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Response to the GRA consultation - 27. November 2020


I am a 41 year old transsexual (“trans”) woman. I transitioned from male to female in the late 1990s, when I was 18 years old. I lived the first decade of my post-transition life with my trans status a secret, and I have lived since 2010 with my trans status being public and open.

No More Shame

So, some drama happened recently that resulted in my personal info being sent out to an undesired context. Oh, don't worry. It wasn't anything targeted, or sinister. An honest fuck up by those who didn't mean ill. But it nonetheless threw me for a loop.


UPDATE: just to clarify that any implication that Dan Abramov was having a Twitter break because of a tantrum was unwarranted. It seems he was taking a self-care break after dealing with all the awfulness of Twitter. We feel you, Dan.

Construction work, code, and what we value

Having spent a week DIYing, I find myself thinking of devs who claim "I can do anyone else's job, but no one else can do mine". Mate, as the daughter of a Trade family, I implore you go work on a construction site for a month. I guarantee that it will fucking BREAK you. You couldn't handle it. I say this as someone who grew up on building sites, who drove diggers, who learned to saw before she could write.

"But code is hard, and manual stuff is easy". Haha, NO. Code is currently WELL PAID, which is why you think it's hard. That's a very different thing from one actually being more difficult than the other. (Homework: reflect on how you use capitalism to determine the worth of others)

The Real Dark Web

Dark matter permeates the universe. In fact it does more than permeate. It is the universe. 85% percent of everything that exists is actually dark matter. We can't detect it, we can't see it. But it's there. In fact, the universe that we actually perceive, what you and I are made of, is the so-called Baryonic matter, a mere percentage froth on top of the deep dark universe that we are scarcely aware of.

I was perhaps thinking about dark matter when I read this tweet from Andy Bell.

Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf 2019

Quite possibly the most inspirational event that I've ever been to. I will 100% recommend Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf to anyone who cares about design and humanity and tech. I'm trying to record my notes here for those talks I attend.

Week note 2

I spent most of this week travelling in the UK for work. As always, a visit to the motherland was simultaneously comforting and intensely weird. I always forget that London is enormous, and it can be utterly overwhelming after being in Berlin. I also forget that Londoners are decadent and spend-happy in a way that I would find disgusting in Berlin. I do not blame Londoners for this, but instead blame the prevalence of contactless payment cards, and the delicious food and drink everywhere.

My flight from Berlin to London was delayed and I was forced to spend seven unnecessary hours in Tegel Airport. This must surely fall under some kind of UN declaration against cruel and unusual punishment.

Week Note 1

I've heard the phrase "week note" bandied about by some people. I love the idea: each week you sit down and you force yourself to write, summarising the previous seven days, and anything interesting you've found out during them. As someone who fancies herself as a writer (in the full Victorian sense), but rarely types anything more creative than a policy document, this forced writing mode is very appealing. So. - I've spent far, far, FAR too long fucking about with my website. Having started out with Geocities, then HTML, then Moveable Type, then Wordpress, the Drupal, then Jekyll, then Hugo, then Metalsmith, then Craft CMS, I have finally landed back at Drupal. No, don't fucking scoff at that. For a start, I know it well: I contracted as a Drupal developer for several years. I've been through the enormously steep learning curve (a curve not owing to particularly high tech features, but simply because there's so many ways of dealing with it all). Secondly, it's well supported, has a huge community, and perfectly serves my primary need. Namely, owning my own data...

The Old Country

I've always known that my family was Irish descended in some way. We're too prone to doughiness and large multi-generational households to be anything but that. What with Brexit looking to be an absolute shitshow and me wanting to, you know, make the effor to STILL BE EUROPEAN, I thought it'd be worth looking into my family history in detail. Someone recommended to me for this. I was skeptical at first, but my god it is actually incredibly useful. If you're interested in this kind of thing then pay the money for it - it's worth it. You can hook into existing searches done by others, you can easily look up births marriages and deaths. It's so easy and amazing! (, please feel free to sponsor me at any point).


reserve all other single-letter-dash prefixes for future use. In practice we have seen very little (if any) use of single-letter-dash prefixing of class names by web developers/designers, and thus in practice we think this will have little if any impact/collisions. Certainly far fewer than existing generic microformat property class names like "title", "note", "summary". Ah, well, no. Lots of people use single letter prefixes for CSS. The global company that I work for does exactly this. Famous web authors use it.

CMS via Dropbox

I'm experimenting with serving the content of this static site from Dropbox, rather than Github. While deploying from Github is a million times easier than dealing with the Dropbox SDK, I've found myself blocked from writing by not wanting to go through the annoyance of writing a file, applying frontmatter, commiting to git (which might mean stashing work on another branch, and pushing it. I've also found myself not wanting to write drafts on the site, fearing that some overly interested imaginary horde is going to read the public Github codebase and critique my pre-published prose.

IndieWeb Camp Berlin 2018

I've just spent the day at IndieWeb Camp Berlin. It's been so amazing hanging around with some very lovely and clever people, all talking about how the web should be owned by the people who use it, rather than the corporations mining it for data.

The event is being hosted at Mozilla's Berlin HQ. Those Mozillan's are provided with snacks, drinks and a beautiful view in a way that makes my eyes water with envy.

It's time to say goodbye to Twitter

When I first got on Twitter it was like usenet in the 90s. Just a bunch of people talking shit about things that they enjoyed. It was small enough that everyone seemed to know each other, but large enough that there were still interesting nerdy people to find and get to know and enjoy the company of. The perfect little club.

But at some point it went horribly wrong.

Removing Site Tracking

I've just pushed a commit to my site that will remove Google Analytics tracking from this site for good. It was just 4 or 5 lines of code, but it represented me being complicit in the tracking of you, the beautiful person reading this, as you moved across the web.