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Tag Archive for ‘David Heinemeier Hansson’

Hating Apple Goes Mainstream ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson:

This isn’t just about one awful ad. I mean, yes, the ad truly is awful. It symbolizes everything everyone has ever hated about digitization. It celebrates a lossy, creative compression for the most flimsy reason: An iPad shedding an irrelevant millimeter or two. It’s destruction of beloved musical instruments is the perfect metaphor for how utterly tone-deaf technologists are capable of being. But the real story is just how little saved up goodwill Apple had in the bank to compensate for the outrage.

That’s because Apple has lost its presumption of good faith over the last five years with an ever-larger group of people, and now we’ve reached a tipping point. A year ago, I’m sure this awful ad would have gotten push back, but I’m also sure we’d heard more “it’s not that big of a deal” and “what Apple really meant to say was…” from the stalwart Apple apologists the company has been able to count on for decades. But it’s awfully quiet on the fan-boy front.

I would say the downfall started more than five years ago. I would look at the 2015 introduction of the butterfly keyboard as the beginning of this era. An era where they would continue to sell these awful keyboards for around five years, failing to resolve the issue through at least two iterations of the product before finally moving back to scissor switches.

There are still bright spots, which is why I continue to buy Apple products. But I’ve never been closer to switching than I am today.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

Launching as a Progressive Web App ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson:

It’s not a new concept. Google and Microsoft have been trying to push PWAs for years and years, since they both have a strategic interest in the web and avoiding platform lock-in (i.e. dealing with iOS exclusives). But it all remained a bit niche, because the biggest player in native, Apple, wasn’t playing ball.

That finally changed this year. In macOS Sonoma, Safari gained Add to Dock. In iOS and iPadOS 16.4, Safari gained two crucial features: Badge Counting and Web Push Notifications.

The “sweet solution” is actually pretty sweet now. I’m not convinced it will happen because native apps have so much inertia, but I’d love to see apps and services launch as progressive web apps rather than as native apps. If only because you can bypass the gatekeeper and remind everyone how cool the open web can be.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

Toward a More Perfect Union ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson:

The original American promise that this is a country where you can make it regardless of where you came from has always been challenged in practice, but it’s a beautiful ideal, and it’ll shine just a little brighter now that the Supreme Court has dismantled one of the few remaining systemic impediments to its realization.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

We Need Crypto ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Enter the trucker protests in Canada. In just three weeks of honking, blocked streets and bridges, bouncy castles and flag waving, this peaceful protest movement managed to provoke the most shockingly authoritarian response from the Canadian government.

First the Ottawa police department got GoFundMe to confiscate donations with the intention of redirecting them to other causes, then after an outcry, they backed down to merely blocking the money for 7-10 days before refunding. That seemed like a draconian escalation completely at odds with the tens of millions of dollars raised for social justice causes during the protest summer of 2020. But at the time, I thought it was something another fund-raising platform – one less likely to collaborate with the Canadian authorities – could route around. And GiveSendGo indeed started doing just that.

Turns out the concern over the donations was quickly rendered insignificant, as just a few days later, the Canadian prime minister imposed martial law on the protestors. Through powers intended for catastrophic events, he took to freeze the bank accounts of both Canadian protestors and donors, to compulsorily demand that tow-truck operators clear the streets, and forced insurance companies to drop policies for the protestors.

This is two weeks old, but still worth a read.

I’m not sure if cryptocurrencies are really the answer, though. I’m bullish on them long term, but I have some concerns about the Bitcoin ledger being public. I don’t want anyone, including the government to have the ability to watch funds leave and enter my wallet.

It has its own problems and annoyances, but I’m trying to use cash more. It’s much more difficult to seize and track by it’s very nature. And although I don’t expect that to ever happen to me, I don’t want the option to ever go away. If I keep using cash, it’s an indication to the businesses I frequent that it is still a valid transaction mechanism that they should continue accepting.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

Changes at Basecamp ➝

Jason Fried, announcing some policy changes they’ve made at Basecamp:

No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account. Today’s social and political waters are especially choppy. Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant. You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target. These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work. It’s become too much. It’s a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It’s not healthy, it hasn’t served us well. And we’re done with it on our company Basecamp account where the work happens. People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can’t happen where the work happens anymore.

They got a lot of heat for this. I guess people really like political discussions at work or something.

But I think it’s a positive change and will result in a much more pleasant environment for all of the folks at Basecamp. Personally, unless it’s directly related to your work, I think you should avoid political discussions on employer-run communication channels.

If you feel the need to voice your opinions on such matters, there’s plenty of other places to share it. Start a weblog, publish it on Twitter, or write about it on Substack — there’s an endless sea of options.

I think this bit from David Heinemeier Hansson adds a bit more context behind these decisions:

But more so than just whether I think that’s productive or healthy, a significant contingency of Basecamp employees had been raising private flags about this as well. Finding the discussions to be exactly acrimonious, uncomfortable, unresolved. Yet feeling unable to speak up out of fear that they’d have an accusatory label affixed to their person for refusing to accept the predominant framing of the issues presented by other more vocal employees.

Which gets to the root of the dilemma. If you do indeed strive to have a diverse workforce both ideologically and identity wise, you’re not going to find unison on all these difficult, contentious issues. If you did, you’d both be revealing an intellectual monoculture and we wouldn’t be having these acrimonious debates.

Whether you think it’s important to share thoughts on politics and societal issues or not, it’s definitely unhealthy to create an environment where colleagues feel backed into a corner on contentious matters that aren’t work related.

It’s easy to have the knee-jerk reaction — to be frustrated about these changes because we all want the world to be a better place. But I think most, after a bit of pondering, can recognize that the individuals within Basecamp can continue advocating for the issues that are most important to them. They simply aren’t afforded an audience of colleagues that just want to get their work done without being faced with all of the world’s most difficult problems.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

Why ‘Hey’ Had to Wait ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson:

HEY is going to launch when the world’s got a handle on this virus. When we either find a new normal, living within long-running restrictions, or we find a way to beat this thing. We’re not going to put a date on that, because nobody knows when that might be. And we’re not going to pretend that we do either.

I was pretty excited about the launch of Hey. I’ve been aimlessly searching for a good email client for years and have never been happy with any of the options. It’s disappointing that we’ll have to wait longer, but I trust that they’re making the right decision. And when Hey does eventually launch, I’m sure it’ll be even better.

➝ Source: m.signalvnoise.com

Signal v Noise Exits Medium ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson, writing on Signal v Noise:

Writing for us is not a business, in any direct sense of the word. We write because we have something to say, not to make money off page views, advertisements, or subscriptions. If some readers end up signing up for Basecamp, that’s great. But if they just like to read and not buy, that’s also great.

Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.

I sure hope this is the case. Writing on the web has always been a passion of mine and although I partake in some aspects of the centralized web — like Twitter and Instagram — I sure would like to see thoughts and ideas shared through more distributed means, like weblogs.

Luckily, the barrier to entry has never been lower. You can buy WordPress-specific hosting from places like Bluehost for about $3 a month and a domain name for around $10-15 per year. There’s plenty of great, free themes available and you can start publishing in a matter of minutes.

And you can always start publishing on WordPress.com, where you can get support from Happiness Engineers like myself. We’ll help with just about any aspect of your site — from choosing the best theme to setting up widgets and using the editor. And if you eventually feel like moving to self-hosted would be a better fit, we can help you export your content and point you in the right direction to move it elsewhere.

(Via K.Q. Dreger.)