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Breaking out of the Tetris mind set #btconf

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“If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear” is a common quote and it seems we’re living this to its full extend as web developers. We fail to celebrate the successes we have and the tools that are at our disposal but we’re never short of finding reasons why things don’t work. We also tend to pile on technology on technology to solve problems that may actually not exist and thus clog up the web. In this talk Chris Heilmann wants to remind us what we achieved and how we should celebrate it and how we should stop trying to solve problems that are simply beyond our control.

Published in: Engineering
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Breaking out of the Tetris mind set #btconf

  1. 1. Breaking out of the Tetris mind set Chris Heilmann @codepo8, Beyond Tellerand 2017https://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/9473169772
  2. 2. Chris Heilmann @codepo8 christianheilmann.com
  3. 3. If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear
  4. 4. conservativeinnovative The spectrum of web technologies and development approaches… controlling trusting
  5. 5. conservativeinnovative Quotes are not my views or mine. Please do not cause Twitter Drama™ by telling the world so. controlling trusting
  6. 6. conservativeinnovative The right, conservative blocker… controlling trusting Don’t trust the client side - do it all on the server.
  7. 7. conservativeinnovative The right, conservative blocker… controlling trusting Web standards are good, but let’s not get overboard with fancy things.
  8. 8. conservativeinnovative The right, conservative blocker… controlling trusting It is great that there are evergreen browsers, but that doesn’t apply to our customers…
  9. 9. conservativeinnovative The right, conservative blocker… controlling trusting Bullet-proof, working interfaces that are likely to bore end users.=
  10. 10. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The right, conservative piece… Progressive enhancement is the way to build working solutions. You build on static HTML generated from a backend and you will never break the user experience.
  11. 11. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The right, conservative piece… You have no right to block any user. The web is independent of device and ability. It is our job to make sure people can use our products. We do that by relying on standards.
  12. 12. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The right, conservative piece… Web products do not have to look and work the same in every environment.
  13. 13. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The right, conservative piece… Working, great looking interfaces that vary with the environment.=
  14. 14. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The square… No matter what you do, HTML is always the thing the browser gets. HTML is fault tolerant and will work wherever and forever.
  15. 15. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The square… Using semantic HTML gives you a lot of things for free. Accessibility, caching, fast rendering. You can’t lose.
  16. 16. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The square… HTML is the final truth, that’s 100% correct=
  17. 17. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The straight and narrow… Browser differences are annoying and shouldn’t be in the way of the developer. That’s why we need abstraction libraries to fix these issues.
  18. 18. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The straight and narrow… Understanding standards while they are in the making is nothing we have time for.
  19. 19. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The straight and narrow… $library is so much easier - why don’t we just add those to browsers?
  20. 20. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The straight and narrow… There is no doubt that jQuery, Modernizr and polyfills are to thank for the web we have today.=
  21. 21. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The T-block… I can do everything in JavaScript. Every developer on the web should know it.
  22. 22. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The T-block… Using JavaScript, I can test if something I wanted to happen happened. There is no hoping that the browser did it right – we know.
  23. 23. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The T-block… JavaScript was necessary to make the web of today happen.=
  24. 24. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… It is OK to rely on JavaScript to be available. The benefits of computational values without reloads are too many to miss out on.
  25. 25. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… I don’t want to have to think about older browsers and broken environments. Frameworks and build processes can take care of that.
  26. 26. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… The concept of starting with a text editor and static files is outdated. We have so much more benefits from using a proper toolchain. If that’s too hard for you, then you’re not a web developer.
  27. 27. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… Web standards like CSS, JavaScript and HTML are conversion targets. Sass, CoffeeScript, Elm, Markdown and Jade gives us more reliable control right now, not when browsers catch up.
  28. 28. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… Knowing about different browsers and caring about broken implementations is a waste of time. It is much more efficient to start with an abstraction.
  29. 29. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovation piece… Developer convenience trumps end users experience here. This can result in bloated solutions.=
  30. 30. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovative blocker… Browsers and web standards are too slow and don’t give us enough control. We want to know what’s going on and control every part of the interface.
  31. 31. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovative blocker… CSS is broken. The DOM is broken. We have the technologies in our evergreen browsers to fix all that reliably as we have insight into what’s happening and can optimise it.
  32. 32. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting The innovative blocker… High fidelity, beautiful, responsive interfaces that are very likely to lock out a large group of users.=
  33. 33. conservativeinnovative All of these parts have their place on the web. controlling trusting
  34. 34. conservativeinnovative All of them result in better experiences for our users in their frame of reference. controlling trusting
  35. 35. conservativeinnovative The difference is responsibility and support. controlling trusting End users can cater the interface to their needs, products run everywhere. High responsibility, high demand on the end user’s environment.
  36. 36. Who defines who is allowed to use our products?
  37. 37. Who has the final say how an interface looks and what it is used for?
  38. 38. conservativeinnovative Users over authors over implementors over specifiers over theoretical purity… controlling trusting https://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/
  39. 39. If our users are the end goal, findings and best practices should go both ways. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting
  40. 40. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting Advocates of a sturdy web can learn from innovators and vice versa.
  41. 41. conservativeinnovative controlling trusting However, we’re not quite doing that…
  42. 42. Developer mindset = fix it!
  43. 43. We work in an incredibly creative, fast moving space that is in constant flux.
  44. 44. It is a mess, but mess can be fun.
  45. 45. Working in a creative space needs a certain attitude…
  46. 46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3pF9owYlRI Imagining Zootopia
  47. 47. We have solid foundations.
  48. 48. ▪ Open Source, embeddable VMs ▪ NodeJS/NPM ▪ Solid DOM access/traversal ▪ Fetch(), bark(), playDead(), goodBoy() ▪ Promises / Async / Await ▪ … JavaScript is unstoppable
  49. 49. ▪ Transitions ▪ Animations ▪ Flexbox ▪ Grids ▪ Custom properties (variables) How cool is CSS now?
  50. 50. ▪ Manifests ▪ Service Workers How much of a great opportunity are Progressive Web Apps?
  51. 51. ▪ In-browser tooling ▪ Hackable editors written in web technologies. ▪ Toolchains to produce what we need when it makes sense! How amazing are our developer tools?
  52. 52. ▪ Browser makers are available for feedback and information. ▪ We have collaboration tools by the truckload ▪ We have more events than I can count with published videos How easy is it for us to stay up-to-date?
  53. 53. We have solid foundations. Time to fill in the gaps…
  54. 54. It is time we realise that not everything we do is lasting forever and needs to add up to a perfect solution.
  55. 55. It is OK for our accomplishments to vanish.
  56. 56. It is not OK for them to become landfill of the web.
  57. 57. Our job right now is to create interfaces that are simple, human and fun to use…
  58. 58. There is no such thing as a perfect user - think inclusive. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Design/inclusive It isn’t about allowing access but about avoiding barriers.
  59. 59. Users over authors over implementors over specifiers over theoretical purity… https://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/
  60. 60. We have come a long way. We made the world much smaller and more connected.
  61. 61. Things are looking up. I can’t wait to see what all of you - together - will come up with next.
  62. 62. Let’s storyboard the next web. Use Codepen, JSBin, all the fiddles out there. Give feedback on standards and browser features
  63. 63. Let’s stop fussing over minor details, and show more love to the web, love to the craft and much more respect for another.
  64. 64. You don’t owe the world perfection. But you have a voice that should be heard and your input matters. Get creative – no creativity is a waste.
  65. 65. CHRIS HEILMANN @CODEPO8 CHRISTIANHEILMANN.COM THANKS!

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