Jens Oliver Meiert

Blog

Jens Oliver Meiert (sum.cumo, W3C, O’Reilly) on web development and design, and sometimes philosophy, art, and adventure. Writing about quality code and world views since 1999.

Understanding Image Compression: Tooling and Context

Image compression is an important part of performance optimization. It seems straight-forward but is a little deceptive, however, because it consists not of one but two parts—and it’s usually lack of understanding of one part that causes problems.

Post from May 22, 2019, filed under .

A Crime Called Favicon

16×16, 30×30, 32×32, 48×48, 57×57, 60×60, 64×64, 70×70, 72×72, 76×76, 90×90, 96×96, 114×114, 120×120, 128×128, 144×144, 150×150, 152×152, 160×160, 167×167, 180×180, 192×192, 195×195, 196×196, 228×228, 256×256, 270×270, 310×310, 558×558.

Post from May 9, 2019, filed under .

How Can We Make Website Maintenance Work More Visible?

The maintenance and maintainability of websites is a much neglected topic. This is problematic because: We cannot not maintain. Yet primarily we may deal with a visibility problem that we could explore more options for.

Post from April 24, 2019, filed under .

Counter the Happiness Assumption

It may be rather clear that life is not all about being happy.

Post from April 16, 2019, filed under .

The cover of “199 Love Haiku.”

199 Love Haiku (the Book)

In 2016, I wrote 1,000 short poems, haiku-style. I wrote those poems to challenge myself as a writer. I launched a website for the haiku and I shared the story. Today, I’ve published the 199 haiku that a few friends and I liked the most as a book.

Post from April 9, 2019, filed under and .

Print Styling, the 3 Basics

Many sites are not prepared for print, and yet our users print, and they save through print. Therefore: Have a print style sheet, and be it a negative one. Hide what’s not usable or useful. Always test, and tweak when you want better.

Post from April 5, 2019, filed under and .

Optional @lang

The lang attribute is one of HTML’s global attributes. If one doesn’t simply take it for granted, it begs a number of questions—and these suggest to drop W3C requirements around it, and to demand software to do the job.

Post from March 21, 2019, filed under .

What Happened on Google+, the Web Development Archives

Following a few philosophy posts to be archived, here are past entries related to web development. Nothing more, nothing less.

Post from March 9, 2019, filed under and .

What Happened on Google+, the Philosophy Archives

Google+ is shutting down, pulling everything with it. I’ve used Google+. And although I’ve changed and would put a few things differently now, I decided to archive a few of the somewhat philosophical Google+ posts.

Post from March 8, 2019, filed under and .

HTML and Performance: Leave Out Optional Tags and Quotes

As experts we should know what code is optional and leave it out, and our production systems should do a better job assisting us with that. After all the years of neglecting basic HTML optimization, let’s think about taking the next step and not ship optional HTML markup.

Post from January 29, 2019, filed under .

Google Lighthouse and PWA

A review of Lighthouse’s PWA audits and the PWA category as a whole. Just in time to see it be superseded by Lighthouse 4, the major update that solves some (unfortunately not all) of those issues.

Post from January 17, 2019, filed under .

2018

A retrospective.

Post from December 31, 2018, filed under .

On Performance Visions, or: Performance Optimization Is a Process

It’s smart to have a vision for what one wishes to achieve for the performance of a site or app. Yet even the soundest approaches to performance visions have their problems, and in them we recognize that performance, or performance optimization, is indeed a process.

Post from December 4, 2018, filed under .

Should Designers Code

Arguments for a “no” to a recurring question: Why we may want to give designers all freedom in the world, not to be limited in what they’re trained to do best.

Post from November 23, 2018, filed under and .

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 .

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About Jens

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of April 19, 2019.

Jens Oliver Meiert is a technical lead and author. He loves trying things, including in the realms of philosophy, art, and adventure.

As a web 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 and poetry (199 Love Haiku); as an adventurer he explores activities (100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer) and localities (Journey of J.).

Stay up-to-date? That’s easy, by feed or on Twitter.

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

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Last update: May 22, 2019

“No one is truly ‘well off’ if they are well off while others are dying.”