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Alex Carpenter

User Interface Engineer at Clerk

Notes ¬

Short-form thoughts and updates.

Getting comfortable enough on my new keyboard the it now feels weird to type on a non-ortholinear layout.

New keyboard arrived yesterday. Typing is as difficult as I would have expected with a 42 key layout…

After lots of consideration I finally pulled the trigger on a new keyboard. I was very interested in the Kinesis Advantage360 or the Glove 80, but I have smaller hands and these keyboards require a bit more reach than what feels comfortable to me. So I decided to go with a low profile corne, specifically the Corne 42 LP Keyboard with Kailh Choc Red switches.

The Traeger is fired up and ready to smoke meats for the next 24 hours.

Exciting week at work, the team launched the beta release of Clerk Elements. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time on this team, and work on the component APIs.

I also got to put together a handful of examples that were designed by James, Sign-in, Sign-up, Primitives, and shadcn/ui.

Holding a polaroid photo of micah in front of a table with presents

Yesterday we celebrated Micahs first birthday. The weather wasn’t super nice, so we kept it simple and went to his favorite restaraunt, which is just an old school dinner where he gets to cheese with all the waitresses and older folks. We header back home and spent the rest of the day playing with his new toys and watching episodes of Zoboomafoo. This weekend will continue celebrating with friends and family.

I really wish the Twitter hadn’t killed the ability to subscribe to Twitter feeds within Feedly to consume in RSS readers. I do miss out on seeing specific accounts updates and RSS would be a perfect use case.

Took a small break from my social media sabatical yesterday to see the discussions around the Elements launch. Small dopamine hit, but back to the break it is.

Yesterday the team launched the beta version of Clerk Elements. You can read about the annoucement on the changelog.

A new set of unstyled UI primitives that make it easy to build completely custom user interfaces on top of Clerk’s API.

Incredibly excited to be working on this team and the opportunities this unlocks for folks building custom auth flows. Be sure to checkout the examples and specifically the custom OTP input component we put together to showcase how you can make use of Framer Motion to add a bit of delight to your auth experiences.

Introducing Clerk Elements, a new set of unstyled UI primitives that make it easy to build completely custom user interfaces on top of Clerk’s API.


User error, posts now has an RSS feed as well.

Set up an RSS feed for my notes content. Still working on adding it for my posts, but ran into an issue with the Astro RSS feed generator suggesting I was missing a description field even though I did have a description specified… So maybe that will come later.

The new Seiko Prospex looks like a solid update to the classic. Keeping my eyes on SPB453.

Taking a social media sabtatical. These days it feels like it is taking more than it is giving for me. Time to take some time away. Will likely be posting here more as a result. I should finally add that RSS feed.

Hey look at that, a web page I built alongside Meghan Newell during my time at Watershed won a webby.

Thinking a lot about timeless designed pieces lately. Things that I would love to own and use for a long period of time, and items my son may one day aquire and make his own too. Here’s the running list so far.

  • Watch: Tudor Pelagos 39
  • Camera: Leica Q3
  • Shelving: Vitsoe 606
  • Knife: Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 31 in MagnaCut steel
  • Grill: PK Grill Original 300
  • Chefs Knife: Globe 6in Chefs Knife

Charley Crockett & Amos Lee summer concert tickets secured

My favorite everyday carry bag setup these days:

  • Bag: Evergoods CIVIC Panel Loader 16L
  • Camera cube: Evergoods CIVIC Access Pouch 2L
  • Tech pouch: Evergoods CIVIC Access Pouch 1L

Finally was able to snag a Ricoh GRIIX, excited for a more pocketable camera to have with me when we are out and about.

Floating UI has to be one of the most underrated libraries.

36 years old and I still reward myself with 2 fruit snacks after dinner every night. AMA

Reminded this morning watching this concert how much i’d love to see Bon Iver on tour some day. Another good one to watch here too.

I’ve been consuming a lot of dive watch content recently and came across Benjamin Lowry in one of Teddy Baldassarre’s videos and have become a huge fan of his instagram account submersiblewrist. He shares a lot of historical dive watch content with some amazing photos from the times.

Everyday carry v10.0.0-beta

  • Benchmade Mini Bugout CF-Elite
  • Tactile Turn Apollo New
  • Timex GMT
  • The James Brand Midland
  • Leatherman Style PS

Figma Conf ticket purchased. Excited to attend this year with the Clerk design team.

Smart people respect simple language not because simple words are easy, but because expressing interesting ideas in small words takes a lot of work.

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Working on a new <Code /> component.

Getting into the habit of sharing a bit of WIP on Twitter. Here is a bit of work I did to add the ability to manage permissions to the create role dialog.

Built with Radix Popover, cmdk, and Framer Motion.

The advancements to CSS over the past couple years have been amazing. Would love to see what the next iteration of styling tables in 2024 would look like. So much of the web is tables or should be tables, yet they still are a pain to work with while preserving semantics.

Says the guy simply trying to make a table overflow when needed, without wrapping it in a div or putting display block on the table element…

I know I am late to the party as usual, but having a lot of fun with home automation workflows lately. Mostly lighting based at the moment. Regretting having invested in some stuff that is not HomeKit compatible though.

I’ve been using Karabiner Elements for some time now and up until today i’ve mostly just used it to remap caps_lock to escape and make use of vim navigation with h, j, k, and l.

Today I finally remapped right_command to left_shift + left_control + left_option + left_command, and now I have hotkeys setup in Raycast for my most common apps with right_command. Opens up new layers for optimizations.

Moved notes to its own collection. This adds a bit more flexibility for authoring notes that I was looking for. I can now create multiple paragraphs, blockquotes, and code blocks, etc.

New dropped today. Pumped to see this one go live and be working on this team. So many little details to discover sprinkled throughout the site. Amazing work by Derek, Brad, and James.

Finally pulled the trigger on some wall art for the office from rsms and htmx.

Officially day one at Clerk, super excited to be joining the team as a UI Engineer working along side Derek Briggs, Joe Bell and Brad Cornes on the design team.