I write about stuff.
I write semi-regularly on Medium, contribute to the Lullabot blog, and host a mothballed personal site that serves as a record of embarrassing things I said in the 90s. There are, thankfully, a few standout pieces I think stand the test of time.
“Clean, semantic markup is important, but it won’t solve complex structural problems… At its heart, the issue is a vocabulary mismatch. While standard HTML is rich enough for a designer to represent complex content, it isn’t precise enough to describe and store the content in a presentation-independent fashion.”
“Tools and data may aspire to technopian neutrality, but it’s extremely difficult to draw lines around morally and ethically problematic applications of them. Those of us who cut our teeth on programming and web development in less hyper-connected times can have trouble remembering that.”
“The editing interfaces we offer to users send them important messages, whether we intend it or not. If the primary editing interface we present is also the visual design seen by site visitors, we are saying: ‘This page is what you manage! The things you see on it are the true form of your content.’ Often, it’s a lie: what you’re seeing is simply one view of a more complex content element, tailored for a particular page or channel.”
“Data is agnostic. Information is amoral. Pointing the narrative-free fire-hose at the digital citizens of the third world does nothing to empower them; once the saturation point is reached, even valuable information is part of the problem. No one has the capacity to sift and filter, and we fall back into the embrace of our trusted interpreters. Paging Foucault: we’re poisoning the well with too much water.”
In the early days of the Drupal project, I co-authored the first book to emphasize its zero-code content modeling and assembly tools. Although the project has evolved since then, the building blocks we described are still at its core.