Chris breaks out his banjo, some thoughts on making music vs recording music, what happened to Google Reader and social reading, what black box properties can't Dave or Chris remember, follow up for dev teams communicating with designers, and what's Adobe going to do about Figma?
Time Jump Links
- 00:05 Chris breaks out the banjo
- 00:50 Recording music
- 11:09 M2 vs Frame.work
- 17:19 Google Reader, Feedbin, and social sharing of reading
- 27:05 Google Reader couldn't make it work
- 30:21 Do you guys have any "black box" properties you don't understand but still use on the regular, and it just somehow works?
- 38:36 Sticky and overflow
- 43:50 Dev team communicating with the designer follow up
- 46:36 What's Adobe going to do?
- 50:45 Figma follow up
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Dave Rupert: Hey there, Shop-o-maniacs. You're listening to probably the sickest episode of--
Chris Coyier: Sick Talk Show?
Dave: Sick Talk Show. Go...
[Strumming on the banjo]
[Strumming on the banjo]
Chris: [Singing] Oh, here come the ShopTalk boys. Here come the ShopTalk boys talking websites, yeah.
[Laughter] I don't know.
Dave: That's a good one.
Chris: I'm packing the van for a little trip.
Dave: A little trip. Yeah, we've got Chris--in the house--Coyier here, which means we get banjos. That's quite wonderful.
Chris: Yeah. I've got them out. I'm here in my music room. I've never recorded in here. But at home, I have a little, little room that I'm intending to slowly turn into whatever a music room means, really.
Chris: I do have a bunch of microphones and interfaces and stuff, so it could be a recording room. Although, my passion for recording music is not high. You know? I think it's neat, and I have the equipment. But I don't really have the knowledge, the training, or a ton of desire, really.
I'm not like, "I'm going to cut an album." It's just not on the radar right now.
Dave: There are some cliffs there, right? It's like, anyone can record, right? Not anyone, but you just plug a guitar into a USB thing.
Dave: Put it into Garage Band.
Dave: You're recording. You know?
Chris: I've done it a couple of times. Garage Band is pretty good. It has AI drums. Did you know that?
Dave: Yeah! Yeah.
Dave: My friend records actual albums, actually uses those. He's just like, "Dude, they get me so far without having to bring in our friend Andy, who does drums for everybody's albums." You know? It gets you so far, and then you can bring somebody in if you need to.
Chris: Yeah! I really like when you... Because I just never get a chance to do this acoustic-only. I only ever play music in living rooms with friends.
Chris: I do it all the time, once or twice a week. It's fun. But that's what you hear is just whatever comes out of the instrument you have. I wouldn't have it any other way. I like it.
But then you get the chance to play amplified. That's really fun because, if you want to play louder -- guess what -- you just turn it up. It's amazing.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: Then you have the chance... The processing abilities are so high. If you're plugged into Garage Band--oh, man--there's a big old list of, like, "Oh, make it sound like I'm in an old church," or whatever. You're like, "Oh, that's awesome!" [Laughter]
Dave: Yeah, and it's a button or filter that does that. No, but there are cliffs, right? You get good at that, but then you start seeing... I don't know. I've met a few people in my life who can actually master an album or I feel like they're good at it. But then they're like, "No, dude. I'd go talk to this guy Greg who is super good at it." And so, I don't know. I think it takes an ear.
Dave: Then even producers, like Rick Ruben or whoever that guy who does Taylor Swift's albums and Kesha's albums, or whatever. All these--
Chris: Those are incomparable almost. It's almost trying to compare Luro to Walmart or something.
Dave: Yeah. These people have just a skill of manipulating sound or finding sound that just most people don't. Yeah.
Yeah. You can almost think of recordings as like collages where you, with your friends, in the living room is just making music. But an album or a recording is almost like this collage of instruments coming in and out, effects, little ... noises and crap.
Chris: Yeah... Yeah. I don't know. This room is pretty cool. I don't know. I'm building a special cabinet. Not by hand, but I'm providing input to a woodworker--
Chris: --who will be crafting the cabinet. I can't do this anymore. This is a classic. You buy the little fork for the wall, and you hang your instruments on it.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: It ends up looking like a music store. It's kind of classic. It can look kind of cool.
Chris: It looks a little college dorm room to me. It's not my favorite look. Maybe I'm just sick of seeing it so prevalently in those type of settings. But I can't do it here in Bend anymore. It's just too damn dry.
Dave: Oh, really?
Chris: You can see behind me.
Chris: I know everybody else can't see, but I've got one of those Dyson--
Dave: Humidifier things.
Dave: Oh, wow. Yeah.
Chris: It doesn't quite do enough, even in this small room.
Chris: I took a guitar in for repair, and they're like, "Bro, you cannot just leave this hanging out in Bend. Here are some Humidipaks. You need to keep it in the case with your Humidipaks." That's the brand.
Dave: Oh, wow.
Chris: It's not... It's like these gelatine pack things.
Dave: Yeah. Like what I get in my seaweed. [Laughter] It's the stuff.
Chris: Yeah. [Laughter] It's got to because if your instrument gets too dry, it can crack and cause all kinds of problems.
Chris: We need a little bit of moisture, like a cigar, I guess.
Chris: I'm going to keep all the instruments in the case, and then I'm having the cabinet built for the cases. It's kind of neat. it's going to have some... Every instrument case in the world, for some reason, has gold clasps.
Chris: You have to just notice that one time, so I think we're going to add kind of gold claps stuff to the furniture.
Chris: It was kind of a fun, little--
Dave: Yeah. It's a fun call-out. I like that.
Chris: Like the shelves of the cabinet will have that kind of velvet inside that a lot of instrument cases have.
Dave: Ooh... Nice, nice. Are you going to have a bunch of little--? I've seen people do... It's almost like a workbench, but each layer of the workbench is a guitar case. They just pull it out, and here's my Stratocaster.
Chris: Oh, I should have done that. I'm sitting at the workbench now. I designed the height of it to be about the height I would want to work on an instrument on.
Chris: Again, not like a massive passion of mine or anything, but just changing strings. I mean, Dave, I have 20 - maybe - instruments.
Dave: Yeah. Well, hey.
Chris: Like just over the years. You know I never sell any.
Dave: No, you can't sell guitars.
Chris: Yeah. [Laughter]
Dave: I've got -- let's see -- in eyesight, one, two, three, four, five...
Chris: [Laughter] Juicy.
Dave: And I know there's one or two in the house. It's not absurd, so.
Chris: Yeah. Then I forget about, yeah, because I bring some to the office. I'm like, "I've got to have a toy there." Then they don't even make the count anymore. I forget that it's even there.
Chris: Anyway, I change strings a lot because it's important to me to sound good. I can sense dead strings a mile away. So, it's right at kind of bellybutton-ish level, and it's easy to throw a mat down to not hurt the surface of it.
I've got all my tools here. I've got a drawer right here with all of my extra strings and all that and make quick work of it. That was part of it. This room is not very big, so I had to make some choices on how to do it.
But I'd tell you. I had an extra monitor at work because I had one for Robert (who works with me). And he wanted to buy a new monitor. He bought... [Laughter] I should send you a picture. I didn't even know they make monitors this big. It's like a billboard.
Dave: Is it really?
Chris: It's absolutely enormous. It's like a 40-inch plus, 50-inch - I don't know.
Dave: Yeah. Awesome. Yes.
Chris: It looks like a TV. Yeah. [Laughter]
Chris: And he loves it. I don't know why. I keep mentioning it on different things because I just think it's so funny to look at him working on it. But he's like, "Okay. Well, here's your old monitor back," so I'm like, "Uh... What am I going to do with this?"
I chucked it in the music room. I find myself often bringing up whatever... What is the app when you Google a song for chords? It's always like guitar...
Chris: I don't know.
Chris: Ultimate guitar.
Dave: Tab... Ultimate guitar. Yes, yes, yes.
Chris: Ultimate guitar, that's it. And it's just the worst. It's kind of like the best and worst website. They have won the SEO battle. They always have good stuff. But it always tries to get you to download the app.
Chris: Then you download the app, and it's okay. There are upsells forever. They have this little dark pattern where they put a little popup in the corner that shows a video of someone playing. Then it says, "Do you want to watch that video of somebody playing the song?"
That can be extraordinarily helpful because it's like, "Yeah. Yes, I want to see someone do it with their fingers." But it's just a lie. They don't actually have a video of somebody playing that. They cut off just enough of the video that--
Chris: That video just works for any song. I'm like, "That's dark. You jerks."
Dave: Nah. One chord in every song is just wrong.
Chris: [Laughter] Yeah.
Dave: It's weird, like it was crowdsourced, but they're just going to add the bejesus out of you. That's what's weird too, right?
Chris: It is a little weird.
Dave: That is anti-spam copy stuff. I'm sure theft is hugely prevalent. But anyway, yeah.
Chris: It's a bummer. But I think I did pay them just to see what it was like, and they actually do kind of remove the ads. They have this transpose feature, like, "Oh, shoot. This is in weird B-flat. Can you just kick it up a half-step?" That's kind of a nice feature. It has the auto-scroll down feature, which is kind of nice.
Dave: That's a good one. That's good.
Chris: These days, AI is... I don't know if it's AI. Maybe it is. It has really gotten involved. You can throw any YouTube video at it of any song and it'll just tell you what the chords are of it. You're like, "Wow!"
Chris: That's awesome! [Laughter]
Chris: It's not even necessarily crowd sourced anymore. They just, on the fly, can get the chords out of a song. That's technology at its finest. Good job.
Dave: Yeah. Robots have perfect pitch now. What am I going to do? I'm out.
Chris: But I would do it on my phone, and I have a little, tiny metal stand. I would set it up in here. I would just look at that screen.
I'm like, "I'm going to bring this new monitor home." Then it's sitting there, and I tried to hook it up to my iPad. Somehow, of course, because of technology - I don't know - it's like a Thunderbolt display and an iPad Pro 2, or something. They're just incompatible with each other. You plug it in and the thing says, "This iPad cannot use Thunderbolt's accessories," or something. I'm like, "Oh, suck it." Should I find a workaround?
It's one of those... It's like in Web development where you just throw your hands up. I just can't. I can't care. There are only so many hours in the day. I cannot care about this.
Chris: I have that good fortune to be able to do that sometimes. My version of throwing up my hands was to buy a Mac Mini.
Chris: I've never had one before, but I just got one. It was $599, about the cheapest Mac Mini you can possibly buy.
Chris: I tossed it in here.
Chris: And I'm recording on it right now. Of course, it's a perfectly capable, nice machine. You know?
Dave: No, if it's the M2 version, for sure.
Chris: Yeah, it sure is.
Dave: I've been looking at or I like my setup, but you know you're always curious about, should I get a new thing? Have you heard of the Foundation laptops?
Chris: No. I know the show on Bolt TV.
Dave: [Laughter] Apple TV. Oh, sorry, Framework Laptop. It's called Framework Laptop. But it's basically a Linux laptop. You can boot it with Windows, but it was built to sort of be this always upgradable kind of green.
Dave: If you need a new keyboard, you just--
Chris: A ... laptop?
Dave: Yeah, right to repair laptop, right? It's super, like, "Heck, yeah!"
Chris: Is it cheap or nice or both?
Dave: It's actually nice (for a Linux computer). There are not a lot of Linux laptops, so it's actually a pretty good Linux laptop.
Dave: If you want to just run straight Linux. But I saw this case from Cooler Master for the laptop board, and it's called Cooler Master Main Case Board. I'll send you a link here or put it in the show notes.
What's funny, the pictures don't do it justice, but it's this little clear case that has a computer in it. It just has a little prop to sit up on your desk. It's almost like a Raspberry Pi, but it's a very big Raspberry Pi.
Chris: All right.
Dave: But it runs Linux and it has an i5, i7 processor. It works pretty good. Anyway, I just was like, "Ooh, maybe I need this and that's my SSH box."
Dave: That's where I do all my computation.
Dave: Then I was like, "Well, there's no way it's faster than my M2." But if I was still on Windows, I would consider it.
Chris: Well, you know what's cool about being a Web person like us is that you can boot up Riverside like this and it will work fine - I think.
Chris: Riverside will bitch if it's not Chrome. When I booted this thing up, I had that thought real quick. I'm like, "Maybe I'll do the thing where I run it as a stock machine."
Chris: You ever hear that? You install nothing.
Chris: You change no settings. You just use it as it was delivered. Then I just gave up instantly.
Chris: I just couldn't. Yeah, there are so many things for me. Well, you know, first you're like, "Well, I need to talk to Dave, so I have to install Discord."
Chris: Then I'm going to record this thing, and our podcast guy expects -- Hi, Chris. -- in Dropbox. Although, he could download them himself. But the flow at the moment is for me to put the files in Dropbox, so I've got to install Dropbox.
Then all of a sudden, I was like, "I'm just sitting at the computer. Wasn't I going to invite some people to schedule some shows?" Oh, and that list of people is in Things, so I've got install that. Then it was all this stuff.
I got really used to using Mimestream for email and installed that. Then I'm using Safari, and I pop own like I'm just going to use Safari. I'm going to do this. I love it. It's a perfectly great browser. Then you open Riverside, and it's like, "No, you're not."
Dave: Hmm... Yeah.
Chris: Day one, it got me.
Dave: Yeah. No, that's... It would be a dream to just kind of not have all this weird stuff.
I might get rid of Dropbox. I think we talked about that. Do I actually need to be on this. You're just sending files to Chris with that. My coworkers sometimes use it, but I just was like, "I don't think I need to pay for Dropbox," and the pay date is literally two days from today or something like that. I need to pull the trigger on this.
Chris: Yeah. It's not going to be $16, right? It'll probably be like--
Dave: $99, yeah.
Chris: Right. Uh, that's right up there.
Dave: They want to get me up to the $188 plan, right?
Dave: I'm just like, "Dude, no. I can't say yes anymore."
Dave: It has me... I did a Microsoft O365 for when I was on Windows, and I put a bunch of stuff in OneDrive, and that's kind of a synching utility, too. That's $99 a year. I've got duplicate things, but I get Office out of that whole deal, right? It's like, "Uh... Maybe that's a good thing." I don't know.
I'm about to just give up entirely. I'm just like, "Maybe I just quit all these and they all go away."
Chris: Burn it down plan? Yeah.
Dave: I use pages and numbers. I'm that guy. [Laughter]
Chris: I feel like, every couple of years, you've got to do it, especially when you factor in all the TV crap we have. Starz, why do we have Starz? You know?
Dave: Why are we paying for Starz? Yeah.
Dave: I signed up for Peacock so my dear wife would watch the Macy's Day Parade. [Laughter]
Chris: Oh, it's always one little thing.
Dave: Because that was super-important. That was super-important that year, and we still have Peacock. That was about three years ago.
Dave: But hey. Oh, well.
Chris: That's the game they play. You just need one good show, and you'll get a bunch of people.
Chris: Then you've got to keep the show. HBO, I'm looking at you. You're on the chopping block.
Dave: It's a curse, man. You've got to keep pulling rabbits out of your hat. That's the curse of a service business.
You think, "Oh, yeah. We're just going... We're just going to take everybody's money every month." Then you've just got to keep pulling rabbits out of the hat.
Chris: Yeah. That's got me thinking about that because what is that number? There's no business. This almost makes me sad. Netflix is like, "You know what? We have 100 million subscribers. That's good." [Laughter]
Chris: Good. Fine.
Dave: Like, "We did it." To the stock market, firm handshakes, everyone happy. Yeah, we did it.
Chris: Yeah. That part made me think about the Google Reader article that The Verge just put out. "Who Killed Google Reader?" Of course, right up our alley, as the kind of people who lament about Google Reader.
Chris: I feel like I used to, and then I got bored of it because it feels like such an almost cliché thing to whine about these days, like, "I miss Google Reader." I don't know. It just became like a, "Do you, though? Do you even remember it?"
Dave: Yeah. I mean if you really miss it, Feedbin exists. [Laughter]
Chris: And it's literally better.
Dave: It's so much. Yeah.
Chris: Yeah. It looks better. There are font options. You can subscribe to newsletters.
But then I was thinking, "I wish I could head-to-head actually compare it." If I could somehow resurrect the exact experience of using Google Reader, I wonder. Would you be like, "Oh, that was cool"?
In the article, I think it was a fellow named David, listed out a couple of features that I thought... I just did a quick article. I think you maybe saw it. I don't know.
Dave: Oh, yeah. I saw it.
Chris: There were some social features in it during the time when... Almost like pre-social network. Somehow, some way, with the Google stuff, you had friends. What I'm sure is they didn't have any good safety controls. I'm sure of it.
Chris: Back then.
Dave: Yeah. It was basically, I think, your email list.
Dave: It was hooked up to your Gmail or something.
Chris: Or something. Yeah. Surely, you couldn't block anybody or whatever. But maybe people just behaved better back then. It wasn't a huge problem. I don't know.
But once you had friends, that was really addictive to see what they said. People would type little sentences below articles, and you'd be like, "Oh, that just triples the interestingness."
All I do is follow your starred feeds, and immediately, if it's starred, I am five times more interested in reading what it has to say than I was if that article just came across my own feeds. People fricken' care. It makes it extra special to me.
Chris: Because Twitter is like, you see somebody post a link and I just follow enough people that that doesn't automatically make me interested. There's something about an RSS reading experience that those are my reading friends. Those are really important to me. I don't know.
Dave: Yeah. I do wish, in Feedbin -- and I'm not saying this is a feature request -- you could add just a smidge of context. Adactio does this for his links blog. He posts all the links on his blog. I don't want to build that system, and I've tried to. Then I'm really inconsistent to micro-blog these things.
Just adding a little bit of commentary, like, "The part about prototypes is awesome," or something like that.
Chris: Yes! Right. The tiniest note. Even less than Jeremy would do - or something.
Chris: The tiniest--
Dave: I think you could in Google Reader. I think it was like you could send an article to somebody with a note or something like that.
Dave: You could be like, "Chase, check this out."
Chris: You could comment or share with note. But when you share it, what was cool is that I don't have to subscribe to that feed to see it.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: Whereas, if you leave a comment, I won't see it unless I subscribe to that thing.
Chris: Yeah, it's interesting how ... not done it. I think I did get... Somebody wrote in and said, like, Feedblur or something has a couple of features like that.
Dave: Oh, interesting.
Chris: But I don't know. It didn't seem... I went to the website and there wasn't a single sentence about the socialness of it. I was like, "Meh. I'm not sure they consider it a first-class feature," if they have it.
Chris: Nor do I think it's necessarily an amazing business model. I'm not asking people to... somebody to jump on it because it's failed over and over. So, maybe we don't need that. I just don't... That's the part I'm nostalgic about, I think. It's interesting.
Dave: Well, you know, it's this thing. It's like, I think there's genuine magic in: You read a thing. You liked it enough to signal, "I like this thing." And then I get to read that thing.
I think that's a very cool trans-substantiative gift. It's very passive. I may not find it for years. But it's just like, "I read this thing and I liked it. Maybe you'll like it too." Then I read it, and I like it. That's really cool.
Maybe we don't... Yeah, maybe we don't need notes. Maybe I can be like, "Hey, Chris. I finally read that article you liked."
Dave: Whoa! We can start a conversation. Maybe that's the magic.
Dave: It's not like, "Oh, man. I'm totally thought-leading."
Chris: But there's a scale to it that you have to get right. Wasn't it Genius, or something? Somebody was like, "Annotate the Internet."
Dave: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Chris: You can leave those little comments all over the Internet. Then your friends might find them. The scale of that is too big.
Chris: I'll never run across it that way.
Dave: Well, and I always thought that would be cool, like a private Discord sidebar browser extension that, any website you show up to, maybe a friend has graffitied or something like that.
Chris: Ah, yeah! That's cool. Yeah.
Dave: I think that'd be kind of cool. But it would also just probably be hugely monotonous.
Dave: You'd have one friend who was like, "I got here first," or whatever.
Chris: There have been other takes on this. Like WordPress for a long time -- maybe they still do -- have some kind of superfast blog mode. It was almost like a bookmark or browser extension or something.
Chris: You're on a URL, you click, and this little, tiny thing comes up, and you just say blah-blah-blah. It was almost encouraged to leave a little note and hit it. Then it's blogged on your site. Of course, I love that.
Chris: I wish people would do that. That's great. The scope of that is a little smaller, though. I feel like it's asking something of you to make this permanent URL about it. There's something a little chiller about just leaving a quick sentence within some other app that your friends use.
Chris: I'm not trying to talk anybody out of blogging, but I feel like that's been tried and not that many people do it, so check. You know?
Dave: Yeah. There are not a lot of micro-blogging links. But maybe somebody can make that real easy. Maybe I should start a microblog.
Chris: Yeah. Look at Aboard. We tried it. It didn't stick with us yet, either. It's a browser extension where, any link you're on, you click it and it makes these boards of cards. I'm attracted to the idea. I think it's a cool idea.
You can leave comments and talk. It's supposed to be this social experience. It's very well-done, I think. But for some reason, hasn't clicked. Yet, it just slots into this very niche thing.
If I'm reading something and I like what I'm reading, man, do I have a lot of options. I can email it to myself. I can put it in my Things if I need to deal with it right away. I often put it in my Notion database board because then I tag it later and do stuff.
Dave: I do.
Chris: I could Aboard it. I could post it in Discord. I could tweet it. I just have a million things I could do with it. I need to be sensitive to how many there are because if I try to add a new one to the mix, sometimes my brain rejects it like, "No!"
Dave: Yeah. No, it could be a 12-operation. It's the 13th social service that really gets you.
Dave: That's the one that's hard.
Chris: Right. Then some of them are social and some of them are not. That's an interesting distinction.
Chris: It turns out I'm pretty picky about the socialness of them.
Dave: I am generally not a pro-walled gardens. I guess Discord is and Slack is, so maybe I walk that back. But something has always sat weird with me about newsletters, like, "Man, I pay you $5 to your Substack to get this thing."
Dave: But I do find them to be really good for linkless. I get a lot of value out of a Patreon. Eric Bailey has a really great one. it's not... It's like tech tangential. It's really good. It's called "Section 1.4." It's really badly named.
Chris: Yeah. Don't you think Substack got it right, in a way, in that they--? I don't even know if you have a choice. You have to make your newsletter a URL. It's almost a blog first, and then they just blast it out.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah, just the Substack experience, though. When I go to a Substack, I scroll. "Hey, do you want to subscribe to this Substack?" No, thanks. Okay, scroll. "Oh, hey. Do you want to subscribe to this Substack?"
Chris: Oh, just constantly. Yeah. At least the muscle memory to click that bottom most link. If they ever switched those links around, man, they'd have--
Dave: I'd be subscribed... Subscription rate through the roof.
What's interesting about that Verge article is Google Reader had like 30 million users or something, right? Like active, daily active users.
Chris: Oh, that's exactly the tie! I left that hanging. Thanks for bringing that back.
Yeah. Almost like Netflix with, like, "Can we just stay where we are?" Thirty million users back then, too, is amazingly successful. Except for that it didn't have a business model or whatever. But you know. I'm sure they could figure it out. Neither does... I mean, does Gmail, really? You can upgrade for more storage.
Dave: I'm sure they could have figured out how to put an ad inside Google Reader. A list of, like--
Chris: Yeah. Maybe even a lot of ads. I don't know. It was sad to see that it was regarded as such a red headed stepchild of Google. Very sad. Just 30 million users. Widely beloved. Beloved all the way up to some people at the top of the company with a handful of people working on it. Ugh! What a joke.
Chris: And all the what-ifs were interesting, you know, talking to the ex-developers of it saying that, for some reason, nobody wanted to do it all over again. They were saying if we left, said, "We're going to do Google Reader because Google killed it," VCs would have just brought their wheelbarrows to that party.
Chris: Thirty million users, the same developers, all the opportunity to turn it into money, and nobody did that. Now, maybe that wouldn't have worked out.
We talked to Ben from Feedbin. Feedbin is amazing. I know everybody has got their preferences, but I just am a fan of that one. He's one guy working on it. So, you know, does it support--? How many people work at Feedly? Probably more because--
Chris: That one turns me off for some reason. You go to that website, and they're like, "Have you tried our biopharma research?" or whatever. And you're like, "What?!"
Dave: Yeah. Yeah, I don't want to slander. It's just they went in a weird direction, and I don't know what's going on. It's like, "Track your employees," or whatever. [Laughter]
Dave: You know. It's like, "Wait. What?"
Chris: You have strong open-source challenges with Net Newswire and all that. I'm not sure there is a huge business to be had in RSS. I don't know. But it might have changed things back then if it wasn't killed. Maybe the idea of a reader would have been bigger as a concept than it is now - is the thing.
Dave: Yeah. Sorry. I'm just fully clarifying. I can't find reference to it because I don't know if they'd take it down, but it was something like, "See if your employees are organizing a union," or something like that. Wasn't that the beef or the drama?
Chris: Oh! Oh, with the Feedly thing? Yeah, that was... Yeah. I think they may have walked that back. I can't 100%--
Dave: But I do see the cybersecurity and biopharma solutions at the bottom. [Laughter] Interesting. Well, I guess threat intelligence fits into RSS pretty well, so.
Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. [Laughter]
Dave: Finding a product market fit is difficult.
Chris: Certainly. Dave, your haircut wrote in with a question here for the show.
Dave: Hey, haircut! I remember you. Yes.
I feel like I've bitched about that before. I won't do it again.
"--and perspective in CSS. Absolutely clueless. How early should you set will change, 16 milliseconds, 200, 2,000 milliseconds? Nobody knows. Then perspective? One thousand pixels sounds good to me."
That's kind of funny.
Dave: Perspective is probably my big one. I guess I get it, but it's this weird version of Z-index. It's like Z-index but actually 3D space. It's weird. I don't fully--
Chris: How far your eyeballs are away from it, but it's certainly not a real measurement. Pixels aren't even a real measurement on websites let alone in the 3D space towards your face.
Dave: Yeah. You know what I fully have never understood? True stories. I've been building websites coming up on 30 years, 29 years, something like that.
Chris: Yeah. Oh, my God. That's a long time, Dave.
Chris: It is. It's a very long time. Almost as long as the Internet. And blend modes, just don't get it.
Dave: Mixed blend mode, multiply background blend mode, darken - don't get it.
Chris: Those are the two actually useful ones, though.
Chris: I'm sure you understand darken. That one is the easy one.
Dave: Yeah, but I don't understand how it gets to that. What colors is it promoting? You know what I mean?
Dave: If I have a green background and a red whatever--
Chris: Well, that. Yeah, that's hard. I just mean if you have white and you darken over it, the white disappears because it's not darkening nothing.
Dave: Right, right, right.
Chris: That's the only useful one. And multiply tends to be useful. But all the rest of them like soft light.
Dave: Color dodge. Yeah, hard burn. [Laughter]
Chris: Yeah. [Laughter] Yeah, that's not. That's tricky.
Dave: Am I piloting a spaceship?
Chris: That's kind of like, "Ooh, I like that one. I guess I'll leave it." That's definitely a guess and test property, for sure.
Chris: That's a good one. I find I do too much guess and test at all. Still to this day, sometimes I'm like, "Maybe I'll juxtaposition relative on it and see if that does something." [Laughter]
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's good. Ooh...
Chris: I hate that one because I know what it does.
Dave: This is CSS confessions.
Chris: I know what it does.
Dave: Yeah, this is good.
Chris: Width even sometimes because, in my head, it's so locked in that, like, "Oh, it's a block level element, so it's as wide as it needs to be," kind of thing. But if you don't set it, that's actually auto, not width 100%, right? Once in a while, you still need to set a width even though the default behavior of it is like width 100%. I'm thinking of stull like you need to use overflow ellipsis or something. Well, that's not going to... If it's an auto width, your ellipsis will never work.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: You need to say width 100%. It's that kind of thing where you end up just being like, "What is up with...? Oh, yeah. Meh."
Dave: Yeah. The other... Okay. Now that I'm thinking more, making the page go 800% tall by the background color. I believe it's HTML 100 DVH. Is that correct?
Chris: No, you're wrong because that one already is--
Dave: It's body, then. One of them doesn't have a height, and it F's me up every time.
Chris: It's the body doesn't have the height, so you have to push it higher. But it's tricky because if all you're trying to do is, say, for example, background red or something, even though the body is only as tall as the content is, if the HTML doesn't have a background of its own, the background of the body will promote itself to be the background of the HTML.
Dave: Oh, yeah. Good.
Chris: That is just a very weird one to know about CSS.
Dave: Okay. Wow.
Chris: Which is good. It's probably a good behavior because people really think of the body as the parent thing. That's just in people's head. They think of the body as the--
Dave: Do I have to set a height on HTML?
Chris: No because once you set it on the body, the body will push the HTML.
Dave: Push the HTML. So, you really just need body 100 DVH is kind of where we're at in 2023.
Chris: Yes. That's it.
Dave: Final answer. Lock it in.
Chris: Final answer.
Dave: No problems, even in Firefox. [Laughter]
Chris: And weirdly, you can just say height. It's very tempting to say min height.
Chris: Sometimes you do want min height, like if the background is an image, for example, that might stretch or something. But usually, just height is fine because if it overflows that height, you get a scrollbar. It's like, well, guess what you get anyway if it overflows the browser? You just get a scrollbar. The behavior ends up being the same with height or min height - kind of. Mostly.
Chris: It's little crap like that that we just kind of intuitively understand if you do CSS long enough.
Chris: But it's very vexing, I think.
Dave: Well, for me, it's like, with enough... It's changed over the years. And so, I feel like, with enough whatever, I've copy-pasted or I have a feeling, like you're saying, for figuring out which one I actually need.
Dave: But it takes a few tries, obviously. I don't get it right out of the box.
Another one is inherit auto and none.
Chris: Sure. Yeah, and then add in all the new ones like unset, initial.
Dave: Inert, unset, and initial.
Dave: Oh, my God. Just a guessing game. I just go--
Chris: [Laughter] Yeah.
Dave: I type whatever property, and then I just cycling with my arrow keys.
Chris: Yeah. Those should be more intuitive than they are. But I don't have any better ideas, certainly.
Chris: You also don't need them all that often.
Dave: Yeah. I guess I understand inherit. There are certain inheritable properties. I talk about that with my Web component stuff.
Chris: Yeah. You only use it on something that's not inheritable.
Chris: The thing you see it the most on is the box sizing. That's not inheritable, and the case has been made that it should have been, so you see it often, like, "Put it on the star selector." It's like box sizing inherit.
Chris: It's like... That's how easy it is to make... That's how easy it is to make a property become inheritable across the whole DOM. Yeah, except for pseudo elements because they're not really in the DOM, so they don't inherit. Hence that weird snippet where it's like *,*::before,*::after. [Laughter]
Chris: I guess, going back to the auto thing, when you're min width zero, you're kind of like, "This has no min width," or whatever. But if you're like min width auto, it's like whatever it was.
Chris: Ooh, this is a fun one. Yeah.
Dave: Or it goes back fit content or whatever. You know?
Dave: Fit content and min content and max content. That also blows my mind a little bit sometimes.
Chris: Right, like if you're doing a media query, for example. You've set a min width. But now you want to unset the min width.
Chris: Should you use unset? Should you use initial? Should you just use zero?
I'll tell you what. I almost always use zero.
Dave: Zero is going to be used, yeah.
Dave: Yeah. No, that stuff, it's like I know there's a proper way. I'm sure. But this is just going to kind of go.
Chris: What's tricky is you can't use... Then your logic doesn't work in reverse. If you're trying to unset a max width, you can't say zero because then you've really screwed yourself there. That one, you almost want to reset because you don't want to use 100%.
Dave: It feels weird. Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: Maybe you do, but chances are you're trying to unset that value.
Chris: Ugh! Or you reverse the media query instead because you're like, "I don't even want to deal with unsetting."
Dave: Done that. Yeah. Yeah because you're just like, "Nope. Just make it a size." Yeah.
Chris: You know what kills me is sticky and overflow?
Chris: Like, why? Why at all?
Chris: I actually don't understand this. Are they related to each other? I should be able to overflow hidden something and have that... I think hidden is okay. It's the auto. It's when it has scrollbars. All of a sudden, your position sticky doesn't work on any parent up the tree, including the body itself.
Now, fortunately, there's a cool new trick - if you haven't seen this. Overflow hidden is useful. We've used that our whole career, right? But overflow hidden is still scrollable. You know what I mean?
Dave: Yeah. Right.
Chris: If you really force the scroll over, you can. Whereas there's almost a stronger value, overflow clip.
Dave: Ooh... Yeah.
Chris: That is just clipped. The data is gone. It's like data lost - or whatever - in CSS. That doesn't mess with sticky. Good to know, huh?
Dave: Really? Okay. Yeah.
Chris: The problem is, sometimes you're not trying to just hide the overflow. You need scrollbars.
Chris: I think a common one for this is responsive tables where you wrap the div around the table and you put overflow auto on the table. That way, on mobile, the table doesn't have to squish, but it doesn't mess with the viewport. You can just swipe around the table and move it. It's not like the greatest responsive solution ever, but it's something.
Chris: And it doesn't mess with the layout, so okay. But if you had, for example, sticky table headers or table footers, no you don't. Not if it's overflow auto. They're gone.
Chris: Which is like, "Why?! That's when I want sticky is when there's scrolling to stick with the scrolling."
Dave: But if you use overflow, now you quit position sticky. Yeah.
Chris: Ugh! Suck it. That's not exactly what Dave's haircut is asking about here. That's more like, I know that's a problem. But he's asking more about black box properties.
Dave: But this weird how sticky is picky about the box.
Chris: [Laughter] That's a good blog post.
Dave: "How Sticky is Picky About Its Position." Anyway, how it is, that really--
Chris: And transform is affected too. It's like I get that it does that, but why? What's the why? I think that can heard developers, too.
If you're mad at CSS, you might be mad at it because the why eludes you. Maybe developer brain likes to know the why.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. "How Sticky is Picky is Tricky."
Chris: [Laughter] Oh! Ship it! That's a mini book.
Dave: Yeah. A Book Apart, feel free to call me. My number is 555-555-5555.
Chris: That'd be nice. I might put it on my CSS wish list because apparently CSS just crushes better every year. That'd be a cool one if CSS was just like, "Oh, you know how transforms used to screw up your sticky? Not anymore. We just fixed that somehow."
Dave: Right. Or they were just like, "Oh, yeah. It's not a problem anymore. Remember when...?"
Chris: Except for they won't because that might be... Oh, yeah.
Dave: Fixed everything, yeah.
Chris: That might be -- what do you call it -- breaking change.
Dave: Breaking change? Yeah.
Chris: All right.
Dave: I was going to say there was one more I had issues with. I think I'm going to have to pass, though. I'm blanking now.
Dave: Oh, yeah. Class?
Chris: That was a constructor, so you better call super on it.
Dave: Yeah. The way I understand it is, "Hey, go talk to the superintendent and make sure you're allowed to be here."
Dave: Like, "Go get all the things from the super." You know? You just have to go up a level to get all the stuff that you--
Chris: But its existence implies that you don't always need to do that, right?
Dave: Well, why doesn't class just auto-imply super? Why would I have a class if it extends, like class person extends - whatever - mammals? I get the mammal stuff.
Chris: Well, if it's the 95% use case, which it seems like it is.
Dave: I wonder if it's... I know it's a Java... I think it's a Java thing. I'm going to just come out and... I'm going to boldly speak. [Laughter]
I don't know if you remember all that drama, like, classes is actually just fake classes. But maybe it doesn't matter. I don't know.
Chris: I don't know. Let's see what we've got. Let's do another one from Bill here. Bill Walbalm.
Dave: All right.
Chris: Twenty-year designer. Good, nice, long career doing design work. Just moving into development. Has some input.
"One of the most important things a designer can do for the Web is to use the equivalent to styles in Adobe. That in conjunction with a proper layout program, you can design components with consistent and reusable styles. After all, webpages used to be called Web layouts. It makes sense for a program to be made for layouts, as a designer who only designs in Photoshop or even Illustrator is not going to just get what it means to develop a webpage or component."
Pretty big words, I'd say, from Bill. What I take from it is, like, if Figma has auto-layout, use auto-layout. Use the stuff that makes a design program behave like a webpage. I've always felt a little weird about that because it seems like the closer you get to replicating the Web, the more it feels like maybe you should just use the Web.
Dave: Yeah. I feel that. But I think what Bill is saying is good, and this is what I like about the Figma stuff we talked about last week. I think, with Figma now, whoever is using Figma, you're using components. You're talking about variables. You have assets. You're using some of the same terminology, and you're speaking the same language. You have properties that change components, and you're thinking in the same terminologies there. I think that's good, right?
Dave: I think that's good for Web development or making that designer-developer bridge stable. And so, I think Bill has got... It's kind of like using the styles in Adobe.
Chris: It's like a class, right?
Chris: Styles means here are a bunch of styles that I've named.
Chris: When I apply them, all this different stuff applies at once. That's what CSS is, so I could see those two people having a more fruitful conversation.
Dave: Yeah. Kind of like, "Here's how it works in my files and my program."
Dave: I do think Photoshop was always kind of a hack. I don't know. It especially feels like that now. It's a very creative program.
Illustrator is also, but it's also very good at vector graphics. If you're producing vectors or doing that, it's very good at it.
Chris: Right. Gosh. Good thing the people are really pleased with the AI integration of Photoshop. That's going to keep them going for a while, I think, because it's a little sad. They very quietly, it sounds like, totally nuked XD. You don't even see it. You can't even buy it separately. The packages that you can buy that include it don't really say they include it.
Dave: Oh, wow.
Chris: Real life support for XD, right? Then if the Figma deal doesn't go through, which I haven't kept up on it, but I do know that it's not done yet. So, it almost seems to me more likely that it doesn't go through. What does Adobe go in this modern Web layout world anymore? Are they going to try again? Are they going to let it sit for a couple of years? It seems dangerous.
Dave: I don't know. You know what they've been pitching me is this Express, which is kind of like an AI kind of deal, but it's almost like Canva. Kind of like, "I need to make an Instagram."
Chris: Man, what an institution Canva is. Some people just live in that thing.
Dave: Oh, yeah. They have TikTok layouts and all this stuff. I don't know. Maybe it's going a more social route, less product experiences. More social.
Chris: Maybe they already got that unlocked. Isn't it kind of like, "I need a simple piece of graphic design," that's the tool to use because it's so template focused and so easy to use? It's just nowhere near trying to use something like Illustrator to do it.
Dave: Well, and you just say, "Let me pay my Adobe credits, and give me a picture of a bat eating the moon." Then, boom, I have my Halloween poster.
Dave: My tweet or whatever figured out.
Chris: How big is Canva? How many people work for Canva? I just like that question because it was going around the other day. It was about DocuSign or something.
Dave: Oh, yeah.
Chris: Has like 30,000... Some number like that.
Dave: It seems high. It seems high.
Chris: Like five figures.
Dave: It seems high.
Chris: Yeah. Canva has 2,000. Ooh, that's a lot of people.
Dave: That's a lot of people.
Chris: They are not... They are, if anything, enemies of the Adobe, certainly.
Dave: But... you know, and maybe they're the ones who filed that antitrust lawsuit.
Chris: Tinfoil hat.
Dave: Hey, somebody did. Somebody did. Like the government isn't sitting around, like, "Ah, man. Do Web developers have enough options to design? I am Merrick Garland. I'm just going to... That's something I super care about." [Laughter] You know? He didn't come up with that.
Dave: Joe Biden didn't come up with that. Kamala Harris didn't come up with that. This is purely somebody... This stepped on somebody's toes and somebody with money--
Chris: Tech done got mad.
Dave: Yeah. Somebody with money toes got stepped on, and that's a problem. But I don't know. I think we benefit from diversity or whatever, but you know. I don't know. It's interesting.
I do think there is opportunity with Photoshop, though. I said it was bad for Web development, but raster graphics right now have a bad name because they're bad for performance. They're beefy, and everyone is doing the cool Memphis vector graphics - or whatever.
Maybe cool ass Photoshop come back. You know what I mean? When you started up Photoshop and you had to stare at this thing for five years, maybe that style of cool Photoshop come back.
Chris: Hmm... There were two articles since Figma Conf - or whatever. What was it called? Config.
Dave: Figma Config, which--
Dave: Is hard for my dyslexic brain to parse, but we're--
Chris: Yeah. It was a perfect name for it this year with the variables and everything. Two articles probably trying to ride the coattails of everybody talking about Figma. One was "Why I Don't Use Figma Anymore," or something like that. Then one from the old Basecamp gang that likes to throw bombs about dumb crap about how they would never use Figma.
No, that's not what it was. They said they use Figma a lot, but maybe we shouldn't because, of course, our designers use HTML and CSS, which theoretically, I agree with. But the take, there always seems to be something off-putting about the take. There's just always something that's like, "Why do you got to say it like that? Why can't you just say it without trying to intentionally make it spicy?"
Dave: Twenty years ago, it was punchy and I loved it. Now it's just like, "You guys just don't like anything." [Laughter] Or it threatens your business or something. I don't know.
Chris: Yeah. Maybe it is that it has that kind of hater vibe or something to it.
Chris: Anyway, yeah, two big articles had people talking about whether using a tool like Figma belongs in a process at all, which how could you speak to somebody else's process? That always seems so tricky to me. You know? Even the great Tailwind debate apparently of this half decade is like, why do you get to think that you get to decide what other people use and like?
Dave: Yeah. What's good and what scales. It's like, have you worked at every company?
Dave: Have you met Jeff because Jeff is a total piece of shit and he, for some reason, has a lot of pull with management. Do you work there? You don't.
There are a couple of other thought leaders we've been discussing in the Discord. It's like, generally, I find their takes pretty okay. But then sometimes they come out with a hot take, and I'm just like, "Big no." Right?
I think there's this phase where you have to say, "Okay, my viewport of the industry is shaped by the companies I have worked for or with. I am fortunate. I have worked for very large companies: Microsoft, Papa John's."
Dave: Large companies, Starbucks and stuff like that, and so I've gotten to see inside a lot of companies. But I'm also an outsider. And also, I've worked at a three-person company. My viewport is different.
For me to just be like, "Here's the one true way. This is the best stack." It's like, "I don't know, man. I don't know anything."
Chris: It's tricky, though, because I like that a lot. Your life is shaped by your experiences, and certainly not just in tech either. It's about your health and your eating habits and your childhood and how quick to temper you are, too, Dave. All of it is shaped by your experience and your experience alone. But sometimes we are required to think bigger.
Dave: Yeah. True.
Chris: When America goes to war, we need to... You can't just be like, "Well, it's complicated." You know?
Chris: You should probably... And the same is true with big tech stuff like AI. Everybody has an opinion. I'm almost a little sick of reading hot takes about it. But to just be like, "Well, I don't know. Some people need it. Some people don't." If that is... If you sense a harbinger of doom there, it probably doesn't hurt to say so.
Chris: Tricky. And if you think of Tailwind as a harbinger of doom, then maybe saying something is good. But it seems to be pretty clear that how you choose to style a website is like the stakes are lowish.
Dave: Yeah. It's like I don't care. I do... Yeah. My hot take there would just be like I've been in situations where I've had too many classes and digging out of that was painful. I haven't been in situations where I have a really good component architecture and a really good... and then a lot of classes. So, I haven't been in that exact situation. But what I imagine it to be like is, "Ugh. This is... I am moving the world and this sucks." You know? I'm having to dig out under everything rather than just like, "Let me just fix the - whatever - pizza card class." That seems easier, but anyway.
Chris: I know what you mean. Yeah because having experience in this industry is very often pertinent. Right? I want the opinion of our software elders to tell us where we may or may not be going wrong based on decades of experience, experiencing things go wrong.
Dave: I do think--
Chris: But sometimes they're wrong, too. You know?
Dave: Yeah. I do think experience is valuable. I do think it's not the end all, be all. Old guarding isn't cool. It sucks to be called that when you're like, "Hey, I think - whatever - technology XYZ might pose some maintenance problems down the road," and people are like, "Shut up, old man!" You're like, "Okay, well, have fun." [Laughter] I don't know.
I'm thinking of a very specific technology, but anyway. Yeah. I think, again, back to the last week thing. I just think we can... Or a couple of weeks ago. I just think we're on the cusp of a big leap forward in front-end development. I think that's shedding old CSS habits. I think that's... because CSS has gotten better. It's way better.
Chris: I think HTML is getting better, like popover and all this stuff is coming out. It's going to revolutionize how we just stick stuff to the page. It's going to be a new Internet in three years, a new-new Web. I think there's a lot of opportunity to rethink old things. Anyway, we don't need more frameworks is maybe my takeaway from this.
Dave: In ten years, so.
Chris: Well, we'll be around for it. I can't do anything else. [Laughter]
Dave: I know. I'm kind of locked into this whole website making thing, so hopefully it sticks around.
Chris: Yeah. It seems like a good plan, still. It's doing pretty good, I'd say. We'll be the first to tell you if things start to take a dive, folks.
Dave: Yeah. Well, I can also put a baby to sleep. So, if--
Dave: Worst come to worst, that's a job everyone always needs. My furnace body is really good at putting babies to sleep.
Chris: Nice. Yeah.
Dave: Maybe that's my calling.
Chris: Softness. Yeah.
Dave: Soft. Warm.
Dave: I'm a baby's dream. [Laughter]
Chris: I always think of being a line cook, you know. I did it before. I can do it again. Every restaurant in this country is understaffed, so I'd go back. I'll go back.
Dave: You can make $18 at Whataburger right now, so think about that, Chris.
Chris: That's pretty good.
Dave: That's pretty good.
Chris: That's pretty good. Sometimes I do the math a little bit, so $18 an hour times 40 hours a week is $720 times 4 weeks is $2,880 a month times 12 months. So, you take no time off. You make $34,000 a year. I think of that number, and I'm like, "Oh, I don't... I don't know if I can pull it together for $34,000."
Dave: Yeah. I don't have... I need a bit more.
Chris: It's a low number considering you take no... for zero days off.
Dave: Well, yeah. Then you have to... Yeah. Yeah, that's tough. That's hard.
Chris: Let's call it $50 an hour is where I need to be. Well, I'll be a line chef at somewhere really nice.
Dave: Fancy, a fancier place.
Dave: You could bar tend. That'd be good.
Chris: Yeah. Then you get the tip bucks.
Dave: Put babies to sleep, that's my thing. There you go.
Chris: All right, folks. Thanks for listening to us just chattering on. It feels like summer edition. We were talking about campers before we even got on. It's ShopTalk Summer Edition.
Dave: ShopTalk Summer. Do we need to make the call? Are we taking a week or two off here?
Chris: No, we don't need to because the next show, we have guests for. We're recording. Nobody listening needs to care, but we're recording it just in time to make the next Monday.
Dave: To make the next Monday, okay.
Chris: We don't need to miss an episode. I can't promise that we will never take a week off. Lots of podcasts take off. We never do. We are here for you, people.
Dave: All right.
Chris: We do a good job, so I don't think we need to.
Dave: All right. We're doing it. All right. Thank you, dear listener, for downloading this in your podcatcher of choice. Be sure to star, heart, favorite it up. That's how people find out about the show. Join us in the D-d-d-d-discord, patreon.com/shoptalkshow.
Chris, do you got anything else you'd like to say?
Chris: Oh... ShopTalkShow.com.
[Banjo music plays]
Chris: [Laughter] Oh, here come the ShopTalk boys! Here come the ShopTalk boys talking websites, yeah.