December 27, 2021
Week of December 19-25
It was a slow work week. I took a PTO day on Wednesday and we had Thursday and Friday as office holiday days.
- I worked on Monday morning and then took the afternoon off to go see Spiderman: No Way Home as part of my late birthday celebration with my family.
- On Tuesday, I had some work to do. Credential Engine wanted to add additional filtering to their General Toolkit page. I had already created the functionality on the State Partnership Toolkit page, which the General Toolkit was later made from. That task took a bit longer to do because of a challenge that I outline later in this post.
- I enjoyed having three days off at the end of the week. I read, played some video games, watched Fellowship of the Ring, did some errands, reflected in my journal, and enjoyed time with my family.
Build tool challenge
I did not think that adding the additional filtering to the General Toolkit page on Credential Engine would take that much time. But I ran into a snag. The build tool that was set up for the site had a lot of out-of-date modules, many of which are no longer supported. This was the first time I had to work on this site since my company laptop died on me in October. When I ran
npm install to set it up on my new machine, I had a nice long list of errors. I kept trying different things to get the build tools set up but then decided that it might be best to update the build tools on the site.
The original site was started by another contractor. He had set up the tooling and built out the WordPress theme. The tooling system he set up used Gulp, which I had some limited experience with. I was able to use that tooling system by running a watch on Gulp but I had not added to the Gulp configuration in any way.
@import). There was quite an extensive number of imported files.
I appreciated the error messages I got in CodeKit because it helped me to isolate where I needed to update file paths in order for my Sass files to compile. But because there were quite a number of imported files, I spent a good chunk of time just getting set up. I ended up spending less time addressing the original task of adding the filtering functionality to the General Toolkit page.
It was a good lesson on using build tools. And something I will probably need to take into account in the future when working with legacy sites, especially those that I did not personally architect.
Getting my hands dirty
At the end of the week, I spent some time reading through some articles and then creating CodePens so that I could follow along. I learn a lot more when I have a chance to play around with the code myself and seek to understand how it works and why it works.
One of the articles I worked through was Stephanie Eckel’s 12 Days of Web article on Container Queries. Container Queries are something I have been excited about for some time. I had meant to write a post about it last Spring. Container Queries got a lot of attention after Miriam Suzanne wrote a spec for container queries and Chrome added the functionality to Canary behind a flag. This was the first working implementation of the spec that Miriam proposed.
The Chrome Canary implementation has undergone a lot of changes since last Spring and there are many syntax changes since I first played with it. This all happened during a busy period of project work and I had not kept up with my weeknotes so I did not document my thoughts or links to the many articles written at the time. I am hoping to write up a post at the beginning of the new year to share my thoughts and those links. Steph’s recent article would be a great place to start to familiarize yourself with container queries that should drop in browsers in 2022.
- Seven ways to test for accessibility of your web site with browser Developer Tools
- The Almost-Complete Guide to Cumulative Layout Shift – This one got a bit more technical than I wanted.
- Show, Don’t Tell – Some good tips I need to think about applying to this site.
- The 2021 Word of the Year – “Allyship”
- Born that man no more may die
- Merry gnostic Christmas and Stop binding consciences and marking spirituality by Christmas celebrations – This was some good perspective for me this year.
- Container Queries
- The CSS :has() selector is way more than a “Parent Selector” – another exciting CSS property that I am looking forward to dropping in browsers in 2022.
- Smoothly Reverting CSS Animations – One of the other articles that I created a Codepen to follow along and understand.
- Care for the Text
- Writing better self reviews – Great article about preparing for the annual or semi-annual review process at work.
- He Is, He Was, He Will Be
- O Come Let Us Adore Him
- WP Engine Launches Atlas, the Future of Headless WordPress
- 45 team building games to improve communication and camaraderie
- Thoughts on skin tone and text descriptions – Some more good thoughts on writing better descriptor (alt) text.
- Defining a strategy for accessibility – Worth the read.
With the end of the year approaching, I am having to fight the temptation to read just to finish a book before the end of the year (to record it on my reading challenge). Several of the books I am reading right now need some time and space to process. I want to read them at a slow enough pasce to ponder and get the full value from what I am reading.
- Gentle and Lowly – I am rereading one of my favorite books from 2020. This is one that I really need to just read a chapter and ponder the content for a while. There is a treasury of content in this one. I may reread this book each year because I need to keep coming back to the truths it dives into.
- Image Optimization
- God of All Things – Another book to read and ponder.
- On Writing Well – I picked this one back up this past week. I read two or three chapters in a sitting.
- Spiderman: No Way Home – Not going to spoil it. I really liked this one. I want to see it again soon.
- Fellowship of the Ring (Digital Copy) – I started watching this one the previous week on a night I had trouble sleeping. It would be much better to watch through it all in one sitting but that never seems to work out so I treat it like a book. I watch a bit and then come back to it. And an appropriate time to be watching it as it was 20 years ago that it came out in theaters.
- Hawkeye (Disney+) – We enjoyed the finale that dropped this week.
- Frasier (Peacock)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Peacock)
- Home Alone (Disney+)
- MLB The Show 21 (Braves) – After really enjoying the game and doing well the previous week (won 7 in a row), I lost six straight games this week. Regardless to say, it was not quite as fun to lose. Most of the games were really close and I had chances but was not able to capitalize. I got into a couple of slugfests that I eventually lost.