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Weeknotes #14: many travels, much talking

Once again it’s been a bit since I last put together a Weeknotes post, and for good reason: I spent the past nearly-three weeks traveling outside of the U.S. I've never been gone from home for this long of a stretch, as evidenced by feeling homesick about a week and a half in. Much respect to the constant travelers among us in the web industry! Regardless, it was a productive couple of weeks in which I got to chat with many web friends, old and new.

TPAC: Fukuoka, Japan

Sunset scene from a high window in Fukuoka, with a couple office buildings, the sea, and distant mountains

TPAC is the annual, week-long conference for standards groups at the W3C. It’s essentially 5 days of meetings, and provides the opportunity for different groups to cross-pollinate and share new ideas. The longer I spend working on the web platform, the more this entails scheduling conflicts at TPAC, which was especially the case this year. The flip side is that this community feels more and more like home; there are so many fantastic people working on the open web, and I feel lucky to know more of them with each passing year.

W3C Developer Meetup

Me speaking at the podium at the W3C Web Developer Meetup

Photo via Travis Leithead

Alongside standards body meetings, the W3C holds a developer meetup to connect local developers with the standards community. I gave a talk at the meetup this year on new standards for styling in forced color modes (e.g. Windows High Contrast); “Finessing forced-colors” slides and resources are online. Incidentally, this was my first international presentation.

View Source conference: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Windmills looming behind some tall grasses blowing in the wind

Zaanse Schaans is very windy. Turns out the Dutch knew what they were doing.

After spending some personal time exploring Japan and avoiding too much time-zone yoyo’ing, I hopped on over to the Netherlands for View Source. I’ve never been to the country before, so naturally had to squeeze in just a bit of tourism time at the Rijksmuseum and the windmills of Zaanse Schaans.

Me speaking on stage at View Source, in front of a slide showing various Windows High Contrast themes

Resting speaker face? Photo via View Source

At View Source I gave a longer version of my inclusive color and contrast talk: incorporating some guidance on styling for dark mode alongside styling for forced color modes, and touching briefly on future prefers-contrast standards. The recording is not yet online, but I’ve uploaded slides and other resources for “The Tailored Web”. I’m eager for those recordings to come online, as there’s lots of great content on the roster: like a framework for perf culture from Sharell Bryant and a focus on privacy from Selena Deckelmann and a couple of my Microsoft colleagues Lillian Kravitz and Ryan Cropp (who gave their first talk!).

The View Source panel participants listening to Desigan Chinniah speaking in turn

Curious what Dees was saying at this point in the panel. Photo via MSDev NL

Also at the conference, I spoke on a panel about commitments to the web platform. I’d never participated in a panel before, so I’m grateful to Daniel Appelquist’s inclusive and considerate moderation style. I have to say I was a bit nervous about said panel—I feel more comfortable with public speaking the more I can “prepare”—but felt richly rewarded by getting to know my fellow participants. In general, meeting people is what I love most about conferences, and View Source was an excellent venue in which to do so.

Home again

Took a couple days off at the end of last week to recuperate, which—against better judgement—swiftly turns into me working on side projects instead of lazing around on the couch…

Draft Jam

Two of my recent personal goals are to write more blog posts, and to encourage more folks to likewise share their thoughts. A lot of us filter ourselves out of the conversation (“this has already been blogged about before”, “is this even interesting to anybody but me?”), but I believe everyone has something to share, and the web industry needs to hear from more voices. To this end, I think it might be fun to hold “draft jams”: weekend-long, mostly-online events where folks collectively focus on turning their draft ideas into publishable blog posts.

So far I’ve got a couple domains registered, a site map sketched out, and a bit of copy written. But stay tuned! I'm thinking January 2020 will be a great time for the first draft jam.


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  • Melanie Richards on

    Really, the “week” in Weeknotes is merely a suggestion…