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Web Development Reading List #102

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. — Ed.

Hey, welcome back again to this week’s web development reading list1. It’s great to see your support and the still growing list of subscribers. If you love to read WDRL, please do recommend it to your colleagues and consider a small donation.

This week we saw a new Google logo but while the “I like it” and “I hate it” posts dominated our social media channels, some great technical articles were published as well.

News Link

  • Chrome introduces custom tabs2 and smooth transitions, allowing apps to preload specific URLs in the in-app browser for a faster user experience.
  • Facebook released3 a complete rewrite of their React developer tools, now available for Firefox as well.

Concepts & Design Link

Hack Typeface4

Tools Link

  • Mailchimp published their new styleguide8 and open sourced it, so you can use the same structure in your projects.
  • In teams where people are working remotely, the status call can be challenging. But tools like Flock9 or tatsu10 which also integrates seamlessly into Slack.
  • Toxy11 is a customizable HTTP(S) proxy to simulate failure scenarios and unexpected network conditions.
  • If you have a lot of contributions not being part of your workflow, it can be challenging to get code in your preferred style. Now, Sindre Sorhus gives you xo12, a tool that converts code to your preferred style.

Web Performance Link


Responsive images explained17

Accessibility Link

  • react-a11y19 is a react tool that warns you about potential accessibility issues in your code.

JavaScript Link

  • While UA sniffing is unreliable, there are also some problems with feature detection20. With feature detection we always assume that if a feature is reported to be there, it also works properly. And that’s a false assumption.
  • When you have JavaScript driven link handlers you often face the problem that when going back in URL history, the scroll position is not ideal. Now, Chrome tries to fix this by providing the history.scrollRestoration21 in the History API.

CSS / Sass Link

Work & Life Link

  • Depression, often only temporarily experienced, can be quite a challenge for humans. Seeing more and more people in web development struggling with health, work-life balance or the impostor syndrome I feel we need to take more care of ourselves. One thing I experienced to work well was doing a challenging sport when I struggled with my work. In my case, the best I could do is go to the climbing gym and go bouldering. It is basically like climbing but without a rope, partner and only up to about 4m high with pads under you if you fall. Tiffany shares in this article how she saved her life23 by going climbing. I am sure there are more sports achieving the same results but be sure to choose a workout that is challenging and you need concentration, because that is key to what Tiffany helped.
  • Tobias Tom shares how he learned to love talking to other people in co-working spaces and the challenge to replace real people with a virtual office24 when working remote again.

Go beyond… Link

  • Trash pollution is affecting the whole world25 and plastic is the worst. Used by a critical mass as late as of 1954 we now have an uncontrollable wast of plastic in the oceans of the world and on many other places around the world. Thinking of how we managed to waste our planet in only about 60 years, it is time to choose less plastic. Next time you go shopping think if you really need another plastic bag (instead bring your own linen) or buy some solid wood toy for babies (it is also healthier for them).
  • Well, we already heard some weird things about Uber in the past. But this opinion article26 is bothering me a lot. It shows how social and human we are: We still don’t care about other people as long as life is as convenient as it can be. Despite this article, judges have made some interesting27 decisions28 regarding the drivers’ employment status and the EU considers to regulate Uber29. Uber meanwhile invests heavily in the self-driving business and fights back against any lawsuit where drivers fight for better work conditions.

And with that I’ll close for this week. In case you like what I write each week, please support me via Flattr30, gratipay31 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here32. It’s available via E-Mail, RSS and online.

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

    Thank you. I look forward to checking some of these resources more in detail.

  2. 2

    Hi Anselm,

    Great roundup again, thanks for putting it together. I am glad you will publish this on a weekly basis. Especially liked and found useful the resource prefetching article by CSS-tricks.

    I would mention another post I just came across. It’s about the performance competition between HHVM and PHP7. My main site is running on HHVM, it’s super fast however it required some development work on my end to get it 100% compatible with WP. The article is about the rise and evolution of HHVM, feature speculations and possible enhancements for PHP 7.
    You can read it here:

    Keep up the good job!

  3. 3

    There should be a category subscription, so one would select which type of content he’d like to receive.

    And I’d like to receive this series.

  4. 4

    This one sentence just got to me when I read it because it’s sad and true…

    “We still don’t care about other people as long as life is as convenient as it can be.”


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