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Smashing Conf New York

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Web Development Reading List #109

Building products or software is not easy. As developers, we are constantly aware of this fact. As managers, we also know this. As product owners, hell yes. But the most important thing is to also teach our customers. It’s important that we figure out a holistic approach to build a product that pleases the user and all others who are involved.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

News Link

Insecure Login Fields8

A non-HTTPS website with a login form

General Link

  • Sending cloud-based, self-hosted emails is a challenge. From my own experience, I can recommend everyone who is planning to do so the “The Hostile Email Landscape” article. It explains why it’s so hard for newsletter senders (like me) to avoid the spam folder and why the system is still broken.
  • Creating front-end components can be hard, especially if you want to give others the opportunity to style or extend them on their own. Nicolas Bevacqua shares lessons learned from building and sharing his components9.

Tools Link

Security Link

Accessibility Link

  • Wouldn’t it be great if we could set a flag in our developer tools to see outlines of elements for accessibility debugging? That’s exactly what this Chrome DevTools discussion15 is all about.

JavaScript Link

  • When you want to build a public JavaScript library you have a couple of decisions to make16. What to provide support for? Which technologies to support? Nolan Lawson gives some tips on what to do and what not to do.

CSS / Sass Link

  • Robin Rendle shows us how to dynamically change text color based on the background color with CSS17. That’s an awesome effect that can come in handy in many occasions.
  • Haven’t we all asked ourselves at some point why CSS does work the way it does? Well, it was designed by humans, and there certainly were made a few mistakes along the way, as the CSSWG reveals18.
  • We know that adding custom styles to form elements is not easy. We need hacks for it, and some are really nasty. But behind the scenes, it’s not only the custom styling that causes problems in forms, but there are many inconsistencies and bugs in the browsers’ implementations themselves.
  • I’ve always loved to use quantity selectors in CSS. That’s probably the reason why I also love articles that share neat selector tricks for writing content-aware CSS19.

Work & Life Link

  • We can find some good advice on how to fix the pricing of our projects20 in advance. The key to success here is to find the right explanation, wording and reasoning for what you ask for. Because only then the client will realize that an upfront payment might make more sense for the project.
  • We all know the situation when our to-do lists are too big to handle on time. Overloading your list is the worst you can do. Here are some tips and tricks on simplifying your tasks21 so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

Go beyond… Link

And with that I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation23 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here24. 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

    Sad to read “The Hostile Email Landscape.” What a downer. I agree with the other’s sentiment, “This isn’t how the internet is supposed to work.”

    The Let’s Encrypt news lifted my spirits though! Can’t wait to encrypt all the sites.

    Thanks for sharing Anselm!

  2. 2

    Thanks Anselm.

  3. 3

    Nice article about Web Development Tools and Technology.


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