Bruce Lawson likes every person he’s ever met, except for three.
That is one of the ‘unfascinating facts’ he lists on his blog. He also loves Tarot cards, Guinness, and meat, although intellectually he’s a vegetarian.
Bruce also feels strongly about his work as an open web standards evangelist at Opera. We asked him about that, and a few other things…
Q: Your session is entitled “Can the Web Win the War Against Native Without Losing its Soul?” Can you boil that down for us? What’s the issue with native apps vs. responsive web apps?
A: Web apps have almost the same feature set as native apps do. Yet people prefer native apps. My talk explores why, what we can do to close the user experience gap, and how we can do that without losing what made the web great in the first place.
You’ve been active in the open web standards world since 2002. You’ve worked with the Web Standards Project, the W3C, and other groups. What sparks your passion about open web standards? What makes the web great?
It’s the biggest force for real democracy, free expression and empowerment the world has seen.
You have a punk-inspired yet scholarly approach to your work and the Web. In other words, you’re a rebel who knows his shit. And you work for Opera. To quote Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, “Explain.”
As a punk rocker, what’s not to like about freedom? Opera is the only European browser (it’s Norwegian, with development also in Sweden and Poland) – all the rest are American. Diversity is good. I like the Scandinavian ideal of “allemannsrett” – every person’s right to roam. I think that’s a vital right, both in the physical world and the virtual world of the web.
What’s in the future for web standards? What kinds of things should we expect to see in, say, the next five years?
Jetpacks and sex robots. Ha! Five years? No idea. I’d like to see a saner layout system; the interplay between floats, css tables, flexbox, css grids etc is becoming too much for my tiny mind to encompass.
If folks follow your blog, they’d know that you’re a big fan of reading lists. First, do you ever sleep. Second, why the obsession with reading lists?
The reading lists are for real web developers in companies, who can’t be on twitter all day, who complained that they don’t see the links I tweet as I go reading around the web. So when I read something interesting (not necessarily something I agree with) I tweet it, and add it to a draft blog post that I publish every Friday. It’s also useful for me – I know that, in a few months time, I have a list of all the useful stuff I read!
Do I sleep? Yeah, on planes. I never open a laptop on a plane.