Web Development Reading List #117: Storytelling, Security in Devtools and 350ms Tap Delay

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Anselm is a freelance front-end developer who cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He writes the WDRL, and is co-founder … More about Anselm ↬

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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 Hannemann is collecting everything that popped up over the last week in his web development reading list 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.

The end of the year is near and some people are enjoying their well-deserved holidays already. For others, the pressure increases when managers or clients want to finish a project before Christmas. And then, the Christmas and New Year celebrations — so many things to prepare, to buy, to think of. I hope you either belong to the ones who can enjoy their vacation already or that you can stay calm while having a stressful time. Try to take your time with friends and beloved ones and enjoy some moments of silence.





  • This week I read that web analytics services are about to track emotions. And indeed it’s relatively easy to detect if a smartphone has been thrown (Device Orientation API), if a user clicks angrily on the screen with the mouse. It just hasn’t been done yet.
  • Ibrahim Altaweel, Nathaniel Good, and Chris Jay Hoofnagle repeated a research from 2012 to see how many trackers the TOP100 websites use. They found out that dozens of cookies are set on each site to track users, fingerprinting methods and other techniques are widely used as well. And over 90% of the data is somehow aggregated by Google, leaving it with such an incredible dataset that should scare you.

Web Performance

  • Until now, WebKit and Safari on iOS have a 350ms delay before single taps activate links or buttons to allow people to zoom into pages with a double tap. Chrome changed this a couple of months ago already by using a smarter algorithm to detect that and now WebKit will follow with a similar approach. The article gives some great insights how browsers work with touch gestures and how browsers can still get so much smarter than they are today.
  • With his last part, Denys Mishunov gives us some great techniques to cover up unavoidable waiting times on websites to make it a convenient experience for the users.
An interactive storytelling map using SVG
An interactive storytelling map using SVG and Canvas.



  • Rodey Rehm has published a new open source library to enhance your website’s accessibility: ally.js. It took him months to build this — now he tells you how to properly handle a modal’s focus behavior.
  • Given that most people don’t know how to improve accessibility on their site or application, here are some important basics that are extremely easy to implement. Next time you build something, consider incorporating those few thingies.


Work & Life

  • It’s anything but easy to organize an event. Compared to what we can read about web development, there are only few resources that explain what it means to run an event. Marc Thiele now wrote up a few things that happen in the background of his events.
  • Most of us haven’t quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. The world is changing and it’s only the start. Our society is moving away from normal employment and classic entrepreneurship models, and there are many more things that change slowly but steadily.

Go Beyond…

  • Peter Sunde, the founder of pirate bay, has published a few things to think about. I disagree with a lot of things in the article and really hope that we figure out better ways than letting a country “crash” to make things better, but he definitely has also some points when he says that we keep breaking the internet. I’m optimistic and hope that we together can fix this.

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

Thanks and all the best, Anselm

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)