Links, page 5

  1. Just write.
    sarasoueidan.com

    Words of encouragement from Sara Soueidan:

    The point in saying all of this is to again encourage everyone to just write. What you write might help someone understand a concept that you may think has been covered enough before. We each have our own unique perspectives and writing styles. One writing style might be more approachable to some, and can therefore help and benefit a large (or even small) number of people in ways you might not expect.

    Just write.

    Even if only one person learns something from your article, you’ll feel great, and that you’ve contributed — even if just a little bit — to this amazing community that we’re all constantly learning from. And if no one reads your article, then that’s also okay. That voice telling you that people are just sitting somewhere watching our every step and judging us based on the popularity of our writing is a big fat pathetic attention-needing liar. (Saying this felt so good, haha.)

  2. The Little-Known Reason Pencils Are Yellow
    artsy.net

    Gabrielle Hick, for Artsy:

    “Competing pencil makers colored their pencils yellow and gave them Oriental names to suggest that the graphite they contained was equally good,” Petroski said.

    And it worked. An oft-repeated bit of pencil lore tells of an experiment conducted by Faber in the middle of the 20th century. The company distributed 1,000 pencils—half yellow, half green—to a test group. While both sets of pencils were identical apart from their color, the green pencils were returned en masse with complaints about their shoddy quality.

  3. Programming Sucks
    stilldrinking.org

    Peter Welch, back in April 2014:

    Websites that are glorified shopping carts with maybe three dynamic pages are maintained by teams of people around the clock, because the truth is everything is breaking all the time, everywhere, for everyone.

    Every once in a while I feel a need to reread this 2014 gem. Thanks to Jeremy Keith for reminding me.

  4. DJR: More Is More
    fontstand.com

    David Jonathan Ross:

    One of the major things I’ve learned over the last years is that how a font is licensed can have a huge effect on how it ends up being used, (sometimes even more so than its design). This is a tough pill to swallow.

    So these days I truly consider licensing and marketing to be a part of my type design process. This started with my typeface Input, where I worked with Font Bureau to create a license that allowed programmers to use it in their code editors for free, with a separate license for published use.

    I use David’s wonderful Input Sans Narrow on this site (and my business card!), and I can confirm that both the free code-editing license and the all-in-one desktop/web commercial licensing terms played an important part in that decision.

  5. The Google Pixel 3 Is A Very Good Phone. But Maybe Phones Have Gone Too Far.
    buzzfeednews.com

    Mat Honan reviews the Pixel 3:

    “We’re doomed,” a colleague texts me on Signal. A push alert from a well-regarded news site has more details on the alleged murder and dismemberment of a Saudi journalist. On Nextdoor, several neighbors report that their drinking water has tested positive for unsafe levels of pesticides. The Citizen app prompts me to record video of an angry naked man rampaging in the shit-strewn streets of San Francisco. Facebook is hacked and our information is out there. Everyone on Twitter is angry, you fucking cuck. You idiot. You tender, triggered snowflake. Everyone on Instagram is posturing, posing. You are less beautiful than they. The places you go are not as interesting. You should feel bad because you are worse in every way. The world is dying; come see it, come see it.

  6. My Private Oval Office Press Conference With Donald Trump
    nymag.com

    Olivia Nuzzi:

    The president craned his neck slightly upward, in the direction of the door. “Could you give me the list, please?” he asked, raising his voice so a secretary could hear. “I’ve gotta give you the list. Nobody has come close to doing what we’ve done in less than two years as president. Whether it’s regulations or tax cuts or so many other things.” The secretary walked into the room, holding two sheets of computer paper. “Give that to Olivia,” Trump said. “These are just some of the things that were done since taking office,” he told me. The pages were stamped with 58 bullet points, typed in a large font. At the top, underlined, bold, and all-caps, it read, “TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPLISHMENTS.” On the first page, the points related mostly to jobs numbers or executive orders or promises from the tax-reform bill. On the second page, there were more puzzling accomplishments like, “Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.”

    “So,” Trump went on, “it would be great to have an accurately written story, because we do have — when you walk in here, I think you see, if you read something, it’s totally different than the fact.”

  7. Notes on Prototyping
    benfrain.com

    Ben Frain gives some very useful and pragmatic advice on how to build web front-end prototypes.

    Producing something of high fidelity, perfectly matching any flat designs, runs counter to the notion of creating something quickly. The challenge for the prototyper is therefore how to cut corners that don’t impact the fidelity of the prototype.

    Jeremy Keith adds:

    In my experience, it’s vital that the prototype does not morph into the final product …no matter how tempting it sometimes seems.

    Prototypes are made to be discarded (having validated or invalidated an idea). Making a prototype and making something for production require very different mindsets: with prototyping it’s all about speed of creation; with production work, it’s all about quality of execution.

  8. The Hurricane Web
    mxb.at

    Max Böck:

    Text-only sites like these are usually treated as a MVP of sorts. A slimmed-down version of the real site, specifically for emergencies.

    I’d argue though that in some aspects, they are actually better than the original.

    This is the web as it was originally designed. Pure information, with zero overhead. Beautiful in a way.