Archive for September, 2022

Odesza 

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

I had no idea what we were in for on Monday night when Miranda and I (and friends) went to see Odesza. I just had never listened to them before. All I knew was one of the dude’s name is BeachesBeaches and I think that’s funny.

I had heard the opening band, Sylvan Esso, before. They have some Milwaukee roots, my old stomping grounds. In fact they were formed at the bar down from my house I was a regular at for a while.

Sanborn was living in Milwaukee, a college dropout at a crossroads after a local band he was in, Decibully, disbanded. He moved in 2012 to Durham, N.C., but his heart in many ways is still in Milwaukee. It was at the Cactus Club where Sylvan Esso was born, after a meeting with singer-songwriter Amelia Meath, who now fronts Sylvan Esso, changed their lives.

Sylvan Esso was awesome, but like so many opening bands, the dials felt turned down to a 7, and then everything is turned back up to 11 for the headliner. Odesza just tore down the house. Incredible show. I don’t even know how to describe it other than being electronically rooted, but incorporating a ton of live musicianship from live horns, live singers, and a jaw-dropping drum line.

Nobody stands behind the sound people, probably because of the partially obscured view, but honestly, you can see pretty well, it sounded great, and it wasn’t crowded right there.

The show was just a massive party. It would have been impossible not to dance your ass off. I kinda get why they have somewhat of a tour following. I would have gone back a second night for sure! I even felt great in the morning.

Once my Apple Watch buzzed me to offer to track the exercise I was clearly doing. Then again to warn me that the decibel levels was too high. lolz.

Notes Are for More than Remembering

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Jorge Arango:

… notes can also play another essential function: to help you understand and develop ideas by interacting with them.

The next time you take notes, ask yourself: Am I capturing this to remember later, or am I trying to understand it?

Critical CSS? Not So Fast!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

I appreciate all the research and appropriate nuance Harry brings in Critical CSS? Not So Fast!

Not a fan of any performance testing tool that dings the score of a site for not having it implemented. It’s just not a cut-and-dry thing like, say, optimizing an image.

Here’s the rub from Harry. Only bother if:

CSS is your biggest blocker, or
you plan to tackle everything around it at the same time (i.e. other render-blocking resources)
… it can be done trivially or from the outset (retrofitting Critical CSS is difficult and error prone)
… you maintain it and everything around i (it’s all too easy to (re)introduce render-blocking regressions)
… you load the non-Critical CSS sensibly (current methods can be no better than just leaving your CSS as-is)

Read Harry’s conclusion to re-iterate those things and clearly remind you it’s not worth jacking into a pre-existing site that isn’t yet doing it.

I’ve long considered critical CSS just too much trouble to bother with, despite the clear fact that CSS is a render-blocking resource and, if done perfectly, does offer perf gains. It’s just so damn hard to get right and stay right. Bigger fish to fry.

The last time I was tempted to try it was when it became a feature in Jetpack Boost. It’s ONE CLICK! You just turn it on and it figures out what CSS should be critical and does the whole song and dance for you. It’s kind of amazing in that it basically works. Except… when it doesn’t. My sub-pages that had some different styles would then have some loading jank (the opposite of the intended effect). And every time I shipped any half-significant CSS change, I’d scratch my head why I was getting loading jank until I remembered to go back into the plugin and re-generate the critical CSS with a button click (there is no (web)hook). Geoff had the same problem.

A high-pitched whining noise.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

That’s what our new Tesla sounds like. They finally… gave in, I’d call it… and gave us our Tesla last Friday. It’s been delay after delay. The actual problem as it turns out is that it emits a tone, to put it mildly. I didn’t notice it at first in the car lot with the typical road noise nearby. But now that we’ve had it a little while, it’s pretty darn noticeable. Parked in a quiet garage, if you didn’t know it was our car, you’d be like what the hell is that noise? It makes the high-pitched whining noise at all times when the car is “on” (a bit of an amorphous concept with a Tesla) but does sometimes stop when the car becomes “off”.

The delays were because they wanted to fix it. Which is nice of course, it was just the lack of communication about exactly what was going on and what they were trying to do which was annoying.

Apparently, the solution is entirely software (firmware?). They told us about 4 Tesla software updates from now, the problem will be solved. The duder showed us the exact software number but I forgot to write it down and they didn’t make any effort to document it and send it to us. He was also very cagey about how long it would take. Probably not a year. Six months? Hopefully not, but maybe. There have already been 2 updates since Friday so maybe a lot sooner.

Apparently, this is happening to a good number of model X versions. And, get this, it apparently started with ours. As they noticed the noise and were trying to get to the bottom of it, apparently engineering was pretty confounded by the issue. Ultimately it turned into some kind of internal blog post that went out to Tesla engineers which began with our car. I’d love to see that.

Anyway now we have a very expensive car that squeals at us and no absolute guarantee it will stop. Fingers crossed.

It’s still a pretty damn cool car. Here are some terrible photos. I’ll have to bust out a proper camera to take some cool pictures of it soon.

Let an Edge Function do it.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

Four years ago Phil acted on a silly idea to deploy a Netlify site every single minute such that an entirely static site could do something as notably dynamic as displaying the current time. There is literally no JavaScript on that site.

It mostly worked. Aside from a failed deploy for random reasons here and there, it did its thing:

From 2018 to 2022 the site has been automatically rebuilt and redeployed millions of times.

Phil, What I learned from automating millions of web site deploys

It makes me a little queasy to think there are literally millions of deploys of that site sitting on cloud computers that will just sit there until the end of time. But there are much worse offenders in the world of useless data storage so I should probably get over it.

I really dig the upgrade to use Edge Functions instead. Now the site never needs to be deployed again. When you hit it, the edge function runs, gets the time (bonus: correct time zone), and alters the HTML to have that correct time before that HTML gets to the browser. Perfect. MAKE THE EDGE DO IT. I suppose it could cache itself for a minute too, but hey whatever this isn’t exactly a mega production project.

I love the idea of making the edge do it.

Say instead of returning time-injected HTML, that edge function performed an API request and injected useful production data into the HTML. Your client-side JavaScript could do that too, but let’s consider that for a moment. Which do you think is faster, a request from a cloud runtime hooked up to fat internet pipes designed for speed executing one single task, or your broke-ass personal computer on questionable WiFi in a browser with 90 tabs open requesting through single-threaded JavaScript that is also handling 80 other things?

Then, not only is the former obviously faster at just doing the job of fetching data, but less/none client-side JavaScript is required at all, and the HTML has useful, renderable content as soon as it gets there.

Ultra

Monday, September 26th, 2022

I’ve attempted to wear an Apple Watch a few times in the past. Never took. I’m trying it again with the Ultra. So far (4 days), I think it’s so cool.

The main reason I got it though was for heart rate measuring. I don’t have a good sense for those numbers, and a good number of workouts I do have heart ranges they want me to stay in. So I figured I’d go for this watch and it could help with that. And it does. Heart rate isn’t a new feature, it’s just something I wanted.

My heart sank when I first tried to set up cellular and it failed like it did for me many years ago. But I kept poking at it and eventually, it went through and seems fine now.

In-App Browser Tracking & Meta

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

There is this buckwild insane thing that when you visit any URL on the internet whatsoever with the in-app browser built into Instagram (and several other apps), it injects JavaScript onto the page, the point of which is extreme tracking of what you are doing.

Two things:

So rather than Meta stopping it or Apple preventing them from doing it, normal people are suing Meta over it.

A Meta spokesperson has provided MacRumors with the following statement:

These allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously. We have designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads

Sometimes there are gray areas. I almost always see gray areas in politics and debates of any kind. This just isn’t one of them. You can literally just look and see the JavaScript injection happening.

Daybreak

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Oh nice!

Daybreak is a cooperative boardgame about stopping climate change. It is an unapologetically hopeful vision of the near future, where you and your friends get to build the mind-blowing technologies and resilient societies we need to save the planet.

Kinda the opposite of Dave’s recent wonderful short story.

Gotta imagine Daybreak is going to be good as:

The game is designed by Matt Leacock, the creator of Pandemic (the most successful cooperative game in history), and Matteo Menapace, a designer and educator specializing in cooperative play.

I pre-ordered.

I friggin love cooperative games. I wonder if it’s because.

My Talk from CascadiaJS 2022

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

It’s my “The Web is Good Now” talk that I updated significantly and smooshed into a 25-minute slot.


That was my first post-pandemic talk and it felt good to be back.

Now I’ve got to expand it back to 45-50 minutes again for an upcoming conference. So it’ll be totally freshened up again.

It’s not going to be one big metaverse, so how is this going to work?

Monday, September 19th, 2022

The word metaverse gets thrown around a lot lately, hasn’t it? I suspect everybody has something a little different in mind when they think about it. Since a lot of the news is around Meta/Facebook, I would guess people think “Facebook, but VR”. Meaning there is one monolithic thing, you strap that shit on your face, and you go to there. Ready Player One style.

Say VR really does become the thing with Facebook-level time-on-site. I can’t see it, but I’m old and usually wrong. But say it gets there and it’s One Big Place, and Meta has their One Big Place. Other big tech players will not share that place. They will have their own One Big Place. Google and Meta aren’t going to work together to build a shared space. I’m old and usually wrong but not about that. You’ll strap that shit on your face and you’ll go to one or the other. So now there are at least two metaverses, say.

As soon as there is more than one, it gets weird to me. As bizarre as it may seem, I actually get VR/metaverse “real estate”. That is, buying some “space” inside the world that you own/control, but it’s literally only interesting if it’s part of a metaverse that is used by everyone (or at least a significant group) and it’s around for the long haul. You need the real estate so you can do things that might turn out to matter according to the rules of this metaverse. Like having space to hang out that is protected/exclusive. Like a place to keep your stuff. Like projecting a visual status symbol. Who knows.

If you can spin up your own metaverse and that’s where you spend your time, then real estate is stupid. The whole thing is yours. Minecraft attempts to prove me wrong right out of the gate here as loads of people spin up their own servers and spend ages on virtual real estate, but I still feel like that’s niche behavior, not regular lifestyle behavior like metaverses predict.

Real estate is just one example, but it is representative of anything that requires an investment of resources. It maps to players getting in on an upcoming MMORPG. Usually, there is some alpha period. That is sort of desirable for fans that want an early look. But alpha typically designates that the servers will be wiped before beta, so everyone needs to start over. Beta might even wipe before public release. Most potential players are like meh, I’ll wait. Not because they aren’t excited or even because they are worried about bugs, but because the idea of spending a bunch of personal resources leveling up on a long-term game only to have it all wiped away feels like a waste.

More likely, there will be lots of Metaverses. Lots of companies vying to be the one that you choose to spend your time and money inside of. I think if any of them want to have any success at all, they’ll need to clearly and publicly say “This is our metaverse. It is the only one. It may grow and change, but it will be your metaverse as long as we exist.”

Past Tense JavaScript Libraries

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Because the best Twitter is getting stupid with jokes. I started. These ones get 🏆 gold trophies from me. If your reaction is “that’s not really past tense!!” then, well, you would suck at apples to apples.

Aching backbone

@hardfire

Tenty

@toheebdotcom

eslent

@markpalfreeman

The Great Gatsby

@robdimarzo

jQuert

@0xOlias — tie with jQuore

Handledbars

@jackmcdade

Didjo

@whatqnavry

Déjà-Vue.js

@mathias

Firebased

@_davideast

Underscore and Seven Years Ago

@jedschmidt

Exstate

@davidkpiano

Previous

@maxoftime

The Tesla Experience, So Far

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

(Short story: we don’t even have it yet and it’s annoying.)

We ordered a Tesla X back in June sometime. Miranda was visiting her parents in LA (who lived there at the time) and went to a dealership to test drive one. She ordered it right from there.

We did everything we needed to do. We installed the app. We watched the videos. We made all the choices we needed to make. We got the insurance. We got the charger installed at home. We paid for the thing in full.

And we waited. And waited. And waited.

We’re still waiting.

Eventually, the delivery date range narrowed, and it was supposed to arrive in Early August. Then it didn’t come, and the date range was pushed forward another week. Then it didn’t come, and the date range was pushed forward another week. Then it didn’t come, and the date range was pushed forward another week. Then it didn’t come, and the date range was pushed forward another week.

(You know how they say it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver? Tesla seems to do the opposite of that.)

Then one week it did start to come. We were able to pick a delivery date and time. So we did. But then we got a text the very morning of that date saying we couldn’t pick it up because there was something wrong with it. No details at all. They said no worries though, they’ll get it fixed up and we can pick it up in a few days. Well, we were gone on a trip then, which is why we scheduled it when we did. They very reluctantly agreed to let the car sit at the Tesla repair shop here in Bend while we were away and we’d pick it up when we returned.

The very next morning after returning we planned to go pick it up, but got a text: the car is still broken. They need to send someone to go get some special tools in some distant city to fix it. Ugh.

So another week goes by and we have another pick-up date/time. Another text: it’s still broken. Apparently, Model X’s (not just ours, but… more?… of them?) are emitting this very high-pitched horrible noise when driving and nobody knows how to turn it off. Maybe it’s firmware or something. The details are extremely sparse.

It doesn’t feel like anyone really cares. We don’t have good details. We don’t have a timeline. We definitely don’t have a car. A car that we’ve 100% paid for and moved our lives around a number of times for. We even sold our old car in anticipation of having this one!

Weak sauce, really.

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