Notes

After Event Blues

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I have written about it a while ago, but maybe it helps, when I do this again. I am sitting at the workshops of beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2017 and read tweets and feedback for the last couple of hours. It is so much stuff that the attendees have written and I had a lovely time during the last two days. It is wonderful to see that so many people had a lot of fun and a good time. Now the sad feelings, that all this is over again, are slowly creeping up. I feel empty, drained and tired. But at the same time I fell happy, proud and warm. I am happy and humbled to have met so many fantastic people during the last 7 years. So many people who joined me on a journey beyond the tellerrand. Thank you all for being to kind and making the event what it is.

I wish Frank would to a Web version of “V for Wiki”

When using wikipedia, I really wish Frank Rausch would also do a web version of his app V for Wikipedia. I love it and use it a lot. When using the Wikipedia website, I am kind of frustrated … Frank? ;)

Interview with Neon Moiré

Photo showing me before an interview with Thomas from Neon Moire

Thomas Dahm from Neon Moiré visited me and we had a nice conversation about all things related to events. We chatted about the beginning, a few specific matters like swag and partnerships or how I try to curate beyond tellerrand.

It was nice having Thomas around. His site, Neon Moiré, is an independent guide for design events and next to interviews, like the one with me, they publish event reviews and a calendar with interesting events.

Photos of CreativeMornings on “beyond”

Photo showing Rainer, Lisa and me at CreativeMornings Düsseldorf
A set of photos from CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf, April 28, 2017. Photos by Celine Al-Mosawi.

Last Friday, Lisa and Rainer invited to speak at the CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf. Theme for April was “beyond” and while we all had been at an event of Wacom in Düsseldorf, they asked me, if I’d like to come and speak. Next to shitting my pants and actually not having the time, because I was/am already knee deep in the preparations for beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf, I very much enjoyed it and had a lovely morning and wonderful feedback and conversations after my talk, which made the whole experience a really good one.

Celine Al-Mosawi took photos and published a nice set on Facebook already. As soon as the video of the talk is online, I am going to post it.

So. thanks to Lisa and Rainer, and keep on your inspiring work with the CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf.

⇾ The invisible parts of CSS

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If you use CSS in your daily work, your primary goal is probably focused around making things ‘look right’. How this is achieved is often far less important than the end result. This means we care less about how CSS works than the correct syntax and visual results.

Mike Riethmuller on The invisible parts of CSS – a great blog post about how CSS works. Please read.

Smashing Conference San Francisco 2017

Photos of flying balloons at Smashing Conference
Ballons!

While sitting at the workshop venue here in San Francisco, I finished uploading my photos of the last four days. Covering both workshop days of the second edition of Smashing Conference in San Francisco as well as the two conference days. I hope you’ll like them.

The new Smashing Magazine website

I am quite late to the game, but these days – during the last 8 or so days, to be precise – many people in the web industry speak about the public beta launch of the new Smashing Magazine website. Some are writing about the new technical features and how they switch from a mix of various platforms like WordPress, Kirby, Shopify and their Job Board software, to a single system called Netlify. Some just point to Vitaly’s excellent article about what they actually worked on and what changed. Sara Soueidan gives a bit of background to what her part of the work was in a nice blog post. But only a few really know about the human side of things.

Next to all the sweat and tears on the design and the technical side, there was a lot of thinking involved before decisions were actually made. And I mean a lot of thinking. It was not just about giving the users a new experience, a brand new design and an even faster and more performant website. A lot of things actually had to do with the people visiting the magazine and the event. The people reading the books and the people who are the community around Smashing Magazine. I myself have only be involved a few times and we had lovely, yet intense discussions while sitting together working. But also during lunch or after the “official” work was done in a cocktail bar in Freiburg. And topics there did not circle around web performance or how to find technical solutions that work best. The questions that came up were more questions like …

What do people, visiting our events and our magazine actually expect?

How could a possible membership for the magazine look like in term of, what should be included in different packages?

How can we give people, no matter where or on which device they visit the magazine, give the best possible experience?

… just to mention a few thoughts like this.

And you can think what you want from the design or from performance or the UX of the actual beta of the website, but I am writing these lines to actually express my highest respect for what and how much work and thoughtfulness Vitaly and Marcus (and the rest involved of course!). That is very cool, in my opinion, and I think we need more people who actually care that much.

Links:

Terminal Training

Yesterday morning I bought Remy’s new online course called Terminal Training. As you might guess it teaches you how to use the terminal from the very beginning on. In the description Remy writes

A video training course to cure you of any fear of the terminal. For designers, new developers, UX, UI, product owners and anyone who's been asked to “just open the terminal”.

I myself am not a heavy terminal user or fan. I don’t fear it neither. I know about the basics, but am far from being an expert. So I was thinking Is it too basic for me or too advanced in the later parts?, but I have to say it is just great. Remy takes you from the very beginning of explaining how to navigate the file system on your computer to more complex things and pitfalls which he teaches you to avoid.

Not only is this great content for a topic which is usually not known to be a very colourful topic with lots of tasty images and things to look at, but also the way Remy recorded the video and explains everything very clean and understandable is just fantastic. You can see Remy sitting in his kitchen (I assume) sitting in front of “[…] this new Macbook Pro […]”, recording the video with the build-in camera of the mac. As mic, if I see right, he uses his Apple headphones’ mic. Quality of video and sound is great and that shows, that you don’t need high quality gear to produce video tutorials worth watching, with good content.

Content

I copied Remy’s table of content to show you what his video covers.

1. “Just open the terminal”

  • Just open the terminal (03:22)
  • Why use a terminal? (03:23)
  • Navigating directories (07:71)
  • Navigation shortcuts (01:06)

2. Install all the things

  • Running applications (05:47)
  • brew install fun (07:46)
  • gem install (06:32)
  • npm install --global (09:44)
  • Which is best? (02:13)

3. Tools of the Terminal Trade

  • Connecting programs (08:25)
  • echo & cat (01:34)
  • grep "searching" (06:22)
  • head tail less (10:24)
  • sort | uniq (07:58)

4. How (not) to shoot yourself in the foot

  • Delete all the things (07:42)
  • Super user does…sudo (07:50)
  • Permissions: mode & owner (11:16)
  • Kill kill kill! (12:21)
  • Health checking (12:54)

5. Making the shell your own

  • Owning your terminal (09:19)
  • Fish ~> (10:18)
  • Themes (01:51)
  • zsh (zed shell) (10:11)
  • zsh plugins: z st… (08:26)
  • Aliases (05:43)
  • Alias++ → functions (08:15)

6. Furthering your command line

  • Piping workflow (08:14)
  • Setting environment values (03:04)
  • Default environment variable values (01:46)
  • Terminal editors (06:41)
  • wget and cURL (09:53)
  • ngrok for tunnelling (06:38)
  • json command for data massage (07:51)
  • awk for splitting output into columns (04:11)
  • xargs (for when pipes won't do) (02:15)
  • …fun bonus-bonus video (04:13)

Pricing

I myself got the Master Package. Not because it has 17 more videos, which certainly is nice, but because I’m old-fashioned and like to download the videos also. The special launch price for this package is $99 and I think this is great value. There is a cheaper package for $59 that comes without the ebook and without downloadable videos, but might be ok for you to start with. A third price, $299, is meant to be for teams. All packages come with unlimited updates, which makes me guess that Remy is going to update the training at a later point.

terminal.training by/with Remy Sharp

⇾ Simple Icons

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SVG icons for popular brands, maintained by Dan Leech.

Good Bye Fontblog

During my morning read of several blogs in my RSS reader (yes, I am using RSS still), it was sad to read that the German Fontblog closing the doors. For 13 years I read many articles on this blog, which was started by the Fontshop AG in 2004. In 2015 I already was sad when I read, that Yves Peter said Goodbye to Fontfeed, a blog he was running. So the only one still existing in that range now is the Fontshop News now – correct me if I am wrong.

I mean, yes, I can see that writing for your blog eats quite some some time. Especially if you write longer blog posts and articles. But it is sad to see their statement, that conversations and discussion will still be led in social media. They write …

Solche Diskussionen gibt es auch heute noch. Wir führen sie in den sozialen Netzen, schneller, einfacher und demokratischer, denn jeder Empfänger ist auch Sender […]

Translates to something like …

This discussions still exist. We just have those discussions in social networks, faster, easier and more democratic, because each recipient is also sender […]

Sadly this is what many people tend to do and think nowadays. Social media is faster, reaches more people and people can interact easier.

Not completely right in my opinion. Not every medium is a platform for discussions and rich conversations. What about Twitter? 140 characters – really? Even Facebook or Google+. It is no platform, where I want to read a long article on Typography (maybe just a matter of taste, I know). I don’t want to go into detail and criticise social media – I use it myself, a lot – but it is sad to see this all or nothing mentality. Why not using the blog as source for thoughts and writing and then social media to point people to it. Even discussions can be led with using things like Webmention, for example. And this across many social media platforms leading all to be shown and collected on your own blog. It’s far from being perfect, but maybe a start into the right direction?

So yes, even though many new blogs pop up and people start to write more in their own blogs again, even though many new newsletters are created every day, I fear that those personal platforms and ways to express your thoughts and ideas are fading away.