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p5.js is a JavaScript library for creative coding, with a focus on making coding accessible and inclusive for artists, designers, educators, beginners, and anyone else!

When designing developer tools, does one have to choose between making programming easier for programmers vs. making programming more accessible and inclusive to a larger group of folks?

Whenever I work with React I feel like it is an example of a tool that makes programming easier for programmers (read as engineers” perhaps?).

If this is true, what then are the consequences of the ClojureScript community so fully embracing the way React does its thing? Is is alienating folks, or is it making react more approachable?

In reply to: React

Why I have a problem with React the library and spend a lot of time talking to my therapist

Screenshot of a text editor and a browser window. The text editor has jquery as a lisp.

jQuery as a lisp!?

Link logging

You all. A week! Maybe a few. They’ve been something else, for good and ill, fun and waaaha!?” A doozy. So, here is a doozy of a link log!

aerc; The world’s best email client

I haven’t given this a go, yet, but it looks pretty solid, and like a great/easier to use alternative to mutt or alpine.

Why I’m still using jQuery in 2019

I use jQuery just about every day, and, you know what…I really like it. 😬

Why You Should Buy Into the Emacs Platform

The title of this post is a we bit deceive-ious, it is more of a list of awesome emacs resources than a manifesto/proclamation on why you should” use emacs.

Welcome to Linux From Scratch!

Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own custom Linux system, entirely from source code.

Why Don’t Americans Use Their Parks At Night?

However cities want to encourage more park use at night, he stresses that they need to consult the community anchors” to ensure that it meets the needs of the entire neighborhood.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will have skin tone customization, gender-neutral hairstyles for Villagers

This piece serves as a great follow up to this previously linked post from Austin Walker, Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes Recipe

How to cook potatoes in an instant pot.

Is Robert’s Rules too Restrictive? Consider Martha’s Rules of Order for Meetings

See also, Martha’s Rules

Borough mayor is knitting to prove men speak too much at meetings

Montgomery said she is unfazed by criticism and will continue knitting until Christmas.

Knitting as both protest, and social signal.

Don’t slow that bus down, we’ve got places to be

But there’s a clear difference between Die Hard and Speed, […] Die Hard is about the individual — the lone wolf John McClaine, shooting his way through the terrorists — but Speed isn’t really about Reeves. It’s about the collective. It’s not just one of Keanu’s best movies; it’s one of the best movies about public transportation. Speed refutes one of the most pervasive myths about metropolitan transit systems in the U.S. — that no one rides the bus in Los Angeles — with its economically and racially diverse ensemble of riders, who must work together and with Jack Traven to keep the bus going until the bomb is dismantled.

Help For Werewolf

Werewolf! is a free-form social roleplaying game (kinda):

Be your own curator. Archivist.

Question: what is to be done with the stuff after it has been cataloged and stored? Are we pinning butterflies for the sake of pinning them, or is there a moment of beholding, and re-use/re-mix down the line?

Save and make? Transform?

I like to think of what I do with these link logs as part curation, part compost.

IBM and the Holocaust — why wasn’t this on my radar?

Juxtaposed: Wayfair workers plan walkout in protest of company’s bed sales to migrant camps.

Slight correction to CNNs title, though — migration camps” should be concentration camps.”

Atlanta’s Food Forest Will Provide Fresh Fruit, Nuts, and Herbs to Forage

Most of the trees in the forest are still too young to bear fruit. But once they become productive, about five years from now, McCord expects literal tons of fruit.”

Before you were here

[…] Needing to build your own website, setting up your own webservers, and using non-user friendly applications to transfer data not only meant that most early users had a better core understanding of the technology and what its future might bring, it also meant that users had a sense of ownership. They were shaping the medium they were consuming.

screenshots of despair

A catalog of little despair.

Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online

The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I, as exemplified by this very post, have a tagging problem.

Interesting also in the context of digital minimalism,” see Walking Alone: On Digital Minimalism”.

on dat://

@kicks offering the most cogent explanation of what the heck date:// actually is that I’ve found!

Ok, so how does Dat work exactly? It is simply a unique address attached to a folder of files (kind of like a ZIP file.) You then share that folder on the network and others can sync it to their system when they visit the unique address.

SwiftUI, Privacy, macOS, and the Web

A long, but worthwhile read.

The Future of Interaction, Part II

The most important part of this announcement is the abstraction they’re working with, not the view surface being used for rendering.

Wherein the abstraction becomes a tool for focusing on interaction, rather than specific implementation.

Adversarial Interoperability: Reviving an Elegant Weapon From a More Civilized Age to Slay Today’s Monopolies

What made iWork a success—and helped re-launch Apple—was the fact that Pages could open and save most Word files […]

[…] Apple didn’t just make an interoperable” product that worked with an existing product in the market: they made an adversarially interoperable product whose compatibility was wrested from the incumbent, through diligent reverse-engineering and reimplementation.

The New Wilderness

The need to regulate online privacy is a truth so universally acknowledged that even Facebook and Google have joined the chorus of voices crying for change […] No two companies have done more to drag private life into the algorithmic eye than Google and Facebook.

So why have the gravediggers of online privacy suddenly grown so worried about the health of the patient?

Part of the answer is a defect in the language we use to talk about privacy. That language, especially as it is codified in law, is not adequate for the new reality of ubiquitous, mechanized surveillance.

Continuing later,

The question we need to ask is not whether our data is safe, but why there is suddenly so much of it that needs protecting. The problem with the dragon, after all, is not its stockpile stewardship, but its appetite.

That Web Dev Thing Where Everybody Says Something Clever Involving Toast

Twitter is designed to escalate responses and keep people engaged. This has the effect of polarising discussions online which in turn has, in my mind, made it completely useless as a venue for discussing web development issues.

airtext

A decentralized blogging…thing…platform…service?

Link logging

WebAuthn; A better alternative for securing our sensitive information online

I’ve mixed feelings about this — but tbh, I am not in the lease qualified to opine one way or the other. That being said, I’m really digging the .guide TLD.

Video of a Japanese Space Probe Touching Down on an Asteroid

While I was struggling get some react and an API to cooperate other people were landing a probe on an asteroid.

Grainy image of the probe’s landing zone

The Geography of America’s Mobile and Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.

I catch myself (panicked) thinking about this a lot in the context of climate change, wondering where we should live if we are going to be stuck there.

Technical communication is particularly hard for newcomers

One of the key components to good technical communication is the right amount of context.

Cache-Control for Civilians

One of the most common and effective ways to manage the caching of your assets is via the Cache-Control HTTP header. This header applies to individual assets, meaning everything on our pages can have a very bespoke and granular cache policy. The amount of control we’re granted makes for very intricate and powerful caching strategies.

Handy dandy skip to point link

The Growing Complexity Of Developing Websites and the Growing Ease Of Using Site Builders

Developers like to develop. They like code and development tools and they’re bringing more of those things to the design and development of websites. Instead of writing HTML and CSS directly, now we’re told to write both inside Javascript.

Continuing,

The downside of this change is that it’s becoming more difficult for someone new (particular on the design side) to enter the field. The barrier for entry is increasing as the requirements are growing more complex.

I think this is spot on — something that I believe is missing from this conversation, however, is that raising the barrier for entry also runs the risk of making the community even more homogenous.

The Great Divide

Very much in-line with the previous entry:

The divide is between people who self-identify as a (or have the job title of) front-end developer, yet have divergent skill sets.

This article is nice in that it spells out a solution, and offers some guidance for how best to talk about the work of front-end development…and points out that front-end development can mean a lot of different things to a different people.

An exercise in progressive enhancement

A recent project I’ve been tinkering with was a good use case for me to familiarise myself with the actual implementation of a site that works without Javascript, but is enhanced by Javascript when it is available.

Making Things Better: Redefining the Technical Possibilities of CSS by Rachel Andrew

A CSS tech-talk liveblog,

CSS tries to avoid data loss.

Writing in Emacs

A nice little assortment of packages for writing words inside of emacs. I’ll also take this as an opportunity to plug my homespun config that I’m still really digging: tilde.el

Code hidden in Stone Age art may be the root of human writing

🤯

Climate crisis and a betrayed generation

Leading to ⤵️

The Servant Economy

West Marches: Running Your Own

Zelda Breath of the Wild meets table top gaming! An open world, sandbox style RP is something I’ve always wanted to try…maybe set on the high seas! 🏴‍☠️

Check out all these historical Jolly Roger flags from wikipedia

Shout out to the best from the collection, Jacquotte Delahaye’s Back From the Dead Red” flag

Shout out to this, the greatest flag — a lady pirate dancing with a very jolly looking skeleton holding a spear.

Link logging

Explaining Code using ASCII Art

People tend to be visual: we use pictures to understand problems. Mainstream programming languages, on the other hand, operate in an almost completely different kind of abstract space, leaving a big gap between programs and pictures.

Cyberfeminism ~1990s - present, Cyberfeminist Index by Mindy Seu

I’m currently working on a printed publication, a la the Whole Earth Catalog and the New Woman’s Survival Catalog, that will provide an overview of cyberfeminism and its evolution into networked feminism (like social media activism), xenofeminism (gender-abolition), and posthumanism/bio-hacktivism. It will be a resource guide: a sampling of books, essays, collectives, online communities, hackerspaces, etc.”

This article does a bonkers good job laying out how quickly and how much China’s urban and suburban areas are growing.

Networking - 🚂 Choo Documentation

I’ve been exploring alternatives to React lately, and keep coming back to Choo. I very much like this bit from its documentation:

A fun way to think about browsers, is as a standardized Virtual Machine (VM) that includes high-level APIs to do networking, sandboxed code execution and disk access. It runs on almost every platform, behaves similarly everywhere, and is always kept backwards compatible.

What if JavaScript Wins?

Technology has always existed in a social context, and evaluations of the risk or reliability of a tech platform have always relied on social indicators. But the acceleration of these patterns, and the extending of the social networks around code to include the majority of working coders, means that institutional indicators (like which company funds its development?”) now come second to community-based signals.

Similarly, top-down indications of technical maturity like documentation (often an artifact of outside investment in making a technology accessible to a new audience) are complemented, or even eclipsed, by bottoms-up indicators like how many people have bookmarked a framework, or how many people answer comments about a toolkit.

Tbh, I wasn’t all that interested in this pieces discussion of the pros and cons of JavaScript, but the author, Anil Dash of Glitch does an excellent job articulating the squishier side of why this and such system prevails over that and which thing-a-ma-bob that may be technically” better.

The piece reminds me of something I recently heard John Siracusa talk about on a podcast — he speculated that software may be the most complicated non-biological thing that humans have ever built. At first I thought it was hubris, but then, as he continued to make his point and draw a line from software to hardware to physics and the physicality of computing I was swayed.

What we often think of as being ethereal and digital” is, at the end of the day, still in meatspace…

See also Being Popular” by Paul Graham.

Why I Write CSS in JavaScript

I’m skeptical of CSS in JS for a few reasons, but this article softened my views. I still don’t love it, but my reasons for not loving it aren’t technical, really.

Pragmatic rules of web accessibility that will stick to your mind

Good high-level intro. I could see this being valuable for someone trying to convince management” of accessibilities value.”

Time to Panic. The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us.

Our little brown rat’: first climate change-caused mammal extinction

RIP. Expecting more news of this sort in the coming years is terrifying, but also, hopefully, key to catalyzing change.

A Journey Into the Animal Mind

Crows are among the most sophisticated avian technologists.

That is a solid sentence. I read it allowed to myself a few times when I came across it.

Cisco Trash Map, On railroads, oil rigs, uranium mines, 7-11 pizzas, Thelma and Louise, ruination, salvage, and the limits of the garbage gaze.

…I absorbed the common critique of ruin porn — that it tends to erase history and inspire myth. It’s true that as a high schooler I had a pretty vague sense of the politics that made Milwaukee’s ruins. But mythmaking has always shaped the U.S. landscape…

…Ruins are the idealized structures of a vaguely defined past; rubble is the aftermath of specific events that people live in, reuse, and form material relationships to…

Medieval trade networks v.4

A map of ancient trade networks

A detailed map of medieval trade routes. I always find this sort of thing fascinating and, in my experience lacking from contemporary historical education in the U.S. History is often presented as vignettes, as specific narratives, that are disjointed from a large context. I love how a map like this helps to contextualize the ecology, or maybe society? of history.

Five Lessons From Seven Years of Research Into Buttons

The first point is interesting, and click bait-y 1. Buttons Aren’t Actually Easy to Use”

I think it may be better presented as buttons require context.”

Or, perhaps The value of a good label.”

Link logging

Mark’s bookmarklets

I like bookmarklets. I like that these are bookmarklets made by Mark. See also Mark’s Learn2JS.

Pixaki for iPad

This is an app that I have not tried, but that looks groovy if you are into creating pixel art.

Bad ethernet cable

Reminding us that it is important to remember that the medium is the message…especially when the message relies on a medium for transference.

SQL: One of the Most Valuable Skills

Leave your ORM at the door. SQL fo’ lyfe!

Opportunity did not answer NASAs final call, and it’s now lost to us

RIP. You were the best robot adventurer. You will be missed.

I’ve gone full Apocalypse Dad

I read this. It caused me to panic. Living in blissful ignorance and being busy with work and not having the money to actually really stockpile anything of usefulness is what keeps me from being a full on doomsday hoarder.

But responding to the possibility of the worst, by pursuing mere survival, seems a bit limited — even to the point of being paradoxical. Survival is conservative by nature: however bad the world might be, my best chances of surviving in it are by learning and respecting its rules. My best hopes at riding out any given disaster are if things, as far as possible, continue to follow laws and norms I already understand. And yet, the possibility of disaster is inherent to the world as it presently exists, as long as the world remains the same, that possibility will be there. In a way, then, the best thing to do would be to throw caution to the wind, to forget [mere] survival and embrace — as far as possible — radical change. Only then might we achieve a world in which we are genuinely safe, without ever needing to rely on mere survivalism again.

Hello. By the Way. Whatever.

Nora Ephron on blogging.

…one of the most delicious things about the profoundly parasitical world of blogs is that you don’t have to have anything much to say. Or you just have to have a little tiny thing to say. You just might want to say hello. I’m here. And by the way. On the other hand. Nevertheless. Did you see this? Whatever. A blog is sort of like an exhale.

Virginia Woolf on a similar topic:

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last.

SPUDwrite is a DIY E Ink typewriter… with a printer… and an LCD display

An E Ink typewriter.

O Uommibatto”: How the Pre-Raphaelites Became Obsessed with the Wombat

I had no idea that wombats were so beloved by the Pre-Raphaelites!?

Wombat sketch by Edward Burne-Jones featured in Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones (1904) by Georgiana Burne-Jones

TYPE DESIGN, TYPOGRAPHY, TYPEFACES AND FONTS: An encyclopedic treatment of type design, typefaces and fonts. This site is also known as on snot and fonts.

Need I say more than this title?

SCRIPT-8 is pretty much just like PICO-8, but implemented in JavaScript instead of Lua.

All (by which I mean most) of the websites I maintain for work now run a-okay under IE 11! 🕺

Hi, my name is Eli and today Javascript devoured me whole 🦖