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Web Development Reading List #105

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 Hannemann1 is keeping track of everything in the web development reading list2 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, fog and rain take over, temperatures are falling and the leaves of the trees are changing their colors. Sitting in front of a computer all day, reflecting how fast things change in nature, I can often see a similarity between our world of front-end development and things going on in the world.

Not only our tools and technologies are changing fast, but so does the whole world. If we recognize this, suddenly our attitude changes. It’s important to do something but we need to take care of ourselves and set a pace we can live on—sustainable and not burning our energy to an unhealthy level. Pick a section you want to improve on and don’t worry if you can’t read all articles in my weekly lists… it’s okay.

Firefox 41 is released.3
Firefox 41 is out54 and now brings support for SVG favicons, massively improved box-shadow rendering performance and CSS Font Loading API.

News Link

  • Firefox 41 is out54 and now brings support for SVG favicons, massively improved box-shadow rendering performance, CSS Font Loading API; also, from now on WebRTC requires Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS).
  • nginx released 1.9.56 this week and with that, lets you enable HTTP/2. This is a huge step to the next generation of the http protocol. Interested? Check out a tutorial on how to enable HTTP/2 on your nginx7.

Tools Link

  • Ever wanted to have an inline editor on your website? Then go check out ContentTools8, a clean and beautiful inline editor that offers exactly the features you want to have as content editor.

Security Link

  • With the growing usage of CDNs to deliver your static assets, it’s important to ensure the CDN is not compromised. Imagine an attacker injecting something into your code by intercepting or hacking the CDN. Of course you will not realize it until it’s too late. Since a few months, a web standard called “Subresource Integrity9” has been developed. The github team now shares how you can use subresource integrity to check if your files are compromised10 or not and act accordingly.

Privacy Link

  • Probably the topic of the month is ad blocking. I mentioned it in my reading lists already a few times but since the release of iOS9 indeed people went crazy on whether it’s ethically correct to block ads or not. Sam Snelling wrote an interesting and great round-up on what he found out about ad networks infiltrating your privacy11 and why it’s only natural and understandable that people block all ads after learning about it.

Web Performance Link

Accessibility Link

  • Learn from your errors. That’s what Medium does and you can learn from their errors as well. They wrote up how they messed up with accessibility13 in their application by doing simple things wrong and now share how to fix it properly.

CSS / Sass Link

  • Debugging transitions or animations in a browser has always been a pain. And while Chrome recently introduced a cubic bezier editor and a play controller for DevTools, Firefox 44 will bring us a visual timeline tool for animations14. Patrick Brosset explains how it will work and from what I saw in the tool I suspect this will be extended to a real timeline editor in future.
  • Vincent Pickering wrote up a few useful use cases for the new CSS calc() function.

Work & Life Link

  • Give refugees work and they’ll do awesome things. Just by giving people appropriate education and let them work, we will nourish innovation. It doesn’t matter what background they have or where they come from. Following that motto, the crowd-funded Kiron university now wants to solve higher education for immigrants15 in an unconventional way.
  • Daniel Mall researched a bit on where the 8-hours work day originates. While doing it, he stumbled over lots of studies on how effective people work on different hours per week. Turns out that working more is not getting more done16.
  • Let’s capture answers to the question “What should you be spending more time on?17”. The site was created at the XOXO festival this year and can give you inspiration or self reflection on where you spend your time and what your soul wants to spend time on.

Go beyond… Link

  • If you don’t understand the refugee crisis happening in Europe at the moment yet, I can recommend this video18 by the awesome “in a nutshell” people who have the amazing talent of explaining things visually in short videos so that everyone understands it. Also check out the other videos made by them.
  • Kickstarter. Often seen as massively profitable company due to the share they get on each campaign, they now set a bold milestone for tech startups. Kickstarter will from now on be a public benefit corporation, making it nearly impossible to be bought by some other company or to go public. Instead, their founders decided that they want to stick to their goals, idealism, and stay independent. As a B-Corp, this is another honorable step into a sustainable direction, showing that startups don’t always sell out and aren’t always about maximum profit in short time.

And with that I’ll close for this week. In case you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation19 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here20. It’s available via E-Mail, RSS and online.

Thanks and all the best,
Anselm

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/author/anselm-hannemann/?rel=author
  2. 2 https://wdrl.info/
  3. 3 https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/41.0/releasenotes/
  4. 4 https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/41.0/releasenotes/
  5. 5 https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/41.0/releasenotes/
  6. 6 https://www.nginx.com/blog/nginx-1-9-5/
  7. 7 https://ma.ttias.be/enable-http2-in-nginx/
  8. 8 http://getcontenttools.com/
  9. 9 http://www.w3.org/TR/SRI/
  10. 10 http://githubengineering.com/subresource-integrity/
  11. 11 http://snelling.io/on-ad-blocking
  12. 12 https://gist.github.com/paulirish/5d52fb081b3570c81e3a
  13. 13 https://medium.com/medium-eng/five-goofy-things-medium-did-that-break-accessibility-3bc804ae818d
  14. 14 https://medium.com/@patrickbrosset/inspecting-animations-in-firefox-f1f5fd941567
  15. 15 https://www.startnext.com/kironuniversity/blog/beitrag/?b=52578
  16. 16 http://danielmall.com/articles/time-for-work/
  17. 17 http://www.spendingtime.co/
  18. 18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvOnXh3NN9w
  19. 19 https://wdrl.info/donate
  20. 20 https://wdrl.info/costs/

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Anselm Hannemann 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 and subscribe to.

  1. 1

    I don’t usually post comments but just wanted to say thanks for doing these articles.

    They’re so insightful and it really helps me to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in this crazy fast world we live in.

    Regards

    2
  2. 2

    Great catch all for the week. I’ve come to really like these summarization articles.

    1
  3. 3

    I’m also loving these reading lists. Keep em’ coming!

    2
  4. 4

    Luciano Mammino

    September 25, 2015 9:04 pm

    Great reading list as usual! Especially loved the reference to the new nginx release! It’s also worth noticing that they just announced an integrated support for Javascript as scripting language for configuration!

    1
  5. 5

    Those reading lists are great. But video about refugees is misleading, so I would prefer more web-oriented content (what’s new in JavaScript world?) and less “one-side propaganda” content. I’m reading newspapers for my daily portion of propaganda :D

    0
  6. 6

    Yah…

    Firstly i give you thanks for this article.
    it’s very important and valuable information you share.

    0

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