RSS Digest No.1

December 12, 2018

Reagan Ray just published an awesome digest post of things he’s recently found and enjoyed on the Internet. I love this style of post so much. It sends me down rabbit trails of enjoyment. This past weekend I cleared out some ~500 RSS items in my RSS reader. I thought it’d be fun to do a digest post as well and highlight some of my favorite reads and things from the last week or so.

Web Industry Stuff

  1. Design Systems at Gusto Part II by Robin Rendle
    I appreciated these ramblings about mature design systems by Robin, it’s good to hear others’ perspectives. One thing thing Robin mentioned is that the Gusto Design System team is 3 people (a designer, a design lead, and an engineer). This style of team tracks with my experience for maintaining a design system long-term, but it made me wonder if that’s too many people (aka $$$) for most smaller companies. Robin’s Part I is also worth a read.

  2. While we Blink, we loose the Web by Andre Alves Garzia
    Andre Alves Garzia has a very illustrative post on the Chrome/Webkit market dominance happening. It’s a compelling post and the link to André Staltz thinkpiece “The Web Began Dying in 2014, Here’s How” really outlines how the Web is losing its independence.

    Losing engines is like losing languages. People may wish that everyone spoke the same language, they may claim it leads to easier understanding, but what people fail to consider is that this leads to losing all the culture and way of thought that that language produced. If you are a Web developer smiling and happy that Microsoft might be adopting Chrome, and this will make your work easier because it will be one less browser to test, don’t be! You’re trading convenience for diversity.

    I really hope everyone understands what’s at stake if other rendering engines disappear.

  3. Scaling CSS: Two sides of a Spectrum by Chris Coyier
    This post was born out of a conversation with Ben Frain on Shop Talk Show Ep336. In that show Ben asserts there are only two ways to do scalable CSS: Total Isolation or Total Abstraction. It’s a hard line to draw, but it explains a lot about current “Let’s fix CSS” tech like Functional CSS frameworks or even CSS-in-JS. Ben asserts it’s the middle ground that gets you in trouble. I’ve felt that pain, but don’t know if it’s an absolute truth. I desperately would like a third way “Some utilities + Well-formed classes” to be popularized, but maybe that’s wishful thinking.

  4. Show Me Your Mic Ep123: Can Podcasting Go Windows? by Chris Enns
    I was on the very first episode of Show Me Your Mic some years ago and it was fun to be on it again. Since then I’ve switched operating systems, so Chris and I got to chat about how Podcasting works on Windows, how software is different, etc. We also spent a good amount of time discussing one of my favorite topics: Podcast Formulas!

Game Stuff

  1. Thinkrolls by Avokiddo
    Thinkrolls in a game that my 5yo learned about at Kindergarten (they have iPads in the computer lab). It’s a simple physics-based puzzle game for kids ages 3-8. This weekend my 3yo daughter Emi picked it up and it was such a joy to watching her figure out the mechanics. Whenever she solved a puzzle herself she let out a visceral “Yusss!” My heart melted. She quickly became addicted and was pretty vocal when we made her turn the iPad off.
  2. Mindgame in Vue by Me
    The rest of the weekend I worked on porting a game I prototyped earlier this year called MindGame over to Vue. The theme of the game is Mastermind + Emoji, because why not. As I started building out the level generator which introduces various constraints to the game I realized I wanted a bit more of a “reactive” architecture. Rather than some hacky data querying, I’d like a predictable system where components just respond to some level data. I’m interested in Vue’s HTML-y nature, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m already rolling it into some client work.

If you want to watch me fail at Vue, pull that up in a /live/ tab. I think I’m getting close to mirroring the functionality (not style) of the previous prototype. If enough people are interested, maybe I’ll start a “Fail at Vue” livestream over on my Twitch.

Other than clearing out RSS and redoing tinker apps, I’ve been diving into a lot of political-themed audiobooks. Woof. Like I need more stress in my life. But it’s been educational.

I also started Season 3 of Serial which shines a light on our broken justice system by spending a year in a Cleveland courthouse. It’s tough to swallow that this is generally how the Law operates. As each episode ends, I hear the voice of Dr. King saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”