Gatsby's page-fetching is a feature I consider a double-edged sword (though I'll admit I also don't fully understand it 😅). On the one hand, I'm all for anything that decreases load time between pages on a site. On the other, pre-caching a bunch of content that the user may never need feels like an extremely wasteful practice. InstantPage takes a slightly different approach, instead triggering the page request when a link is hovered (or touched on mobile). In their estimation that can reduce latency by 100s of milliseconds, so we're not talking huge wins here, but a minor UX bump. Assuming the page weight added from the client-side JS doesn't offset it, of course...
A new product aiming to be an "Instagram replacement" and photo-blogging tool from the creator of Micro.blog‽ Colour me intrigued! 🤔 Sunlit looks very nice, will be interested to see how it develops.
Another really neat music-related tool, Stems claims to be able to split tracks into their various components e.g. drums, piano, vocals, instrumentals etc. It's something I've always thought should be possible, yet wouldn't have the first clue where to start, so definitely bookmarking for some experimentation.
Astrofox looks like a really clever video editor, developed specifically with the aim of creating videos for music playlists and personal tracks. Nothing too fancy, but lots of options to animate elements in time with the music tempo, and some surprisingly nuanced creative controls mean this looks really excellent. Definitely want to give it a whirl at some point.
for loop, at the bottom the highly-specific functions
Whilst falling down the rabbit-hole of digital gardening I found some of Maggie's tweets incredibly insightful and useful, yet somehow totally missed her own digital garden (and her entire related repo of topics/content/examples) 🤦♂️ I love the layout (not just here, but across her whole site too) but the part that really captured my imagination was her use of emoji-tags to differentiate topics into one of seedling, budding, or evergreen. It's just a neat metaphor for a topic in the garden literally growing through tending and care: 🌱 -> 🌿 -> 🌳 (though I feel slightly miffed that she chose not to use an actual evergreen for that category: 🌲 😂).
A self-hosted, open-source IndieAuth authorisation endpoint. I still find myself running in circles as to whether IndieAuth worries me or excites me, but I find this project a really neat piece of work by Zegnat 👍
Some really nice thoughts and a generally solid write up of the latest Slack redesign, which has been trialled/prototyped by a diverse "working group" of customers. Great to see a tech company realising that they've grown beyond the tech sector, too.
Though, what is up with this duck in their footer 🤔
How to hang a painting from two points, where removing either point causes the hanging to fail. Weird puzzle, excellent explanation of the fundamentals of knot theory in mathematics.
I'm still intending to add a
/feeds page to this site at some point (see Making RSS more visible with slash feeds) and now Jeremy has put together an implementation I really like. Jeremy's idea of adding a blog roll of the feeds he subscribes to is a neat touch too, and the functionality to subscribe to individual tags is * chef's kiss * I'm not sure how Gatsby would cope though...
At this point, surely access to the internet is at least a utility, if not a human right. Olu has put together a brilliantly reasoned argument for just that, and how to go about building for a world where not everyone has access to digital resources equally.
Not having access to the internet is expensive, locking you out of essential services and a surfeit of helpful information.
It's far from being a "developing nations issue" either (though, to be clear, it is a huge issue in a lot of developing countries). In the UK, 10% of adults were considered to be "digitally excluded" in 2018; and yes, this is an issue which disproportionately affects women, people of colour, and people living with disabilities, whilst richer households are more likely to benefit from the web.
Marginalized people with insights to share aren’t hard to find when you start listening. They are your next users, your future developers, your fledgling marketing team. Excluding them reduces your options, your appeal, and your breadth of ideas.
Seek a broad range of opinions; hire inclusively; be proactive about improving and advocating for diversity; test your tools with a diverse audience in mind (screen readers, Pa11y, axe, Lighthouse, etc.); where possible, provide non-digital avenues to your services as well.
Web accessibility is not an optional extra. What inclusion looks like in practice will depend on your products, your users, and what you intend to achieve, but for it to be real and meaningful in any context, it cannot be an afterthought.
The fact that this kind of engineering is commonplace on the internet doesn’t make it OK. It just highlights that the way we have built the web is fundamentally broken.
Put another way: what kind of decisions does your technical stack make about who’s allowed to contribute to the front-end?
Have design systems helped bridge the gap between designers and developers? Probably not. Is part of that potentially the increasing complexity of frontend build tooling? Possibly. Design and development tooling does impact workflows on both sides of that (probably problematic) divide.