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The online home of Jeremy Keith, an author and web developer living and working in Brighton, England.



 



Scored some sweet MailChimp socks from @KatieELambert. 🧦

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:33:22 GMT

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Scored some sweet MailChimp socks from @KatieELambert. 🧦




’Twas my good fortune to be in Boulder, Colorado last night for the official launch of https://faculty.co — thank you, @shiflett!

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:36:14 GMT

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’Twas my good fortune to be in Boulder, Colorado last night for the official launch of https://faculty.co — thank you, @shiflett!




Feet on the Ground, Eyes on the Stars: The True Story of a Real Rocket Man with G.A. “Jim” Ogle

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:16:18 GMT

I listen to a lot of podcast episodes. The latest episode of the User Defenders podcast (which is very different from the usual fare) is one of my favourites—the life and times of a NASA engineer working on everything from Apollo to the space shuttle.

You know how they say it doesn’t take a rocket scientist? Well, my Dad is one. On a recent vacation to Florida to celebrate his 80th birthday, he spent nearly three hours telling me his compelling story.

adactio.com/links/13190




Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures – Center for Science and the Imagination

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:34:05 GMT

A collection of short stories and essays speculating on humanity’s future in the solar system. The digital versions are free to download.

adactio.com/links/13189




Checked in at Novo Coffee. Getting some caffeine after a long transatlantic flight.

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 23:32:33 GMT

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Checked in at Novo Coffee. Getting some caffeine after a long transatlantic flight.




Origin story

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 10:32:49 GMT

In an excellent piece called The First Web Apps: 5 Apps That Shaped the Internet as We Know It, Matthew Guay wrote: The world wide web wasn’t supposed to be this fun. Berners-Lee imagined the internet as a place to collaborate around text, somewhere to share research data and thesis papers. In his somewhat confused talk at FFConf this year, James Kyle said: The web was designed to share documents. Douglas Crockford said The web was not designed to do any of things it is doing. It was intended to be a simple—even primitive—document retrieval system. Some rando on Hacker News declared: Essentially every single aspect of the web is terrible. It was designed as a static document presentation system with hyperlinks. It appears to be a universally accepted truth. The web was designed for sharing documents, and was never meant for the kind of applications we can build these days. I don’t think that’s quite right. I think it’s fairer to say that the first use case for the web was document retrieval. And yes, that initial use case certainly influenced the first iteration of HTML. But right from the start, the vision for the web wasn’t constrained by what it was being asked to do at the time. (I mean, if you need an example of vision, Tim Berners-Lee called it the World Wide Web when it was just on one computer!) The original people working on the web—Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Jean-Francois Groff, etc.—didn’t to try define the edges of what the web would be capable of. Quite the opposite. All of them really wanted a more interactive read-write web where documents could not only be read, but also edited and updated. As for the idea of having a programming language in browsers (as well as a markup language), Tim Berners-Lee was all for it …as long as it could be truly ubiquitous. To say that the web was made for sharing documents is like saying that the internet was made for email. It’s true in the sense that it was the most popular use case, but that never defined the limits of the system. The secret sauce of the internet lies in its flexibility—it’s a deliberately dumb network that doesn’t care about the specifics of what runs on it. This lesson was then passed on to the web—another deliberately simple system designed to be agnostic to use cases. It’s true that the web of today is very, very different to its initial incarnation. We got CSS; we got JavaScript; HTML has evolved; HTTP has evolved; URLs have …well, cool URIs don’t change, but you get the idea. The web is like the ship of Theseus—so much of it has been changed and added to over time. That doesn’t mean its initial design was flawed—just the opposite. It means that its initial design wasn’t unnecessarily rigid. The simplicity of the early web wasn’t a bug, it was a feature. The web (like the internet upon which it runs) was designed to be flexible, and to adjust to future use-cases that couldn’t be predicted in advance. The best proof of this flexibility is the fact that we can and do now build rich interactive applications on the World Wide Web. If the web had truly been designed only for documents, that wouldn’t be possible. [...]



Going to Denver. brb

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:49:25 GMT

Going to Denver. brb




I think my favourite background music to work to is the sound of the web being woven: http://listen.hatnote.com/

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:41:30 GMT

I think my favourite background music to work to is the sound of the web being woven: http://listen.hatnote.com/




Had a conversation with @RowenaKP about bears in children’s stories, which led to me reimagine A Clockwork Orange where Rupert and his droogs kick Paddington’s head in.

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:07:39 GMT

Had a conversation with @RowenaKP about bears in children’s stories, which led to me reimagine A Clockwork Orange where Rupert and his droogs kick Paddington’s head in.




Design Principles

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:01:18 GMT

Collections of design principles that you can contribute to.

The aim of the site is to help us analyse what good Design Principles are. How Design Principles are created and measured. How they develop.

adactio.com/links/13183




The world is not a desktop

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:58:07 GMT

This 1993 article by Mark Weiser is relevant to our world today.

Take intelligent agents. The idea, as near as I can tell, is that the ideal computer should be like a human being, only more obedient. Anything so insidiously appealing should immediately give pause. Why should a computer be anything like a human being? Are airplanes like birds, typewriters like pens, alphabets like mouths, cars like horses? Are human interactions so free of trouble, misunderstanding, and ambiguity that they represent a desirable computer interface goal? Further, it takes a lot of time and attention to build and maintain a smoothly running team of people, even a pair of people. A computer I need to talk to, give commands to, or have a relationship with (much less be intimate with), is a computer that is too much the center of attention.

adactio.com/links/13182




Apollo 17 in Real-time

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:50:09 GMT

Relive the final trip to the moon with Geno and the crew of Apollo 17 …(real)timeshifted by 45 years.

adactio.com/links/13181




Cognitive Overload - daverupert.com

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:54:02 GMT

From Scott McCloud to responsive design, Dave is pondering our assumptions about screen real estate:

As the amount of information increases, removing details reduces information density and thereby increasing comprehension.

It reminds me of Edward Tufte’s data-ink ratio.

adactio.com/links/13180




Amber Wilson: What Am I Looking For?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:51:23 GMT

If you’re looking for a Brighton-based junior developer, you should snap up Amber right now!

adactio.com/links/13179




Silly hover effects and the future of web typography – Pixelambacht

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:24:55 GMT

These experiments with transitioning variable font styles on hover might be silly, but I can see the potential for some beautiful interaction design.

adactio.com/links/13178




CSS usage on the web platform - Microsoft Edge Development

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:16:56 GMT

Top of the props.

CSS properties …props …top of the. Never mind.

This CSS usage data comes from a Bing-powered scan of 2,602,016.00 pages.

adactio.com/links/13177




Accessible Links Re:visited | Filament Group, Inc., Boston, MA

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:05:21 GMT

Great advice on keeping your hyperlinks accessible.

adactio.com/links/13176




The User Experience of Design Systems

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:34:14 GMT

When you start a redesign process for a company, it’s very easy to briefly look at all their products (apps, websites, newsletters, etc) and first of all make fun of how bad it all looks, and then design this one single design system for everything. However, once you start diving into why those decisions were made, they often reveal local knowledge that your design system doesn’t solve.

In this talk transcript, Rune Madsen enumerates the reasons for his informed scepticism towards design systems:

  1. The first concern, which is also the main argument of this talk, is that humans – especially designers and engineers – are obsessed with creating systems of order. This is not really driven by a demand from users, so they often tend to benefit the designer, not the user.
  2. My second concern relates to what I believe design systems is doing to our digital experience. We’ve always had trends in graphic design (Swiss design, Flat UI, etc), but I’m getting increasingly concerned that this broad adoption of design systems is creating a design monoculture that really narrows the idea of what digital products can be.
  3. My third concern is that with all this talk about design systems, there’s very little talk about the real problem in digital design, which is processes and tools. Designers love making design manuals, but any design system will completely and utterly fail if it doesn’t help people in the organization produce faster and better products.

adactio.com/links/13175




SA Labs | Just a Developer

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:26:15 GMT

I like this distinction between coders and developers.

The Coder is characterized by his proficiency in a narrow range of chosen skills.

By contrast the Developer’s single greatest skill is in being an applied learner.

I’m definitely not a coder. Alas, by this criterion, I’m also not a developer (because I do not pick things up fast):

Quite simply the Developer has a knack for grokking new [languages|frameworks|platforms] and becoming proficient very quickly.

I prefer Charlie’s framing. It’s not about speed, it’s about priorities:

I’m not a “developer” in that I’m obsessed with code and frameworks. I’m a “developer” as in I develop the users experience for the better.

adactio.com/links/13174