Design is Implicit Education

I played a lot of baseball in my youth. Through all the years I took the sport seriously, I had a pitching coach named Lefty. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was the best teacher I ever had. I remember at some point, he started helping me throw a slider. The slider is a tricky pitch. It’s the epitome of easy to learn, hard to master. The technique for throwing a slider isn’t hard to grasp, but it can be very easy to hang. After weeks of struggling with the slider on my own, Lefty was able to fix it with a single sentence. It amazes me to this day. Read On…

Open Source Projects Must be Bigger than the Languages They’re Written In

When WordPress was first created, PHP was the obvious language to write it in. The language was pervasive, was all but ubiquitous on hosting servers and was considered a current language. That has changed. PHP is as ubiquitous as ever, but now showing its age. The next generation of developers aren’t flocking to PHP and most modern web apps are written in something else. So what is an open source project like WordPress to do? With a PHP codebase, you are effectively creating an interest barrier for many younger developers to contribute to your open source project. WordPress may be the biggest current example, but this conundrum is going to be a continual problem for other large open source projects. How do you keep an open source project modern and relevant when it’s built on top of an aging language?

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The Best Way is Through

My Grandmother was dying. She was in the hospital, being monitored before she was sent home with hospice care. Everyone in the room knew the end was not far away. My wife and I had driven to be there when we were told that she could pass at any time. Not long after we showed up, my Grandmother politely asked to be left alone so she could sleep. I knew that once I left the room, it would be the last time I saw her alive.

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Metaphors, Idioms and Why the Save Icon is Broken

In a recent post I promised to write a follow-up article on why the save icon was “objectively” broken. I know this topic has run its course, so I will keep this brief. I’ve started to think more broadly about this save icon subject—specifically around using metaphors in design. The metaphors for computing concepts established decades ago are starting to show their age and time has exposed the weaknesses of relying too heavily on them.

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