A template for small teams to deploy landing pages and small websites cheap and fast, engage non-technical contributors, and architect information over time.

I regrouped the best practices I have identified over years of using the static website generator Jekyll to deliver landing pages under half a day that evolve into full-fledged production websites where non-technical team members contribute directly to the content through online code editors.

The developer experience is most of the time terrible with content management systems that ship WYSIWYG editors, and learning HTML and managing metadata is too much for the vast majority of non-technical users. I aim for the sweet spot where efficient contribution is possible both for developers and non-technical users.

This approach has enabled me to…

Broadcast official recommendations with an API to support the fight against Covid-19

French version: Lutter contre la désinformation et suivre le confinement en transformant la loi en code

In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, civil society responded as usual with a speed and strength initially exceeding that of government services. Even before the pandemic status was announced, articles written by individuals gave recommendations for containment based on Asian examples, collectives shared predictions of the health impact, organisations compiled self-diagnosis techniques… Official speeches and actions only amplified this movement and initiatives have multiplied: compilation of epidemiological data, mapping, dissemination of official recommendations by memes, self-diagnosis tools to relieve medical services…

In a…

A short story on engineering blinkers

Last year, on a Friday, I had a presentation of the benefits assessment tool I was a Product Manager for. It was its third “official opening”, but hey you don’t complain when you get visibility 😉 I got two ministers there, along with all that ensues at that level: local officials and, obviously, journalists.

It just happened that the weekend right after I had to help friends to empty a house full of movie shooting gear, so I was about to leave for three days of cleaning up in the countryside.

That’s the kind of stuff we had to clear. It did take a while!

I had given the usual presentation and shaken hands…

Since David doesn’t allow public responses, I’ll try and follow his way of publishing letters in personal spaces.

Dear David,

Following on our conversation regarding your point that HTTPS is harmful:

Encouraging everybody to switch to HTTPS promotes strong dependency to a third-party mafia, increases load time, makes your content inaccessible if you have any trouble reconducting your certificate, avoids migrating easily from one hosting platform to another, forces upgrading on a lot more security issues if you are hosting yourself. Even worse, when you switch there is no harmless turning back! That’s not the Web I’m aiming for.


Over the past months, I’ve done short instructional videos on how to use sticky notes (in French, with English subtitles — you’re welcome to help in subtitling in other languages!). The main goals are to share best practices and make it easier for professional facilitators to ready participants.

One of the announced videos was “which sticky note model should I choose?”. It took a bit longer than expected to deliver. There was good reason for that delay though: I went overboard with scope in order to answer the question properly 😁

Thus, I present: “which sticky notes should you…

The Punishment, art installation by Filipe Vilas-Boas & Paul Coudamy, Futur en Seine 2017

This week, the United Nation’s Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) meet. This post is a recap of the context and content of the discussion.

Here is the short-term future we want to avoid


Worries about autonomous weapons were already outlined in August in an open letter signed by actors such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.

Toby Walsh (AI researcher) presentation at TedX Berlin, 2017.

Basically, you should not worry about Terminator. You should worry about current technology being weaponised, States deploying it on the field, and it being misused and leaked to more rogue actors.

Think chemical weapons giving a strong advantage…

I recently reviewed code from a coworker, in which I suggested removing the famous double-bang (`!!`) construct from the return value of a function named `hasFeature()`. The following discussion ensued.

NB: the double-bang construct allows one to coerce (“cast”) a value to a Boolean value, through double negation. It is not an operator in itself, but the repetition of the unary `!` operator, which negates the truthiness of its operand.

'truthy'; // 'truthy'
! 'truthy'; // false
!! 'truthy'; // ! false ⇒ true

So in JS, as long as the code is fine with it, you shouldn’t cast ?

Matti Schneider

Nomadic transdisciplinary engineer delivering public digital services @OpenFisca. Ex core @BetaGouv @MesAides @GovtNZ. 🇫🇷 ? → @matti_sg_fr.

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