Jens Oliver Meiert

Blog

Jens Oliver Meiert on web development and design (and sometimes philosophy, art, and adventure). Writing about quality code and world views since 1999.

Performance Rule #1: Do What You Need to Do—But Not More

Web Performance has over the age of the Web not only turned into a discipline by itself, but also a complex one at that. While important much less so for revenue but for user experience and accessibility reasons, there’s a particular angle at performance that makes the matter very simple: the pragmatic angle.

Post from November 13, 2018, filed under .

How to Configure Lighthouse for Balanced Quality Websites

Google’s Lighthouse is a great tool even though it has some issues. Fortunately, it’s possible to configure Lighthouse to one’s own views on what matters. Here’s the config that I like to use.

Post from October 15, 2018, filed under .

The One Thing We May Really Want to Research

My back-burner philosophical work revolves around one idea: that what creates and makes for our reality, in quite practical terms, is what we believe. That idea is profound and requires more: research.

Post from October 4, 2018, filed under .

Highlights from The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels)

“This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves.”

Post from October 1, 2018, filed under .

A Short Guide to Minimal Web Development

There’s an art and even a bit of magic around simple frontend code. Writing such code comes with a few preconditions: perhaps a firm understanding of core technologies, a lot of practice, public scrutiny, and then some. Thoughts.

Post from September 25, 2018, filed under .

Web Development and the GDPR

Who shares or presents code has a special responsibility, because for both the uninitiated and the quality-minded such code should be of a considerable standard. European privacy legislation ups the ante.

Post from August 31, 2018, filed under .

37 Theses on CSS and Web Development

CSS Optimization Basics ends with a list of key ideas. From acknowledging that we don’t always write perfectly efficient and maintainable and understandable code to leading by example.

Post from August 16, 2018, filed under .

AMP, a Strategy

There are problems with AMP. My recommendations: Avoid AMP; or use it, exclusively, on the most relevant pages; or go all-in, for AMP-only.

Post from July 5, 2018, filed under .

The Craft of CSS

When we type down CSS like we’ve done 20 years ago, and when we work with ever more abstractions, what does that mean for our craft?

Post from June 27, 2018, filed under .

The Dangers of Being a Web Developer

Video, slides, and resources for my talk at beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf.

Post from May 10, 2018, filed under .

The cover of “CSS Optimization Basics.”

CSS Optimization Basics

My latest little book, covering mindsets needed for writing effective style sheets, optimization options during operation and for production, and useful resources to aid and inform the work with CSS. (Pay what you want.)

Post from April 12, 2018, filed under .

User-Centered Web Development

When we think of user focus we easily think of usability tests, following a usually strong wish to produce something that’s actually useful. For us as web developers, focus on the user has a tendency to appear distant though…

Post from March 14, 2018, filed under .

HTML, CSS, and Dependency Direction

Adam Wathan wrote one of the most interesting web development articles I’ve read in the last few months: CSS Utility Classes and “Separation of Concerns.” At least until “Phase 3” there’s much to learn about current web development…

Post from February 14, 2018, filed under .

How Declaration Repetition Developed over Time, a Statistically Insignificant Sample

We know that there’s excessive declaration repetition in the Web’s style sheets, that each declaration is on average repeated 2–3 times, often needlessly. We know that this repetition is a little less bad on tech sites…

Post from February 7, 2018, filed under .

Highlights from Cobbett’s Advice to Young Men

“The first thing to be required of a man is, that he understand well his own calling, or profession; and, be you in what state of life you may, to acquire this knowledge ought to be your first and greatest care.”

Post from February 1, 2018, filed under .

On Loyalty

We should be protective of our greatest possession—our values.

Post from January 27, 2018, filed under .

The Compact Guide to Web Maintainability: 200 Tips and Resources

The result of reviewing, normalizing, rephrasing, sorting, and testing 134 responses to a maintainability survey that yielded more than 500 data points, to form a new guide, a new and more definite guide to web maintainability.

Post from January 24, 2018, filed under .

Oh WTF My Tone, or: On Germans Speaking English

Anecdote. When I was working at Google, shortly after I had made one of my first bigger contributions, I experienced one of my more memorable performance reviews. You’ll never guess what happened next.

Post from January 17, 2018, filed under .

Highlights from The Elements of Style (William Strunk Jr.)

“Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is dissatisfied with being told only what is not; he wishes to be told what is.”

Post from January 15, 2018, filed under and .

On Material Design

When Google introduced Material Design back in 2014, I was happy; I was happy for the team and I was happy for Google to mark another milestone on the long way of improving the aesthetics of their products. But, I was also concerned.

Post from January 11, 2018, filed under .

Static Site Tricks: Social Network Propagation with IFTTT

Automation is critical for work efficiency and productivity. Everything helps.

Post from January 8, 2018, filed under .

The Two Extremes of Writing CSS, and What We Can Learn from Them

Extremes can be useful. In practice they help get the maximum out of a given approach, and in theory they can show what we’re headed to. Compare two ways of writing CSS—like Tachyons or Atomic CSS, and 2000’s idealistic engineering.

Post from January 2, 2018, filed under .

On Meeting and Leaving People

Humans are social. Cooperation got us where we are. There are several ways to get to know new people, and, in relationships, to leave them. A few thoughts.

Post from December 30, 2017, filed under .

What We Know

On some days, if you asked me about what we know, with absolute certainty, I’d respond with only that something exists. And if you asked me…

Post from December 24, 2017, filed under .

On Writing 1,000 Poems

A story of venturing into an entirely different genre.

Post from December 17, 2017, filed under and .

Notification on updates: RSS feed.

Biography

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of September 22, 2018.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure.

As a developer Jens is specialized in the management and quality assurance of complex international websites (Google), works on standards (W3C), and writes for technical publishers (O’Reilly: Webdesign mit CSS, The Little Book of HTML/CSS Frameworks, Coding Guidelines, and Website Quality Control; cf. On Web Development and CSS Optimization Basics).

As a philosopher, Jens focuses on metaphysics. He emphasizes self-responsibility (How to Work on Oneself). As an artist Jens plays with (moving) photography; as an adventurer he explores activities (100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer) and localities (Journey of J.).

Jens is also available on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Does my work make yours a little easier? Consider supporting my public projects.

Found a mistake? Email me, jens@meiert.com.

You are here: Home

Last update: November 13, 2018

Awareness, honesty, responsibility.