Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

How to Keep Your Desktop Tidy With Hazel ➝

A great tip here from Rose Orchard, showing how to setup Hazel to automatically move files off of your desktop. I take dozens of screenshots each day and if I didn’t have something like this setup, my desktop would grow out of control very quickly. My Hazel rules move all image files from my desktop to ~/Documents/Screenshots Archive/ after 15 minutes. Then it moves all files in that folder to the Trash after thirty days.

No Algorithms ➝

Brent Simmons:

These kinds of algorithms optimize for engagement, and the quickest path to engagement is via the drugs outrage and anger — which require, and generate, bigger and bigger hits.

This is what Twitter and Facebook are about — but it’s not right for NetNewsWire. The app puts you in control. You choose the sites and blogs you want to read, and the app reliably shows you their articles sorted by time. That’s it.

The world would be a much better place if all of these social networks stuck to their reverse-chronological roots. Perhaps that wouldn’t have lead to the most engagement, and I say that with the most exaggerated air quotes I can muster. But is it really worth all the anger, divisiveness, and distrust in the platforms that it has created?

(Via Michael Tsai.)

A Notification Audit ➝

Marius Masalar:

It’s easy to inadvertently dig yourself into a pit of distraction. We install new apps, and we’re excited to use them to their fullest so we accept their terms and grant their permission requests…and suddenly that’s one more thing pinging, beeping, or vibrating our phones during the day.

Over time, this becomes untenable. To their credit, phone manufacturers have generally done a good job of giving us the tools to manage this deluge, but we tend to be bad at actually making use of them.

I’m happy to say that I’ve resisted this behavior on my own devices. I basically refuse to allow notifications from apps unless I have a very good reason to enable them.

But if you’ve been a bit less disciplined, I would recommend you follow in Marius’ footsteps and adjust your notification settings. You’ll be amazed how much peace of mind can be obtained when your device isn’t bugging you with unnecessary beeps, buzzes, and badges throughout the day.

HTML Is the Web ➝

Pete Lambert:

A Web page is a document. A component, whether it’s part of a blog template, a news site, a marketing stats dashboard or a sign-up form, is a part of a document. Documents have structure. On the Web, that’s not just about the visuals or the architecture provided by your framework, it’s about choosing semantically correct elements that make sure that your Web page, component, whatever, is correctly structurally formatted. Headings should be headings, lists should be lists, buttons should be buttons and tables should be tables. You can style them (pretty much) however you like – a heading doesn’t have to be big and bold with a bottom margin. That’s up to you, but it should definitely be a heading and I’ll fight you if you make it a div.

This is such a great piece. If you build anything for the web or are at least interested in doing so, read this. Then consider learning some HTML. If you’ve never touched it before, I think you’d be surprised at how quickly it can be picked up.

Jony Ive Is Leaving Apple ➝

John Gruber, on the news of Jony Ive’s departure from Apple:

I don’t worry that Apple is in trouble because Jony Ive is leaving; I worry that Apple is in trouble because he’s not being replaced.

There’s a never-ending supply of hot takes that have been written since the news broke yesterday, but I think John is spot-on here. The departure of Jony Ive isn’t worrisome because he’ll no longer be at the company. But it is worrisome that there is no clear indication of who will be guiding the ship from a design standpoint.

Who’s going to prevent another butterfly keyboard-like situation from happening in the future?

Backwards Compatibility for Ulysses ➝

Marcus Fehn, writing on Ulysses’ weblog:

We have always tried to be backwards compatible as best we could. Sometimes, this meant supporting four years worth of old systems, for the very small number of users still on one of these systems. While it didn‘t hurt much, it still hurt, because with every new device, every branch of every OS, we had to come up with (and maintain) explicit solutions for the old systems. At present, Ulysses runs on iOS 10 or later, as well as OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later. Some stuff was tricky.

Going forward, we will switch our policy to a simple rule of thumb: Support the current system, as well as the one that shipped before. It’s much more efficient, and it helps us move a bit faster. So once the new systems are live this fall, any new version of Ulysses will require either iOS 12 or macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

Marcus goes on to explain a bit more about why they’ll be supporting High Sierra after Catalina releases this fall — mostly because some of their users still use 32-bit apps. But I absolutely love how open and honest the folks behind Ulysses are about this. As we move further into an era where subscription-based apps are the norm, more developers should be making these sorts of policies public.

Linen Wallpaper Update ➝

I added some new resolution variants to the linen wallpaper collection. So if your feeling a bit nostalgic or want a nice simple backdrop for your iOS icons, it’s now available at an appropriate resolution for just about every iPhone and iPad on the market.

The Dark Side of Dark Mode ➝

Adam Engst, writing for TidBits, in reference to a 2013 paper by Piepenbrock, Mayr, Mund, and Buchner in the journal Ergonomics:

To summarize, a dark-on-light (positive polarity) display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and at least some older studies suggest that using a positive polarity display results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort.

I’ve never been a fan of dark mode and don’t understand its recent popularity. Whenever I give it a try, I find text harder to read, interfaces more difficult to navigate, and I feel like it’s more tiring to actually use. And I’m glad there’s some amount of evidence to support my impressions.