14 Jan 2020
Build Production Design Systems Faster
Storybook began with a simple goal: help developers build UI components and their key states. This is the easiest, most efficient way to think through component hierarchies
However, the bar on UI development has also been raised. In 2020, it’s not enough to provide great tooling for building and testing components. Today’s modern frontend teams also need to document and package their components into reusable design systems.
Storybook is one of my favorite tools for UI-first development, and I’m looking forward to checking out their latest 5.3 release with MDX doc capabilities
13 Jan 2020
Migrating From Flow to Typescript: Why? How? Worth It?
When I arrived at Inato, the codebase was written in ES6. Then, we added some robustness with Flow. It helped us perform major refactors and lower our bug count. We were happy… until problems showed up.
I’ve been using Flow for a bit over 3 years now on the same project. I have had experience with typed languages before (.Net C#, Java) so it was not an entirely new thing, but I admittedly found many annoyances with types in these languages and I was always eager to use new features in a language (C#’s
var for one) to reduce the overhead. I found it annoying that the compiler would complain if I told it the wrong type, but tell me what type it should be. I mean if it knows what it is, how about it just dealt with it and stop bothering me? 🙄
null or undefined 🤨)
But 3 years on and supporting Flow in our still growing codebase has been wearing us down. Third party library support is… spotty. Updates to
flow-bin have lead to a slew of new errors (aka newly supported cases) with little help from the error messages or library typedefs to previously “happy” codebases (redux
@FlowFixMe like cookies and cream), to the point that we are wondering “is it all worth it?”
Has TypeScript won the war of developer mindshare? It sure is time for us however, and I’m relieved to see we are not the only ones.
13 Jan 2020
Introducing Base Web
Base Web is a foundation for initiating, evolving, and unifying web applications. It’s an open source toolkit of React components and utilities that align with the Base Design System–essentially, the designs translated into code. The project is engineered to be reliable, accessible, and extensively customizable.
We have been using Material-UI for our base component library but Uber’s open-source alternative is going to get serious consideration for my next projects. It looks to be fairly comprehensive in ots components, and I like that the style choices are very neutral. A strong customization API is high on the list of needs for any component library I’m evaluating.
Base Web project home
03 Oct 2019
Don’t Get Clever With Login Forms
As time goes on I find myself increasingly annoyed with login forms. As password managers like 1Password (which is what I use) and Chrome’s password manager (which I also sorta use) become more popular, it’s important for websites to be aware of how users go about logging into their sites.
This. So much this. I’m a huge fan of 1Password, and am 100% behind using some form of password manager (I also use OSX built-in password mnagement as well these days). Nothing gets me irritated quicker than being “clever” about password interfaces. These tools work well, and my online life is immensely more secure with them as I generally dont know my passwords (they’re not in my head) and they are secure (i.e. long, random etc). If you break my password manager I’m being pushed to do somehting less secure, and I don’t like that one bit
Don’t get me started on the special place in hell for password “security” policies that disallow stronger passwords.
02 Oct 2019