Archive for April, 2022

RSS

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Maybe personal sites aren’t a real social media alternative for most people. I take Mia’s point:

For the record, I would way rather have blockquote’d Mia’s words there with a link to a blog, but perhaps in this case the point wouldn’t have been made quite the same.

But I’m a nerd and have nerd friends with personal websites so we can simulate a social network with personal sites. At least a little bit. In a slower, more considered, more long-form kinda way.

I still think the answer to that can be RSS. As evidenced by this super clear tweet:

RSS allows me to syndicate my words, and allows me to subscribe to yours. If you’re like what the heck is he talking about, check out Matt Webb’s About Feeds for a primer.

I’ve been reading websites this way for a very long time, and I like it. It’s my morning and evening newspaper. I like to get the daily news. But my daily news. From sources I hand pick, mostly individual voices.

At the moment, I do all my feed management on Feedbin. Sometimes I read directly on Feedbin (it’s pretty nice), but often I use NetNewsWire on desktop, as it syncs with Feedbin. NetNewsWire has an iOS app too, but I prefer Reeder on iOS. I’ve never really tried NetNewsWire on iOS, nor have a tried Reeder on desktop. Maybe I will! That’s a nice part of RSS these days: exploring different apps. Feedbin is starting to be a bit like Google Reader was in that it’s a great home base that has an API that integrates with a bunch of other apps.

How is all this social? It’s just slow social. If you want to respond to me, publish something linking to what I said. If I want to respond to you, I publish something linking to what you wrote. Old school. Good school. It’s high-effort, but I think the required effort is a positive thing for a social network. Forces you to think more. I do kinda like the low-effort-ness of just a quick “like”, but hey, RSS readers support that in the form of stars, and mine are even also syndicated.

You could go all POSSE if you wanted to, but I’m not sure I even care to get that elaborate.

Worker Editor

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Props to Cloudflare for their Worker Playground/Editor thing:

Sorry for the giant desktop screenshot there, but I’m sure that’s how it’s meant to be used. It’s an information and interactivity dense experience.

I bet not even that many people use it, because it’s kinda “cowboy coding” when you do. Serious usage of Workers is surely done locally with wrangler/miniflare and deployment automated.

But when you need to play and experiment, it’s great! It’s a decent little code editor (Monaco, it seems), it allows you to test whatever sort of HTTP requests you want against it along with a UI for adjusting headers. It outputs logs and gives you a full-on preview for visual things. But I think my favorite thing is how it’s got a straight-up Chromium DevTools jacked right into the UI. Must be because Workers run on V8 just like Chromium does.

Dick Avoidance

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

There is a bit of a silver lining to someone being a dick to you: you never have to deal with them again! Farewell, hoss. I don’t have to listen to you. I don’t have to work with you. I don’t have to look at you.

But with a bit of self-reflection there, that’s awfully privileged. It makes me think I’ve kinda orchestrated my life to make sure I’m in a position where this is true. I run my own businesses so I’m not forced into being a co-worker with a dick. I own my own house so I don’t have property managers I might think is a dick. My closest neighbors don’t even live particularly close. My closest family is hundreds of miles away. I think I’ve managed a sort of power dynamic such that I’m protected from dickery. That’s my conflict aversion on full-blast.

So many people have no choice though. Their boss is a dick, but they need the job. Their locker is right next to some dick they have to deal with for 4 years of high school. They share a backyard with a family of dicks and moving just isn’t an option. A dick drives tanks in their country.

My avoidance strategy is so-far-so-good I guess, but I certainly haven’t honed any skills for with dealing with dicks, which would almost certainly make me a stronger person.

Trust

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Jeremy:

I would love it if someone could explain why they’re avoid native browser features but use third-party code.

I can’t speak for the industry, but I have a guess. Third-party code (like the referenced Bootstrap and React) have a history of smoothing over significant cross-browser issues and providing better-than-browser ergonomic APIs. jQuery was created to smooth over cross-browser JavaScript problems. That’s trust.

Web components do have pretty good browser support, but there are some pretty rough edges. Say you want to make a component for your text inputs, text areas, radio groups, checkboxes, etc. Ya know, like every design system in the world. Well, if you want those components to participate on a <form>, well, you’d hope they would submit their data to said form. But they don’t unless you do a little dance with attachInternals, which Safari doesn’t support. That doesn’t build trust.

I’m so curious about what Twitter employees are thinking and feeling.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

It is surely irresistible clickbait to report “bad”, so grain of salt there, but all the headlines are like “bad”.

I’m mostly just curious from an emphatic holy shit what a weird place to be in perspective.

But the employee’s perspective matters because, well, you say all you want about what you plan to do with the company but if there is a big exodus and/or morale is super low, you can’t do shit. Maybe eventually you re-hire a whole big new staff of heart-eyes-Elon employees that are also tech-at-scale proficient (good luck), that’s gonna take a while and who knows what kinda platform rot happens in the meantime.

Just in looking at employee tweets and seeing the absolutely incredible amount of hate/troll crap they get on tweets related to this acquisition, it’s hard to imagine Twitter getting better with less moderation (more “free speech”, as is apparently the whole point of all this).

Surely Robin will be right:

Arguing about the future of Twitter is a loser’s game; a dead end. The platform’s only conclusion can be abandonment: an overdue MySpace-ification.

It’s just a matter of how swiftly it happens.

Coyier’s Algorithm for Using All Caps Text

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

  1. Will anybody ever need to copy and paste the text? Yes → don’t use all caps.
  2. Does it look kinda good in all caps? (Maybe use all caps, but test rule #1)

Fast, Mattering

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

I’ve heard the guys on Dithering occasionally kinda poo-poo “5G”, that is, the next generation of cellular internet service. It’s already “rolling out” as they say, so if you happen to have a device that supports it on a carrier that supports in a region that that carrier offers 5G, maybe you’ve already experienced it. It’s supposed to be, you guessed it, faster. I generally agree with the poo-pooing in the sense that, for most people in most situations, that fast-ness isn’t particularly transformative. If you have 4G, which is far more prevalent, you can already do all the stuff you probably want to do on your mobile device. You can do your email. You can check your bets on playoff games. Your photos will scoot themselves up the cloud as you take them. Your kid can sit at a restaurant streaming Bluey. When you have 5G, you’ll just… keep being able to do those things. It doesn’t exactly open any new doors.

In contrast to that, I remember listening to… some Malcolm Gladwell podcast maybe?… where the sponsor was some cellular carrier and the ads were a conversation between (Malcolm?) and the CEO and the CEO was spouting off all these ways that 5G really would be transformative. Obviously, CEO was incredibly incentivized to make these proclamations and was in fact paying money to say them in this case. But sure, if some doctor-in-the-field had an iPad with broadband-quality internet on it when previously they had no internet at all, that’s a big deal.

I’d consider speed improvements that aren’t transformative the exception. Usually fast really matters. Think of what a big deal an order of magnitude of time is for things like how fast a package can be delivered, how fast you can pound in a nail, or how quickly you can heat up an emergency shelter.

But of course, I love the tech stuff the most. It matters how quickly a browser can receive, process, and make interactive a website. The thing that had me thinking about this though? Languages that are inherently faster. A big story happening in tech the last few years is how languages like Go and Rust are just so damn fast they are transformative just in that feature alone. Build tools built in these languages are usually an order of magnitude faster at least, which changes the feel (and the all-important feedback loop) of development. Not to mention things like data transformation tasks. Say you had a data set that required computation that would take 6 days, but then a language came along that could do it in 6 minutes. That is transformative. That 6-day task? It’s likely you just wouldn’t do the task at all. It’s too long. You’d just avoid it or find a workaround. But 6 minutes? Sure, just do it.

“How can people follow you and give you money?”

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Dave has asked that of every guest on ShopTalk for a decade. Now he’s got his own page to answer that question. On the last “version” of this site, I had a section like that (I called it “Things I want you to do”), but I’ve retired it for now. I’m so focused on CodePen right now my only thing is: Go PRO.

Coyier’s Law

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

The effort-to-engagement ratio for content is unguessable.

Updating Discord

Monday, April 25th, 2022

I’ve been using Discord maybe… 18 months? A little bit of a latecomer. It’s a great service and has really displaced Slack for communities. Almost certainly because it’s free, inviting people is as simple as giving them a URL, and the permissions/moderation controls are good. I’m a member of a number of mostly tech-focused Discord servers, and even run a “paid” one for ShopTalk Show.

Ya know what I do on Discord? Type text that other people can read, and read text that other people have typed. Maybe an image here or there. The voice and video channels are fun once in a while. Aside from the threads feature, which I think is pretty well done, nothing has really changed in the year and a half I’ve used Discord. Not complaining. Not sure I care if it ever changes, it does what it does just great.

And yet:

Update Ready!

There are updates! To my Discord! I always feel compelled to click that thing. A couple of times a day, I’d say. They push a lot of code, this Discord team. Nothing ever seems to change after I do it, but heck if I didn’t apply the updates.

I’m starting to get mad at myself for clicking it. I’ve clicked it hundreds of times for nothing. Why Chris? Why do you click the nothing button? Why Discord? Why do you make me click the nothing button?


I kinda feel the same way about Oh My Zsh. There is an update every week or so, I always do it, but I do so precious little with the command line that never has it (seemed to) affect my life in any way.

A Country Song

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Here you go Charley you can have this one.

Loving You (is like drinking alone)

loving you
is like drinking alone
it’s like singing a song
with no melody

come on now
let’s not drag this out
don’t whine or pout
just let me go

loving you
is like drinking alone
it’s like strumming a song
with just one chord

come on now
let’s not drag this out
don’t scream and shout
just let me go
like i let you go

You can’t order the Toyota you want

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

I have a Toyota Tundra at the moment, but for the first time in my life, I’ve leased it, and that lease comes due in a couple of months. I’m going to finish the lease by buying the truck, since truck prices are so high it’s worth owning and gives me options for what to buy next. Incidentally, Toyota Financial doesn’t make it easy to pay off a lease. You can’t do it online. If you call, they tell you to go to a dealer to do it. If you go to a dealer, they tell you to call. Or, they can do it, but it costs an additional $250. 🙄

Anyway, if you go to Toyota.com, it’s a reasonably nice web experience, and they have a Build option where you pick your vehicle and all the possible options and it prices it out for you. Which… to me… gives a person a very strong impression that you could order the vehicle if you want to. But you cannot. You also cannot go to a dealer and have them order you this vehicle. All the dealer can do is tell Toyota that they have a preference for this vehicle, and maybe they’ll get it and maybe they won’t. Most likely, if you’re lucky, they’ll get in a vehicle that’s somewhat close to what you exactly want, and you can take it or leave it. Isn’t that bizarre? I didn’t get the impression that its supply-chain-labor-shortage-yadda-yadda, but that’s it’s just how Toyota rolls.

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