Tom MacWright


Dolphin in a school window

Well, I missed a Recently post on January 1st, so scratch any other resolutions, I’ll just live my life.


In loving memory of the square checkbox is the kind of UX rant I’m there for. Interfaces that have different behaviors should look different, and familiar styles are so valuable.

I wrote about Web Components and Jake Lazaroff wrote in response: “The Web Component Success Story”. I agree with his response 100%: it’d be lovely if we didn’t have to cart in a big framework just to create a tooltip, and it’d be great if maintainers didn’t need to write a version of a library for 5 different front-end frameworks. Maybe that’s where Web Components will fit in.

This post about modern CSS upgrades is a nice hit of optimism. My only addition is :has: the has selector has totally changed the things that are possible with CSS. I’m using the heck out of it.


In books:

Swing Time was so good. I’m reading The Affordable City right now and it’s pretty good too, in, of course, a totally different way.


I watched 8 movies in January, somehow, but the only one that stuck with me was Poor Things. It’s fantastic. Delivers on every level. A romp.

I have, by the way, been making videos about Placemark and stuff. Here’s one, in a handy embed:

Making video content takes so long, and I’m afraid at every turn that it’s cringe. But it also seems like a good format for talking about visual things like Placemark and the Figma plugins I’ve been maintaining.

Video software is not great: ScreenFlow crashes, Descript crashes, Cleanshot is too minimal, Detail’s performance is pretty bad, OBS works but the interface looks open source. I’m using Descript right now, but planning on using OBS and/or DaVinci Resolve for the next video that I make.


The new album by The Smile (40% of Radiohead plus Tom Skinner) is awesome. I’ve been listening to this song all the time.

This song “Without” by Sampha is also spectacular, and the version in this Tiny Desk performance looks fun.


I wrote about working hard and people seemed to like it!

Also, if you missed the post before - Placemark, the map editing tool that I wrote, is now open source. It has over 900 stars on GitHub! And some contributions already - including a Docker configuration! I really hope that it goes someplace. I’m tempted to throw a little time into it, to help with moving it to Maplibre. I don’t know if I’ll get the time to do a lot of development on it, but I’ll say that I’m absolutely going to spend the time to review and merge PRs promptly!