#CSSday starts off with a great history lesson of our industry by @adactio
#CSSday starts off with a great history lesson of our industry by @adactio

I’ve just published that preceded a couple of weeks back. I’ve also recorded for .

It’s not like the usual talks I give. The subject matter was assigned to me, Mission Impossible style. wanted each speaker to give an entire talk on just one HTML element. He offered me the best element of them all: the A element.

There were a few different directions I could’ve taken it. I could’ve tried to make it practical, but I quickly dismissed that idea. Instead I went in the completely opposite direction, making it as pretentious as possible. I figured a talk about hypertext could afford to be winding and circuitous, building on some of the ideas I wrote about in a few years back. It’s quite self-indulgent of me, but I used it as an opportunity to geek out about some of my favourite things; from Borges, Babbage, and Bletchley to Leibniz, Lovelace, and Licklider.

I wouldn’t usually write out an entire talk word-for-word in advance, but somehow it felt right for this one. In fact, my talk preparation this time ‘round was very similar to :

  1. Get everything out of my head and onto .
  2. Write chunks of content in short bursts — this was when .
  3. Put together a slide deck of visuals to support the narrative.
  4. Practice delivering the talk so I don’t look I’m just reading off a screen.

It takes me a long time to prepare talks. As the deadline for this one approached, I was getting quite panicked. It was touch and go there for a while, but I managed to get it done in time.

I’m pleased with how it turned out. On the day, I had fun delivering it. People seemed to like it too, which was gratifying.

Although with this kind of talk, it was inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to please everyone.

I guess this talk was a one-off affair. That said, if you’re putting on an event and you think this subject matter would be appropriate, . I’d be more than happy to deliver it again.

This was originally posted .

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A web developer and author living and working in Brighton, England. Everything I post on Medium is a copy — the originals are on my own website,

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