Shorthand, project management, and HTML emails…
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Welcome to Issue #0002

Wow! Feedback on my first newsletter was overwhelmingly positive! Thank you all so much for the support. I’ve decided to send out the second newsletter a week after the first, but I’ll be tweaking and experimenting with frequency based on peoples’ feedback. Let me know if this is too often.

In the second issue, I’ve got a new screencast for you, some interesting apps and articles, and a new cocktail for you to try!

Talking Shop

December is being spent manning email and being on admin duty; lining up work and speaking engagements for 2017.

The performance workshop I mentioned in the last issue is getting its first official public outing with White October Events in April. Come along! Other than that, other events and conferences are beginning to enquire about it, so there should be a bunch of opportunities to attend it all over the world. If you’d like the full, hands-on experience, get in touch about running it at your office.

Screencast: CSS Shorthand Syntax Considered an Anti-Pattern 

Here’s another little screencast just for you! Again, this isn’t a public video, so try and keep it quiet. This week I’m discussing a very small but significant anti-pattern I see in CSS projects: the use of CSS shorthand syntax. It’s particularly problematic in composable UI systems. (Direct YouTube link.)
CSS Shorthand Syntax Considered an Anti-Pattern
Using shorthand syntax in CSS seems like a sensible idea, but is it?


Just one talk this week, but it’s a belter! I saw this one in person at CSS Day in Amsterdam. Mark Robbins takes a subject that would make most developers cower in fear and makes it absolutely fascinating, humorous, and frankly outrageous. Seriously, just wait for the ending. (Direct Vimeo link.)
Mark Robbins | Modern CSS and interactive email | CSS Day 2016
Modern CSS and Interactive Email
And despite spending all his time working in HTML emails, Mark has managed to remain incredibly laid back and grounded! A really chilled out and laid back guy who’d be an asset to any conference.

Articles and Resources

  • Flexible Project Management in Inflexible Environments: I tend to work with product and app companies who work pretty agile already, but I thought this was a really great piece about adopting more flexible workflows in less agile environments.
  • V for Wiki: I saw Frank give a great talk about app typography at beyond tellerrand last month, and he shared his V for Wiki app as a case study. This app makes Wikipedia look beautiful. Get it.
  • A Regex That Only Matches Itself: Approach with caution—this is absolutely mindbending.
  • Perfect Security: ‘Overnight, the feeling of perfect security had evaporated. And we have never gotten it back.’ A fascinating off-topic read about locks.

Cocktail: Last Word

The Last Word is a classic prohibition-era cocktail. First developed in the 1920s at the Detriot Athletic Club, it wasn’t actually ever documented until 1951, when it appeared in Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up.

It contains a couple of really interesting ingredients: Green Chartreuse is a very strong (55%), very herbal (130 herbs and plants) liqueur whose recipe is only ever known to two Carthusian Monks at any given time; and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur which has a fascinating history involving WWII, fires, and relocation.
  • ¾oz (22.5ml) London dry gin
  • ¾oz (22.5ml) Green Chartreuse
  • ¾oz (22.5ml) Maraschino liqueur
  • ¾oz (22.5ml) fresh lime juice
  • Shake over ice
  • Strain and serve up with no garnish
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