With deference to Dieter Rams (and courtesy of Vitsoe), his 10 principles for good design. This list is worth revisiting every now and then.
Good design is innovative The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Good design makes a product useful A product is bought to be used.
Much to the chagrin of my friend darix, I run an Ubuntu server at home for various things like Nextcloud and Plex. (Chagrin because it’s not openSUSE… yet.) I had installed the previous Long Term Support (LTS) version, 16.04 because I just need the thing to run and be solid. The time had come for a new LTS release and I figured I might as well sit down and get upgraded to 18.
I was outlining some ideas for an article I want to write concerning online privacy and connections to the recent Facebook fiasco. Part of the outline had me talking about the “middleman” layer that many big services like Facebook and Google created through their free offerings like ads, webfonts, comments, and social sharing options. I started mentioning this in a post from last year. I won’t go into that detail here (yet), but something that really struck home for me was the use of Google Analytics.
I got the bug recently to finally do something that’s been annoying me for some time: set up a dark theme for this website that is user selectable and that will persist.
Normally I prefer the white background (default) that I originally designed but I understand that some prefer a dark background. When it’s in the evening and I want to write/edit a new post (like I’m doing right now) so do I.
This post is a little more esoteric, but in the spirit of helping others from the future we’re gonna dive into this.
I'll stop posting relevant xkcd comics when Randall stops making relevant xkcd comics... I picked up an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite over a year ago, and I have been tearing through books at an alarming rate. In the course of finding more books to read I did what I’ve always done for as long as I can remember: visit my local library.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
The virtue of being forgetful I suck at passwords. To be fair, so does everyone else. Everyone else being bad at passwords doesn’t help me, though. It only increases my awareness every time I hear about the latest data-breach, password leak, or programming error.
The thing is, I know what I should be doing, but the one-two punch of laziness and procrastination constantly seem to beat me into submission.
I finally got around to setting up my own Nextcloud!
I’ve been a file-syncing service user for a long time. There’s just so much convenience in services like Dropbox and Google Drive. File syncing and access across all of my computers and devices is awesome. The ability to automatically backup all of my phone photos to the account is also awesome.
However… Only having 7GB of available space is not awesome.
Writing is hard. Just look at the post dates for my own blog posts to see what I mean. It takes discipline and hard work to put together any sort of non-trivial writing. If the topic is about a community as diverse and loosely collected as Free Software projects then the effort is exponential. Most Free Software projects don’t have a media/public relations person to interact with.
Today I wanted to talk briefly about both a writer and a PR person: Alexandre Prokoudine and what he’s doing over at Libre Graphics World.
Way back in May of 2017 I made my first commit to start a new project for some friends of mine.
Seven months later and we were finally able to publicly push the results: a new website for the awesome folks at darktable!
(I already published a post about this on the darktable blog.)