absolutely incredible.

  4. How do you figure?
    scottohara.me

    A deep dive into figure accessibility from Scott O’Hara:

    A figcaption is meant to provide a caption or summary to a figure, relating it back to the document the figure is contained within, or conveying additional information that may not be directly apparent from reviewing the figure itself.

    If an image is given an empty alt, then the figcaption is in effect describing nothing. And that doesn’t make much sense, does it?

  5. How Much of the Internet Is Fake?
    nymag.com

    Max Read:

    Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.”

  6. Openness and Longevity
    garrettdimon.com

    Garrett Dimon:

    If you’ve spent any significant time on the web, you can likely feel how a website is built from the moment you open a page. Does it load quickly? Is anything broken? Does it work well with your password manager? Is it readable? You likely make a dozen judgments in a split second. […]

    On the other hand, you know the moment you open a site that was built well. Everything just works. The people who built it took care with their markup and CSS to take full advantage of the power and built-in features of those languages. […]

    These differences aren’t arbitrary. They’re the difference between a team that embraces and understands the web with all of its quirks and a team that scoffs at it and its constraints. But when constraints disappear, so does consideration. Forward progress is important, but we should take more time to consider the digital detritus that’s left behind. Bloated web pages. Sites that barely load.

  7. HTML, CSS and our vanishing industry entry points
    rachelandrew.co.uk

    Fighting words from Rachel Andrew, defending the ease of learning HTML and CSS from scratch:

    Whether front or backend, many of us without a computer science background are here because of the ease of starting to write HTML and CSS. The magic of seeing our code do stuff on a real live webpage!

    Yes! The instantaneous feedback when editing HTML or CSS on a live webpage is, to me, one of the most important characteristics of the web as a medium. Having no layers of abstraction between creative input and final output is one of the web’s miracles.

    I might be the “old guard” but if you think I’m incapable of learning React, or another framework, and am defending my way of working because of this, please get over yourself. However, 22 year old me would have looked at those things and run away. If we make it so that you have to understand programming to even start, then we take something open and enabling, and place it back in the hands of those who are already privileged. I have plenty of fight left in me to stand up against that.

    I couldn’t agree more. It really was the ease of getting started that got me into web development, and kept me away from native app development. Easy to learn, hard to master is a wonderful trait that the web should fight to keep.

  8. The 500-Year-Long Science Experiment
    theatlantic.com

    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?

  9. I’m a Web Designer
    andy-bell.design

    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 struggled with how to place myself when I went back to freelancing last year because I’m both a designer and a developer. I toyed with “Independent Designer & Developer” which worked out alright but did make me sound like a bit of a “Jack of all trades”. I’m also technically “Full Stack”, but I won’t use that as a title because in my head, a Full Stack Developer is a back-end developer who knows a bit of client-side JavaScript and CSS.

    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.

  10. The Great Divide
    css-tricks.com

    Chris Coyier tries to make sense of what “front-end web developer” means now, and gets to 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.