Fuzzy Logic

Hi – I’m Laurence Hughes, a Glaswegian web developer, maker of music and pinger of pongs. I work creating responsive websites which balance design, technology, user experience and accessibility. This is my online home, where I try out web stuff and write about code, music and more.

In second year a nice school pal introduced me to The Cure when I was on an otherwise strict diet of rave tapes. Mixed Up with its dubby extended mixes sealed the deal. Shamefully haven’t yet seen them live so I’m at fever pitch for tomorrow’s gig at Bellahouston. Hopefully see some of you there!

Time’s Healing

Must have missed this track (from The Sorrow of Derdriu) on previous listens. A Bladerunner-esque beauty!

Saying bye-bye to autoprefixer

For a while now I’ve been using gulp-autoprefixer as part of my front-end build system. It’s a means of writing standard CSS then having the system automatically parse the rules and generate any necessary vendor-prefixed versions (such as ::-webkit-input-placeholder).

I’ve often felt that the glut of extra rules it creates is excessive – like using a hammer to crack a nut. Furthermore I’ve wondered if it might be doing more harm than good, by leading me to believe I have a magical sticking plaster for non-supporting browsers when actually – especially in the case of IE – the specific way in which a browser lacks support might be more nuanced. And from a practical perspective the noise generated by all those extra rules makes using the inspector to debug what would otherwise be just a few lines of CSS that much harder.

But I always felt it was a necessary evil.

However, I’ve just removed gulp-autoprefixer from my boilerplate.

Why? Because:

  1. In 2019, browsers are no longer shipping any new CSS with prefixes, and in fact they haven’t been for years;
  2. With the browsers that do require prefixed CSS now old and in the minority, it feels like progressive enhancement rather than “kitchen sink” autoprefixing should take care of them. (Those browsers might not get the enhanced experience but what they’ll get will be fine.)

Jen Simmons’ tweet was the push I needed. It’s just taken ‘til now to take the plunge!

So I’ve removed one layer of complexity from my set-up, and so far nothing has exploded. Let’s see how it goes.

Cookie Consent by Osano | The most popular solution to the EU cookie law

This utility adds a banner to the bottom (or top) of your website, asking the visitor to explicitly give or decline consent for the cookies your website uses. It’s a great free resource which handles the requisite GDPR requirements (and more) and offers a number of customisation options.

We need this because cookies often collect information about their users that, while not specifically identified with one individual, could be combined with other data then used to identify an individual therefore becoming “personal information” for the purposes of the GDPR – and must be treated as such.

Real Favicon Generator

Knowing how best to serve, size and format favicons and other icons for the many different device types and operating systems can be a minefield. My current best practice approach is to create a 260px × 260px (or larger) source icon then upload it to Real Favicon Generator. This is the tool recommended by CSS-Tricks and it takes care of most of the pain by not only generating all the formats and sizes you need but also providing some code to put in your <head> and site.webmanifest file.

Elijah – Ice 2 Go (Iridite)

On reflection this one was pretty naive and raw but I can live with that! I was 25 when I made it and listening to a lot of John Tejada, and you can definitely hear that influence alongside other typical Detroit Techno stylings.

I made it in Cubase with a combination of software and hardware. The main bassline sound came from NI Mercury, with an additional bassline from my Waldorf Pulse. The drums were programmed in Attack and the main riff with its panning effects was also software-based. The pad and portamento/gliding lead part came from my Juno 106 and Nord Lead 2 respectively.

Fun fact: the name Ice 2 Go came from a night out in Amsterdam with label-boss Jason and the lovely Lydia during which we asked a bar for a bag of ice to take away to make caipirinhas. A mildly merry Jason first heard then signed the track that very night.

I remember that DJs like DJ 3000 and Nomadico/Dex from Underground Resistance played it. Closer to home I heard that Hudson Mohawke was a fan and played it at the Sub Club, while Jackmaster was good enough to showcase it in a “lesser-known gems” feature on Radio 1. And nice people who I respect like Mark still rate it, so that’s good enough for me.

Mac-Talla Nan Creag – The Sorrow of Derdriu

The Sorrow of Derdriu. Photo by Oli Breidfjord.
The Sorrow of Derdriu. Photo by Oli Breidfjord.

Just took delivery of this feast for the eyes and ears from Firecracker Recordings. Other Lands, Lord Of The Isles and friends on the sounds; House Of Traps and co. on the stellar artwork. Like the first release this was made in association with The Forestry Commission, is totally unique and I highly recommend grabbing a copy.

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