New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes; if you’re a web developer stuck for good ideas of things you could do to improve the world (or at least the tiny chunk of it that’s concerned with web performance and security) I’d like to propose two: secure all your websites, and use a cookieless domain for static assets.
20 articles and links tagged with “webdev”
Nerdy New Year I'm on Technikwürze
I sat down with Technikwürze’s Marcel Böttcher way back at the beginning of February to talk about the exciting new release of Chrome 9 to the stable channel, and a few other bits and pieces of the Chrome ecosystem. That interview (in German) is just now seeing the light of day as Technikwürze 178. After listening to it last night, I think it generally went pretty well, modulo a few small mistakes on my part.
Intro to IndexedDB
Yesterday at the Silicon Valley GTUG meetup, I gave a presentation introducing the IndexedDB API. I’ve thrown the slides on Slideshare, but the transcription there is absolutely miserable. I’ll reproduce it here in a readable format, and add a few notes where appropriate.
One question you’re almost certainly not asking yourself is “What’s Mike West been up to?” That’s a shame, really, as I’ve got some projects floating around that I’m proud of, and that I’d like to share with you. Moreover, I’d like to point out the project documentation pages that I’ve put together as a meta-project; I think it’s worth your time to take a look.
JSLint needs some Bad Parts
One of the few tools that I consider truly indispensable when developing websites is JSLint. Too bad it’s almost impossible to contribute back to the project, and that the project’s run by someone who “will hurt your feelings.”
CSS Rules of Thumb
Apropos of nothing, a few CSS tips that have nothing to do with browser incompatibilities, and everything to do with your own sanity when dealing with code you’ve written.
My Jekyll Fork
Jekyll is a well-architected throwback to a time before Wordpress, when men were men, and HTML was static. I like the ideas it espouses, and have made a few improvements to it’s core. Here, I’ll point out some highlights of my fork in the hopes that they see usage beyond this site.
Fallow fields, revisited
I’m currently in the process of gutting my website, and rebuilding it piece by piece. I suspect I’m doing this to distract myself from the fact that I don’t seem to have anything interesting floating around my head to write about. Rather that catalog the failings of the system I’m replacing (for they are legion), in this article I’d like to touch on the carefully considered bits I’m keeping around.
Mark Nottingham has put together a really useful tool that aids in the analysis of the behavior of HTTP resources. I’ve started putting together a command line version based on the web version he’s released on GitHub.
Running `python-spidermonkey` on JeOS
python-spidermonkeyproject looks brilliant.
The Value of Measurement
While I agree fully with many of the conclusions Lukas Mathis draws in an excellent essay on the recent Google/Douglas Bowman split, a few bits deserve further study. In general, engineers understand and can relate well to automated A/B testing, and designers understand and can relate well to more personal usability testing. The two are, however, not the same, don’t provide the same data, and ought not be conflated.
Compiling Varnish on a minimal JeOS System
Varnish is an excellent-looking ‘HTTP accelerator’, designed specifically as a high-performance caching reverse-proxy to sit in front of your hard-working application servers, and relieve them of load. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to install from source on JeOS, though.
I spent more time than I care to admit this afternoon tracking down a bug in some relatively straightforward jQuery code. As it turned out, I was overlooking my error because I was thinking about my code in absolutely the wrong way.
Installing the W3C HTML Validator on JeOS
So. W3C has quite decent installation instructions for the HTML validator, but it makes a few assumptions about a typical linux environment that don’t actually hold true if you’re running a stripped down JeOS distro in a virtual machine.
The Inspiration of Ownership
On the bus home from work, I was listening to this week’s On the Media. In particular, I was struck by a great interview with the man who designed the field-organizer and volunteer training programs for Barack Obama’s campaign: Marshall Ganz. If you’re at all interested in the political angle, I’d suggest you listen. If you’re at all interested in how I’m planning to apply this seemingly unrelated topic to the technical field of web development (et al), keep reading.
Flickr's API is driving me nuts
I’m trying to do something with the Flickr API that I consider to be relatively trivial. I have the impression that the API is fighting me every step of the way. Why, oh why, can’t the wonderful people who designed Del.icio.us’s new API hop over to Flickr and slap together something that makes sense from the perspective of the end user?
Generating Etags for static content using Nginx
Nginx is a brilliant little HTTP server that I’m using on this website to quickly serve static content. It bothers me a (very) little that it doesn’t correctly generate Etag headers for static content, however. I’m attempting to remedy that oversight by releasing an Nginx module:
Smoothly Migrating to a New Server
Hopefully, you didn’t notice a thing yesterday when I moved the site off my shared accelerator at Joyent, and onto a custom built slice at Slicehost. That was very much the goal. Briefly, I’ll go through the steps I took to make the transition as smooth as possible both before the launch and directly afterwards.
Fallow fields and new beginnings
It’s been quite some time since I put any serious effort into mikewest.org. I’ve had tons of work, I’ve been burnt out, I’ve been complacent… the excuses pile on top of each other, each valid, each sufficient, none satisfactory. For the sake of my own sanity, I need to start working on personal projects again. Last week’s GitHub dump was the first step in that direction. Consider this relaunch to be the second.