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.
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.
“Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Video, slides, and resources for my talk at beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf.
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.)
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…
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…
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…
“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.”
We should be protective of our greatest possession—our values.
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.
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.
“Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is dissatisfied with being told only what is not; he wishes to be told what is.”
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.
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.
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.
- Becker, Kraig
- bij de Weg, Henk
- Fung, Kaiser
- Heilmann, Christian
- Kadlec, Tim
- Keith, Jeremy
- Krugman, Paul
- Martin, Robert C.
- Meyer, Eric A.
- Ockerman, Stephanie
- Osmani, Addy
- Schneier, Bruce
- Sterling, Bruce
Perhaps my most interesting book: 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer (2013). During my time in the States I started trying everything. Everything. Then I noticed that wasn’t only fun, it also brought many benefits.