Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

The Core Web Platform Loop

Here's a tiny sketch to help illuminate how web platform development _works_.

Hobson's Browser

Mobile OSes and their most successful apps have drained browser choice of meaning for more than a decade. The situation today is a complex web of intent-subverting cul de sacs that lead users to confusion and loss of control over data. Web developers, meanwhile, face higher costs and reduced ability to escape walled gardens. It's time for the charade to end.

Git Worktrees Step-By-Step

All the tutorials I found for Git Worktrees assumed detailed knowledge of Git internals. In case you, like me, never dug that deep here's a quick end-to-end shell transcript to get worktrees set up locally for an existing GitHub project.

Progress Delayed Is Progress Denied

Apple's iOS browser (Safari) and engine (WebKit) are uniquely under-powered. Consistent delays in the delivery of important features ensure the web can never be a credible alternative to its proprietary tools and App Store. This is a bold assertion, and proving it requires examining the record from multiple directions.

Reactive Data With Modern JavaScript

What if I told you that, at least for fully modern work, you don't need special-purpose state management tools and that you can -- to coin a phrase -- 'use the platform' instead? Turns out you can.

The Mobile Performance Inequality Gap, 2021

A lot has changed since 2017 we I last estimated a global baseline for total page resource limits of 120-170KiB. Thanks to progress in networks and browsers (but not devices), the new baseline is much more generous: ~100KiB of HTML/CSS/fonts and ~300-350KiB of JS. But the devil's in the footnotes, and modern web development practices push the median page well above these guidelines.