The web without the web

Laura González:

In elevating frontend to the land of Serious Code we have not just made things incredibly over-engineered but we have also set fire to all the ladders that we used to get up here in the first place.

Browsers are pretty good at loading pages, it turns out

Carter Sande:

The <a> tag is one of the most important building blocks of the Internet. It lets you create a hyperlink: a piece of text, usually colored blue, that you can use to go to a new page. When you click on a hyperlink, your web browser downloads the new page from the server and displays it on the screen. Most web browsers also store the pages you previously visited so you can quickly go back to them. The best part is, the <a> tag gives you all of that behavior for free! Just tell the browser where you want to go, and it handles the rest.

Lately, though, that hasn’t been enough for website developers. The new fad is “client-side navigation”, where instead of relying on the browser to load new pages for you, you write a bunch of JavaScript code to do it instead. It’s actually really hard to get it right—loading the new page is simple enough, but you also have to write code to display a loading bar, make the Back and Forward buttons work, show an error page if the connection drops, and so on.

So much this! The trend towards building a website/web app as a Javascript front end talking to an API makes web development more complicated than it needs to be. Many of these sites could (and should) be server rendered HTML.

Take better selfies

Aanand Prasad

We ignore the effects of unchecked masculinity on us at huge cost. It’s poisoning us quietly, from youth through adulthood, stifling us, making us both harmed and harmful. It’s on us to end this, and it starts with radical self-love. Let’s be beautiful and vulnerable together.

The loudness of American airports

Duncan Davidson

As soon as you arrive in the United States from overseas, people are yelling at you. First, they’re telling you which queues to use depending on which passport you have. Somehow, the printed signage doesn’t suffice, though I have a hard time believing that uniformed officers quickly barking orders at people is of much use to a foreign-language speaker.

Brompton World Championship USA 2019

The Brompton World Championship USA heat took place at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, New York. I shot a video of the race from a GoPro mounted to the front of my Brompton.

I managed to place 22nd overall and 12th in the men under 50 category.

Wonderful post by @Cheri on making the Internet fun again…


Taken on February 22nd, 2019. iPhone X wide angle, ISO 20, 1/787 sec at ƒ/1.8

I’ve coveted the Brompton folding bike for a few years now, and finally decided to get myself one after find more and more badly maintained Citibikes. It’s a fantastic piece of engineering and great fun to ride. It’s also a real head turner, especially when folding or unfolding the bike!

Mine is an S6L Nickel Edition. S means sporty flat handlebars, 6 means it has six gears; three on a wide range Sturmey Archer hub and two on a little derailleur system, and the L means it has mud guards. The six speed setup works surprisingly well, and the mud guards keep all the muck off my back. The nickel finish was expensive but looks stunning and is very hard wearing.

It’s a surprisingly fast ride, and it is very lively due to the small wheels, but never feels sketchy at speed. I’m loving it so far!

Barrel Race

Barrel Race
Taken on December 10th, 2017. Fuji X-E2, XF 55-200mm at 200mm, ISO 1250, 1/60 sec at ƒ/4.8

Sydni Blanchard competing in the Barrel Race at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 2017.

I’m sad that the Apple In-Ear Headphones have been discontinued. They were an overlooked gem. Amazing sound quality for the price.

Chess and Recursion: Part 1

My custom keyboard

I’ve been using my investment time at thoughtbot to build a multiplayer chess game using Elixir and Phoenix in order to hone my skills in that area. One of the trickiest and most fun parts of the project so far has been generating all the possible moves for a player to make.