Terrence Dorsey Writer. Editor. Nerd.

Interaction of Color

I have recently been reading through Josef Albers’ book Interaction of Color and working through some of the proposed exercies. It seemed obvious that, rather than cobbling together bits of colored paper, a web page could easily generate any number of possible color combinations.

So I built a simple page that dynamically generates the swatches described in Albers’ first exercise: https://terrencedorsey.com/albers/albers.html

You’ll see two large fields of different colors and a small, central swatch. This central swatch is the same color within both larger fields. Notice how, depending on the surrounding colors, the central color may look different — lighter, darker, or even a slightly different shade.

Each time you refresh the page it generates a different, random selection of colors. Hex values for the generated colors are provided at the bottom of the page.

There’s a fiddle if you want to play with the code: https://jsfiddle.net/tpdorsey/wqo15gb5/

Albers Color Swatches

A Big Toolbox Update

It’s been a while since I’ve provided on update on my Toolbox column at Visual Studio Magazine, but I’m still writing monthly missives (and still submitting them late…). Here’s a quick update on what’s been published since my last post about the column here.

There’s a nice archive of Visual Studio Toolbox columns as well should you want to browse through my other columns.

Now With More HTTPS

Happy New Year! Updates here have been long delayed because I’ve been trying to make time for some long overdue site upgrades. And now they’re complete!

The big news is HTTPS by default for terrencedorsey.com. It was remarkably easy to set up by following the excellent How To Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 16.04 guide from DigitalOcean along with a free, easily renewed SSL/TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

Also, since I kind of rushed into converting the blog from my old, custom staticDimension PHP based static blogging system to Jekyll late last year (with little fanfare), I took the time to set things up for more seamless deployment of changes.

We’ll see how that works going forward. I still have to write things of interest…

Toolbox: New Extensions for August and September

Summer’s almost over and it’s time to catch up with my Visual Studio Magazine columns.

From August, I bring you 17 New Extensions for Visual Studio 2015.

From September, here are an additional 16 New Tools and Extensions for Visual Studio.

I assure you that my October column with mix things up a bit theme-wise.

Toolbox: Bash on Windows

My July 2016 column for Visual Studio Magazine Bash on Windows: Getting Productive with Windows Subsystem for Linux takes a look at the new Ubuntu-based Linux terminal environment coming soon to a Windows 10 machine near you. I provide some background on the “Bash on Windows” announcement, explain how to get WSL on your system (hint: you’ll need a Windows Insider account), and highlight some tools and information to help get you started using WSL in your day-to-day work

Toolbox: Tools for AWS and Azure

It’s all about “the cloud” these days, right? Storage, services, distributed processing… it’s dead simple to spin up whatever resources your project may need, on demand.

My May 2016 Visual Studio Magazine column 14 Tools For Microsoft Azure Development highlights some handy tools, templates, and extensions for integrating Microsoft Azure resources into your software development projects and in some cases directly into Visual Studio itself.

My June 2016 column 16 Essential Windows Tools for Amazon Web Services covers similar ground, introducing you to some Windows developer tools that support AWS-based app development and resource management. The AWS tools article is also included in Visual Studio Magazine’s comprehensive Building Onto the Cloud with AWS whitepaper, free with registration.

Toolbox: Accessibility Tools

Here’s an interesting statistic: according to Blindness Statistics from the American Foundation for the Blind

findings from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Preliminary Report established that an estimated 20.6 million adult Americans (or nearly 10% of all adult Americans) reported they either “have trouble” seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, or that they are blind or unable to see at all.

That’s a lot of people who may need a little help when computing. Even my aging eyes need a little extra help from time to time.

In my February 2016 column for Visual Studio Magazine, Tips and Tools for Making Accessibility a Developer Priority, I looked into some of the best tools and techniques for developing and testing accessibility in applications and web sites. The tooling has become much better in recent years, and Windows-based development is starting to catch up with what’s been available on OS X and iOS for years.

Make accessibility for all users a priority. It’s the right thing to do.

Toolbox: Rich Text Editors

For my January 2016 Visual Studio Magazine column, I dove into a subject that I’d been putting off for a while because I thought it would be a complicated rabbit hole. Turns out to be quite interesting. 8 Rich Text Editors for Interactive Web Content mostly covers web-based rich text editors that harness the power of contentEditable… and a few that don’t for when your web development project has more constraints.

I don’t think the article itself is editable, however.