Reading the spec—The100DayProject
If it hasn’t come up in your feed yet, The Great Discontent / Elle Luna are running a version of a 100-day project, wherein you work on the same type of creative task for 100 days straight. It’s not a new concept—in fact, this version was inspired by the Yale design program—but I wanted to jump on the chance to explore a theme alongside many other creatives. Collective power of will, focusing the innate need to “make”, etc.
I’m reading the HTML specification
Before this 100 day project came up, I was thinking it would be cool to read the official HTML spec and live-tweet or blog it. I abandoned the idea because reading—actually reading—the whole thing just seemed too daunting, or that I would get bored or distracted by other projects and give up.
But reading “as much as I can” in 100 days, that’s something I can do.
Why read the spec?
Like many other web professionals, all my development skills are self-taught. I’ve worked to fill in the cracks in my knowledge by reading blog posts, etc., but I’m sure there’s a lot to be gained from reading the official HTML specifications. Chiefly, I’m looking to:
- Correct misconceptions I might have about HTML or how to use it
- Learn new things: some quirks or attributes of familiar elements, etc
- Pick up more knowledge about ARIA roles and other considerations in accessibility
- Be able to speak more intelligently about why we do x or y
There’s also something a bit weird about not having the read (or not regularly consulting) the closest thing front-end developers have to a “holy text”. Blog posts are better packaged for human reading, but I’d like to get information straight from the source more frequently.
The version I’m using
How this will work
I conveniently have a one-hour commute and a laptop, so I’ll be using this daily chunk of time to read the specifications and write up a blog post with my notes and comments. I’ll tweet the blog post using #100DaysOfSpec. Some designers will get in a tizzy because they will think I’m doing 100 days of spec work, and I will get a chuckle out of it (maybe).
I am an employee of Microsoft, which obviously is active in the web community. Any opinions, comments, etc. in this blog post series are strictly my own. I do not speak on the behalf of my employer, and thus no comments should be taken as representative of Microsoft’s official opinion of the spec.