(▼)(▲)
This space is currently unused, and I'm not quite sure what to do with it. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Find me on Mastodon

About
UN
AP
OL
OG
ET
IC
.

UPDATE, February 2023: Hello friends! 👋 After nearly a decade of this website being "under construction", I have decided to return it to its former glory in archival form rather than allow it to continue to languish as a splash page. This should resurrect any broken links from the olden days, which pleases me greatly. (▼)(▲)For those curious about what happened to render this poor site broken for almost 10 years, it was a misguided attempt at a ground-up rewrite in PHP — a language I had just learned, wasn't any good at, and which college had failed to inform me was already out of date. That entire codebase needed to be thrown away, and the work to restore things was enough that I procrastinated it for a decade. Oops!

Reconstruction is still planned eventually, and will employ all of the modern techniques and architecture that I have been building at MacStories over the last few years. (This archival return is actually the first step in that process, as the underlying infrastructure has been rebuilt.) I don't have a timeline on when further changes will happen though, as my time is still being consumed by higher priority projects for now. (Including getting married later this year!)

The rest of this page — and the rest of this site — is preserved from 2014, written when I was a wee freshman in college. If you'd like to see what I've been up to over the last decade, you can find my work at MacStories and Club MacStories. For future updates about this website, as well as other exciting projects which are actively in the works, follow me on Mastodon.

Unapologetic is written by Alex Guyot. Alex is a writer, web developer, youth leader, soccer player, coffee lover and technology enthusiast. Alex lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he can usually be found taking refuge from the searing heat at a local Starbucks, where he does most of the writing for this website. In his spare time Alex is a full time student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Arizona. Before you ask, it’s pronounced “Ghee-Oh”.

Portrait

The Name

Names are important to me, and I think Unapologetic is a pretty darn good one. Here’s why:

Unapologetic is a representation of the goals I have for this website. When I write here, I will never apologize for the content I create. Of course if I write something that turns out to be incorrect or foolish, I will make the proper changes and amend the article to right the wrong, but in terms of the opinions I voice here, the subjects I write about, the pages I link to and the design choices I make, I will do so unapologetically. I will not pull a Microsoft if opposition is voiced, and I won’t be hurt if you unfollow me or stop reading due to any of these factors. Unapologetic will always be a majorly tech themed blog, so most subjects will relate to Apple, the products it creates, and the culture and ecosystems it fosters. However, my interests do extend further than the field of technology, and I will sometimes choose to write on these other subjects.

If you read my posts and have responses, praises, constructive criticisms, differing opinions, or any other thoughts on my writing, I would love to hear your feedback. My content will be from my own point of view, but I will always welcome different perspectives. I may even follow my posts up with others if I learn something new. When you follow up, please do so with an interest in conversation, not for an angry lecture or petty insult. I will always be interested in furthering my understanding of any subject I write about (one person can never know everything about every subject, after all), but I will likely not be interested in being lectured, I get enough of that in my classes.

The Design

For many of you who closely follow the tech industry, you may be reminded by the title of this site of the instantly famous words of Sir Jonathan Ive from the iPhone 5c introduction video:

The iPhone 5c is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.

While these words were not the inspiration for the name, I did think of them immediately when Unapologetic first came to mind, and I instantly loved the connection. Ive’s words link the site to the unapologetic attitude and brilliant only-possible-on-plastic colors of the iPhone 5c, as well as of iOS 7. As you’ve likely noticed, Unapologetic’s design features six bright colors. (Seven if you count white as a bright color. Apple sure seems to.) These colors encompass all five shades of the iPhone 5c, the major colors used throughout iOS 7 and, I don’t think coincidentally, the six colors from the original Apple logo. This is one of my favorite aspects of the design, as it helps give Unapologetic a fun, instantly inviting look and feel. The colors jumping out at you the moment you load the site make it stand out and apart from the dull greyscale of many websites. To make the colors cohesive throughout the site, while still avoiding annoying distractions, hovering over links will cause them to flash one of these six shades as well. Depending on which paragraph the link is in, and its position relative to other links in that paragraph, it will display a different one of the six colors, maintaining the fun attitude and keeping monotony at bay. Similarly, each article title (on hover), permalink (on and off hover), date stamp and bottom border will shift between the colors as well, so every post will include a different pattern of color. I hope everyone enjoys the unique dynamic these color choices lend Unapologetic as much as I do.

One of the most important aspects of the Unapologetic design is its simplicity. Another value I share with Apple, I want the content to come first. While the design should be eye catching upon first look, it should fade into the background once the focus shifts to the writing. With this goal in mind, I chose to go with a title and horizontal nav bar at the top-center of the page, where it can be most quickly scrolled out of sight, takes up the least amount of precious vertical space, and yet is still easily accessible when necessary. Once the nav bar is out of sight, or at least once the eyes have scanned past it, there is virtually nothing else even on the site except for the content. While I wouldn't be opposed to (in very distant future) monetizing Unapologetic with sponsors, I will never place disgusting fixed position or flashing and moving advertisements anywhere in the site. I don’t want anything getting in the way of the content. This is also why all the bright colors will be scrolled out of view if you’re reading a long post (▼)(▲)Expect a lot of those., because those too can become distracting if you’re trying to stay involved in an article. However, while colors will scroll out of sight, they are always waiting just below the surface, ready to blast into view as soon as you hover over a link or footnote. When you go to click a link, your focus is already somewhat off of the content, so the color does not distract, but rather provides a quick and friendly reminder that you’re reading Unapologetic.

A facet of design unique to Unapologetic, the pure HTML/CSS pop up footnotes fit in perfectly with the simple characteristics of the site. [Update, 2023: apparently I never revised this paragraph when I eventually added smooth transitions via JS footnotes. For the curious, the old CSS-only version is still present though. Just disable JavaScript in your browser and reload this webpage to see them.] I’ve long hated the clutter caused at the end of posts by conventional footnotes, and the jarring confusion of being launched back and forth to a completely different position in the site. My implementation keeps footnotes completely hidden until you want them. When you do, they appear right on top of the content you were just about to read instead of underneath the content of the entire post. The page still jumps, as I couldn’t avoid that using only CSS, but now it jumps in a far more intuitive way. (▼)(▲)As intuitive as transition-less movement can be, that is. Instead of firing you all the way to bottom, it only moves your page to directly below the footnote which you just clicked. This means that the content you were reading right before opening the footnote is just a slight scroll upwards from your new position, so if you need to reread a bit to recall the context of the footnote and then go back to reading it, you can do so without having to click two more tiny links first. The footnotes are also 5% transparent, meaning the content underneath them very subtly shows through. This isn’t nearly as good as the blur effect in iOS 7, but its the best I could do for a webpage and using only CSS, and it still gets the point across that you have not lost the content you were just looking at, but rather, it is sitting just below, waiting for you when you’re ready to return. (▼)(▲)As happy as I am with my custom footnotes, and I’m extremely happy with them, the code is admittedly (although, unapologetically) not perfect. If you felt like diving into my CSS and checking it out, and sending me any suggestions you may have for them, I would love to hear other people’s ideas. I would much prefer to avoid using JavaScript though. I like the added simplicity of the site being written solely in two languages, HTML and CSS, and would prefer not to change that (The single script used in the site is for Google Analytics. I don’t believe there is any way to do that with only CSS).

Last, but certainly not least, Unapologetic is also equipped with a beautiful responsive design. Using CSS media queries to determine if it is being viewed on an iPhone or an iPad, Unapologetic’s layout will completely reorganize itself for a more optimal reading experience. On iPad this mostly just means increasing various font sizes by a few points, but on iPhone, the result is incredible. When opened on an iPhone, Unapologetic will cut out the unnecessary whitespace on either side, expanding the content to fill the entire screen. The font size will increase to be readable at a standard viewing distance on a small screen, and many other small tweaks and adjustments will occur to make sure everything looks great in the miniaturized environment. My favorite part is the pictures though, which will expand beautifully to fill the entire width of the screen. It’s hard to optimize for other small screens as well as I have for iPhones, since the sizes vary so greatly, but there are indeed still a few basic rules the site will follow to layout as well as it can without being so sure of its surroundings ahead of time. I predict smartphone viewership will be dominated by iPhones anyways, but I don’t want to alienate readers with other phones right off the bat by forcing them to try to read in a terrible environment.

If you have any feedback on Unapologetic’s design, praises or criticisms (constructive only, please), I would love to hear them.

The Fonts

Unapologetic employs a variety of weights within two beautiful font families, Gotham and Whitney. [Update, 2023: Apparently I never updated this paragraph either, but at some point this site switched from Gotham and Whitney to the excellent Mallory. Alas, however the fonts were once working around here, they no longer are, so you're probably looking at the also-nice but less fun Apple system font, depending on your device.] The juxtaposition of the friendly curves of Gotham with the opinionated straights of small caps Whitney aligns perfectly with Unapologetic’s overall objectives and design aesthetic. These fonts are brought to Unapologetic through the incredible cloud.typography webfont service offered by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. [Update, 2023: RIP Hoefler & Frere-Jones. I don't entirely remember, but that whole dust-up was probably when I switched this site to Mallory.]

The Mac Apps

Unapologetic was developed from the ground up with the amazing Coda 2.

Articles written on my Mac are written in Byword 2.

The iOS Apps

Articles written on my iPad are written in a variety of text editors. I have yet to settle on any particular winner, but my current favorites are Phraseology, Drafts, and Editorial.

Pythonista is integral to my workflow. Without it I would be unable to post to Unapologetic from my iPad. With it, I've written one long Python script to automate the entire process. Pythonista receives markdown text from any iOS text editor, then formats my custom footnotes and images code, converts the remaining Markdown to HTML and appends and prepends the necessary header and footer code. Then it connects to the server via FTP and uploads the files to their proper places. Finally, the script adds the necessary code to my RSS feed and home page to update them with the new articles. I'll be posting the script soon for those curious to see how it works.

On my iPhone, Vesper is used for keeping notes and ideas for future or developing articles.

The Services

The Unapologetic.io domain name was purchased, and is managed at Hover.com (who else?). Hover provides simplified domain management, and is truly an amazing service. Hover also manages all @unapologetic.io email addresses. If you’re looking to buy a domain name, I can’t recommend Hover enough.

Unapologetic is hosted at Host Gator.

Stats are tracked using Mint.

The Code

Unapologetic was written from scratch in HTML 5, and styled by CSS 3 and Javascript. Posts are written in Markdown, then properly formatted and converted to HTML via a python script before being uploaded to the site.

The Unapologetic RSS feed is written in valid RSS.

Feedback

I want Unapologetic to be a place where I can learn and grow in my experience as a writer and a blogger. In pursuit of that goal, I will do my best to hold my writing to a high enough standard that it can foster conversation. As my readers, I really encourage you to give any and all feedback that comes to mind. I want to discuss the things I write, not just post them and forget about them. If you have a different opinion you want to argue, or a unique perspective you want to reveal, I would love to hear them and discuss them, and then follow up or update my posts if I reach a new level of understanding, or gain new information that is relevant. This can only happen if you send me your comments, criticisms, concerns, etc. I will do my best to respond to all email or replies on App.net or Twitter in a timely manner. My only request is that you send feedback with a reciprocal interest in conversation. I don’t want to hear trolling or angry and thoughtless comments. I will respect you as long as you respect me.

You can find all of my relative contact information on the contact page.