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The rise and demise of RSS | Vice

Though of course some people really do still rely on RSS readers, stubbornly adding an RSS feed to your blog, even in 2019, is a political statement.

A fascinating dive into the history of RSS. From the initial duel-creation of RDFSS and Scripting News format, to the perceived pre-bubble-burst concept that syndication was the future, until the present competing formats and slow recession out of view, it's very neatly put together. I think there's validity in the argument that RSS was always too "geeky for mainstream use" (something I also worry about with the IndieWeb movement, no matter how much I agree with it):

Regular people never felt comfortable using RSS; it hadn’t really been designed as a consumer-facing technology and involved too many hurdles; people jumped ship as soon as something better came along.

I certainly remember thinking, in the early days of Twitter, that this was clearly the evolutionary step that RSS needed (hah!). But it's a sad thing that, as the article concludes, these "single-author" silos are much easier to evolve and adapt than consensus-driven community efforts like RSS.

Web almanac 2019 | HTTP Archive

The team behind the HTTP Archive do a fantastic job of analysing the web and 2019 is no exception. From JavaScript to accessibility, if you want to see how well we're doing as a community at standing up for our own ideals, implementing best practices, embracing new technologies, or just doing stuff in general, there aren't really any better resources.

The front-end developer handbook 2019 | Frontend Masters

It's not so much a resource as a resource of resources; a meta resource. Providing high-level overviews of complex topics and then linking out to more detailed deep dives or explanations (not all free, but all vetted). Fair to say if you're looking to understand a given topic about front-end development, this is a good place to start.

Your eco companion | Pawprint

Mike Berners-Lee (yes, brother to that Berners-Lee) has carved out a real niche for himself as something of an authority on the complexities of the modern environmental movement, particularly when it comes to carbon footprint calculations. That's why it's exciting to see his name behind this new service. Pawprints will be a PWA (yep, they're going web-native - I wonder if his brother's influence 😁) and resource that helps people both track and understand their environmental impact. I'm still a little dubious as to how well this might work, but I'm also intrigued enough to have signed up to their waiting list.

Adding webmentions to your website | CSS Tricks

Very high level guide to getting webmentions on your website, tracking them, and automatically pinging linked sites when you post.

The ugly truth behind Oculudentavis | Mark Witton

I've followed the news over the new species Oculudentavis with interest. The initial find was stunning; the follow up discussion around whether or not this is a basal therepod, a stem bird, or (quite possibly, it seems) a lizard was a fascinating insight into modern palaeontology. But the debate around the ethics of its provenance in Myanmar amber has eclipsed all of that. Mark Witton has a great argument here for why a boycott on amber from the region should be considered, but I can't help but worry about the knowledge that could be lost if legitimate scientific channels withdraw. It's a tricky situation.

📆 16 Mar 2020  | 🔗

  • Natural World
  • dinosaurs
  • amber
  • oculudentavis
  • birds
  • theropods
  • ethics
  • Mark Witton
  • Myanmar 

Animating CSS width without the squish | Rik Schennink

An interestingly regressive technique for expanding the size of a rectangle with rounded corners in CSS that protects the corners themselves from deforming, all by using transform.

Let’s apply this to our square. It will mean we need one container and three child elements to represent the square left (1), center (2), and right (3) parts.

The free market is elusive | Seth Godin

...when the web was young, the free market in ideas was open to anyone with access to a library’s internet connection.

But the web rewards network effects and network effects have led to monopolies. Google doesn’t really want a free market in ideas (they hate blogs), instead, they want a market in which they’re the landlord. Facebook enabled a huge outpouring of voices from people who didn’t previously have a microphone, but their algorithms and focus on clicks led toward incentives for outrage as the voices corroded so many elements of our culture.

Smaller HTML payloads with Service Workers | Philip Walton

A service worker can request just the bare minimum of data it needs from the server... and then it can programmatically transform that data into a full HTML document.


By only requesting the contents of a page, the networks payloads become substantially smaller, and the pages can load quite a bit faster.

📆 11 Mar 2020  | 🔗

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