Archive for December, 2020

Careful you don’t attach a screenshot you don’t want to when submitting a Chrome Bug Report

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

I just almost did this, so a little PSA. This is the screen you get in Chrome when you go to Help > Report an issue…

See that little thumbnail? That’s a screenshot of BOTH of my active monitors. I didn’t ask for it to be taken nor was there any indication it was being taken. It’s just… there. It’s also pretty tiny, not helped by the fact that it’s both my screens side by side.

If you don’t notice, and check that checkbox asking if you’d like to include it (which you might particularly if you upload you own file right above and assume you need to check the box to send that), you’ll send that with your support ticket.

God knows what they get in those reports. People’s bank account screens being open. Private Whatsapp conversations. Porn, for sure.

What is with the tweets with “resources” that seem to go out of their way to be as useless as possible?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

I’m mostly just curious what the deal is. Maybe it’s just “growth hacking” blah blah silly weirdness, but then why deliberately ruin the URLs? If you’re into this kind of game, wouldn’t it be less work to just link to things?

Also the sheer number of them fascinates me. Growth hackers copying each other?

Phase 3

Friday, December 18th, 2020

State of the Word this year:

I’m most excited to learn about “Phase 3” of Gutenberg. Realtime editing features sound neat, but I’m most interested in what the “workflow” features Matt eluded to there are.

My dream workflow for CSS-Tricks is to get draft blog posts into Gutenberg as soon as possible. Right now they come (by our request) as Dropbox Paper documents because that tends to be easy for people to get started with. Dropbox Paper has a permissions model meaning multiple people can edit the document and see changes. Most importantly, a commenting model such that we can all leave comments on parts of the document. Crucial for an editing workflow.

But then that requires porting over to Gutenberg, which takes time and re-jiggering. It would be neat if the entire process could take place in Gutenberg.

And yet, I dunno. We don’t always get to that point of final publication during the editing workflow. I feel like by the time you have a draft post in WordPress itself, that’s signaling to the guest author that publication is nigh. It seems like it would be way more awkward to pull the plug at that point (they already have an account, they can see what the post would look like on the site, etc.).

You Can Advertise On Websites That Are, Ya Know, About Things.

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Apple is going to roll out a software update that gives users a choice about data being collected on them.

Facebook is so pissed about it that they are doing that thing that super wealthy companies do where they take out full-page advertisements in newspapers to bitch about it.

Instead of just saying “this is going to hurt how much money we make”, they are trying to rile up “small business owners” and get them mad too.

From Facebook themselves:

This affects not just app developers, but also small businesses that rely on personalized ads to grow. Here’s why. Small businesses have small budgets. For these small budgets to work, they have to be targeted at the customers that matter to small businesses. It doesn’t do a local wedding planner any good to reach people who aren’t planning a wedding. Likewise, it doesn’t do a small ecommerce outfit selling customized dog leashes any good to reach cat owners. Put simply, by dramatically limiting the effectiveness of personalized advertising, Apple’s policy will make it much harder for small businesses to reach their target audience, which will limit their growth and their ability to compete with big companies.

Fuck that so hard.

What they are saying is that the only way “small business” can succeed is by Facebook spying on people and somehow magically knowing that they have a dog, so that the ad platform can sell that information to “small businesses” that need to advertise exclusively to dog-owning people?

Seriously, fuck that so hard.

There are all sorts of ways for (actual) small businesses to reach customers. Collecting information without asking me is not OK, turning that information directly into money for your massive corporation is extra not OK, and it’s definitely not some altruistic vision to help “small businesses”.

Nick Herr puts a point on it:

Levy deftly conflates “advertising” and “personalized advertising”, as if there are no ways to target people planning a wedding without surveilling their web browsing behaviour. Facebook’s campaign casually ignores decades of advertising targeted based on the current webpage or video instead of who those people are because it would impact Facebook’s primary business. Most people who are reading an article about great wedding venues are probably planning a wedding, but you don’t need quite as much of the ad tech stack to make that work.

Hey, you wanna reach front-end developers? I have absolutely no secret information about you, and what little I do have (like, your email address for your CodePen account) is absolutely not for sale. But I can guess something pretty important about people that come to my websites: they are the kind of people that build websites. So if you want to advertise, ethically, to people that build websites, I got you.

Andrés Arrieta at the EFF has a good name for all this: laughable.

Dropcam and macOS = Nope.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

I think it went like this:

Anyway, I happen to have a Dropcam camera, and now it’s a paperweight because:

So the only way to set it up anymore would be from a desktop computer running an older operating system than I have access to. So I literally have to give it to someone and make all these caveats clear, or just throw it away (i.e. take it to our E-Waste drop off).

I kinda get why Google has washed their hands of this since it’s a product two acquisitions deep, but it’s made for at least hundreds of unhappy people, me included.

실용적인 SVG

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

I got a couple of print copies of my book, Practical SVG, translated into Korean by the company webactually. Here’s a photo of it sitting on top of another book I co-authored many years ago also translated by them:

From what it looks like to me, they do a pretty great job of the translation. Feels pretty neat to have something I’ve written have a wider audience by virtue of translation.