January 13, 2020
Week of January 5-11
Bouncing Between Different Projects
It was another week of bouncing between different projects. I worked on an email project on Monday. Email development is my least favorite thing to work on. Our client uses Outlook and a lot of their customers receiving the email also use Outlook. It is a real challenge to pull off a really nice design in Outlook because of all the limitations of the software (it’s rendering engine is Word). Our solution for this latest project was to make the top half of the message an image. The only drawback to that approach is that the text is a bit small in other mobile email clients. And I would prefer that actual text content be text content instead of being an image.
On Tuesday, I took a road trip up to Nashville to take my daughter back to college. It was great to have her home but it always seems too short. I enjoyed our conversations on the way up. And I enjoyed getting to treat her and her roommate to lunch before I left to return to Chattanooga. It was fun to get to know her roommate and to see the two of them interact. I really like getting the chance to enter into my daughter’s world for a couple of hours. It helps me to feel more connected to her when she is away.
Listening to Shop Talk Show
I enjoyed the opportunity to listen to Shop Talk Show, Episode 393 on my return trip. It is one of my favorite podcasts. I started listening to them very early on when I still was living and working in Orlando.
I use to enjoy podcasts when I commuted to work. But now that I work from home, I don’t have a lot of stretches of time in the car to listen. I cannot listen to podcasts while I work because I can’t give it enough attention and it just becomes background noise. And I am not good at just sitting down on the couch to listen to one. I always end up getting distracted by something else.
Listening to Shop Talk Show last week was like visiting with an old friend that you have not seen in a while.
I launched a project last week, a year in review for Aireon. I am really happy with how it turned out. I built upon previous work we had done for the past year in reviews we did. I added fullpage.js for the slide functionality and refactored in a couple of areas to accommodate some things we wanted to do a bit differently. It was the first time I had used the horizontal slide functionality in the plugin. The animated graphic in the first frame was the icing on the cake.
Why We Make Things and Why It Matters
I finished reading Why We Make Things and Why It Matters on Monday. I started reading it the Friday before. I enjoyed this combination of biography and philosophical musings. I always enjoy reading about woodworking or craft. It really resonates with my soul. I found it interesting how fine furniture makers in the 70’s had a lot of similarities to those working on the Web in the late 90’s and the first decade of the twenty-first century.
What I Want to Learn This Year Post
I wrote up my first post of the year that was not a weeknotes. I put together a list of things I would like to learn about this year or things that I may have learned about but want to go deeper in. It was some different thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of weeks. I knew I needed to write them down before I forgot them. I believe I already forgot one of the things I had been thinking about. It might have come to mind on Friday night but forgot it again when I had a chance to record it somewhere.
- Why the 2020s will be the Remote Work Decade
- Why You Should Choose HTML5 <article> over <section> – Always good to think about HTML semantics. Buried at the bottom was also a best practice to use on one <h1> tag per page. I had been pondering that several weeks ago.
- Fun with CSS Motion Path – CSS motion path is one of the things I put on my list of things to learn more about this year. This article really sparked my interest in it.
- The 2010s were supposed to bring the ebook revolution. It never quite came. – Interesting read. My wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas in 2010. My reading is predominantly ebooks these days. But I have bought several hard copies of books recently because the price was about the same or cheaper for the printed version. I appreciated the discussion about why ebook prices have not gone down or in some cases, they have gone up.
- Simple Image Placeholders with SVG
- The Challenges Working Mothers Still Face
- Pixels versus Relative Units in CSS: Why It is Still a Big Deal
- The Rise Of Skywalker Is The Most Frustrating JJ Abrams Film (Video) – really interesting insights into Abrams’ film style and why the story comes up short for a lot of people. This video contains a lot of spoilers so don’t watch it if you have not yet seen the movie.
- User Friendly. How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work and play (book) – My public library came through again and ordered this book. I just started reading it and really like it. I have enjoyed diving into the history of user experience design. I was introduced to the book by an article in Wired magazine.