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On advertising and websites

Tuesday 26th of May 2015

This space for rent

I read an article recently by Martin Bryant where he railed against adblocking technology in general and forthcoming adblocking services provided by mobile networks in particular, sensationally entitled 'Adblockers are immoral'. In it, the author explains why he thinks adblocking is a problem and what he thinks of people who use the technology.

Unfortunately, while his position is perfectly valid, his argument wasn't. Let's see if we can be a bit more balanced.

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An open letter to the people who design DVD and Blu-ray menus

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Dear designer of DVD menus,

We appreciate that you'd probably like to get to the point of this letter but first we need to remind you of who wrote it and who owns the copyright. Just bear with us a moment while we show you our logo and play some music. It's a bit long winded and you've almost certainly seen it before but it's important to our brand.

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The portfolio problem

Monday 11th of May 2015

If I'm looking to hire a front end web developer, I want a candidate that fulfils two key requirements. Firstly that they can build a site that looks right and secondly that they have built it well. Some people don't worry so much about the second requirement but writing clean, elegant and above all flexible code is an aspect of web development that I consider a vital part of efficiently maintaining a website in the long term.

With that in mind, the first thing I look for on a candidate's CV is a list of what sites they have built. Thanks to the way the internet works it's possible to examine any website in detail to assess the person who built it in terms of both of my requirements - appearance and coding skill. I'm not so interested in someone's work history, education or interests - what I care about most is whether their website's code is built correctly, cleanly and efficiently. There's not a lot of jobs where it's possible to assess someone in such detail like this.

A portfolio of work is therefore hugely important if you're a front end web developer. Building one, however, can be problematic.

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A plugin to make a slider button

Monday 27th of April 2015

I had to build a page the other day that contained a sort of sliding selector element containing two text links side by side, that controlled the show/hide status of two panels below it. At the time I was a bit rushed so I built it in a way that worked and suited the design, but I've since had time to come back and expand on that idea with a proper jQuery plugin version.

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Things that happened today

Friday 17th of April 2015

That there London

This edition of Things that happened today is unconventionally not about things that happened today, but rather things that have happened recently that I've collated together. I present several slightly odd stories from London, the city where slightly odd things happen.

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