Would the world be better without these tools? Not too long ago, I might have agreed with that. The problem is people, not (entirely) the technology.
Ultimately, I think that Bradely is too close to the problem. As a designer, I can imagine that seeing such abuses daily, in and around your own work, and work of others in your peer group, can really drain the love of the craft out of your life.
Ultimately it seems like just another piece of the Open Source pie being consumed by corporations. While NPM is a handy tool for development in Node, I’m sure this change of ownership will prompt an exodus, as the GitHub acquisition did before it.
When it does, we’ll all be the better for it. More diverse sources allow for less single points of failure or control. I wouldn’t be surprised if the popular distributed git-forge idea spawns into a distributed NPM-analog.
Update: It was pointed out to me that there is, in fact, an alternate package repo tool/project tool: Yarn. I’m not a Node developer, but I am extremely happy that it exists and can be a stand-in for NPM.
More than that, I’ve enabled a little feature on my site. Seems to only work with Blink/Webkit browsers, but it’s too good to not keep. But first, a story.
Way back in the day, I administered a little website for a law school. This was, at times, painfully boring. As one does when one is bored and feeling a little overworked at times, you tend to add “features”. Easter eggs is their technical term. One day, I had a particularly bossy client who had rapid fire changes that needed to be made to this static site he had forced us to use for his pet project. I was getting annoyed because the code was in shambles and I was required to support it, which meant fixing it all. In addition to fixing up the code, I added an easter egg to the site behind the Konami code that would invoke Cornify to… redecorate… the site.
I obviously had to show it off to my co-workers. It was a great success and people loved it. They wanted me to show it off to everyone who came by for meetings. I eventually cleaned up the original trigger code and applied it to the site template for all the pages on the site. That way you could get your pink unicorniness on regardless of the boring subject you were reading about.
Yes, that was all a massive aside to tell you that if you press Y on my site, and click on a link or other element, you’ll hear that good ol’ goose honk.
Ugh. It feels like the world has passed me by. I guess I don’t mind, much of the stuff is not so much conceptually new as it is built in new ways using new language features or new methods of doing things. That’s not a bad thing. The state of the art has left me behind and I’m just reminiscing like the old man I am.
There was one problem with it though. No way to really integrate it with WordPress. I mean, normally there is some sort of documentation and usually a hook or two via plugin to inject the needed code into your page(s) as they’re built.
On a whim, though, I tried just including the JS files (I uploaded
the entire “WMD” directory to be safe) and let it fly. Not only did it
give the just comment forms a nice toolbar, but it didn’t do what I was afraid it was going to do, that is give every text field a toolbar.
Now, after including one line in my comments.php file, I am able to
have sweet sweet Markdown in my comments, which are later translated to
HTML via the Markdown plugin for wordpress so that comments look good.