In OAuth of Fealty, Ian Bogost takes a well-aimed swipe at Facebook's developer API.
"This is one of those areas in which it's actually possible to learn something from Microsoft circa the 1990s. How did Microsoft develop a massively adopted ecosystem of developer products for its home and enterprise operating systems? By creating an ecosystem of development tools, programs, and documentation that helped developers do their jobs, to accomplish their goals. Documentation that is complete and accurate. Examples with clarity and utility. Slow revs of subsystems and tools that take into account the fact that the rest of us cannot and should not have to think about a development platform as a full-time job, because we're trying to use that platform to produce results that exceed it."
"But there's another aspect of rapid, reckless change that few discuss: it helps create a sense of confusion and desperation that forces developers to devote more and more attention to the Facebook Platform. What better way to increase collective commitment to Facebook apps than to quietly extort incremental time out of its creators, time that might otherwise be committed to competing products or—gasp—to their own businesses or personal lives?"
I have recently come to the realization that I feel this way about large chunks of "front-end web development". I'm sick of the constant blog-fawning over 0.x frameworks, and the hipster pressure to adopt new tools and workflows that will be obsolete whenever the next ironically-named npm-based automation tool makes a splash with the in-crowd. Don't get me started on conferences.
This is a problem, because front-end web development is my professional bread and butter. But honestly, I feel like retreating to some back-end contracts for a couple of years to let this Cambrian explosion settle down a bit. I named my company "Aleona Product Development" very deliberately: I care about building products that will delight customers. Tools and technologies don't excite me.
Small room upstairs at Paradiso - my very favourite venue. The Joy Formidable were just...formidable. They could have filled a venue ten times that size with the sound they made. I hadn't noticed before just how insane many of their song outros are, and they thrashed them even further during the gig. Lovely AV/projection display going on in the background, too - a neon outline of a wolf's head at the heart of it. Some great photos from their Paris gig the previous night on Soul-kitchen.fr. Will definitely get tickets to see them again any time they're nearby.
- This Ladder is Ours
- The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade
- Little Blimp
- While the Fles
- Silent Treatment
- Maw Maw Song
- I Don't Want to See You Like This
- The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie
- Forest Serenade
- Wolf's Law
When Alex was very young, he used to be a bit of a thrill-seeker, always heading straight for the tallest slide in the playground. As he has got older, a cautious streak has emerged. He's not mad keen on rollercoasters like Fiona is, for example.
But Alex has always enjoyed climbing, and been very good at it. In the summer of 2010 his holiday club took a trip to our local indoor climbing centre (Klimhal Amsterdam). He and Fiona both had a great time, and the group leader told me that Alex went straight up the walls like Spider Man. It was Fiona, though, who wanted to to back in the autumn and try out some lessons. Which then led to me taking it up.
A couple of weeks ago I asked Alex if he wanted to come along and try it some time, and I was surprised when he said yes. He usually prefers to stay home and play games, but recently he seems to be restless for physical activity. So yesterday morning we went to the Klimhal and had a fantastic time.
I had been worried that Alex would get a couple of meters up the first wall, look down, and decide that he didn't want to do this any more. Absolutely not the case. The half-height walls on the first floor were quiet, so we started there. After drilling him on the basic safety procedures, he scampered right up a grade 3 route with no difficulty whatsoever. Then he conquered a few 4s, and by the end of our time he was tackling 5a routes and loving it. Whenever he got tired and needed a rest, I would do a couple of boulders. We were at it for well over two hours. "This is awesome!" he said. "Can we come back again next week?"
It was so much fun to see Alex enjoy himself so much in a physical activity, and to see him so confident in his own natural ability. If he picks this up as a hobby, he'll be out-climbing me in no time.
It was also great to have an activity that he and I can do together. I loved the time Fiona and I spent playing golf just the two of us in the summer. Sharing moments like that with the kids is precious. If Fiona (and Abi) want to join us next weekend, I'd love that too. But the couple of hours I had with Alex yesterday will stick in my memory as extra special.