David Michael Ross

Float Boston Review

What would you do if you had ninety minutes completely to yourself? No social media; no email; no friends, family, or strangers.

The Holistic Developer Episode 1

As engineers, sometimes we do get stuck. The best thing you can do is close your laptop or turn off your screen and step away from the computer.

Why pass jQuery() an Element?

It's something we hear a lot. jQuery ( document.getElementById ( "selector" ) ) sounds like a micro-optimization, but the jQuery performance is much better!

Jiro Dreams of Version 1.0

After yesterday’s crazy morning and early afternoon, I settled down on my couch to soak in some documentary goodness while I worked. One of the benefits of working remotely is that I get to watch TV while I code, and I usually find documentaries on Netflix about things I know very little about.

Yoink 3.0

it's still the same wonderful shelf, and Yoink 3.0 just makes an excellent app even better.

Entry-level programmers, nbsp, and bad UX

"Dave, could I speak to you in my office?" I froze. You know that little twinge you get in the base of your spine, right above where your coccyx meets its non-vestigial bretheren? I had that. Intellectually, I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. My projects were ahead of schedule, my clients were happy, and I couldn't think of a reason for any of my co-workers to be unhappy to be working with me. But I still had that twinge. It's a remnant from my childhood, and life-long doubt that I must be guilty of something.

Better Web Form Names & Addresses

This is probably the first of a series of posts on usability issues that have been on my mind lately. Lots of patterns have evolved over the years that provide a sub-optimal user experience for anyone outside a certain group and we, as web designers and developers, need to be aware of the little things that affect the overall user experience of the things we build. I'd like to start with names and addresses, two things that sound like they should be simple, but can cause a lot of headaches if not done in as flexible a manner as possible.

2013 in Review

Last year, I did a post with my New Years Resolutions for 2013. The year took me in different directions than I expected. It's been a crazy ride, and I thought it would be fun to look back on what I *thought* I was going to accomplish last year before making resolutions for 2014.

Missing the boat on e-books

It's just days into 2014, which means that fifteen years ago, I actually was working in a Borders book store. I stocked the sci-fi section for the most part, as well as working the service desk and cash registers. It was a fun job, and it put a lot of money in my pocket. It paid for a lot of dates with the woman I eventually married.

Learning to love the command line

Command line interfaces offer a more expressive way of working. You'll find yourself wondering how anybody gets anything done with a GUI in the first place.

Optimize Image Files Like a Pro

Images can be the biggest files on your site. Learn the tools & plugins to start using to shrink your page load times without sacrificing image quality.

Why I contribute to open source software

Why do I do open source? I write open source because I love you. That's some serious hippie-dippy feel-good shit there. But it's the truth.

My 9/11 story

I've gone through the day barely thinking about the 9/11 attacks. It's not that I don't care, I've just been very busy with work stuff all day and I finally have the chance to sit down to reflect. In a lot of ways, it's a perfect parallel to the day of the attacks.

About that Computer Chess film

I was asked to nitpick the new film Computer Chess, but I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in terms of vintage computer nitpicks.

Important Dave's WordPress Live Search news

I’ve decided that the next version of Dave’s WordPress Live Search will be version 4.0. There have been some big changes, and it doesn’t seem right to make this a point release because it very well may break some things.

What’s the Internet?

I'd had a taste of the Internet & wanted to see what else was out there what could be done on this global network that couldn't be done in the BBS scene

How I Met Your Internet

For me, the Internet was (and kind of still is) a miracle. I've been wanting to tell the story of how I first experienced the Internet.

Let's use WAI-ARIA Landmark Roles more!

WAI-ARIA Landmark Roles are easily added to a site & make it more accessible for people with visual disabilities, and might even improve your search ranking

What's in my toolbox? Popclip.

It's hard to describe PopClip without mentioning iOS, so let's cut to the chase: at its heart, PopClip is the Cut/Copy/Paste popup from iOS but on your Mac.

Thoughts on Boston

Boston is close to 400 years old. It survived gangsters and hurricanes and blizzards and racial tension and Puritans and a freaking war for crying out loud

"Estimated reading time" lowered my bounce rate 13%

Adding an estimated reading time to my blog posts lowered my site's overall bounce rate by 13%.

Pick: An old-school platform meets the web

In 2004, I got fed up. I was at my 2nd job in the industry. This job had doubled my salary and allowed me to buy a house. Yet I was still doing Pick.

Pick was post-relational before it was cool

If I stuck with Pick, I could've written my own ticket anywhere. Pick developers are in short supply, and toward the end I passed up gigs all over the world

Pick is a living fossil today

"I'll be honest. Someone like you is probably going to be pretty bored working here. Are you sure you really want the job?" How bad could it be?

What CMS users should learn from static site generators

Not all of us are ready to give up our Content Management Systems. But what can CMS users & devs learn from the rising popularity of static site generators?

Transcript of "Designing for Big Data" by Jeff Veen

Big data can change things, if the stories are told correctly. I want to give you an example of how we deal with this amount of data that is in out lives.

Yoink, an empty "shelf" your Mac can't live without

What's Yoink? It's a shelf. It's such a simple utility, but so powerful. Apple really should've built this functionality into the OS.

Sorry, Geeks, Microsoft Excel is Everywhere

Microsoft Excel's biggest advantage, breckinloggins points out, is that you can "circumvent the official software and just write something that works".

From Node.js Tutorial to Live in Two Nights

After hearing great things about it, I tried a node.js tutorial and found it to be an exciting environment for web application development.

Everything you do is part of your SEO strategy

How you live your life is part of your SEO strategy. There's a tangible cost to being a bad person.

Look out, Don Estridge!

Shortly before his untimely death, Don Estridge, an IBM executive was profiled as a promising young leader in the nacent personal computer field.

The “W” Screen, the story of an Easter Egg

If you're adding a secret feature to your product, be sure to hide it well. Someone will find your Easter egg, and then it becomes their feature not yours.

Schema.org Microdata for SEO

Schema.org Microdata is a way to add data to a web page that's meaningful to search engines and other software, like scribbles in the margin.

Apple's Network Link Conditioner

Apple's Network Link Conditioner is great for testing site performance and tracking down those elusive little bugs.

New Years Resolutions for 2013

Normally I'm not a big fan of New Years resolutions, but with a new start this year I'd like to make some improvements in 2013