2024-02-17 09:55:52

I’m watching Matt Medeiros demonstrate “Synced Pattern Overrides” in WordPress 6.5 and wondering “How on earth did we get here?”

The feature, like the name, is so complicated.

And it’s complicated because the original model of patterns was bad.

Patterns should always have been synced. And they should have been called “Components”, which is what everyone else on the web calls this concept.

They should have default content.

That’s it. That’s all that was needed.

Scrap patterns. Start again.

2024-02-16 23:55:04

Started writing my small, static web apps manifesto. And it makes me realise why I love this approach: everything is about removing complexity.

– Hosting is simple
– Maintenance is simple
– Many complex problems just don’t exist (authentication, data protection)

And the manifesto “articles” all combine with each other to achieve this.


2024-02-16 21:36:03

… It does kinda suggest the antidote though:

“veteran meteorologists would make weather forecasts first by looking at the data and forming an expert judgement; only then would they look at the computerised forecast to see if the computer had spotted anything that they had missed. (Typically, the answer was no.) By making their manual forecast first, these veterans kept their skills sharp”

Knowing – and practicing- the basics is as important as ever!

2024-02-16 21:33:38

I’m really enjoying reading Tim Harford’s “Messy – How to be creative and resilient in a tidy-minded world”

It’s a book from 2016, but contains some very relevant wisdom on automation:

“Systems that supplant, not support, human decision-making are everywhere. We worry that the robots are taking our jobs, but just as common a problem is that the robots are taking our judgement.”

2024-02-15 20:28:03

I've always seemed to have friends who play D&D, but I have never actually played D&D. And now my kids know other kids that play D&D!

So when I read @davatron5000's post about Cora Quest, which he describes as ‘an easy “Dungeons and Dragons for Kids” game’ I was intrigued.


And when I saw Cora and Dan's kickstarter video I was enchanted and tracked down a copy.

It arrived today and we played our first quest. And it was wonderful!

Thanks Dave, Cora and Dan!

2024-02-15 08:37:43

Discovered “Bandle” the other day. A daily puzzle where you have to guess a piece of music from a reduced set of instruments.

After two total misses, I finally got one today from just drums and bass!!

Bandle #547 2/6
Found: 1/2 (50%)
Current Streak: 1 (max 1)


2024-02-14 23:18:58

Today I visited the “Festival of Tomorrow”. A local, annual science week with different events going on.

We saw “Luna” … a giant, inflatable, rainbow-coloured snail robot.

I thought it was just odd at first. But kids were mesmerised!

Then I read the plaque and realised its movement was entirely through inflation and deflation of the different air chambers. There were no rigid parts!

Really cool engineering.

2024-02-14 23:15:32

So I’ve done web-based pong and snake and “golf” and a Wordle clone and bingo cards.

Tetris was always on my mind.

And it’s pretty much done in a few hours. But it’s a secret thing right now.

A bit trickier than some of the other games.

There’s probably cleverer ways that the “brute force” algorithms I’ve used. Perhaps matrix maths helps?

Anyway. It’s pretty much there. HTML/CSS/AlpineJS.

And not ACTUALLY Tetris because that’s such well-protected IP.

Fun!! 🤩

2024-02-13 08:37:06

Ooof. Complete fail on Connections this morning.

Puzzle #247

If I remember, I’ll share tomorrow what I thought one of the connections was.

2024-02-12 21:47:54

Oh and also: things are made over-complicated so that they can be monetised. And to make them monetised they need huge marketing efforts with lots of SEO. And this is why finding simple stuff is hard. It’s lost.

The recently re-ignited interest in the indieweb is GREAT! But what if this also encompassed simple web apps and games built as open source using modern web standards?

What if apps like this were as common as blogs?

How could these be made discoverable? What’s the App Store for these?

2024-02-12 21:42:01

Having made a perfectly good notes app as a single-page, hosted-for-free web app, I now wonder what else could be done like this and what would be a great additional enabling tech.

I still really want a personal, private, key-value store with a simple REST API.

If people could have this then all sorts of stuff would be possible with super-cheap web apps.

And I wonder if things like this exist. But it’s SO hard to find them. Because nothing is simple. Everything is made over-complicated!

2024-02-11 22:04:58

I just walked out my house (Swindon, UK) and I swear I saw a really big meteor cross the southern sky top to bottom.

Really cool.

Trying to track down if anyone else saw it.

About 9:58 if anyone nearby has a camera pointing that way.

2024-02-10 10:51:31

As of today I will not have a reseller hosting account.

I started freelancing in 2011 and wanted to help people and small businessss get online.

I was generous with time and help. And I don’t regret it.

But it was very laborious and low value.

I was not about to just say “I’m closing. Deal with it.” I hand-held every migration.

I do t regret it. But I would not do this again. And I would not recommend freelancers and small agencies re-sell hosting.

Get clients their own accounts.