The Thoughtful Web: a new email newsletter

There are very many excellent email newsletters covering web technologies: Smashing Magazine, CSS Weekly, Web Designer Depot are the first three to immediately spring to mind. But I think there’s space for another one, one that has the focus less on code and process and more on philosophy and reflection. So I’m going to start one.

It’s provisionally titled ‘The Thoughtful Web’, and my intention is to post an occasional email (not weekly, more than monthly), featuring articles I think are really worth reading. It’ll cover the web, new and emerging technology, science, society, and philosophy — but I think it will all be relevant to the work we do making the web.

If you’re interested, you can sign up today. I intend to send the first email later this week, and I promise I’ll never be spammy; I hate email noise, and don’t intend to contribute to it.


Talking about Web Components with Eric Bidelman

In September of last year I asked Google’s Eric Bidelman some questions about web components for a feature I was writing. Unfortunately it turned out there was no room in the article for Eric’s answers, but I recently stumbled across them again and decided they are too good to go to waste, so here they are.

Thanks very much to Eric for answering my questions, and apologies if the passage of time has outdated any answers.

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CSS Blending — a Five-minute Introduction

With the release of version 30, Firefox becomes the latest browser to support CSS Blend Modes (Chrome has had them for a few months, and support is on the way in Safari 8). But what are blend modes? What is blending, for that matter?

If you’ve ever used image editing tools like Photoshop, Sketch or GIMP, you’ll probably already be familiar with blend modes. For everyone else, they are methods of mixing two visual layers so that the two are combined. This could be an image layer with a colour layer, or two image layers.

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Voyeurism: Mutation and Object Observers

I don’t write much in the way of production-ready code at the moment, so some of the cooler recent developments in JavaScript have passed me by. In this post I want to address that with a look at a couple of nice new(-ish) features: mutation observers and object observers.

I remember reading about mutation observers a little while ago, but didn’t pay them too much attention as they didn’t have broad browser support and weren’t immediately useful to me. When I recently saw object observers land in Chrome (36) Beta, I realised that I should go back and learn about them. So I did.

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Web Components: concerns and opportunities

On the 21st of March I had the pleasure of participating in the Web Components panel at Edge Conf, and the privilege of giving the introduction to the panel. I’m a strong advocate of Web Components and it was great to be able to provide my opinion on them, alongside some real experts in the field, as well as hear questions and feedback from the community. The main concern which was raised is that, as developers create their own elements, some important considerations — accessibility not least — could get forgotten about.

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Animating an Offset Value in SVG

In a little experiment I’m working on I recently found a bit of a show-stopping problem. After an APB on Twitter I got a rapid reply which helped me solve it, but it seems that I may be the first person to encounter this error, therefore it’s encumbent on me to document it. So this is that.

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