Dispatches From The Internets

Better form UX with the CSS property field-sizing

Form fan that I am, I’m excited to have CSS that enables fields (especially textarea) to grow to accommodate the content someone’s in the process of entering into it.

I distinctly remember spending a good deal of time putting together a proof-of-concept for Twitter DMs to show how it could be done via JavaScript without killing performance, but this is far more elegant.

No Robots(.txt): How to Ask ChatGPT and Google Bard to Not Use Your Website for Training

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has you covered if you’d like to opt out of being indexed into tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. Just add these to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: GPTBot
Disallow: /

User-agent: Google-Extended
Disallow: /

Building on this, you could exclude specific directories (e.g., where you keep your images):

User-agent: GPTBot
Disallow: /i/

User-agent: Google-Extended
Disallow: /i/

I’ve decided to (for now at least) allow my text content to be indexed, but I may change my mind in the future.

The quiet, pervasive devaluation of frontend

While not exactly novel, this post from Josh Collinsworth is a fantastic meditation on devaluation of front-end engineering work.

Writing CSS seems to be regarded much like taking notes in a meeting, complete with the implicit sexism and devaluation of the note taker’s importance in the room.

Though critical to the project, frontend work will quite often be disregarded by those who consider it beneath them (usually men, and usually only tacitly, never explicitly). It’s not serious enough; not important enough; not real enough. Too squishy. Like soft skills.

Yes, of course, it’s important. It’s work that somebody needs to do, certainly. But probably not the important people, whose valuable attention is focused on other, bigger, more important problems.

It’s been this way for a long time. This attitude doesn’t exist on every team, but it’s pervasive throughout our industry.

Safari 17.4 Beta Release Notes

Amidst all the kerfuffle over Apple’s push to drop PWAs (a.k.a., Home Screen Apps), two PWA features I worked on quietly landed in Safari for desktop: shortcuts & categories.

  • Added support for the shortcuts manifest member on macOS. Shortcuts are available in the File menu and the Dock context menu. Users can set up custom keyboard shortcuts for them in System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > App Shortcuts. (106137954)

  • Added support for the categories manifest member on macOS. When creating a Launchpad folder containing web apps, the folder is automatically named accordingly. (116480550)


Don’t Outsource Your Perspective to a LLM

A person playing trumpet and a robot playing drums are on a stage in a jazz band. They are looking at each other. In the style of a 60s jazz album cover.

At A List Apart, I’m seeing a lot of article pitches that were clearly written by a Large Language Model (LLM) rather than a human being. In many cases, the people making the submission clearly put a lot of thought into the prompts they used to get the output they desired, but had zero follow though when it came to taking ownership of the output they were handed. To be clear, the issue I have here is not that they used an LLM as part of their process, but rather how they failed to wield such powerful tool effectively.

Acessibilidade: O verdadeiro diferencial dos livros digitais

It’s nice to see folks in the digital book space beginning to embrace the potential of their medium:

Para abraçar verdadeiramente o potencial do digital, é essencial adotar uma mentalidade ‘digital first’. Isso significa que o conteúdo digital não deve ser uma simples transposição do impresso, mas sim algo que aproveita ao máximo as funcionalidades únicas do meio digital.