📺 All Constraints are Beautiful by Charlie Owen | Beyond Tellerrand | Vimeo

Watched All Constraints are Beautiful by Charlie OwenCharlie Owen from Vimeo

We so often consider constraints to be a negative. We have become convinced that they stop us doing what we want and that, therefore, they prevent us from being our most creative.

But constraints are actually the most beautiful thing in the world. Constraints are what give us direction. Constraints are what give us focus. Constraints are what give us empathy.

In this talk Charlie will tell us how constraints are something that should be sought out and embraced, especially in the infinite chaos of the web.

Charlie Owen is a modern day superhero! Holy shit, what a moving talk.

👓 Reverting the Bulk Ticket Closing | Make WordPress Core

Read Reverting the Bulk Ticket Closing (Make WordPress Core)
Recently, a bulk modification was performed on Trac affecting 2,300+ tickets that had not seen any activity in 2 years or more. These tickets were closed and marked as wontfix. To read a more detai…

👓 Atom Packages for WordPress developers | WPism

Read Atom Packages for WordPress developers (WPism)
Download top Atom Packages for WordPress Developers. WordPress Atom packages make it easy for development with support for functions, filters, action hooks.

👓 GitHub for Atom | github.atom.io

Read GitHub for Atom (github.atom.io)
The GitHub package brings Git and GitHub integration right inside your editor! Now you can switch or create branches, stage changes, commit, pull and push, resolve merge conflicts, view and checkout pull requests and more.

👓 A hackable text editor for the 21st Century | github.atom.io

Read Atom: A hackable text editor for the 21st Century (Atom)
At GitHub, we’re building the text editor we’ve always wanted: hackable to the core, but approachable on the first day without ever touching a config file. We can’t wait to see what you build with it.

👓 Why you should say HTML classes, CSS class selectors, or CSS pseudo-classes, but not CSS classes | Tantek

Read Why you should say HTML classes, CSS class selectors, or CSS pseudo-classes, but not CSS classes by Tantek ÇelikTantek Çelik (tantek.com)
Search the web for "CSS classes" and you'll find numerous well intentioned references which are imprecise at best, and misleading or incorrect at worst. There are no such things as "CSS classes". Here's why you should refer to HTML classes, CSS class selectors, or even CSS pseudo-classes, but not "C...

Reminder: What about the idea of creating a stand-alone version of a page builder plugin like Beaver Builder with a layer of IndieAuth and Micropub on top that would make it a potential Micropub client? I’ve pitched the idea that Medium.com could quickly be turned into a micropub client, why not these? Create a page and it’s general layout in a page building client and then send the payload to your website without the need to have the code running directly on your website!

I briefly spitballed the general idea of this with Robby McCullough today.

There’s also the potential that an IndieAuth/Micropub set up could be created to give advertising platforms the ability to access smaller portions of a website to essentially inject advertising into a site’s sidebars, footers, or content directly, maybe on a pay-per-pixel basis. I’d really have to implicitly trust an advertisement server to allow this however.

👓 HTML Includes That Work Today | Filament Group, Inc.,

Read HTML Includes That Work Today by Scott Jehl (Filament Group)
As long as I have been working on the web, I’ve desired a simple HTML-driven means of including the contents of another file directly into the page. For example, I often want to append additional HTML to a page after it is delivered, or embed the contents of an SVG file so that we can animate and style its elements. Typically here at Filament, we have achieved this embedding by either using JavaScript to fetch a file and append its contents to a particular element, or by including the file on the server side, but in many cases, neither of those approaches is quite what we want. This week I was thinking about ways I might be able to achieve this using some of the new fetch-related markup patterns, like rel="preload", or HTML imports, but I kept coming back to the same conclusion that none of these give you easy access to the contents of the fetched file. Then I thought, perhaps a good old iframe could be a nice primitive for the pattern, assuming the browser would allow me to retrieve the iframe's contents in the parent document. As it turns out, it sure would!

👓 HTTP Frameworks Must Die | Medium | Eran Hammer

Read HTTP Frameworks Must Die by Eran Hammer (hueniverse)

Do us all a favor and stop creating new HTTP 1.x frameworks.

We don’t need more.

We have too many.

…and they are all old news — especially the new ones.

But if you absolutely have to, add some value to the conversation. Value other than one tiny aspect in which your framework is better than all the rest. Offer innovation that moves backend engineering forward in a non-trivial fashion. Write the next chapter, not the next paragraph.

👓 Split | Jeremy Keith

Read Split by Jeremy Keith

When I talk about evaluating technology for front-end development, I like to draw a distinction between two categories of technology.

On the one hand, you’ve got the raw materials of the web: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This is what users will ultimately interact with.

On the other hand, you’ve got all the tools and technologies that help you produce the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: pre-processors, post-processors, transpilers, bundlers, and other build tools.

Personally, I’m much more interested and excited by the materials than I am by the tools. But I think it’s right and proper that other developers are excited by the tools. A good balance of both is probably the healthiest mix.

As someone who does some web development on the borderline of professionally and as an advanced hobbyist, this distinction is tremendously important for how and why I can afford to hang onto and practice at a reasonable level.

Bookmarked Relative Font Weights Considered Harmful by Den McHenryDen McHenry (denmchenry.com)

Not exactly, but who can resist writing a "considered harmful" article when you can get away with it?

The real harm is that you can very easily conceal the semantics conveyed by font-weight depending on the font that's rendered, which is not always in your control. This all depends on how you define the base weight to which your relative values refer, and (1) whether that base weight is actually available in the rendered font and (2) which value is substituted if it isn't.

You get a webmention, and you get a webmention, and…

👓 The web we broke. | ethanmarcotte.com

Read The web we broke. by Ethan Marcotte (ethanmarcotte.com)

I read something depressing last Monday, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

At the end of February, WebAIM published an accessibility analysis of the top one million home pages. The results are, in a word, abysmal.

The research underpinning this sounds just dreadful. Fortunately Ethan has links to some great resources for creating a better start on web accessibility.

👓 How to Think Like a Front-End Developer | Jeremy Keith

Read How to Think Like a Front-End Developer (adactio.com)

Alright! It’s day two of An Event Apart in Seattle. The first speaker of the day is Chris Coyier. His talk is called How to Think Like a Front-End Developer. From the website:

The job title “front-end developer” is very real: job boards around the world confirm that. But what is that job, exactly? What do you need to know to do it? You might think those answers are pretty cut and dried, but they’re anything but; front-end development is going through something of an identity crisis. In this engaging talk, Chris will explore this identity through the lens of someone who has self-identified as a front-end developer for a few decades, but more interestingly, through many conversations he’s had with other successful front-end developers. You’ll see just how differently this job can be done and how differently people and companies can think of this role—not just for the sake of doing so, but because you’ll learn to be better at your own jobs by understanding how other people are good at theirs.

A Sketch for an IndieWeb Bullet Journal

Over the past several weeks I’ve been thinking more and more about productivity solutions, bullet journals, and to do lists. This morning I serendipitously came back across a reply Paul Jacobson made about lab books on a post relating to bullet journals and thought I’d sketch out a few ideas.

I like the lab book metaphor! That’s probably why a notebook-note analogy appeals to me for my productivity tools. Paul Jacobson on A vague Notion of a more productive system.

I’m honestly a bit surprised that no one has created a bullet journal plugin for WordPress yet. Or maybe someone comes up with a bullet journal stand alone product a bit like Autommatic’s Simple Note? Last week after a talk I attended, someone came up to me who had self-published 400+ copies of a custom made bullet journal that they wanted to sell/market. I’ve also been looking at some bullet journal apps, but my very first thoughts were “Who owns this data? What will they do with it? What happens if the company goes out of business? Is there a useful data export functionality?” For one of the ones I looked at my immediate impression was “This is a really painful and unintuitive UI.”

Naturally my next thought was “how would the IndieWeb build such a thing?”

Perhaps there’s a lot of code to write, though I can imagine that simply creating Archive views of pre-existing data may be a good first start. In fact some good archive views would be particularly helpful if one is using a plugin like David Shanske’s Post Kinds which dramatically extends the idea behind Post Formats. This would make tracking things like eating, drinking, reading, etc. a lot easier to present visually as well as to track/journal. One could easily extend the functionality of Post Kinds to create “to do” items and then have archive views that could be sorted by date, date due, tags/categories for easier daily use. Since it’s all web-based, it’s backed up and available almost everywhere including desktop and mobile.

I know a few people like Jonathan LaCour and Eddie Hinkle have been tinkering around with monthly, weekly, or annual recaps on their websites (see also: https://indieweb.org/monthly_recap). Isn’t this what a lot of bullet journals are doing, but in reverse order? You put in data quickly so you can have an overview to better plan and live in the future? If you’re already using Micropub tools like teacup (for food/drink), OwnYourSwarm (for location), or a variety of others for bookmarking things (which could be added to one’s to-do list), then creating a handful of bullet journal-type views on that data should be fairly easy. I also remember that Beau Lebens had his Keyring project for WordPress that was pulling in a lot of data from various places that could be leveraged in much the same way.

In some sense I’m already using my own WP-based website as a commonplace book (or as Jamie Todd Rubin mentions on Paul’s post a (lab) notebook), so how much nicer/easier would it be if I could (privately) track to do lists as well?

Of course the hard part now is building it all…

Additional notes and ideas

I started thinking about some of this ages ago when I prototyped making “itches” for my own website. And isn’t this just a public-facing to-do list? I don’t immediately see a to-do list entry on the IndieWeb wiki though I know that people have talked about it in the past. There’s also definitely no bullet journal or productivity entries, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t build them.

There are a lot of preexisting silos on the web that do to-do lists or which have productivity related personal data (Google notes, Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), so there are definitely many UI examples of good and bad display. For distributed group task management I could easily see things being marked done or undone and webmentions handling notifications for these. I suspect for this to take off on a wide, distributed scale for company-wide project management however, more work would need to exist on the ideas of audience and private or semi-private posts. The smaller personal side is certainly much more easily handled.

As another useful sub-case for study, I’ll note that several within the IndieWeb are able to post issues on their own websites, syndicate to GitHub’s issue queue, and get replies back, and isn’t this just a simple example workflow of a to-do list as well?

Greg McVerry has also mentioned he’s tinkered around in this area before primarily using pre-existing functionality in WithKnown. In his case, he’s been utilizing the related idea of the Pomodoro Technique which is widely known in productivity circles.

I’d be thrilled to hear ideas, thoughts, additional brainstorming, or even prior art examples of this sort of stuff. Feel free to add your thoughts below.

Featured photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash