2020, Week 30

On vacation from work, and actively trying to disengage from the day-to-day (there might have to be a post on work-life balance later on), but spending some time learning TypeScript, for which I'm using Maximilian Schwarzmüller's online course. His course on Svelte is also terrific – Svelte itself just announced TS support. I'm starting to see why TS has become so ubiqitous, like Rust it makes it very hard to screw up (at the cost of being much more verbose, but that compiles away); I'm curious to see how long TS will remain dominant before the pattern switches to WASM compilation, which is probably the future. I can't see that happening for at least another five years, but that's just a guess.

A lot of upcoming stuff in WordPress – finally being able to pass arguments to template parts (not sure why this was such a long time coming), sitemaps, environment variables, Blink/Gecko native lazy loading ... some things, like automatic updates for themes and plugins, don't really affect my work as I only have one client and everything is built for that use case. If I were writing themes or plugins for sale I would have an incentive to accommodate that as well as everything relating to Gutenberg (something I'll have to deal with eventually but I wanted to let the whole project settle and have best practices evolve first).

I should take a moment and talk about the site – my experience with Eleventy has been terrific, once you understand how data is passed around and how routes are made it's a pleasure to work with. The only problem – and it's not really a problem, just something I wish was different – is that it's CommonJS, and that's fundamental to its operation. This means that using ES6 module patterns won't fly in a lot of cases where you'd want or expect to use them. The SSG space is on fire right now with a new framework appearing nearly every day so I'd expect someone to recreate Eleventy as ES6-first (Twelvety?), or for some other SSG to capture mindshare among devs.

The Vercel deployment process (née Now), like nearly everything they do, is nearly magical, and is a best-in-class experience everyone should be aiming for. Often times the packaged solutions companies offer to abstract some pain point simply relocate the pain, in sort of a aggravation-neutral approach – but Vercel seems to know how to do it well.

Future Fonts is a brilliant way of supporting people who are making typefaces – you buy them, but also receive updates to them as they're refined and built out. So many new faces have very little personality and are incredibly derivative, whereas the people doing stuff for Future are very inventive. Sometimes the result isn't something you could ever imagine using, even for a display face, but the Overton window of what's acceptable in design is widening after what seemed to me a period of blandness.

A note about the color schemes – they're all based on F1 liveries and helmets. Right now I'm enjoying switching color schemes randomly on every page load, but I know that's not exactly typical behavior for a site, so I might change that later. Or not! It's my site!