Robin Winslow

16 posts by Robin Winslow


Our new team practices site, and the democratic repository behind it

By Robin Winslow on 26 January 2019

A month ago, we published our web and design team practices website, from the repository that we’ve been building up for nearly two years now. I’ll try to explain why I am so proud of it. Why practices? A strong team needs…


How to manage your Git history: Tips for keeping your commits tidy

By Robin Winslow on 12 December 2018

One of the things we’re currently working on in the web and design team is a page about writing Git commit messages for our team practices website (I hope to write more about the practices website itself in the coming days). As part…

Cloud and server

Command-line usability: A terminal user’s thought process

By Robin Winslow on 8 September 2017

I’ve been thinking about the usability of command-line terminals a lot recently. Command-line interfaces remain mystifying to many people. Usability hobbyists seem as inclined to ask why the terminal exists, as how to optimise it. I’ve…


Simplifying local development: The ./run executable

By Robin Winslow on 5 July 2017

Canonical’s webteam manage over 18 websites as well as many supporting projects and frameworks. These projects are built with any combination of Python, Ruby, NodeJS, Go, PostgreSQL, MongoDB or OpenStack Swift. We have 9 full-time…


Our open source websites

By Robin Winslow on 31 May 2017

Nowadays free software is everywhere – from browsers to encryption software to operating systems. Even so, it is still relatively rare for the code behind websites and services to be opened up. Stepping into the open Three years ago…


Keynotes from my first PyCon – friendly and inspiring

By Robin Winslow on 7 October 2015

Last weekend I went to my first Pycon, my second conference in a fortnight. The conference runs from Friday to Monday, with 3 days of talks followed by one day of “sprints”, which is basically a hack day. PyCon has a code of…


Python learnings from PyCon

By Robin Winslow on 7 October 2015

The weekend before last, I went to PyCon UK 2015. I already wrote about the keynotes, which were more abstract. Here I’m going to talk about the other talks I saw, which were generally more technical or at least had more to do with…


Prepare for when Ubuntu freezes

By Robin Winslow on 28 September 2015

I routinely have at least 20 tabs open in Chrome, 10 files open in Atom (my editor of choice) and I’m often running virtual machines as well. This means my poor little X1 Carbon often runs out of memory, at which point Ubuntu…


Django behind a proxy: Fixing absolute URLs

By Robin Winslow on 18 August 2015

I recently tried to setup OpenID for one of our sites to support authentication with, and it took me much longer than I’d anticipated because our site is behind a reverse-proxy. My problem I was trying to setup…


Vanilla: Creating a modular Sass library

By Robin Winslow on 5 August 2015

We recently introduced Vanilla framework, a light-weight styling framework which is intended to replace the old Guidelines framework as the basis for our Ubuntu and Canonical branded sites and others. One of the reasons we created Vanilla…


A seachange in front-end best practice (but not for a while)

By Robin Winslow on 11 March 2015

Despite some reservations, it looks like HTTP/2 is very definitely the future of the Internet. Speed improvements HTTP/2 may not be the perfect standard, but it will bring with it many long-awaited speed improvements to internet…