I've been keeping an engineering daybook and it really came in to its own today, so I wrote a quick blog post about it: mikebabb.com/blog/engineering-

Bidding a fond farewell to my favourite weird CSS hack: padding-top to set aspect ratio on images. It's being replaced with the much more intuitive aspect-ratio property 👏 web.dev/aspect-ratio/

I've never worked anywhere quite like it. When I joined 3 years ago there were just 30 people at Immersive Labs - now we've grown to 200 and are about to triple in size!


Mike Babb boosted

“Why I Still Use RSS - atthislink”


I use RSS _a lot_. Over 90% of the links I post (like this one) I find through my feed reader. Trying to keep up with web development or publishing using social media feels like a very addictive way to accomplish nothing.

This twitter thread sent me on a fun trip through the Wayback Machine to see old iterations of my personal website ⌛

"How long have you had your personal web site? What was its tech stack evolution?"

1️⃣ 2012: HTML/CSS/JS, manual FTP
2️⃣ 2016: WordPress with custom theme, manual FTP
3️⃣ 2018: Jekyll, manual SSH (scp all the things!)
4️⃣ 2020: Jekyll, Netlify


Now that it has an Android app in beta, I've been giving Proton Calendar a go as an alternative to my self-hosted calendar setup. It's pretty good - nice design, auto light/dark mode, and all the features I need 📆


A year on from this post, Joplin continues to be my go-to app for staying organised. If you're looking for a good self-hosted Evernote/OneNote alternative, give it a try!


Mike Babb boosted

Confession: I can't read any code examples with the common foo/bar/baz dummy values without feeling nauseous.

It's exceptionally painful in TypeScript:

const foobar: Bar = {
bar: [{ foo: "foo" }, { foo: "bar", bar: "baz" }],

What the actual fuck?

Let's stop using these and learn how to name our variables, 'mkay?

2020 was rough. If you wanna play through it again though, there’s 2020game.io/ 🎮

As someone who spends a lot of time working with JavaScript and web apps, I take great satisfaction in maintaining a minimalist, JS-free personal website. I've added it to the 512KB Club, a sort of webring for similarly tiny sites ⚡


At the weekend I listened to a podcast about GitHub's arctic code vault - such a cool idea! And it turns out I have code in it through my Nextcloud contributions 🏔


I like @Fairphone's approach to smartphones - modular, user-repairable phones you can get replacement parts and upgraded components for instead of replacing the whole thing. Much less waste and an ethical supply chain! I'll check out what they're offering next time I'm due an upgrade 📱


Firefox for Android has gotten its big new release following a complete rebuild, with the GeckoView rendering engine and browser extension support. I've been using the beta for a while and it's a lot faster than old Firefox ⚡


Dan Abramov has started a concise and entertaining glossary of JavaScript terms - whatthefork.is. A good addition to your RSS feed :rss:

Web developers, what's your build tool of choice these days? Might update my ageing Gulp 3 setup soon. I compile Sass, inject an SVG spritesheet, and run the standard CSS minification etc. No JavaScript in use on the site.

If there's a better way than Gulp for running these tasks I'm open to changing it. I've used webpack a lot but it feels like overkill for this. NPM scripts maybe?

Mike Babb boosted

Today I learned that the New Zealand postal system sends physical ping packets to test their network.

I received a "tracked letter" which says "we send 2,500 of these letters every week to random addresses all around New Zealand to help us check the performance of our network."

I am the lucky winner of a functioning national postal system, which considering the alternative in other countries, makes me feel pretty darn lucky.

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