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Sideblog Web Development Reading List #100

What’s happening in the industry? What important techniques have emerged recently? What about new case studies, insights, techniques and tools? Our dear friend Anselm Hannemann is keeping track of everything so you don’t have to. The result is a carefully collected list of articles that popped up over the last week and which might interest you. Starting from today, we are happy and honored to feature a bi-monthly web development reading list here on Smashing Magazine. Now it should be a bit easier to stay up to date. — Ed.

Welcome to the one hundredth edition of the Web Development Reading List1 and the first one to appear on Smashing Magazine. I am very happy to extend my audience and keep you up to date with what’s going on in the web development industry. If you have any feedback, please let me know in the comments or write me an email.

News Link

  • You can now test Microsoft’s new Edge browser in a virtual machine2. Finally, a Windows 10 VM image is up on the testing website and you are able to natively test for compatibility.
  • The link rel="preconnect"3 meta property is now supported by Chromium, and will soon be available in Chrome and Opera.
  • The first feature-complete beta of PHP7 has been released4 and it is great to see the massive performance impovements, better error handling, 64-bit support and many more cool things you should check out if you are using PHP as your language of choice.
  • Ember 2.0 is out5. It’s less about new shiny features but much more about removing all the old cruft from the code without breaking older codebases. Very cool to read about their clever deprecation and release plan.
  • Pointer Events have landed in Firefox Nightly6. They have been part of Firefox Mobile for a long time but now desktop has support, too, leaving only WebKit browsers not supporting it.
  • The WebKit project now has a roadmap/feature status page7 as well. This is great news as it suggests techniques that Apple might integrate into their OS X and iOS Safari browsers in near future. I am glad that social media pressure seems to work again and WebKit joins a more open process of development.

General Link

Concepts And Design Link

Tools Link

Security/Privacy Link

  • To use several newer browser APIs it is essential to have an HTTPS connection. ServiceWorkers, for example, require a TLS connection to work. Andrea Giammarchi shares how to set up a TLS certificate for your localhost18.
  • Windows 10 has been out a few weeks now and while it finally nails user experience, it introduces a couple of not so cool privacy issues19 you should be aware of, like the auto-backup of your private encryption key to OneDrive (you know that officials have access to Microsoft products), customized ad fingerprinting, and possible data disclosure. Take care if you upgrade.
  • The LetsEncrypt initiative shared their new launch schedule20 with general availability in the week of November 16th this year. While it’s being pushed back a little, to me this is a good thing: more stability and probably a better product. I think the key to its success is that hosting companies are able to implement it seamlessly, which is going to be hard.
  • Mark McDonnell shares his research on what the security basics of the web21 mean. He explains PGP, SSL, SSH, certificates, and the general purpose of public and private key methods.

Web Performance Link

  • DNS: the heart of the internet. If you never really understood how DNS works internally to resolve a domain name, you should be entertained by these comic strips on how DNS works22.
How DNS works23
If you’ve never really understood how DNS works to resolve a domain name, you should find these comic strips entertaining and educational: How DNS Works24.


  • Lea Verou shows you how to create pie charts with SVG and CSS30.
  • I have written a bit about native or custom elements and why we need web components but shouldn’t misuse them for what they can’t do.

Accessibility Link

  • The accessibility tool Tenon is now free for open source projects31. Big ups for that!
  • And while better tools for accessibility arrive, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Adobe, LinkedIn and more just announced that they will prefer people who do accessibility in their hiring process32. This is a great step in the right direction and I would love to see similar approaches in other companies around the world.
  • That said, it is a good idea to start implementing accessibility in incremental steps to your app or website. It’s natural not to start off with 100% and it’s not necessary, but if you start with small steps33 you will see how much fun it can be to implement accessibility in your project.

JavaScript Link

  • Knwl.js34 is a small script that parses natural language inputs into computer-readable formats. That way you can offer users the ability to input dates like “Tomorrow 9am.” It works with dates, times, emails, URLs and phone numbers.
  • Dr Axel Rauschmayer has created a quick introduction to ES635 for beginners that is great to start learning it.
  • If you write about front-end browser compatibility, caniuse36 is our reference of choice. A clever script called getCaniuse37 parses browser compatibility for you and adds a caniuse reference to the post.
  • It can be helpful to have a real-time search on your page. Osvaldas Valutis shares how he built a simple JavaScript live search38 without jQuery or other dependencies.
  • Nicolas Bevacqua explains why plain JavaScript modules are better39 than framework-dependent modules, sharing his approach on how to be framework-independent while not needing much more effort to create a module.
  • Hugo Giraudel wrote a great piece on how to learn regular expressions in a practical way40. For people struggling with complex regular expressions (like me) this is a very helpful guide.

CSS/Sass Link

Work life Link

Go beyond… Link

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like this news round-up, please support me via Flattr54, gratipay55 or share this resource with other people. You can also subscribe to the newsletter56 and get the links right to your inbox.

Thanks and all the best,

Footnotes Link

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is a freelance front-end developer and architect and cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He curates the WDRL, a weekly handcrafted web development newsletter that thousands of developers love, subscribe to, and donate for.

  1. 1

    Pawel Grzybek

    August 21, 2015 10:59 am

    Fantastic week full of super news by Anselm again. This newsletter is added to my RSS feed and it’s one of the best sources of news for devs. Huge huge respect for putting these things together for us mate!

  2. 2

    This is fantastic :)

  3. 3

    This is superb.

  4. 4

    Sergi Beltran

    August 21, 2015 3:48 pm

    Fantastic stuff Anselm.

    Thanks a lot.

  5. 5

    Nothing related to angular?

  6. 7

    This is really informative. Thanks.

  7. 8

    Awesome compilation of useful stuff. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

  8. 9

    Awesome step for WDRL to expand to Smashing Magazine. Really the only newsletter for web development that I have subscribed to. Needless to say, that I would love to see some more love for UX and design topics, maybe @editors of SmashingMagazine: Consider to give a sport in your sideblog category as pendant to WDRL.

    Keep up the good work!


  9. 10

    Santosh Kumar

    August 23, 2015 6:03 am

    Never heard of it! What does `link rel=”preconnect”` do?

  10. 12

    how to signup just for getting the bi-monthly lists?

    • 13

      Anselm Hannemann

      August 23, 2015 8:55 pm

      Hi Viktor, at the moment you can either sign up for the weekly WDRL at or you can read the bi-monthly lists here on Smashing Magazine. Currently, there is no plan to make this one a newsletter as far as I know but I’ll consider this as an option.

  11. 14

    Kristina Hughes

    August 24, 2015 12:51 pm

    Very beautifully explained post! The follow of information is very authentic and meaningful for the developers especially for the beginners..

  12. 15

    This is a great reading list, thank you!

  13. 16

    Jonas Ohlsson

    August 25, 2015 8:16 am

    Congratulations Anselm to this development! – Your newsletter is great!

  14. 17

    Ailin Hernandez

    August 26, 2015 10:37 am

    Great. I have been to beyond tellerrand this year and I can agree with the scope of the articles. We need less tools, we need more improvements in what we currently have!

  15. 18

    Finding this list came at the perfect time, just as I am about to embark on a career change. Superb list.

  16. 19

    The web development Topic easy to understand Thank you


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