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Web Development Reading List #119: Bulletproof Third-Party Content and Progressive Applications

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.

I wish you a happy New Year! But although we write another number now — 2016 — your habits and goals won’t change overnight. That is why I’m not convinced of New Year’s resolutions. You should have goals, resolutions and you should try to improve yourself.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

But bear in mind to make these goals reasonable, actually achievable for you, and re-iterate in smaller periods than just once a year. I think that works way better than having one large resolution and then feeling bad because, of course, you failed to reach your big goal. Make the small things count and improve in small steps!

News Link

  • This week, IPv6 is twenty years old and it celebrates its birthday with a global share of 10%7. It’s incredible how slow the usage of IPv6 has spread but for two years now we have been seeing a growing adoption of the technology and I’m delighted to see how it will develop over the next two years.
  • Finally, Amazon Cloudfront now supports gzipping8 text and binary content. You can and should enable it right now if you serve such files over the service.
Worldwide IPv6 Adoption9
The adoption of the IPv6 technology is growing, albeit slowly, reaching 10% in January10.

General Link

  • Really, if you only read one thing this week about web development, let it be this transcript of Maciej Ceglowski’s talk “The Website Obesity Crisis11” or watch the talk12.
  • Stephen Hay writes about best practices featured in blog articles and why reality is often very different, requiring us to be more pragmatic and less idealistic. The reality is sometimes messy13, not all people can spend days optimizing the smallest details.
  • Everybody who has ever linked to a third party and checked the health of links from time to time knows the issue: broken links. And we still change URLs or remove resources (yes, I did this myself a couple of times) without sending a proper redirect or notice to the user. We do that despite knowing that the hyperlink is one of the most important parts of the web14. I think this is also a good place to remind you of this article15, too.

Concepts & Design Link

  • Troy Hunt complains that in 2016, websites still fail on basic user experiences16 and, instead, take over the user’s screen with newsletter subscriptions, surveys, multi-part articles, password restrictions, popover ads, cookie warnings and scroll-jacking.

Tools Link

  • Working with npm? Then you’re probably annoyed by installing dependencies over and over again over the network. Fortunately, there is a second option that lets you use many features of npm offline17. Addy Osmani explains what you need to do to use it.

Security Link

Web Performance Link

  • If you include a third-party script, you should always be aware of its consequences. As you don’t control the resource but often rely on it20, you should spend some time thoroughly considering whether it’s worth implementing it, what happens if the script is not available on the remote server any longer and, more specifically, whether your application will still work in such cases. Tammy Everts shares a couple of tips to consider when you include a third party script21. Lots of great advice regarding advertising scripts, their ROI, caching methods, and how to detect malicious changes in such scripts.
  • Web app loading times are a problem. Gleb Bahmutov has published an article describing what you can do to show the user a nearly instant application state22 by using Service Workers. Furthermore, a small addition shows how you can run the Express server in the browser with Service Workers.


Accessibility Link

JavaScript Link

CSS / Sass Link

  • For many people, CSS Blend Modes are still not very well-known. Justin McDowell explains how the different modes work30, what effects you can achieve with them and the remaining (and new) problems you have to deal with.

Work & Life Link

Go beyond… Link

  • In California, a massive methane leak35 has been happening since October and it’s as bad as the BP oil spill a few years ago. In fact, the daily leakage has the same 20-year climate impact as driving 7 million cars a day. And it’s yet to see if the leak can be fixed36 by March, 2016. Gosh, this is bad and I still can’t believe it’s only covered so little in the media.
  • Paul Krugman has a good column on privilege, pathology, and power37. It’s been proven that extreme wealth can be bad for your soul. But it also affects other people, governments due to bad decisions and our mind which worries more about saving taxes than about other people or laws.
  • SpaceX, the space company by Elon Musk, has created some beautiful posters38 advertising traveling to Mars as a tourist destination.
Mars Journeys illustration39
SpaceX, the space company by Elon Musk, has created some beautiful posters40 advertising traveling to Mars as a tourist destination.

And with that I’ll close for this week. In case you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation41 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here42. 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

    It’s 2016 and Troy Hunt can’t even set his blog’s default body font to a minimum of 16px.

    • 2

      Also he talks about intrusive adverts yet has them plastered down the side of this site!

  2. 3

    > It’s been proven that extreme wealth can be bad for your soul.

    Source? Isn’t the soul an immaterial entity that is immune to a materialistic observation? Isn’t its very existence debated? How then can you have ‘proof’ of anything about it? Perhaps historical proof? “Social proof”? The one thing it can’t be is scientific proof.

    I went and looked at the link to the article, which cited as its source another news article, which cited as its source another news article. I was never actually able to find the original paper studies, their methodologies, or their data. Just a lot of news-people reporting with glee some results they apparently already agreed with from “five different experiments involving several hundred undergraduates and 100 adults recruited from online communities”. AKA, not very rigorous or significant.

  3. 4

    Hello, an interesting article… however I tend to disagree that all websites are based around shoving popups, pop-unders, news letters etc on to peoples screens, there are a few websites that aren’t trying to gain peoples attention by spamming their screens every minute. I for one believe in end user experience over marketing and profit via ads/mailing list spam etc. Is it just me or has web design lost its way? since being able to earn from ads all websites are choc a block full of them. Its annoying. Sorry rant over… im just passionate about what I do… that’s all. Thanks for reading if you got this far lol. Here’s the type of non advertising and non pop up type of website I mean. hhtp://


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