Notes from Front-end London, March 2017

Reflect and refactor - Melinda Seckington

  • Number one thing to learn it “learning to adapt”
  • Things will always change
  • How to figure out what’s next?
  • Small agile team, multidisciplinary
  • Retrospectives for projects, but why not for ourselves?
  • Otherwise you create the human equivalent of technical debt
  • Reflect
    • Why do we reflect with our teams?
      • Improve how we do
      • Learn from what we did
      • Expose what we’re thinking
    • We often reflect naturally when we don’t have anything else to think about
    • Make explicit time for reflection
    • Schedule in a personal retrospective
    • Long term & short term
    • Long term
      • At least one prompt should help you
      • What motivates you? (Drive, Daniel H Pink)
        • Autonomy - self directed
          • Tasks
          • Time
          • Team
          • Technique
        • Mastery
          • Urge to get better at something that matters to you
          • Why?
        • Purpose
          • Something that has meaning to you and is important
      • What are your six objects?
        • That represent what you do, or should do more of
        • Abstract
        • You could get those physical objects as a reminder
        • What down what you do, six things
        • How would you represent them as objects?
      • What would you tell your past and future self?
        • Reflect on how you have changed over time
        • Write a letter to your past self - highlights what you’ve learned
        • What would your past self write back? What would have surprised you?
        • Write a letter to your future self, date and seal it up, wait to open it
    • Short term
      • Examine a short period (day week month) and make it regular
      • Find a time in the right mindset
      • Take notes - means you can look back
      • Find a format that works for you
      • Define a tangible goal
  • Refactor
    • like code
    • It’s about keeping things in a healthy state,easy to fix and change things as well as add new things
    • How do we make it easier to add or changes will sort behaviour
    • Habit loop
      • Sign we need to change something - cue
      • Change it - routine
      • Celebrate - reward
      • Repeat
    • The power of Habit,Charles Duhigg
    • Adapt existing loops
      • Recognise what you already do and add to it
      • Easier to modify a. Existing habit than make a new one
    • Create new loops
      • Find a new cue that doesn’t have a habit already
      • What are thing that happen to you regularly?
    • Find new cues and rewards
      • Eg instead of just trying to run, play zombiesrun
      • Make an RPG of leveling up yourself
    • Think about all three aspects
  • Always thinking about “what’s next?”

Sizing with content - Oliver Williams

  • Intrinsic sizing in CSS
  • Using the content itself to size things
  • Three new properties
    • fit-content
    • min-content
    • max-content
  • fit-content
    • very useful with block level elements to make it the size of its content but keep flow
    • Can still use margin: auto;
    • Will automatically change the size when the content does
  • min-content
    • On a paragraph would be as wide as it’s longest word
    • As small as the largest unbreakable piece of content (a word, an image)
    • Text no wider than an image that’s with it
  • max-content
    • Probably the least useful
    • You can use it with max-width to avoid horizontal scroll bars

The Open Metaverse - Shaun Dunne

  • (Less obvious) Uses of VR
    • Education
    • Health
    • Stories
    • Entertainment (non-games)
      • (E-)Sports
      • Live music events
  • Web VR
    • Is not proprietary. Anyone can put anything out there
    • Easier to share a url than an app
    • The Web Wins
  • webvr.rocks
    • A surprisingly large amount of support for VR from browsers
  • Mobile Safari is the new IE
    • Awaiting “Braver VR”
  • w3c.github.io/webvr/spec/1.1/
    • Includes an extended gamepad API
  • WebVR Polyfill available to allow other input devices to control the content instead
  • Lots of abstractions available so you don’t have to work directly with WebGL - it’s hard
  • Cost
    • Cardboard, cheap (although limited)
    • Daydream + phones ~ 600
    • Decent gaming laptop + Oculus for about the price of a new macbook
  • Aframe is a good starting point
  • glitch.com like a full stack codepen
    • Great when you have internet
  • Aframe
  • Future
    • WebVR 2.0
      • Next year some time
    • Content problem
      • A lot of games
      • Not a lot of much else
    • A lot of problems that need to be designed away
    • Web AR?
      • Argon.js
      • Ar.js
    • Unity supporting Web VR?
  • “Snackable” VR - little bits of content you consume for about 2mins