Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Links and Photos (19 March 2024)

In this way “AI” is deeply dehumanizing: Making the spaces and opportunities for people to grow and be human smaller and smaller

“The growing backlash against AI”

“The most important goal in designing software is understandability”

This is accurate and insightful. Understandability is key to not only addressing maintenance problems, but to software development in general. Makes problems easier to figure out, simplifies debugging, helps you write tests. A project’s viability beyond being maintained by a single developer is directly proportional to its understandability.

Spite-driven web dev

Whenever I see a pundit claim you can’t make a good Progressive Web App implying that Apple’s middling support is doing us a favour somehow, I get the urge to go all-in on the Chrome-only Fugu APIs just to show what could have been done in an alternate universe where Mozilla hasn’t given up.

Like most developers, the kinds of projects I usually work on require broad browser support so single-browser APIs are strictly off the table—no exceptions—and wasting time building features that only work in a single browser would probably get me kicked off these projects. I’ve generally followed the same principle in my personal projects, but the sheer anti-PWA dickishness of many pundits is strengthening my contrarian streak.

“Today’s AI is unreasonable. - Anil Dash”

I still fundamentally distrust Anil Dash’s judgement after his misguided “web3 is too big to fail” thread (read it twice,mind boggling on each read) but this post from last year is correct

“FTC inquires about Reddit’s AI deals, ahead of IPO”

Acquiring user’s personal data for one reason and then using it for another isn’t always allowed, even in the US

In one earlier case the FTC jumped on a dating app dev who pivoted to facial recognition training their model on uploaded photos

“Report: Most Subscription-Based Apps Do Not Make Money - MacRumors”

the median monthly revenue for apps after one year is less than $50

I’m sure this is fine and not an example of a completely dysfunctional and unsustainable market that has been micromanaged to death by Apple.

“Google’s Gen AI Search Threatens Publishers With $2B Annual Ad Revenue Loss”

Hard to see how this isn’t an extinction event for for-profit web media. Y’know… the outfits who do the reporting and writing those generated results are actually based on.

“A generation of design leaders grapples with their future”

Between “let’s get rid of all the designers and replace them with AI!” and “let’s get rid of all of all the junior web devs and replace them with AI!” I’m guessing that, as bad as software quality has been in recent years, much worse is to come.

Digging into the Wayback Machine

Putting together the blog post collection has meant trying to find old links in the Wayback Machine

One was this one by the legendary Kathy Sierra in 2004. It’s both inspiring and depressing, because we all know what happened in the intervening two decades

“A Computer Book Author’s Manifesto”

The rest

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