After 25 more episodes, we’ve arrived at the end of season 4! Michael and Aaron are doing their best Santa impersonation this week and are breaking out their lists of who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice in the world of web technology. How will this impact the industry going in to 2022, and what are they most excited about? Listen to find out, and we’ll see you in season 5!

Followup Resources


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Jingle bells, Batman smells Drunken UX laid an egg, it was called episode 105. And now it’s the season finale. Hey, I’m your host, Michael Fienen. I can’t sing or make up songs, especially on the fly. That’s why I have a co host.

You know, we rehearse just like five times my goal.

I know and I still got the episode number on I’m pretty sure I just said 1054 So it’s this. This is a it’s it’s been a long time. A long time and the numbers they blur together. Hey, thanks for joining us. You are listening to the dragon UX podcast. I am your host Michael Fienen This is episode 104 It is the season finale

and other other hosts and

I’m gonna I’m going to edit in some moves ala sounds like something clapping Hey, everybody, this evenings episode season finale we’re gonna be talking about are naughty and nice list. It’s Christmas time. In fact, I think what is it like? Four days before Christmas when this is coming out? So five days before Christmas? So consider this the Christmas present Who Who are we giving cold to? Who’s going to get nice shiny presence? Alternatively, it’s going to be are what are we looking forward to? What are we dreading for 2021 in Webtech. But I thought we’re going to go through actually a bunch of things and just kind of rapid fire these things off and go through them for you and have some fun.

And with that, be sure to go run by our sponsors over at tele tele is a fantastic screen capture platform that lets you use your browser to capture anything that you’re showing or demonstrating or trying to help people with or create documentation for add your camera, add your audio, do it, edit it real quick in the system, make a really cool sexy little video out of it. And you can go sign up for a free account. Just go to That’s te e ll u x. Indeed. No, not indeed. That’s the job platform. This is tele no job. The job platform is acorn equities who I work for.

We are a job platform as well. But who’s a highly encouraged Hey, first, first nice, nice list item A Quint if you are a web developer, web design or programmer of any kind marketer, copywriter, UX professional packaging designer, we have jobs all across the country all across the world. If you are in Australia, or Japan or France or UK or Germany, we’ve got jobs all over the place. Go check us out, go do your search. Many of those jobs are remote now. And we put those up front and center. Was that an advertisement? I said that very much like an advertisement. You know, everybody gets one. I think we’ve got about six or 700 job postings right now for all that stuff.

So it’s like, hey, come check us out. That’s early though. We’re not We’re not to the list yet. I’m a sippy boy this evening. And unfortunately, I’ve been sick actually. I’ve had a touch of cold. It is a cold. I am negative by proxy. That is not my band’s name. My wife came home sick the other day.

Hey, negative i proxy review pretty awesome.

Right? I said this the other day. I’m like that that’s the band name right there. My wife came home with a cold just out of an abundance of caution. She made sure went and got tested and everything. It was negative. It was fine. I of course don’t leave my house. So when I started getting the sniffles It’s like no, I just got her cold. Right? And a little little scruffy throated, little little sciency pressure a little sneezy.

So I had that a few weeks ago, so I probably gave it to you.

Yeah, it was it might have been your fault. The the packets the packet. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

UDP is a lot less like, what was the regulation over the UDP packet? Yeah, yeah.

And God knows. I could have gotten it at any time. I’m drinking a tea instead. Oh, wow. to sue the throat. Um, it’s an it’s an app. A Spiced Apple Cider. Tea well that’s a little honey little cream. It’s it’s Teavana I don’t actually know anything about tea and it’s just in my shelf. So I’m drinking it comes in a really fancy little like packet and stuff. It’s not like your, your 50 cent tea tea bags from the grocery store. My but it’s good. It tastes like apple cider.

My favorite tea is called bangles spice. It’s by my soul seasonings, I think. And it’s like a mixture of like, Bose and cinnamon, and probably all spice. Maybe some cardamom. It’s really good. It’s very it’s like a real like warm, but also like, zesty kind of flavor to it. But that’s not what I’m drinking tonight.

You’re you’re being the real adult.

I’m having an adult beverage. I’m having the glenvar Aggie Wisata. Again, it seemed appropriate for our season finale to finish off like a classic duck strange.

I was going to do the royal salute 21 I think I’ve had it before it’s the the blue ceramic bottle. A 21 blend. It’s real good. And that was I was gonna do my special so instead I might have to kick off season five with it. So

yes, stay at all during the see, but I’ll drink tea on the next one. You can drink the scotch

and I’ll drink the Scotch will take Scotch in the tea. Yes, whiskey and tea is a thing hot toddy is that there’s nothing that is you want to put Scotch into tea though. Like I have whiskey just like I can just yeah, some four roses.

I like I only put in fireball. Ever since you turned me on to the the gingerbread cocktail that you told me about like back in season one. I fireball has been my choice cinnamon whiskey, and really good Insider. Yeah,

it is but also I hate fireball because it’s so sugary. If you are interested in something in the same vein, that is less sugary less cloying. Okay, though it is still a little sugary oil fire. Oil fire. Okay. Oil fire. It’s it’s made by a distiller I think out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. And it is a a cinnamon whiskey. But it’s like much. It’s much more whiskey forward. It’s our it’s an actual rye whiskey. Fireball is not whiskey. Let’s be very clear. Fireball is grain alcohol, though, has sugar and syrup and cinnamon flavoring added to it. But oil fire is actual rye whiskey. Okay.

That they like blend in like, I like I don’t know what their process is like art or if it’s artificial, real how they do it. But it’s like a, like a pecan and cinnamon kind of flavor to it.

All right. That’s great.

It’s yeah, it’s very good. I enjoy it. I have been known to take a shot of it even like, like a like a real boy. And it’s like 35% Alcohol. So like, it’s, yeah, it’s clearly watered down in that vein, but oh, what’s something that you’re Yeah. Something to try if you’re interested in that?

Yeah, yeah.

Um, let’s see. So I am Santa Claus and training. I’ve done. I didn’t this year because of the COVID stuff. But I have been known to do youth leadership at the middle school for sixth graders. And I was this time of year I go in and I explained to the the little boys and girls of the community that I’m growing this giant beard with the great big white skunk stripes, because I am Santa Claus in training. And so they better be good. Because otherwise I will bring them lumps of coal. And they do not believe me.

I saw a webcomic recently where it was like a little kid getting a lump of coal on Christmas Day. And then the kids like, yeah, and then they put it on a shelf along with other minerals.

Okay, that’s funny. Yeah. I wanna so I said, we’re gonna do not a nice list. So this is a little bit of mix. Not a nice look forward. Looking forward to dreading. We’ll wait, we’ll mix it up. The first one I’m going to throw out is an obvious one. And disrupted many of our lives, though, isn’t necessarily as web developer centric. Right. But you probably heard about it whether on Twitter, the evening news. It made the rounds very quickly. Mr. Log for Shell is going to get a lump of coal from me.

Yeah, that thankfully didn’t. I don’t think that hurt us at work at my job. Or like, it was it was a quick fix if it was like we patched it quickly. But I know a bunch of people who Ruby

I’m sure uses something else. Right.

Well, we I mean, we’re using Ruby but you know, we have like an editor. probably stuck. So we have stuff upstream from us that I think may have been using it, then yeah,

yeah. You’re not 100% Ruby. So then I say that because log for J, which is the library, right, is a Java package. So generally, you see it involved in Java applications. We use a content management system that is written in guess, Java. So you can imagine, yes, we had a little bit of a hustle a few days ago, to make sure things were safe and sound. And then not just with that, like our entire like, software, internal software development team is all Java, like our platforms, Java, everything. So like there was a lot that went on behind the scenes, luckily, wasn’t something that I had to get my hands dirty with. I was very fortunate.

But certainly folks around me were very active with it and needed, you know, access to information and answers to questions that only we could give. In that case,

it sounds like from what I’ve read about it, the severity of it was was severe, like it allowed remote code execution. But without the patch, or like the patching process was actually maybe not painless, but certainly not nearly as bad as some other vulnerabilities that have come out in the past few years.

It’s yeah, it wasn’t bad. We were able to, you know, fix it without like software patches to the platform, we were able to do it like at the runtime commands, and deal with that. The so let’s just to kind of give people the 50,000 foot view log for J is a logging tool, if you can’t tell from the name. What the thing about a logging tool is a logging tool has system access file system access, it can write code, or not code, but it can write stuff, right? Yeah, it can write files to your system, which means if there is a way to get something into it, you can conceivably write something bad to a server.

And in the worst case scenario, you can not just write something bad. But you can also tell it to run something bad. The one of the things I mentioned this on Twitter, the the thing I find ironic about this is yes, people were immediately trying to exploit it for things like ransomware and whatnot trying to get access, because of course, anytime you get something like that, immediately, you’re worried about people getting access to like customer databases, sensitive information, anything like that. Because if you can read and write files to a server and run any kind of commands, you conceivably have full access to that system at that point.

Or something close to it, depending on how you know what privileges are running as the kids own the box. Open the box. No, it’s It’s hacking the Gibson. Thank you. Yes, almost got whiskey out his nose. Almost got it.

The Oh, the thing that makes this interesting to me, though, is the prevalence with which people are now using exploits like this to try to install crypto mining. Because the thing is ransomware isn’t necessarily as effective as knowing that, hey, we’re gonna go own 2 million boxes that we may be able to get, I don’t know. 30 million clock hours. CPU cycles out of before people get it all patched? Yeah. And we’re gonna put that all towards crypto mining and get guaranteed money out of it. And once they patch it, oh, well, we’ve already made our money in light. Yeah. So that’s, that’s gonna be something interesting, I think to watch in the future.

Yeah, because it’s ugly. It’s, you know, it’s easy to catch at least that’s the one thing like you’re seeing a CPU PAYG and know something bad happened. But like it, doesn’t it. This is a an issue of scale. You know, you you can go by the exploit, run it through a botnet, get it on as many machines as humanly possible as quickly as possible. And then it’s just about Yeah, make the money as opposed to trying to handle a bunch of ransomware that most people won’t respond to.

I don’t know the exact number on it. But I imagine that the scale of impact is comparable to if, like if WordPress had another Tim thumb thing happened.

That’s yeah, I said the exact same thing in one of our meetings that it’s like, while the absolute like concept of the exploit is certainly very different. The spirit of it is very much the same Tim thumb and this was Tim Tom was a decade ago now. Only a decade. I thought it was longer. Now it was 2011 I think was when that was and also what it was, is there was a image resizing plugin called Tim thumb Then use or was it called Tim them? Or it used a package called Tim thought it was.

It was called it was Tim som dot php. Right. And it was, the issue was that it was it was patched like shortly after the exploit was found. The problem was that it was used by so many themes, right? And these themes didn’t use the newer version, or they didn’t know to.

Yeah, yeah, the patch through your themes and just see the plugin right back end, for instance. And because it, it resized images, so the same thing holds true, right? Log for Jay writes log files to a system. Tim thumb wrote resized images to a file system. And this vulnerability allowed you to write just raw PHP files and run them.

By system I actually had, I had two WordPress instances get owned by Tim thumb. And that sucks. That’s, I had to learn how to like, you know, reverse engineering everything. But man, it was like, it was not a fun time. And, you know, you

go back, you know, say 10 years, right? And that far back, WordPress was only running something like 15% of the web 13% of the web. But that was still like, you know, as far as surface area goes, it was still one of the largest used CMS is. And like you said, so many of those themes use that it created this huge surface area for attack. And log for j is an Apache product that everybody trusts and uses in basically any kind of job application is nobody wants to go roll their own logging tool. It doesn’t make sense to do that. So they’re picking up the package dropping it in, and boom. So yes, lump of coal goes out the log for Shell. Hopefully, we

don’t see this again, log in there shows the name of the exploit.

Yeah, log. Log for Shell is the name of the exploit. It’s like it CVE 2021 Number Number Number Number, I forget what the exact number is now. But you can go read about it, just be it just log for J exploit log for J CVE. And you’ll get just love

the information on the news. Actually, by the time this airs, it might be out of the news. But yeah, it shouldn’t be hard to find info on it. Okay, I want to give I want to give a shiny present, or what’s the opposite of coal? That present?

Really? Yeah, good? Yes. See, you got it, you got somebody on your nice list, who’s your nice list.

Um, so today, or maybe it was yesterday, Rails version seven, was officially released. I played with it a little bit during the release candidate. And it was nice, like I like. I like some of the improvements they made to it. Specifically on how they handle assets like CSS and JavaScript. That was really cool. I’ll get back to that in a second. I tried upgrading an app to it, and ran into some issues with one of my libraries that I was using. So I had to back down to six, but I brought over a gem that they’re using in seven, called CSS bundling rails. And man, it’s so much fun, I got been getting to do a bunch of like, running a bunch of sass and everything.

And there’s nothing revolutionary here, as far as like what it does. But it packages all the assets in a way that you just reference the font, or the image, or the CSS file or whatever, by name only, you don’t have to give a path or anything and it just finds it. And it was so easy to use that my initial use it I was it wasn’t working, right. Because I was trying to overcomplicate it. And I didn’t realize that it was just you all this by magic. So that was a lot of fun. And in the process of this I’ve gotten to learn. I’m gonna practice a lot of like CSS transitions and animations and a lot of like CSS to and CSS three stuff. That was really cool. So and

REL seven now to that. It’s much more like module Bundler friendly for JavaScript, right, like, yeah, it’s not like really embracing Webpack. I use roll up for quite a bit of stuff. Yes, I’ve used parcel in the past. And now you can kind of bring Yeah,

yeah, you can do like with the compliment to CSS bundling Rails is j s bundling rails. And so when you load these gems up, you pre CSS you tell it. Do you want to use sass? Do you want to use Dart? Do you want to use Bootstrap or tailwind? That’s kind of the default. I tried tailwind wasn’t a huge fan. I like just doing regular sass. That’s just me. No disrespect to telling is not my thing. Um, and then the JS one you pick if you want like Webpack or I think roll up was one of the options. There might have been a couple of them options, I don’t remember them. But you just pick which one you want.

And then it it uses that you can continue to use web Packer as they’ve done in five and six, or you can switch to one of the new things. But the whole point was to get kind of decouple it from the JS like, world, because there’s a lot of pain, like a lot of pain trying to get an app spun up when you have to deal with, like, JavaScript assets and stuff, just because like the, the JS community, the way that they like, manage all of their, like plugins, and libraries, and everything is a lot more like distributed. And there’s a lot of like, move fast break stuff, attitude there.

And it’s just, it’s different than how the Ruby community maintains gems, which is a kind of a different cadence. So running into like a lot of mismatch. They’re kind of annoying. But yeah, so it’s, uh, I guess my present goes to selfishly do rails seven slash, this has been on rails for giving me an opportunity to get to do SAS and stuff again.

That’s fine. And everything I’ll do again, yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s good. I’ve got one, I’ll put somebody on my, I’m gonna say nice list. And everybody else can argue with me on this. But this this one’s going on my nice list, not my naughty list. Okay. And that’s GA for for 2021. Okay, so what is UI four? J four is Google Analytics for there was a three, there was a three technically Universal Analytics, what was a three, what was two, a two would have been like, the the original, not Universal Analytics, but whatever they were calling it right before that this would have been like, post urgent acquisition like that.

Okay. Basically, V one of Google’s actual ownership, because prior to that, if you look at old, any old code, you might notice like references to like, urgent tracker and things like that. And that’s what it was before that. And so that’s sort of like the version one. Okay,

so urchin was version one. And then Google Analytics proper by name was two, two, and then three was

UA was three. And now we have GA four. Okay, so I missed I missed three. And my apologies to anybody if I did get that wrong, and there was an extra one in there. But that’s I’m working for a memory on that. And that’s a lot of years to accommodate. But no, I’m, I’m excited about it, I’ve been digging into it, learning my stuff on it, I do plan on getting some folks on the show to talk about it next year, next season, rather, to really kind of explain the ins and outs of it. Because the thing is, and the reason why I’m like I’m putting on my nice list.

Because I’ve been using it, I’ve been experimenting with the power, they’ve done some things, they’ve brought some functionality from things like Data Studio, and just built it in to GA for so you can build really complex dynamic reports just right in the product. It’s super cool. It’s also a completely breaking change, like there is no migration from Universal Analytics to GA or you start from scratch. It’s a new interface. It’s new terminology. It’s new everything. And I’ve seen more than once already, people go into GA four and be like, the hell is this. And just peace out. Because it’s like it is not what they’re used to seeing.

And they can’t get the information they want. And like everything’s an event. Now, events are a special thing. And Universal Analytics, like you define events, you tell it exactly what you want an event to be and how they’re categorized and labeled. And all of this stuff that’s gone. Like everything a pageview is an event, a click is an event. But then you can add your own events into it. And there’s a bunch of like system supported, like default events, and then you can just make up your own. And it’s a very new way of thinking about it. But it’s so super powerful. So like I say, I’m gonna let people fall on that topic where they want to really, but I’m really excited about it.

I’m excited to share with folks next season, you know, how this can be really powerful moving forward, and how it’s going to make a lot of things easier to the process of tracking, like custom stuff in Universal Analytics is a little cumbersome. It requires if you’re using Tag Manager, you know, a lot of custom tagging, or building stuff into your own JavaScript to pass through data layer variables and things like that. Not anymore. I mean, you still need a little bit of that, but now you need less of all of that. And it’s gonna be real cool.

Gone are the days of gold funnels, building gold funnels by hand in Universal Analytics. Now you’re just making conversions, and then you visualize how people get to those conversions. It’s, it’ll be cool.

But it is a breaking change, it’s gonna take a lot of learning. And so that’s like, that’s why I’m saying like, this is for my 2021 list because I still have a lot to learn. We have not fully deployed it anywhere within our company yet. You want to go next, you want me to throw another one out there.

Alright, I really I don’t want to go into this deeply tonight, because I feel like we probably talked about this in season five. But I’m throwing some coal at web three. And that’s gonna be petty spiteful coal,

literal coal.

Oh, no, because they’ll just burn it to run their crypto miners.

And they’re already buying up power plants in Pennsylvania. We have a commission recommissioning, coal fired power plants

we had that happen in Watkins Glen, like West, if you’re not far from here, but at the next leak over a company bought a power plant over there for that purpose. I think the shortest reason I can give here is I think the reason I dislike it is like we’re finding new ways to introduce artificial scarcity into an environment of abundance. And secondly, I mean, the environmental costs whatever, like, I accept that, like some companies may be able to use solar panels or wind energy or whatever to power the crypto minds.

My argument to that would be okay, well, if that power can be generated, we still have a lot of fossil fuel power powering our grid. Why are we not putting it towards that first. But mainly though, it’s just this idea, like imagine, I guess one of the nightmare scenarios on imagining is, you get a, you get an mp3, or whatever music file we’re using in the future. And you want to play it, but you can’t play it unless you own the token thing, you own it. And that’s great for, like the labels, and maybe for I guess, in a way, maybe for the artists, but like, we have memes.

We have all kinds of remixes. And I don’t just mean like music. I mean, just everything. remix culture in general. Like if you look up, think very once Lessig wrote about that right? remix culture.

Rap your.

I did, Cory Doctorow. That’s something

I thought, okay, as I say I did talk years ago called remix ology that was based on some of the lessons works on Yeah, the is the book with the black and white stripes.

Yeah, yeah, it was it was one free culture, free culture. That’s that that was it. I have that book. Yeah. So I’m like these things like internet memes, all this stuff. It’s It’s all because the internet is a free and open place. And we have ways already to monetize stuff. We have ways already to sell things that are produced. And if it’s not being done correctly. I don’t know that in that I don’t know that this is solving that problem. I saw thing today, where someone was complaining that when when they got onto Twitter, years ago, like near Twitter’s inception, they ran home and registered, basically name squatted, like 1200 different names.

They’re going for, like generic names, basically, like people do with domain names. They’ve got like shoes and cars and stuff, and then did get brands. And then Twitter took them away, because they were, you know squatting. And they were like, Oh, well with web three, this would never happen. And like I just I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. That the names were taken away. And then the whole thing was like the metaverse. And, like, if things if things move on to the metaverse, like, if that’s where everything moves to, I will die in the woods like I I don’t want to i i middle aged and maybe I just sound old. But, man, all I can see with this, and this is maybe cynicism here.

But all I can see with this is ways to like reintroduce like classist problems into a space where we don’t need to have. And it’s going to screw over normal people and make some very few people a lot richer. And I think that’s that’s where I want to end that I sorry, that went one longer. I wanted to but go ahead.

No, no, because I’m gonna throw a couple things on that. So I think for one, I’m with you in terms of I think the web three gets to be on my naughty list for 2021. I think partly though, because it’s not time to talk about it yet. Really.

And we will I do want to talk about it next year because it’s, I want to be thinking ahead at least, and, you know, helping people understand what they should be keeping their eyes out for but we are still probably two to three years out from a real meaningful implementation of web three technology, like truly meaningful Ethereum name services out there, you can go register a dot eth name already cost you five bucks, and then another 90 to $300 in gas fees, like you talking about like classes, right? Anybody can go buy a $12 domain right now. Graduate, yeah, you pirate gonna get exactly the name you want, but it’s still 12 bucks.

It until gas fees come down which, if you don’t know, gas fees are like a call it a process a transaction fee that basically applies to the transaction, then people who can take advantage of things like the Ethereum namespace are going to be limited, because not everybody can drop $300 on that transaction. Yeah, that’s, that’s expensive, that makes that out of reach. I was looking into because I’m, I’m one of those folks, like, I’ll often go on things and like, secure my name, so to speak of a unique name, I like to make sure I have it where I’ve got it. And I thought, You know what, I’m just gonna register it and set it aside.

And I went in there, and it was like, Oh, cool. $5.03 $121.98 and gas fees. And I was like, I’m sorry, what finger like, screw that

I think a lot about this about like, I, you know, I know about it, I have awareness of it. And I can sort of see how it would be used in the future. And I don’t know if I want to like I don’t know, if I want to participate. I don’t know if that’s something that I want to get on board with.

I’ve, I’ve mentioned before, episode or two back about this one, it just kind of came up in passing. And I said, you know, one of the things I do see, like, potential for in the future is sort of a trustable authentication model that lets you take yourself from site to site without needing an account everywhere. And it is secure. And that, you know, and not shareable and all of that not stealable. Basically,

that is, that is the use case that I could actually see something like this being useful for that would be big. But But man, we need to bone up security seriously, because like people are already getting, like getting NFT stolen and other things. And right clicking and saving, because people don’t understand what NF T’s actually are. I mean, like literally the wallets are getting stolen, because the kids are getting taken.

Yeah, yeah, I mean, you can always steal a set set of credentials, especially if they’re saved on paper, which, you know, cold storage is a thing. But the other thing, though, that I’ll just kind of throw out there as a caveat, artificial scarcity does not inherently have to be built into it. Right? Like, you can build a site like you could build a web three version of Facebook that’s designed to, you know, store all of your posts and everything, and it can just grow and grow and grow. But what it does do is get back to this notion of how do you pay for it? How do you, you know, how do you cover all of that processing time on those blockchains.

And all of that, like, if everything’s a blockchain, like those blockchains can grow ad infinitum. So there is a processing overhead. And for lots of small sites, that will never be a problem. But for huge sites, it could be a big problem. But ultimately, what we need is the first real, like, real world proof of concept sites that are going to run this way, like true mainstream sites. And then we’ll see,

I think that like, I mean, I think the other thing that has happened to is have some kind of regulation around it by some kind of not, I’m not saying the US government, but some kind of governing body to provide oversight and regulation on this, there was a thing that happened last week, where the fellow was selling something for like, I want to say 75 Aetherium, which was a lot of money, but typed it in wrong and sold it for point seven, five Aetherium. And then a bots, snatched it up and paid $8,000 in gas fees, to have it processed very quickly.

And then immediately turned it over and sold it for like 20 times with a patent or some some crap. Um, there’s just there’s a lot of room here for exploitation. And my concerns are, we’re not, there’s not enough prudence here. And I It feels a lot like my I’m feeling feeling similar to how I feel about a lot of stuff that I see with the JavaScript community, which is, you know, moving fast and breaking stuff, but not considering the longevity or the maintainability of what they’re proposing. And so you get to

move fast and break stuff when the stuff is not of consequence. Right, right. Like if what you’re breaking is have serious consequences.

Yeah, it’s it’s one thing to spin up like a React site. And then all of a sudden you’ve got 500 React components. And it’s like we do. I really tried to not be a Luddite about it. But I am just concerned about, like, everyone has dollar signs in their eyes. And people aren’t thinking about safety, and especially about like, everyone, you know, it’s just what can this do for me. And like that bothers me. So big, fat lump of coal, heated coal, but but not burnable. Coal, just like synthetic coal, it just looks like coal and has the same weight.

It’s just a rock, I’m throwing a rock at web three, Black Rock, Black Rock obsidian, its last big chunk of obsidian, it’s already been burnt, you can’t burn it for energy,

or ice list,

or something good.

Give you a nice list item. Vanilla js.

I’m making the call now making my prediction. I think 2021 is going to be the year that vanilla j s really is the way of the future. I think at this point, most people are really starting to buy in on, you know, the importance of understanding how vanilla JavaScript works. For those who don’t know, like, I’m not saying vanilla J S as like a framework, vanilla J’s J. S is not a framework, it is literally just locating plain JavaScript. Yeah, using things like jQuery.

The reason I’m making this call now his jQuery usage across the internet, across like the top 100,000 sites, over 80% of them use jQuery. That number is, for virtually the first time making a downward trend, like an actual, measurable downward trend. It was not much this year, but it was enough that I think we have actually seen the curve. And it’s all downhill from here. And so we’re gonna start seeing the death of things like jQuery, and I will celebrate, I will dance and I will give it a very nice present for going away.

I think I think that jQuery deserves whatever is the equivalent of like a an honored burial. Yeah. Like, jQuery may not be the thing anymore. But holy shit, that thing powered the internet at large for many years.

Yeah, I don’t say that to mean like, man, jQuery that that nasty little troll? No, it’s just time to move on.

Yeah, like, I would agree with that. And I also I agree with you on the vanilla J. S. And just for reference, we talked about vanilla js on episode 71. With Christopher de Nandi. Yeah, who isn’t really awesome person. Thanks so much for being on the show. That was that this year? That was last year.

But I literally don’t remember.

I just looked it up. Yeah, I, I agree with you. I think that things are going that direction. I think that I mentioned rails seven earlier, a big thing in the new version of Rails is their hotwire component, which is, do you remember? Do you remember when we used to use Ajax to load partials of sites? Sure. Like, you know, you, you go to the cooking navigation, and then it just retrieves the content that in that gets swapped in place. Okay. More or less, that’s what hotwire is, like HTML over the wire, it’s pre rendered, and then just pops it into place. So it’s a lot faster. Because you’re not loading the whole page anymore.

There’s no page refresh. It’s just, you know, a couple kilobytes of data. Why don’t have the place? Um, fits well, with vanilla J. S. It’s basically library independent. You’re just using, you know, protocols instead of we’re not protocols, but you’re using like, what, what’s the word I’m looking for? What would Ajax be called? A technique or an API? Is it an API?

I mean, it because you’re not like, we don’t do like a dot Ajax anymore. We do a fetch. And yeah, a fetch is an HTTP request that happens over the wire

to fetch this fetch the vanilla, because used to be XML, XML HTTP request.

Yeah, right. We don’t have to do any of that anymore. Okay. That’s what that’s why I’m so big.

I’ve been I’ve been J S, even back end for so long. And

that’s where jQuery served its purpose. jQuery gave us the dot AJAX request method that unified all of those XML HTTP request object, and different for Internet Explorer versus Firefox and all of that, like it normalized it all down to one command, and then you didn’t have to worry about it. That was great. Now we just have the Fetch API.


Like it’s awesome. It’s all we need. So I’m calling it via vanilla J. S. jQuery is going to be on a downward trajectory. From here on out, it hasn’t we have nothing left to learn from jQuery. And it was nice while it lasted. You had a real damn good run. I mean, what 20

widget for the widget, thankfully, I mean to all the people that maintained it like, Thank you, because I think that a lot of what we’re where we’re out today is because because of what jQuery did for us, yeah. From there,

I’m going to throw out a lump of coal. This one goes out to all of the web accessibility lawsuit trolls that are coming out of the woodwork more. We saw, like a 25% increase last year. Right.

These are just to clarify, you’re not talking about overweigh stuff you’re talking about when people I’m talking about lawsuit trolls? Yeah. Like they’re suing a site for not being accessible, but they don’t actually care if they’re accessible or not. They’re trying to take money, okay,

that they are abusing the legal system, in hopes of getting some quick paydays the same way people have abused, DMCA and content law, do just blanket shoot out, you know, lawsuits in hopes of settlements. And to get money, not because they want to change the web for the better. Because it’s it’s truthful, it’s it doesn’t it, it doesn’t improve anything by doing that. And it’s also not teaching the lesson of why it’s important to make things right. In 2018, there were about 2300 cases, in 2019, it was 20 890. Last year was 30 550. That’s a 50% increase over two years.

And over at digital commerce, three, they are crunching the numbers and are expecting the number to break well over 4000 By the time Sears up, which would be up another 20%, basically, from last year. So that’s, you know, 20 to 25% a year growth. And I’m concerned that 2022 is going to be more than that. Yeah, this is just a prediction. This is not necessarily based on anything except in tuition. I’m just concerned that it is too easy to file these cases. And there’s too much opportunity to try and throw them around and get a quick payday out of it and not teach anybody anything. And that sucks and

worse under the veil of like trying to do something good. But like, oh, this makes me mad.

Yeah, like, this is like all the wrong reason. This is a this is an earned lump of coal for those folks. That you know, this is not the way we make the web better. And it man, it’s just until we have like some some good frameworks and good guidelines. You know, it’s to this day, we’re still confused about whether or not like section 508? Like, what does it cover? Does it only cover governmental websites? Or does it apply to anybody with a public presence? You know, Can Can they make claims under Title Three? Does a web presence count as that?

Or can they can a company just say, Well, if you need something you have to call us. Right? We don’t have to make our tool accessible. Like we have. We have an accommodation. It’s called the phone call us like.

They say yeah, no, we’ve made an accommodation. You can’t use our website, we don’t have the resources because we’re not talking about places like Target and Domino’s. I’m talking about Bill’s car repair down the street who has a three page website, that’s basically brochure aware. And they have like a form on it to schedule an appointment. Right? And that forms and accessible and he’s just like, I fix cars, man, I don’t know how to fix the form. I’m not gonna show up 10 grand to somebody to do it. If you need something called me. Like, right? He’s not wrong. Like yeah, that’s like, and there’s it

is it better to for is it better for bills car garage and not have a website at all? Then to have it be a website that

is inaccessible only because he doesn’t have the resources to make it accessible? It so here’s the thing. Okay, so I’m gonna actually roll this in with a shiny present. Okay, different topic, different subject. But there’s an underlying message here that I think is worth sharing. So I’m just going to kind of roll from one to the other. This present goes out to Dr. Jennifer King. She’s a privacy and data policy fellow over at Stanford University. The reason I’m calling like her out as a person for a patient In 2021, for the web, is she has taken over the dark patterns. Tip

Whoo. Okay, say more of this. So yeah, so this is

a website’s literally dark patterns. Tip, kind of what she’s doing is, this is a site that was taken over from, I believe the Consumer Reports digital lab. And they have taken it over through a grant and some other stuff. And you can go there, and you can literally report finding a dark pattern in the wild. And then they have a gallery that is broken down by things like how did this harm you? Did it deny you choice? Was it experience discrimination? Did you feel shamed? Or tricked? Did you lose money or privacy? Or did you waste time, like, and you can go through here and see all of these examples where it happened?

You know, the person’s description of a thing of it. It’s not quite like the BBB for dark patterns. But it’s like that. So the reason, though, I’m rolling this in, there’s an interview over at Future that you can read, and I’ll have it linked in the show notes. And there’s in this interview that the question is asked about, like, how do you distinguish between harmful dark patterns and something more innocuous? Right, just because something is bad, doesn’t mean, it had bad motivation, or, you know, bad emotion behind it. So Bill’s car service didn’t build something inaccessible with the motivation of causing people harm. Right?

Like, and if he could fix it, he would fix it. Right? But he can’t. And we have to. And this is where like, concepts of like regulation and punishment, I was talking with somebody earlier, and they asked men, is there any way to like, you know, take the ruler to the knuckles on people who do this kind of stuff? And I’m like, how? Because how do you distinguish this in a way that doesn’t disproportionately cause more harm to people that aren’t acting in bad faith, like, they just don’t have the tools or the resources or whatever, because they are violating the letter of whatever law in that situation, you

do? What would be really awesome, and I don’t know how to organize this. But it would be so cool to have, like a collective of people, where sites like bills, car garage, or whatever, you know, like small mom and pop sites, I just don’t wouldn’t have the money to do this correctly. Get like kind of collected into a list. And then a collective of people would then go through this list and then offer them, hey, we’ll do Your will, like, your site’s inaccessible. We’d like to help you out with this, and then apply the few hours of work or whatever, to bring it up to par. And just like on a volunteer basis, the the list will be monumental, it will be absolutely massive.

And this will absolutely be a Sisyphean task. But it’s still worth doing. And it still improves things. And it’s thought like, I would say most low hanging fruit like font contrast, font size, all tags on images, setting your tables correctly. Using headings correctly, those sorts of things can be done pretty easily and are easy to identify. And training people to do them isn’t. It’s not like advanced computing or anything. But something like that would be really cool. I think it is

well, motivated on your part well intentioned and impossible. I think what really has to happen, because the thing is bills car service, probably built their site on Wix or Squarespace. And so, and a lot of these tools are trying really hard to make accessible features. Yeah. And I think that’s where the lion’s share of the work is going to be done, ultimately, like, encourage these people to use these tools, which feels like a dirty advice, actually, like, there was a time where I would never tell somebody to like, Oh, you’re gonna have a better time setting your sights upon licks. Like, that was not advice I would ever give.

Shout out to Webflow EJ Cena, Ruben. Nick, episode. 63.

Yeah, web flows. Another good one. Yeah. web

flow. They prepare. They put accessibility as a first class citizen.

They have accessibility, your high profile,

not sponsored by them, like just but we they were on the show before and I think that what they’re doing is really cool. So

but all of these tools I think have improved in great strides over the last five years. Yeah. So maybe there’s a second dari gift, nice list there that, like all of these platforms have done a lot to make themselves better make themselves more accessible. And those are the trenches where a lot of those battles are going to ultimately be one. Yeah. And there’s always going to be a few folks out there with just trash websites.

If you just need like, you know, basically like a business card website, or, you know, your footer, we call that one the kiss, or the PAM bone, phone address and menu, right? Damn. Is Pam.

With consent,

if all you need is a phone address, and menu or the equivalent for whatever your businesses, those sorts of sites or services are fine. And no, no one’s going to think less of you for using them. It’s just like you get your content up there. Put out your shingle.

I’ve got one more for my nice list, but you have anything else you want to throw out first.

I legit we talked about in the last episode, and I am going to sign up for the Google UX certification.

Your your list ins were mine does it sounds

I like I’m actually really excited about this. I haven’t had a like coursework in a while. I’m excited about the structured aspect. I asked a co worker of mine who is our UX person by job. And she went to I want to say the flat iron school. Yeah, I’m one of those one of those like, oh, no, it was a general assembly in DC, I think. And so she she got her training there. But I don’t know, I’m excited about this one. Just even just getting kind of the formal, like structured education around, it should be neat. Yeah,

I labeled mine a little more generically. And I was just gonna say, I think this is gonna be a good year for everybody for any kind of learning and training, opportunities to go out and take care of something new that you haven’t tackled before. I’m one of those on that list is exorcism. We’ve, of course talked about it before. exorcism, Version Three is now out. So you can go and check them out and check out the new, the new tracks and the new approach to everything. The new point system, all of that I am on a Technology Advisory Group for the high school.

And the couple times a year we get together and talk about like what is in the industry, what are some good resources that kids should look at. And I made it a point to call out that they ought to look at having their class go check out exorcism and set up a set of accounts, and use that as part of the training. Because then, like if a kid doesn’t want to do JavaScript, cool, let them pick something else like theirs. Because there’s a lot of parody across all of those tracks, like the same kind of example.

Ruby track is great. I worked through a portion of the Ruby track, just for fun, and it’s really great.

And the teacher doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in those tracks, then because they’re very self moderating. So you can set up just say, I, you know, your goal this week is to get three of those lessons done or something like that. Right. And the testing is built into it. You know, does it work? Well, the test is right there. So that’s gonna be huge, I think for people.

We talked with Jeremy Walker from exorcism back on episode 69. Last year, in August,

yeah. But also so I said at the start, Discord, the reason I wanted to shout that out drunk Aaron and I are going to hold to our word, we are both going to go through the Google UX UI certification, we invite all of you, any of you who want to do that with us to check it out. We’re going to set up a channel on our Discord server where we can all talk, share our experiences, ask questions, whatever, get insights. And so we’re gonna be open about that. And then we’ll come back in six months, eight months, depending on I need to double check and see when the next start date is. Or if Oh, is it?

Can we just jump in? I think well, it’s

like, it’s like pole position, kind of I think like, okay, like it’s it’s self guided. But they started at like, different times. And I don’t know Kobe, just jump in at any given point. But we’ll get an answer to that very quickly. But yeah, learning is sort of the next big, nice, good present. It’s gonna be a good year for that. The resources are getting so much better. I mean, I liked exorcism before but with version three and like the now you can do everything in browser, you don’t even have to pull it down locally and do it like

Oh, nice. It’s super cool. All right. All you have to go back and check that out again. It’s been a while.

So think about what your naughty and nice list is. Who’s getting presents and who’s getting cold. What are you looking forward to? What are you dreading for 2022 I think I said earlier, and it’s been that year. Oh, it’s 2020. Here’s the thing, Aaron, it’s 2022. That means it’s 2020 all over again, electric by 2022.

So Aaron, one more surprise president I didn’t warn you about or tell you about. But this one is not one I’m giving out. It’s one that is being given out to everybody. This comes from our sponsor over at Tesla. So Tesla is a platform lets you capture your screen camera, you can present slides, then you can customize those videos with different backgrounds, you can change your layout, add other video clips into it. But what they’ve just done that is super cool is their Chrome browser plugin is now available for users. Oh, cool. Get in there, you can click on it.

Now you have a lot more control over what you’re capturing in your screen in your editing. And it just gives you a lot more flexibility in the editing. Outside of just you know, in the platform in the browser. This is great for either like recording updates for teammates, you can generate videos for followers on your platform, do demonstrations for customers, all of this with just one single browser based screen recorder that let you share your work and knowledge.

What’s super cool, if you go to their website,, you can sign up for a free account, check all this stuff out, I’ve been playing with it been able to like make some cool little screen captures of stuff for some of our CMS users get my face up there because all of them love seeing my pretty beard in the afternoon. It’s luscious, golden locks. But it really is like it’s super easy to make a very nice looking video that has kind of a personal touch to it as opposed to sort of a sterile screencapture with a video in the box in the corner of you know, the the video corner box. So check that out, run by their slash P E, Ll U.

So, maybe a little bit corny, but I do also throw a big metaphorical gift to all of the guests that we’ve had on this here. I don’t know the exact number, but I know that it’s many. And it’s been really awesome to talk to all of you and

him. 12 probably something like that. It’s like half Yep. Yeah, roughly half the episodes probably here.

So I, I always appreciate the insights that we have of the people that come on the show, and we greatly appreciate your time.

Just wait. I’ve got a few names in the hat that are gonna be coming out early in season. Wow. I’m just I’m excited. And if I’m excited. That means I’m excited. I’m not very like, deep.

So yeah, thank you. It makes the show better and we appreciate it.

And if you want to keep up with us, be sure to find us on Twitter or Facebook at slash dragon UX, Instagram slash dragon UX podcast or come join us on Discord at Dragon UX comm slash discord. You’re enjoying the site or the show and you want to help support us. You can go by Dragon UX comm slash support, join our Patreon via backer to send you some free stickers and coasters and things. Thank you on an episode and give you some extended length episodes, interviews and things like that. And with that, that’s a wrap on season four. Thanks for sticking with us all year. 26 episodes 26 More coming next year.

I’m still amazed that four seasons man, it’s just wild

and say enjoy your break. But we’re recording next week, buddy. Wait, what? Ah. If there’s anything at all I can do to surprise you anymore. It’s that I have to like wake you up at 3am to record with somebody who’s over in Europe or something like that. So

hello, I’m getting a concern now.

Oh, you should be you you should be very concerned because I have not clued you in on every decision I have made. It’s it’s one of those problems where I’ve not done a very good job at keeping my personas close but my users and my co host clubs. Happy Christmas. Merry New Year. It is we look forward to seeing you in 2022 Stay with us. Have Happy Holidays.

Stay safe everyone.

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