design Archives

  1. Free as in … ? My LibrePlanet 2016 talk

    image from talk

    Below is the talk I gave at LibrePlanet 2016. The tl;dr version: Learning how political philosophy has evolved since the 1670s shows that the FSF’s four freedoms are good, but not sufficient. In particular, the “capability approach” pioneered by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum is applicable to software, and shows us how to think about…

  2. Reinventing FOSS user experiences: a bibliography

    There is a small genre of posts around re-inventing the interfaces of popular open source software; I thought I’d collect some of them for future reference: Recent: Drupal WordPress: ma.tt, wp.com Older: Firefox: 0.1 release notes Visual Editor: first blog post I can find (though I’m sure there are many emails), Economist The first two…

  3. Format(ting?) of Forever

    Archival photo stock - an old school Format of Forever.

    Mark Pilgrim had a great post1 a little while ago where he talked about Docbook as ‘The Format of Forever’, but HTML as the ‘Format of Now.’ He also argued that (since technical books were constantly outdated) generating technical books in the Format of Now instead of the Format of Forever made a lot of…

  4. A Quick Note on Conspicuous Text, also known as ALL CAPS

    A copy of the MPL with yellow text instead of ALL CAPS.

    [Quick followup: (1) Matthew Butterick, of Typography for Lawyers fame, has added a thoughtful comment that anyone reading the post should read; and (2) to be clear, nothing here is my original work or thought – it’s all a convenient, collect-in-one-place paraphrase of ideas from the excellent Manual of Style for Contract Drafting and Typography…

  5. the linux desktop’s change problem

    [NB: this could easily have been titled ‘the software industry’s innovation problem’, since the problem applies broadly to all sorts of software development, and what I’m talking about as ‘change’ is often referred to as ‘innovation’, a word that has been twisted almost beyond recognition. I’d like to focus on this little corner of the…

  6. almost-post-vacation software playing/lazyweb/misc.

    I still have one more week of vacation, which means I’ve been starting to play a bit with software to get my brain off law for a while. Some notes: lazyweb: as previously mentioned, I’ve got a remote control which, to the computer, looks like a keyboard. For an upcoming project I’d like to remap…