Ambrose Little

Long-time Software Designer & Developer. Writer. Human Being. Father of 5. Armchair Philosopher.

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On Challenging Principles and Best Practices

Today my friend Dan Wahlin tweeted:

Very interesting article: Challenging CSS Best Practices (http://ow.ly/q5jyO) Agree or disagree with the suggested approach? #css

The article in question published on Smashing goes into some length to show off a new technique that my.yahoo.com team has tried out. They call it “atomic” CSS. I give kudos to Thierry Koblentz for being willing to stick his neck out by sharing their work and poking the proverbial hornets’ nest.

 Principles vs. Best Practices

Oddly enough, at a high level, I find I can agree with Thierry. Too often “best practices” are applied with little to no thought as to whether or not they are actually the best solution. I’ve seen this more times than I can count in my career, and no doubt, I’ve been guilty of it at times. Much like design patterns, so-called best practices need to be evaluated against specific needs and the

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How Much Is Your Productivity Worth?

I am regularly amazed at people who complain about the cost of software–especially people who make software for a living. I mean, free stuff is great, no doubt, but there are reasons that good things aren’t free, reasons that you shouldn’t want them to be free, and reasons that you should feel good about paying for good things.

 The Basic Facts of Life

The first two are intertwined. As much as we might wish things to be otherwise, living costs. In our current culture, living typically costs money. In more developed countries, living costs a lot. In and around bigger cities, it costs even more, typically. In short, most of us don’t live in a world where all our needs (and most of our wants) come free. That’s why we work and offer our time, effort, and expertise to others for money, right? I’m just saying, we have to keep these simple facts of life in view.

People who make software

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