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Web Development Reading List #110: Jekyll, libSass, 2G Tuesdays and Service Workers

What’s going on in the industry? What new techniques have emerged recently? What insights, tools, tips and tricks is the web design community talking about? Anselm Hannemann1 is collecting everything that popped up over the last week in his web development reading list2 so that you don’t miss out on anything. The result is a carefully curated list of articles and resources that are worth taking a closer look at. — Ed.

My friend Tobias3 told me of an interesting approach a few weeks ago. If you work on a big project with a team, just force all developers to delete the project before they leave on Friday, and have them reinstall and set it up every Monday morning (or every other week). This way, you’ll ensure that the process of onboarding people and the whole project’s setup is as simple as possible. And you will love it if the server crashes and you can set up the whole thing again within a couple of minutes. Now, enjoy this list and have a great weekend!

News Link

Jekyll 3.04
Jekyll 375 is out. It has big performance improvements, especially due to its new incremental builds.

General Link

  • Here is James Williams13 with his highly ethical thoughts on the topic of ad-blocking:

    What I find remarkable is the way both sides of this debate seem to simply assume the large-scale capture and exploitation of human attention to be ethical and/or inevitable in the first place. This demonstrates how utterly we have all failed to understand the role of attention in the digital age — as well as the implications of spending most of our lives in an environment designed to compete for it.

Concepts And Design Link

Medium Fonts14
The new version of Medium (2.0) uses system fonts when available1615.
  • The new version of Medium (2.0) uses system fonts when available1615. That means, if you’re on a Mac, you’ll get the San Francisco font. That’s cool not only because it’s a nice font but also because Apple decided not to make it available under its real name in CSS, so you’ll need to use the workaround. This way, you’ll get a seamless experience between the OS and the website.

Tools Link

Security Link

Web Performance Link

  • Brotli compression20 is the hot new topic in web performance. But we need to set theoretical performance wins in context. Cloudflare has tested it under real conditions21 and found that it will be a big win for large, static files but not ideal for small, dynamic content blocks. Configure and use it wisely, or else just stick with Gzip.
  • Facebook started 2G/EDGE Tuesdays22, so that its employees can better relate to their users’ problems. This is a great idea, and we all should do it regularly.

JavaScript Link

  • If you work with React, then Michael Chan’s cheat sheet23 might come in handy. It’s a searchable website with a short but clear overview of React’s coding methods.
  • We can use service workers24 in our applications today, and they’re a great way to add support via progressive enhancement.
  • BackstopJS25 allows us to test for CSS regressions in a simple way. It uses Resemble, Casper, and SlimerJS and PhantomJS for reports, whatever you prefer.

Work And Life Link

  • This week is Geek Mental Health Week, and Alexander Charchar reflects on how we can detect and deal with silent burnout26. Take care of yourself, and be selfish with your workload.
  • We read everywhere that having rituals is a good thing. The gist of it is this: Have rituals — embrace them27, and remember that the best rituals come not from celebrities, but from your heart.
  • Life is full of ups and downs28, and you can often draw those ups and downs as an oscillating line. If you accept this and think of it as riding big waves on an ocean, you can deal better with those down times. And then, you can break your routine, escape the wave and do something else to fight the down.

And with that, I’ll close for the week. In case you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation29 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project30 on the WDRL website. The list is available via email, RSS and the web.

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

    I look forward to reading this each week. Keep up the good work!

  2. 2

    Thank you for sharing this extremely powerful sites…feel good to knowing about them because development organizations are increasingly looking for a web application development platform that can support their needs for both current and future projects It’s a broad field and vendors offer a wide array of capabilities..

  3. 3

    Love the idea of having staff delete their projects. You could even throw a spanner in the works and delete them without notice. That would really test them in how fast they can get them up and running again!

  4. 5

    Since you mentioned DANE… If you are looking for a new hosting company you should nowadays always check if DNSSEC and DANE/TLSA are supported.

    Related to this topic as well: Cloudflare is rolling out DNSSEC after a long time of testing (at least in a Beta program)…

  5. 6

    Thanks so much for the article. There were also some really awesome talks on SVG at the CSSConference last week. CSS-Tricks has a nice writeup about it:

    SVG is super powerful and should be on every web designers radar, but it seems like it is still hard to use. I know that there are some platforms like and to make it easier, but I’m curious to see how the landscape is going to evolve!


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