It’s been a few weeks since my last weeknotes due to being on holiday and attending some conferences. I didn’t want to give up on what I started with these short weekly updates so getting back into the swing of things this week with an update on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks and what I’ve been reading.
The last couple of weeks have been mostly conference based for me, with Velocity Conf in Amsterdam (where I also took a much-needed holiday), and FFConf last Friday. Both were immensely enjoyable, with some brilliant speakers. They make it three conferences I’ve attended recently, so the plan is to write up a short post on all three with highlights from the days.
Here are the things I’ve been reading in the last few weeks:
- At Velocity I was able to see Lara Hogan speak for the first time and she is a truly fantastic speaker. Her talk at Velocity was related to her past performance work, but I enjoyed checking out the slides for her new talk, Demystifying Public Speaking, and I’m looking forward to checking out her new book on the same subject too.
- I’ve been doing a lot of performance work on the LDN WebPerf website and improving perceived performance has been a key part of that work. With that in mind it was interesting reading Harry Roberts’ post on improving perceived performance with multiple background images as something I might consider implementing soon myself.
- Really interested to hear about the recent news that Sass has been ported to Dart thanks to some more awesome work from Natalie, I’m hoping this will give a nice boost Sass development and allow much quicker updates in the future.
- As my focus on Web Components continues I’m reading everything I can find on the subject. I’ve also been speaking a bit about it myself recently and I think Paul Kinlan’s post on Web Component Ecosystems hits an interesting point that I’ve been looking at as well. One of the much higher goals of Web Components seems to be that it means there’ll be more canonical versions of certain elements, like a standard
<image-gallery></image-gallery>component. However, what we’ve seen so far is a lot of libraries re-create a lot of elements with their own namespace, which is somewhat tarnishing that dream. However, coming from a design systems perspective, I can see that this will be a much more common use-case in the early days of Web Components. Design systems switching over their components to use custom elements and encapsulated styles to make things easier for their users first. I’m not sure where this will lead fully but we’ll have to see in which direction things will evolve as time goes on and support improves.
- A good friend of mine Jack Franklin recently gave a talk at Half Stack festival in London about Webpack. I’ve been a bit of a sceptic of Webpack for a while now, purely for the fact of how confusing setting it all up seems. However, as always, Jack finds a really nice way into the subject and explains the concepts really well (don’t tell him I said that). Sadly I wasn’t there to see the talk, but even from the slides I’m already a bit more clued up and feeling like I can tackle setting up Webpack myself on my next project.
- I’m really sad to hear the news from the Opera Developer Relations team this week that they’re all moving on this month. I’ve always enjoyed talks from the Opera team about the web, usually reminding us that there’s more to the web than super-fast broadband and Mac’s! So I’m very grateful for all the hard work Bruce and the others in the team have done over the years and what they’ve contributed to the web. I wish them all luck and hope they move on to do more great things for the web.
Lastly, I’ve been planning on buying a new laptop recently. But with my disappointment of the MacBook Pro release and subsequent price-hike due to Brexit (the gift that keeps on giving), I’ve been looking at alternative options. One of my favourite bloggers and authors Matt Gemmell has equally been exploring an alternative and has dived straight into an iPad only workflow and has been writing about his experiences so far.
For me, I’ve decided to take a punt on the new MacBook and see how that goes in the next few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to hit the extended returns period so I’ve got until the new year to decide if it’s right for me. I’ve just set up a Node dev environment on it for my next project and installed a couple of photo editors to trial over the next couple of weeks to see how the lower-powered machine handles it. I’m hoping to write about some of my experiences too. So far, after writing most of this post with it, the keyboard which I was slightly hesitant over is feeling pretty great, so I’m looking forward to writing a bit more with this as the weeks go on.