#172 - Simple HTML

Hey everyone,

Welcome to issue #172, the first one of 2021! I hope you’ve all had a positive start to the new year.

Over the holidays I decided to change the format of my newsletter from weekly to monthly, mainly so I can spend more time creating content.

I also built a newsletter archive, so you can now read current issues in the browser, find past issues at any time and even subscribe via RSS. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but it turns out I needed a holiday to actually make it happen.

I feel it’s also time to change the structure, but I’ll figure that part out as I go. I’ve done my best to outline these changes and the reasons I decided to make them in case you’d like to know more. Otherwise, let’s get right to it…

Thought provoking #

“Defend the simplicity and resilience that’s so central to the web.“

Jeremy Keith in How We Built The World Wide Web In Five Days. A fascinating story that’s well worth a read.

“GOV.UK pages are written in simple HTML. They are designed to be lightweight and will work even on rubbish browsers. They have to. This is for everyone.”

Terence Eden in The unreasonable effectiveness of simple HTML.

“Deliberately making mistakes can give us the knowledge we need to more easily overcome obstacles in the future… If you practice failing every so often, you increase your flexibility and adaptability when life throws obstacles in your way.”

Shane Parrish in Why You Should Practice Failure.

Design and code #

When To Say No To Freelance Projects. Saying no to a project that’s a bad fit will make you a better freelancer. Becca Kennedy explains how to think critically about when to decline an opportunity or request and how to do so assertively but kindly.

Add scroll margin to all elements which can be targeted. Andy bell shows how to add an extra bit of space to targeted elements by using scroll-margin-top and the ex unit, which bases it’s measurement on the x-height of your chosen font.

The for…of loop in vanilla JS. Chris Ferdinandi explains why the for…of loop is a a solid choice for simple looping. I have to admit it’s not one I’ve used before.

New articles from me #

Building a dynamic navigation component with Gatsby and Sanity. Learn how to query data from a Sanity schema and use it to build a navigation component on a Gatsby powered website.

Chasing the Hype. A few thoughts on focusing on your interests and choosing your own path. You don’t have to learn that fancy framework to be a successful developer.

Newsletter changes. The time has come to make some changes to the format of my newsletter. Find out what those changes are and why I’ve decided to make them.

Typography #

How to avoid layout shifts caused by web fonts. A fantastic guide to optimising web font loading from Simon Hearne.

Oliver Schöndorfer shares his thoughts on Besley, a new antique slab serif font from Indestructible Type. Personally I can’t get enough of the italic. Download it for free.

Heading structure and accessibility. Headings do more than simply change the appearance of your web page content. They are a fundamental part of web accessibility. Here’s how to use them properly.

Something to watch #

Building a sidenav component. A foundational overview of how to build a responsive slide out sidenav from Adam Argyle.

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Monthly Newsletter

Once a month I curate a newletter for designers and developers interested in static sites, CSS and web performance. Check out past issues to get an idea.