Web Development

Rebuilding the Internet with owner controlled websites, blogs & apps

Photo of a single fern leaf in the rain.

Before the centralization of information to social media platforms people created content inside a wide array flourishing, nuanced communities on websites and blogs across the Internet. Social media was an important but not primary method for creating or even surfacing content.

Today, however the landscape is much different. A small number of social monoliths have centralized access to much of the world’s information. This centralization has had disastrous results on a global scale with previously unimaginable network effects. These include flat earth conspiracies, anti-vaccination crusades and their subsequent deadly measles outbreaks, ubiquitous hacking and online harassment campaigns, and ethnic cleansing to name a few.

The most noticeable difference in the Internet is the shift in discovery of content from decentralized, self-contained, and self-moderated systems controlled by technology creators owned and maintained to a reliance on placement and space rented from social media companies. As a result of this centralization, once vibrant and diverse Internet communities have been forced into precut molds to grow at a phenomenal scale.

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Photo of a single fern leaf in the rain.

The value of progressive enhancement when innovating in modern web development

Recently I walked through each part of the implementation for SVG navigation or UI dynamically colored with CSS using mix-blend-mode. That example includes progressive enhancement with a fallback for the versions of Microsoft IE & Edge that don’t support this property.

Because progressive enhancement can vary between one developer and another so much even on the same project or task, I wanted to share some of my own higher-level thinking about how I make these types of design changes during engineering. While polyfills typically imply the use of JavaScript, in this discussion I’ll be focusing on CSS and specifically support for older browsers.

Read the original post then jump back over here for more of an abstract look at progressive enhancement in general.

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Add SVG with mix-blend-mode to build beautiful, dynamically colored UI or navigation

Modern CSS provides an incredible opportunity to create innovative, engaging user interfaces and experiences, but many well-supported properties are still rarely used to their full artistic and technical potential.

One of the most useful but still underutilized properties today is mix-blend-mode. This property allows elements to be blended together by dictating how blending should appear between stacked HTML elements by blending elements from layers above with those behind them.

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