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  • : BSc Information Systems, Brunel University

    Achieved a first class honours in Information Systems, and additionally a distinction in the Brunel Diploma of Professional Development.

  • : Software engineer, Reapers, Zimbabwe

    Hired for a two month contract to develop and deploy a mission-critical national inventory management and logistics system for an agricultural company in Zimbabwe, resilient to dubious telecommunications infrastructure and frequent power outages. Working with local suppliers and users across the country I designed and built a simple, inexpensive distributed system with no single point of failure.

  • : Intranet developer, UK Air Traffic Control

    I worked at the UK’s air traffic control service to upgrade Intranet based communications tools and improve workflow within geographically disparate business units and remote radar stations.

  • : Owner, Assanka

    My software development consultancy, founded in 2003. We use web technologies in innovative ways. In 2005 we built the first UK property search site to use map based search. In 2006 we built one of the first real time live blogging sites, which we went on to win two Webby awards for in 2008. In 2011, we released the world’s first major HTML5 newspaper site for the Financial Times.

  • : Technical Director, OnOneMap

    Responsible for leading development of OnOneMap, a UK property search engine map using Google Maps and featuring around 600,000 property listings for sale and rent. We were acquired by dotHomes in September 2008 and I left after the acquisition.

  • onwards: Director, FT Labs

    The division of the FT born out of the acquisition of Assanka in January 2012, we focus on developing new way sof reading the FT using emerging web technologies.

  • onwards: Organiser, London Web Performance

    One of the main organisers of regular London Web Performance meetups.


A better paywall ecosystem with content passes

Paywalled news sites like the FT typically allow search crawlers such as Googlebot to see premium content, but don’t want to allow everyone to see it for free otherwise we wouldn’t make any money. Search engines created first click free to demand a good exeperience for their users, but for lots of reasons, first click free sucks. Here’s a better solution.

First, let’s look at why First click free is so terrible:

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“Progressive apps” are a bag of carrots

The desire among those who like the web for it to do everything native apps can do has recently led to the idea of progressive apps, but I’m not convinced this does anything except further overload two terms that are already dangerously ambiguous.

Update (7 Nov)

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Crisis at Christmas

Over Christmas, I volunteered for Crisis at Christmas, a massive charity operation to feed and house homeless people in London over the Christmas period. It prompted predictably mixed feelings of guilt and pride, shame and satisfaction.


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Progressive enhancement for everyone

One of the key benefits ascribed to progressive enhancement is that your site works for everyone. That is almost true. But we need to be clear what we mean by “everyone”.

A recent polite disagreement between Scott Jenson and Jeremy Keith, both of whom I admire immensely, made me finally put into writing something that’s been bothering me about progressive enhancement idealism for a while. The principle has it that if you start with ‘good ol’ HTML’, it will work everywhere, and then you can add CSS and JavaScript to enhance it. Literally everything except the markup (and even much of the markup) is an enhancement.

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