all my blogs are dead

paul neave in why i create for the web:

But the most amazing thing about the web is simple yet devastatingly powerful, and the whole reason the web exists in the first place. It's the humble hyperlink.

paul is right. however links randomly disappear, move and change. carter maness writes:

Despite the pervasive assumption that everything online lasts forever, the internet is inherently unstable. We assume everything we publish online will be preserved. But websites are businesses. They get sold, forgotten and broken. Eventually, someone flips the switch and pulls it all down. Hosting charges are eliminated, and domain names slip quietly back into the pool. What’s left behind once the cache clears? For media companies deleting their sites, legacy doesn’t matter; the work carries no intrinsic value if there is no business remaining to capitalize on it. I asked if a backup still existed on a server somewhere. It apparently does; I was invited to purchase it for next to nothing. I could pay for the hosting, flip the switch on, and all my work would return. But I’d never really look at it. Then, eventually, I would stop paying the bills, too.

imagine books disappearing randomly from your bookshelf from time to time. however, this is a funny thought as it pretends books were always available to everyone trivially.

i for myself started archiving outgoing links in the wayback machine with a zsh snippet like this one. i know well that this is no real solution to this problem, but i hope it helps. for now.

function ia-archive() { curl -s -I$* | grep Content-Location | awk '{print "Archived as:"$2}'; }

project managers, ducks, and dogs marking territory

rachel kroll:

Anyway, about the duck. As the story goes, the artists had created all of these animation cycles for their game, and it had to pass through the review stage of a project manager. One of the artists knew the way these guys tended to want to "leave their mark" on things, and did something a little extra. Supposedly, the PM saw this and said "it's great... just remove the duck". So, the artist went in and removed the duck (which had been carefully placed to make that easy), and that was that. The sacrificial duck kept the meddling manager away from the stuff that was important. It's almost like they want to be able to point at any given part and say "I'm the reason that happened".

compare this to cody powell's article you're not a software development manager, you're a software helper:

I believe it's actually easy to earn trust as a manager, provided you understand a few very important things. It's the team who contributes the key, valuable actions behind great software like writing, reviewing, and designing code, not you. The people on your team are way better at this than you are, and they have far more context. As a result, your team's contributions are much more important than your personal contribution.

also mike hadlow in coconut headphones: why agile has failed:

Because creating good software is so much about technical decisions and so little about management process, I believe that there is very little place for non-technical managers in any software development organisation. If your role is simply asking for estimates and enforcing the agile rituals: stand-ups, fortnightly sprints, retrospectives; then you are an impediment rather than an asset to delivery.

lego's 1981 ad campaign

lego's 1981 ad campaign

josh summers:

Recent studies have proven that praising a child's effort over the childs achievements is the correct way to raise a little person that will do well. "I'm so proud of how hard you worked towards your exam" vs "You’re so clever! Look how good your exam results were"; the first phrase raises a child that works hard, the second raises a child that's scared of trying (in case they disappoint your expectations). The last sentence of the advert is sums it all up. Lego helps your child discover the most special thing: themselves. From an advertising point of view, it's almost a masterful game that's been played. The advert is not saying "Lego is the most important thing there is - GO BUY LEGO!". It's being submissive to the true nature of things. The child, and its personal growth, are the most important things in the equation. Lego is not. It's just there to help with the process

this is beautiful.

building a princess saving app

Daniel Cook:

Why do games have such a radically different learning curve than advanced applications? It turns out that games are carefully tuned machines that hack into human beings' most fundamental learning processes. Games are exercises in applied psychology at a level far more nuanced than your typical application. Implicit in this description of interactivity is the fact that users change. More importantly, the feedback loops we, as designers, build into our games, directly change the user's mind... The person that starts using a game is not the same person that finishes the game. Games and the scaffold of skills atoms describes in minute detail how and what change occurs. This is a pretty big philosophical shift from how application design is usually approached. We tend to imagine that users are static creatures who live an independent and unchanging existence outside of our applications. We merely need to give them a static set of pragmatic tools and all will be good. Games state that our job is to teach, educate and change our users. We lead them on an explicitly designed journey that leaves them with functioning skills that they could not have imagined before they started using our application. Our games start off simple and slowly add complexity. Our apps must adapt along the user's journey to reflect their changing mental models and advanced skills. Failure to do so results in a mismatch that results in frustration, boredom and burnout.

a very interesting approach to building applications. it also very much reminds me of the idea of progressive reduction.

summing up is dead, long live summing up

it's been almost two years, since i started with the first edition in this series. 70 editions, 877 links, 68 videos, 35 papers, 0 unicorns. that's a lot. unfortunately also a lot for the reader. i repeatedly got the feedback that each edition was too long, too comprehensive, too many interesting links, no unicorns (well, actually there were a few) and no time to read/watch them all.

and i wanna take this criticism to heart. that is why edition 70 will be the last one in this series. but, please don't despair. i've already got plans on how to continue with a different format. thanks for your time, for your suggestions, the nice emails and the great advice. hope to see you soon.