Week Notes 17/03/23


This week has mostly been about me realising how many gaps there are in my own patterns of thinking, and exploring the relationship between technology and environmental impact.

Reading Every I Know about Life I Learned from Powerpoint made me rethink my assumptions about corporate software being bad and independent software being good, and content being more important than design.

On the latter point, in web development we often talk about progressive enhancement: focus on the core of what you need to say, or what you need to happen, and then layer visual or functional enhancements on top of that core, with those enhancements being available if the person visiting your site is able to use them. And I think it's important to differentiate that approach from an implicit puritanism about design or functionality. The core version of what you are delivering can still be beautiful, visually or functionally. And the enhancements can reflect a joyful wish to amplify that beauty.

Installing Fedora Linux on an old Dell laptop, and finding the whole installation process and desktop experience rather delightful, was also a joyful challenge to some ideas about operating systems, and indeed ways of working, that I had built up over years.

I've also been working back through the archive of the Environment Variables podcast hosted by the Green Software Foundation. Among the points I've picked up along the way:

I'm thinking more and more about the relationship between web development and the energy transition and the climate/biodiversity emergency. At Careful Digital, we're looking at further improving the environmental performance of our web hosting, and of the software we produce. We're also looking to formalise this work through the B-Corp certification process.

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend everyone, see you next week!

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