Dispatches From the Internets

Mentorship 2018

If you follow my work, you may recall that I started a formal mentorship program last year. I had the great privilege of working with two incredibly talented peopleAmberley Romo and Manuel Matuzović—for a little over a year and enjoyed the hell out of the experience.

I had hoped to kick off a new mentorship session in January, but (as often happens) life got in the way. Now that I’m settled into a new city and a new routine, I’m itching to get things going again. And so I ask: How can I help you develop or further your career on the web?

Going Offline

As you’ve probably gathered if you’ve been following my work for the last few years, I’m super-jazzed about Progressive Web Apps. I think they have the potential to improve user experience, performance, access, and so much more for so many people. So I was stoked when Jeremy Keith asked me to write the foreword for his latest book, Going Offline, which tackles the complex topic of Service Workers with aplomb.

With his permission (and A Book Apart’s), I’m reprinting the foreword here.

We Can Truly Transform People’s Lives

Kelly, Oscar, and I are getting ready to head out for a long weekend up in Gatlinburg, TN to take a break from house selling insanity and kick off the celebration of our 16-year anniversary. We love the Fall, but not everyone is equipped to take in the awesome beauty of Fall foliage. Thankfully, Tennessee is doing something about that.

Web Form Conundrum: disabled or readonly?

Web forms are complex beasts. There are a lot of field types to remember, each with dozens of attributes. It’s hard to know which is the right way to go, especially when presented with a choice between two seemingly similar options for disallowing a field to be edited: disabled and readonly.

TL;DR: If you really need it, which you probably don’t, readonly is what you want.

A Different Kind of Intolerance

Nearly two decades ago, Kelly unravelled the mystery of my digestive tract that had eluded me for a number of years. It had become commonplace for me to get an upset stomach after eating. I didn’t think much of it really, but Kelly noticed a pattern: it only happened after meals that involved milk of some kind. “I bet you’re lactose intolerant.” Turns out she was right. Kind of.

Categories Land in the Web App Manifest

Starting in early May, Rob Dolin began advocating for adding a categories member to the Web App Manifest spec. It was something we’d been discussing for a while now. It’s a feature that will be incredibly useful to users, especially as it relates to PWAs in the Windows Store, other app stores, and in catalogs. This weekend, our hard work paid off and it was added to the spec!

Adding Paragraphs in Zillow Should Not Be This Hard

Kelly and I are in the process of selling our (beautiful) home and I have been amazed at how difficult it’s been for our agents to break up the listing description into paragraphs, especially on Zillow. After a ton of trial and error—after all, I wasn’t gonna let poor software design trump readability—I found a solution.

TLDR; Insert a blank line between the paragraphs and put “  ” (that’s a space followed by a tab) on that line.

My 2017 Mentees

Early this year, I put out the call to anyone who might be interested in a mentorship with me. The response was overwhelming and the decision of who to work with this year was really tough. After a great deal of consideration, however, I chose not one, but two folks I really wanted to work with this year: Amberley Romo and Manuel Matuzović.

I’ve been working with the two of them for a few months now and wanted to highlight a bit about who they are and what we are working on.