Archive for the 'geek songs' Category

The making of “Stylable – The Musical”

At the reportedly-excellent PerfMatters Conference on Tuesday, our Stylable The Musical music video was unleashed in its world premiere. For those of you who missed this epoch-defining event, here it is!

We had great fun making it. It started out one Friday when I was failing miserably to do some important Git/ NPM/ Yarn/ Jekyll stuff. To cheer myself up, I decided to do something I know I’m good at, so fired up my music software and began recording a little ditty I’d been working on. (Old chums will know I occasionally make Web Standards-based reinterpretations of classic songs, such as Like A Rounded Corner and Living Standard.)

I sent the a roughly-mixed soundcloud link to three members of the Wix Engineering team I work most closely with, who played it to the wider team. The next day I was told that the song had been played during the annual product presentation to Wix’s senior management.

The incomparable Estelle Weyl tweeted that if we made a music video, she would play it at PerfMatters Conference which she was organising. I mentioned this to the team, and suddenly a professional director and crew had been engaged. One night in early January, I drank a bottle of Tempranillo wine and wrote the script, and then flew out to Tel Aviv to make the video.

Shooting took all day, in our team office, and at sunset on the roof of the Wix HQ building on the same street. I think that it properly captures the fun and enthusiasm of the Stylable team, while being professionally lit, shot and edited. I’d be willing to bet that we’re the first open-source project to launch with our own music video.

Big thanks are owed to Danielle Kanish of Wix Academy, who co-ordinated with the outside contractors; Maya Alon, Queen of Wix Academy and 14th incarnation of Parvati, for finding the budget; to director Yoav Gertner and his crew, who took my somewhat odd brief and made it happen; to Tal, Iftach, Tom, Uri, Benita, Kieran, Barak, Avi, Arnon, Hadar, Ido and Nadav from the Stylable team for being such good sports and being willing to make fools of themselves on video; to Estelle Weyl for giving me the idea, and to Alessio Carone for his help and advice on the karaoke subtitles.

I’m very lucky to work with an organisation that would sanction and fund such a daft project. Thanks, Wix! And if they fire me, I shall be offering bespoke dance tuition but book soon; there’s a long line of people wanting to be able to move as seductively as I do in this video.

Reading List


  • Once again, discussion of installable/ packaged web app thingies. Major points:
    • Mozilla doesn’t want to reuse the W3C Widget spec because they want hosted, not installable apps. And the name “widget” is rubbish.
    • Hosted web apps are .. er .. web sites. But wrapped up, with a manifest, they can be monetized in a synergy of micropayment leverage.
    • “Installing” packaged apps can give them greater permissions than web sites. Hixie responded

      The “installation” security model of asking the user up-front to grant trust just doesn’t work because users don’t understand the question, and the “installation” security model of curating apps and trying to determine by empirical examination whether an application is trustworthy or not just doesn’t scale.

  • Two New Proposals to Solve the CSS3 Vendor Prefix Crisis
  • Last week I linked to an article that claimed adherence to WCAG didn’t magically solve all blind users’ problems. Here’s a rebuttal Methodological flaws put question mark on study of the impact of WCAG on user problems. It seems to me obvious that, while WCAG is very useful, it doesn’t replace brain, or testing.

Mobile and devices

Web Biz


Web Standards Song

“Like A Rounded Corner”, by Bruce and The Standardettes

The Web Standards Hoedown

For afficiandos of songs about Web Standards, it’s like Hendrix, Presley, Lennon, Moon and Strummer meeting up and videoing a jam session (before they died).

Yes: the Opera Developer Relations Team annual meet-up was an opportunity for Andreas Bovens (banjo), Daniel Davis (ukular missile), Chris Mills (vocals, desk-drumming) and me (guitar) to play together.

I decided to write a hoedown, as our new American team members were feeling very homesick in Europe.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is our Web Standards Hoedown. It’s a muscial version of HTML5, hollow demos and forgetting the basics. Yee har!


All this HTML5
makes me feel like I’m alive
I can’t wait to use it, me oh my!
I find it so upliftin’
that with <canvas> and some scriptin’
I can build myself a whole UI.


Hold your horses, friend
It’s just a means it’s not an end
you can just use HTML and SVG!
Use the shiny things now
But you gotta learn just how
to use them semantically.


Who gives a damn who I’m frustratin’?
Look – my webpage is rotatin’!
If you can’t use it, I don’t care.
Your browser’s blocked, quite rightly
if you don’t use this nightly
With this API I use just cause it’s there.


Sonny, I’ll give you the low-down
At this Web Standards hoedown:
Leave those guys and come and dance with me.
Let the specheads go square-dancin’!
We’ll be progressively enhancin’:
using standards semantically.

We’ll use the standards semantically.

Video by Patrick H Lauke, squeals from Divya Manian, impassive French man by Karl Dubost.

Got myself a cowpath-pavin’ Open-web savin’ Living Standard

To commemorate the fact that HTML5 has been renamed HTML (at least by the WHATWG, but not by the W3C) and “the WHATWG HTML spec can now be considered a ‘living standard'”, it seemed only right to unleash The Axe Of Glory™ (my acoustic guitar) for another song.

Serious bit: the lyrics are just a bit of fun. I don’t really believe that if you dislike this change you’re inferior or that concensus-denyin’ is always a good spec development model. This is mostly to give me a video to test the new service, that converts and hosts the video for HTML5 browsers with a Flash fallback. (It does a good job, but oddly serves Ogg video to Opera 11 rather than webM and its HTML email to tell you that conversion is complete is badly broken.)

So, with that said and with apologies to Sir Clifford of Richard and Lionel Bart, here is my new song, “Living Standard”.

Sing along.

If the video isn’t working, watch it on YouTube.

Got myself an always-evolving, problem-solving Living Standard
much better than Five, cos it’s alive, my Living Standard.
Superior persons don’t need a version, so Hixie canned it!
Got myself a cowpath-pavin’ Open-web savin’ Living Standard.

Take a look at the spec, it’s vast.
If you don’t believe what it says, you’re so past.
Gonna love that spec, so no proprietary tech
can steal the Web from me.

Got myself a never-completin’, concensus-defeatin’ Living Standard
much better than Five, cos it’s alive, my Living Standard.
Superior persons don’t need a version, so Hixie canned it!
Got myself a error-correctin’ numeral-rejectin’ living standard.

HTML5 it is a-changin’

Molly wrote

Inspired by Shelley Powers who quipped “HTML5, it is a changing on Twitter, I in turn said I was gonna write a Dylanesque song about HTML5. Of course, between that time and the time I got to the next available WiFi point, Jeff Allen wrote the song.

Opera’s Man in Japan, Daniel Davis, gave us a touching rendition on his ukelele:

In homage to the man known as “Ukelele-San” from Sapporo to Nagasaki, as well as to Molly, Shelley, Jeff, Hixie and His Bobness, I offer my rendition: