Dispatches From the Internets

Why Do You Love the Web?

A few weeks back, I put out the call for a mentee for 2017. As part of the application process, I asked folks to publicly discuss why they love the Web. The applicants shared some amazing stories, anecdotes, and experiences in those posts and I wanted to take a moment to share them with you.1

  1. In other words, there were so many great applications that this will buy me some more time to make my decision :-) 

Any Advice on Moving From Octopress to Jekyll?

Next Tuesday I’m planning to take the day to do a little refresh on this site. The largest part of that effort will be moving this project off of Octopress to Jekyll. I’m not expecting it to be a huge challenge—Jekyll underpins Octopress anyway—but I’m sure there are some gotchas I should look out for. If you’ve made the leap yourself in the past and have any advice or recommended reading, please leave a comment or Web Mention.

Lessons in Averaging

In the work that we do on the Web (as well as in our daily lives), we’re often confronted, informed, or judged based on averages. I never really stopped to think about it, beyond being bugged by the fact that averages aren’t truly representative of reality. Then I listened to 99% Invisible’s episode “On Average”. It was incredibly enlightening and the stories shared in that episode provide sage wisdom that is very relevant to the work that we do.

[Insert Clickbait Headline About Progressive Enhancement Here]

Late last week, Josh Korr, a project manager at Viget, posted at length about what he sees as a fundamental flaw with the argument for progressive enhancement. In reading the post, it became clear to me that Josh really doesn’t have a good grasp on progressive enhancement or the reasons its proponents think it’s a good philosophy to follow. Despite claiming to be “an expert at spotting fuzzy rhetoric and teasing out what’s really being said”, Josh makes a lot of false assumptions and inferences. My response would not have fit in a comment, so here it is…

Mac-like Special Characters in Windows

I am a bit of a geek for proper punctuation: Em dashes… en dashes… curly quotes… ellipses… I love them all! Prior to 2007, I was a long-time Windows user and was a master of the Alt + numeric code system of entering special characters on that operating system.1 For nearly a decade, however, I’ve been writing and developing on a Mac and I absolutely love how much easier it is to use special characters. When I started setting up my new Surface Book, I began searching for a way to bring Mac-like special character entry to Windows 10.

  1. I actually memorized a ton of the codes, much to my amazement. I still remember a few, but I am thankful to have reclaimed a bit of that memory space over the last few years.