Post ideas for the weekend

Couple of post ideas for this weekend, should I find the time (I do have something else to get written and an ITFC match to go to):

  • Some ideas for reading research (bottoming out line length, leading, type of screen, purpose of the research, who you’re researching etc.) A final run at my response to Mary Dyson’s article.
  • Four things I learned from validating my website. A response to Jens’ article on the types of HTML we write and the importance he places on validation. What you gain from validating, and the why (of course).

Design Regression (a website about design for reading and reading-related research)

Design Regression is a journalette (mini journal) publishing texts that are about design for reading and reading-related research. It aims for the hard-to-get blend of approachability with seriousness and relevance to practice.

If there was one website designed just for me, Design Regression is it. I’ve started with the article on line length. It’s beautifully designed too. Subscribed.

Static sites for small organisations

A while back I wrote about how great traditionally static (not SPAs or jamstack) sites are. I’ve had the work site go down a couple of times in the last month and I do think for small or medium size orgs on a small budget, these are a very good thing indeed. At the very least they keep small web teams sane.

The key is old-fashioned progressive enhancement. Take time to define a baseline, javascript-free experience and then build on that. You can do an awful lot with automated builds, javascript filtering and the odd outsourced service for things like forms. Trust me, not having (very fast) websites go down is good for you and the people visiting your site.

Wrong Guardian headlines

Screenshot of a Guardian headline.

(The headline reads: Johnson accused of corruption as he tears up system to fight Westminster sleaze.)

This reads wrong. It makes it seem as if as if Boris Johnson is tearing up the system in order to fight sleaze.

Neu Jekyll theme in the works

I am, however, building a very focused Jekyll theme with no comments. It’ll send webmentions nicely, but not display them.

Strip out everything

I’ve done a lot of work getting comments and webmentions working on this (static!) site, but my current urge (which comes around every couple of months or so) is to strip all that out and just post articles with an email address at the end. Or just stick to below the line comments.

Morning Land by Faust (from Faust 1971-1974 Box Set)

Confusingly, individual songs from the Faust 1971-1974 box set are appearing as either singles or whole albums on Spotify. No matter! This is fucking incredible music.

Safari’s godawful tabs got me thinking about using it more

Yes, ironically enough, Safari 15.0’s diabolical tab styling (and Gruber is 100% right about how poorly designed they are), has made me consider using, erm, Safari instead of (or side by side with, maybe) Firefox. After seeing what all the fuss was about, I found out you can turn off the absurd shove-everything-into-the-tab-even-the-address-bar-and-make-each-tab-a-different-colour UI so it remains usable.

The very good thing about Safari is it’s nativeness. It looks and feels right on MacOS, and you get the share icon.

Firefox has also decided to make tabs not like tabs, going for what I call the lozenge look.

Decided not to in the end, though. Firefox has better privacy options and some killer extensions that I couldn’t do without, especially Stylus and Hide Fixed Elements. And we need to support the independent browser.