As I started to learn about CSS Grid and the new base layout possibilities, I was struck by how much this changes things for design. I don’t think I’m alone in this, either: a search through CodePen reveals plenty of designers and developers thinking about this as well. There are so many new ways to think about how we can design pages and how we can change our layouts based on screen sizes and this short post is just a very shallow dive into the possibilities.

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If you are a web developer working on a Mac, you can become a hero for thousands of people out there by assuring that anything you create for the web can be read properly by a screen reader. This blog post is going to teach you how to access and wield this super power that is built into the OS you use everyday.

Using VoiceOver

MacOS has a built-in screen reading tool called VoiceOver. You can turn it on using command + F5 or through the System Preferences under Accessibility. Once on, you might be overwhelmed with how chatty your computer becomes. In System Preferences, click the button 'Open VoiceOver Utility' and adjust some options. I recommend turning the Verbosity down to Low.

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I’ve been writing base layouts for CSS a long time. Come next month, I'm going to be using a new feature to do that work for the first time in many years, CSS Grid. Yes, flexbox came along and I used it for some pieces of the layout, but it didn’t change the way I laid out entire pages. Next month that’s changing.

CSS Grid is landing in Chrome and Firefox after years of tireless work by specification authors, developers who gave feedback, and browser implementers. I've been spending time lately diving into the basics of CSS Grid, seeing how it works, figuring out the pain points it can solve easily for me along with seeing the new ways in which I can make sites better through writing clearer, more maintainable CSS

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Maps are both practical and political. They possess undoubtable utility for navigating the physical world and have a long history of being used to shape and reshape the our social and political conceptions of the world. The ability to mark a territory, carve up a continent (or remember one), count a people, or map our desires is a powerful one. Thus despite being one of the oldest visualization types we have, they remain one of the most popular ways of visualizing data today.

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2016 was an exciting year for the Bocoup DataVis team - we wanted to start a new tradition of sharing some of our key highlights, and telling you more about the fun things to come this year. Here goes!

bocoup data vis 2015 recap

2016 In summary (in no particular order):

  • The very excellent Peter Beshai joined our team, bringing with him a host of expertise, experience, and improvements.
  • We helped Dr. Sorger’s lab at Harvard Medical School to design and develop the Breast Cancer Browser: an online tool for exploring and visualizing the results of a multitude of different experiments focused on how various breast cancer cell lines respond to a number of different perturbagens. We also learned what “perturbagens” meant.
  • We partnered with the amazing folks at Measurement Lab to find ways to visualize over 800,000,000 internet health speed test results. We built a whole lot of pipelines, an API server (so that no one has to build a lot of pipelines) and a pretty robust front end, all open source. Peter, our resident SVG lines expert, wrote about and released a host of plugins that make working with lines even more fun in D3.js. Expect to hear more about our work with Measurement Lab very soon, as we prepare to launch it and all of our code alongside it.
  • Much like the rest of the country, we were glued to our many screens during the election season. We were really thrilled to partner with the Coral project to come up with a way to help news outlets and other interested parties capture the sentiment around the election. We’ve been really excited to see our open source interactive used in some interesting contexts.
  • We worked with Jeff Heer and his fantastic team at UW’s Interactive Data Lab to help build the next version of Lyra, an interactive, open-source visualization environment.
  • Last but not least, we ran the 4th OpenVis Conf, bringing together some amazing speakers and penguins at the New England Aquarium. If you haven’t seen videos from last year, you can check them out in this incredible interactive explorer.

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The following is a transcript of a talk given at various events throughout 2016, including Smashing Conf NYC, and An Event Apart Chicago.

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Illustration courtesy Matt McLaughlin.

It is 9:18 AM on August 21, 2021. You have just finished eating your space-breakfast, and you're ready to get back to work maintaining the web presence for Omni Consumer Products. After about an hour, you find your latest change fails an acceptance test. It turns out to be a bug in "RedactSelect", an open source "multiselect" web component you've been using. Looks like it hasn't been updated in years, owing largely to its maturity and stability. "No problem," you think, "I'll just fix the bug and fork it."

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Starting today, my long time collaborator Jory Burson becomes Bocoup’s new CEO. I am moving into a Research Director role to explore long-term open and inclusive technology development at Bocoup.

Jory and Boaz in front of the Bocoup billboard, Spring 2014. Jory and Boaz in front of the Bocoup billboard, Spring 2014.

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Building an Open Source interactive with the Coral Project

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Ready your easels – we're getting ready to paint a beautiful sales picture with our new VP of Sales, Mary Monat!

Mary joins us from B-Stock Solutions and brings years of sales leadership and deep love of process to her new role here at Bocoup. We are thrilled to have her at the helm of our sales strategy and development.

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