Happy last Friday of September.

Wow I've had a big (personal) one this month. My body morphed from a 40 year old man into a 41 year old man, though sadly the wings I was promised did not burst out my back and I cannot fly yet. Perhaps next year.

Though even more massively, my partner and I moved into a new home. Probably the last home we'll ever live in. The "forever home" (or at least until one of us croaks).

The upheaval was massive this time around. We've moved a good deal of times in the past but this time we had kids to move with us and all the belongings for those extra two humungs!

Oh, and my little girl lost her first tooth and the tooth fairy was like shazzam and swapped the tooth for a pound coin. What the tooth fairy does with all the teeth is the stuff of nightmares, but let's leave those terrorising thoughts out of our heads.

On the blog

I've kept the blogging fires burning and published 6 articles this month (and wrote a further 2 that I've scheduled for October).

1. Transforming Text

I had some odd problem where I wanted to transform an unstructured blob of text into structured data. I typically turn to tools like awk but I found it was also fairly straight forward to link up some JavaScript functions.

Then after an hour, I'd accidentally made a tool that does the job for me.


I slug the code up on my mini-project dumping ground transform.isthe.link and tweeted expecting no one would be bothered. Turned out to be my "most liked" tweet.

2. Some why's on HTML

Seeing a CSS Tricks post on optional HTML, I thought I'd share some insights I got from my time at CERN earlier this year.

The result was a post explaining why the closing </p> is optional.

Then on my birthday (did I mention I had my birthday? No? 🍰) on a treadmill no less - I wrote about why <head> is locked and why new elements won't appear inside it.

Interestingly I'm a little wrong and there's a great reply on dev.to regarding the new <template> which is allowed in <head>. The lesson here: don't always eat up what people publish (and also don't write blog posts on treadmills).

3. Smarter offline

In August I published the service worker for my blog, and in doing so I added a little feature that, if you're offline and visit a non-cached page, you'll be presented with recently read posts.

Offline listings

What's smart about the technique is that I'm using the stored HTML as the API rather than having to store additional metadata for the listings.

This is how I get offline listings working

Links I found

I've been collecting and publishing a links RSS feed - here's a few choice links from September:

Notes from the Internet Health Report 2019

Superb overview and round up of the Internet Health Report by the Mozilla Foundation. Highly recommend you read though this post at least.

Generative Artistry

Amazing tutorials and content with live rendered previews of where you're up to in the tutorial, adding the code as the tutorials build up. Really really great method for learning code and generative art. Made by Ruth John and Tim Holman 👍

Moving Your JavaScript Development To Bash On Windows

Brilliantly in depth walk through of how to set up a web dev/JS development environment on Windows. Particularly useful to someone like me who's considering putting the Macbook Pro out to pasture and jump ship to Windows.

Monthly recommend

RSS is, from where I'm stood, making a strong comeback. Even NetNewsWire (for Mac) has risen from the ashes.

I recently started paying for Feedbin and have rebuilt my RSS feeds (I'll share an OPML file one day). Now that I'm reading blogs more I'm trying to pull myself away from the dark hole that is Twitter.

Feedbin is a pinned tab in my browser (generally I prefer the website over tools like Reeder etc) and I try to spend a little time each day catching up on the posts. For $50 per year, it's excellent value for money.

In person training

I'm running my Universal React with Next.js in New York and in Brighton in the coming months. A one day masterclass in Next.js to get you up and running with next to zero configuration (the perfect amount!).

  • New York, US - Thursday, October 17 - details
  • Brighton, UK - Thursday, November 8 - details - price includes Friday's ffconf event

Thanks for reading and I shall return in October.

– Remy 👋

Read me / Hire me / Paste me / Tweet me