Comments written on other sites

Berlin Wall to be Rebuilt With Glowing White Helium Balloons for 25th Anniversary of Fall

@philgyford I was wrong!

On 9 November 2014. Permalink

Improvements to smart answers | Inside GOV.UK

Having recently built a quick demo version of something similar to a Smart Answer at Citizens Advice, this is great stuff, thank you - I’d been wondering about good ways to produce this kind of thing in a more reusable and less fragile way than my hasty demo.

It would be useful to know how you go about converting a Smartdown flow into what we see on the GOV.UK site. Unless I’ve missed something (entirely possible) there’s only the initial diagram at the end of the repository’s README. Is there more detail (or other tools) somewhere?

On 7 November 2014. Permalink

Berlin Wall to be Rebuilt With Glowing White Helium Balloons for 25th Anniversary of Fall

They’re not “helium” balloons. If they were they wouldn’t have lights inside them, and wouldn’t need to be on top of the rigid poles you see in the photographs. Still beautiful, but not helium.

On 22 October 2014. Permalink

How designers prototype at GDS | GDS design notes

Thanks for writing this - I’m fascinated by the idea of designers who design in code, because I’ve never yet met one, much as I’d like to.

Your description does (understandably) seem very GDS-specific, and I wonder how this could work for designers in other types of organisation. For example, your designers have the benefits of an established set of design guidelines, a set of pre-defined HTML/CSS elements, and an environment in which taking the time to learn these skills is encouraged.

At the other extreme, a designer working in an agency will often find themselves designing new sites and services from scratch - so there are no design guidelines and no pre-defined elements. They will also usually have very tight deadlines and little time to stumble around with a completely new way of doing things. Which seems like a very different situation to designers at GDS.

Most of the designers I’ve worked with use Illustrator or Photoshop and, if they have any HTML/CSS/JS skills, they’re probably 10+ years out of date. Even if they want to change how they work it must be a huge struggle and time sink - like having to suddenly write everything in a foreign language.

None of which is to detract from what you’ve said, which is great. It’s just that I would love to know how designers outside GDS have managed this, although I expect that’s outside the scope of this blog.

One thing that might be within scope is something about this topic from the point of view of a developer - How have developers helped designers get up to speed with development? What about this process is easier or harder than the “old” way of interpreting PSDs? What kind of work is involved in making a designer’s (HTML) designs into production-ready code?

On 14 October 2014. Permalink

Reviewing, Digital Style | Historically Us

Thanks for the review - I’m glad you like the site.

Regarding “Older versions of the site also incorporated information from other sites into daily entries…” - these are still there on the current version, but have never been available for every day of the diary.

On 22 September 2014. Permalink

Who are the longest running UK bloggers? | troubled diva

“although the Haddock Directory closed in February 2007, and there don’t appear to be any archives”

The Directory was going from 1996, but what is currently the front page of (an aggregation of others’ blogs) wasn’t there then. The Directory itself is nothing but archives, but organised by category rather than date. There are dated pages, eg , but no chronological list of those.

My own blogging on started on 15 March 2000 and is still going:

On 8 September 2014. Permalink

The Ben Jonson House Group Blog: External Redecorations: Week 3

In the interests of keeping a record…

On Monday a polite man sanded and undercoated our roof terrace door, so that’s underway already, which is good.

Today I returned from a few days away to the sounds of the scaffolders - shouting at each other, singing loudly, and a lot of swearing, which was wearing after a while (at least I don’t have children).

At one point a man on the top of the scaffolding (5th floor), who wasn’t wearing hi-viz, a hard hat, or a harness, was almost screaming at the men on the podium to move towards the scaffolding as they hoisted up a plank because they were “pulling the scaffolding away from the wall”. He then swore a lot at whoever tied the knot (“this piece of shit”) around that plank and then spent a while frustratedly shouting instructions down to the guy trying to tie the rope to the next plank. You’d think they’d sort that bit out earlier in the process.

I went out for a coffee rather than listen to any more.

On 15 August 2014. Permalink