Dispatches From the Internets
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that we are closing Web Standards Sherpa. As of April 2, we will be archiving the site in order to keep the valuable insights and techniques shared by our authors available in perpetuity.
Two weeks ago, I argued that our users should never foot the bill for developer convenience and yesterday I stumbled on a post from EllisLab (the makers of ExpressionEngine) that echoes that sentiment, but from a different angle. The title might make you scratch your head: Save Thousands of Dollars by Paying More for Hosting.
At Tuesday night’s Code & Creativity, digital governance expert Lisa Welchman equated digital projects to an atom. Content, IA, project management, networking, graphic design, application development, performance, and other concerns are flying this way and that like electrons—a swirling mass of energy and velocity. What holds this chaos together and keeps the electrons from flying off in all directions is the magnetic pull of protons in the nucleus of the atom.
While listening to Radiolab’s “The Trust Engineers”, I’ll admit I got a little excited when they started talking about web form performance. And no, not “performance” in the time-to-download sense, but “performance” in terms of how well the forms performed in attempting to capture meaningful, actionable data.
In more than a handful of conversations lately, it’s become quite clear that we, the web development community, are prioritizing our own convenience and our own time over that of our users. With our industry’s focus on “user-centered design”, you might find that hard to believe, but it’s true.
It seems that every other day a new code school opens it doors. In my mid-sized city, Chattanooga, there are no fewer than three businesses centered around teaching “coding” classes1 that I am aware of. And there are at least a half-dozen free or community driven programs and camps on top of that. Most are aimed at youth, but some offer adult education as well. And that, of course, is over and above what’s available in our public and private schools (which is considerable) and a plethora of online options.
I should note that I am lumping a bunch of stuff into the umbrella of “coding” because some of these teach front-end web technologies, others teach those plus back-end stuff in PHP or Python, and others teach maker-style classes focused around robotics and DIY electronics like Arduino. ↩
Jason Garber has penned a series of posts on progressive enhancement. Here’s a quick rundown on what they cover and why you should read them.
Monday, February 2nd will be the start of a new chapter in my professional career: I will joining Microsoft as a standards evangelist.
The reasons for the move are manifold, but I will do my best to summarize by taking you on the journey I’ve been on and hopefully that will help you understand why I will be leaving agency life behind and joining a browser maker (and the makers of Internet Explorer at that).