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Web Development Reading List #101

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 in the web development reading list 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. The reaction on the first post1 last week was quite overwhelming, so we moved from a bi-monthly frequency to a weekly frequency (for now). — Ed.

Welcome back to the Web Development Reading List (WDRL) for this week. Instead of the previously announced biweekly schedule here on Smashing Magazine, I will post it in sync with the original WDRL2; so, expect content to appear weekly here from now on.

Typekit has added WOFF2 support3

News Link

  • Typekit has added WOFF2 support4 to its stack, which means you can save up to 30% on your web font kit’s size. To activate WOFF2 support, just republish your kits.
  • Mozilla will change the way you write add-ons5. Writing a Firefox extension has always been a massive effort compared to Chrome. Now, Mozilla is introducing WebExtensions6, largely compatible with Chrome’s extension model, making the whole workflow much simpler, faster and more secure.
  • According to the latest StatCounter data, UC Browser is still on the rise and has already passed IE Mobile and Opera. Soon, it might pass Android’s native browser. If you’re not already, you should start testing your websites and apps in UC Browser7.

General Link

Concepts And Design Link

UI Mechanics of a Date Picker11

Tools Link

Security Link

Privacy Link

Web Performance Link


  • If your website has SVG icons, then you’re probably using a sprite sheet. But it wouldn’t be SVG if it was easy. Turns out you should always use a wrapping HTML element24 (such as a div) set to display: none, instead of setting it directly on the svg root element.
  • Ana Tudor is always good for mathematical constructions of visual modules. Over on CSS-Tricks she shares a breakdown of how to fit SVG shapes into a container25 properly. If you struggled to understand viewBox and the box-module handling of SVG, this post is for you and you also get a mathematical refreshment for free.

Accessibility Link

JavaScript Link

  • The @font-face Dilemma28” by Chris Manning shares current methods of web font integration and compares old font loader methods with the newer font observer technique.
  • You all know of the discussion around whether to use jQuery or not. However, you can do a couple of things with plain JavaScript29 that you probably didn’t know about.
  • Maurizio Mangione’s “Polymer Unit Testing30” is a great primer on why testing your custom web components is important.

CSS and Sass Link

Work And Life Link

Go Beyond Link

  • The well-known artist Banksy has created a new kind of amusement park: Dismaland. A post on Imgur34 shows what it’s about. Also check out the official trailer35.
  • That thing we work on all day, the Internet? Did you know it’s built on hacks?
  • Noah Stokes’ “On Passion36” sheds new light on the overused term “passion.” Follow your passion, but do it wisely, and don’t turn everything into your passion — it wouldn’t work.
  • Who Benefits the Most From Open-Source Software?37” Baldur Bjarnason asks this often avoided question and gives some answers you might not want to hear. The sad truth is that developers’ efforts are too often abused by companies that do not give back.
  • Bushfires, Heatwaves and Early Deaths: The Climate Is Changing Before Our Eyes38” — and we still don’t care. It’s time to recognize that everyone is involved and can do something, even if it’s only a small change.

And with that, I’ll close for the week. If you like what I write each week, please support me via Flattr39 or Gratipay40 or by sharing this resource with others. You can learn more about the costs of the project41. It’s available via email and RSS and online.

Thanks and all the best,


Footnotes Link

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Anselm Hannemann is a freelance front-end developer and architect. He curates WDRL — a weekly, handcrafted web development newsletter. Apart from that he helped the RICG, built and organizes the NightlyBuild 2015 conference in Cologne, Germany. He is available for freelance jobs.

  1. 1

    this is great news “so we moved from a bi-monthly frequency to a weekly frequency (for now).” :D

  2. 2

    Thank you for featuring my post on Date-Pickers on this.

  3. 3

    Anders Toxboe

    August 29, 2015 3:22 pm

    Also – this project trying to collect the best recorded conference talks on UX in one place launched:

  4. 4

    Abhishek Sachan

    August 30, 2015 5:44 am

    It gives a more proper insight of what’s happening in our industry than a newsletter.

  5. 5

    Excellent blog for developers. it features many Website development techniques and i like it for improve my knowledge.

  6. 6

    Dan Henderson

    August 31, 2015 10:45 pm

    This is awesome, keep it coming.

  7. 7


  8. 8

    Pretty good. I might find myself tuning in weekly. I frequent WP Tavern as well.


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