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Web Dev. Reading List #125

It’s Friday again, and I found some interesting articles for you to read over the upcoming weekend. In projects, developer, manager and product leaders still try to put pressure on the people who work on a task. Somehow they feel relieved, more secure if they do that. On the other hand, the people experiencing the pressure of urgency are struggling massively with it.

The fallacy here is that while the ones spreading the pressure feel better, the people experiencing it usually do a worse job than without the pressure. It leads to more bugs, unstructured work and, in the end, all people involved will suffer from the result. So instead, a team, which includes everyone from a developer to a manager, should focus on the purpose of the work. Give it a try, y’all, and now, enjoy your weekend!

General Link

Tools Link

GitHub templates5
GitHub’s new Issue and Pull Requests templates6 help contributors add the right details at the start of a thread.

Security Link

  • A bug in glibc has been disclosed7. As it’s a very bad and easy to exploit bug, you should patch every server (and clients) as soon as possible.
  • Never say “We’ll just use defaults, for now. That password will do, for now.” in the context of security. It’ll be forgotten, and this is the most dangerous threat8 to your data, giving attackers the possibility to do anything with very little effort. Do you have a VoIP phone with a default password? A WiFi router? Change it to something secure. And please tell your friends and family as well. This is important.

Privacy Link

  • This week, Apple started a new discussion about privacy, encryption and built-in backdoors on their devices. They received an order to build a custom iOS built, signed by Apple, that lacks several security measurements so that the FBI could hack into phone data relatively easily. In an open letter9 Apple shared why they declined to do so. Luckily, a lot of companies seem to agree with Apple, and I hope we can find a good way to protect our privacy, and with that, our personal security. Because, as we all know, even if such a backdoor is kept secure, no one could assure that this piece of software won’t get stolen and abused by someone who shouldn’t have access to it.

Web Performance Link

  • Rachel Andrew wrote a great guide on how you should start to make a plan for the transition of web projects to HTTP/210. As the switch should be well planned, it’s a great idea to establish a process to migrate seamlessly and, for now, generate assets and pipelines for both, HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2, so that a switch is easy.

JavaScript Link

  • So, this is nothing ground-breaking but if you ever wondered about a good cross-browser way to check if the document has loaded in pure JavaScript, this code snippet is for you11.
  • The still relatively new ESLint has been released in version 2.012. It breaks at some point with v1.x but now comes with an auto configuration feature and also introduces code path analysis13.
  • Hunt14 by Jeremias Menichelli is a JavaScript library that detects if an element becomes visible/invisible and acts on these events, by adding or removing classes, for example. This makes it a great tool to animate elements on scrolling and other interactions.

CSS / Sass Link

Responsive containers in Gmail19
The Fab Four technique20 lets you create responsive emails without media queries.

Work & Life Link

Going beyond… Link

  • Last week, I wrote that most of the time the software we write is not critical to people. But what happens if it is? For example, if you sell a smart thermostat and due to a bug in its software the heating is disabled entirely with no option to fix it yourself? This happened to Nest users23, showing the problems of ‘smart’ devices that control critical things in our lives.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation24 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here25. It’s available via E-Mail, RSS and online.

Thanks and all the best,
Anselm

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://jessicaabel.com/2016/01/27/idea-debt/
  2. 2 https://textlint.github.io/
  3. 3 https://github.com/blog/2111-issue-and-pull-request-templates
  4. 4 https://help.github.com/articles/adding-a-file-to-a-repository/
  5. 5 https://github.com/blog/2111-issue-and-pull-request-templates
  6. 6 https://github.com/blog/2111-issue-and-pull-request-templates
  7. 7 http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/02/extremely-severe-bug-leaves-dizzying-number-of-apps-and-devices-vulnerable/
  8. 8 https://paul.reviews/pwnphone-default-passwords-allow-covert-surveillance/
  9. 9 https://www.apple.com/customer-letter/
  10. 10 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/02/getting-ready-for-http2/
  11. 11 http://www.jstips.co/en/detect-document-ready-in-pure-js/
  12. 12 http://eslint.org/blog/2016/02/eslint-v2.0.0-released
  13. 13 http://eslint.org/docs/developer-guide/code-path-analysis.html
  14. 14 https://jeremenichelli.github.io/hunt/
  15. 15 https://medium.freecodecamp.com/the-fab-four-technique-to-create-responsive-emails-without-media-queries-baf11fdfa848
  16. 16 http://codepen.io/enxaneta/full/adLPwv/
  17. 17 http://kushagragour.in/blog/2016/01/backgroundcolor-in-currentcolor/
  18. 18 https://justmarkup.com/log/2016/02/theme-switcher-using-css-custom-properties/
  19. 19 https://medium.freecodecamp.com/the-fab-four-technique-to-create-responsive-emails-without-media-queries-baf11fdfa848
  20. 20 https://medium.freecodecamp.com/the-fab-four-technique-to-create-responsive-emails-without-media-queries-baf11fdfa848#.glnp0tyg9
  21. 21 https://medium.com/@kimber_lockhart/don-t-create-a-sense-of-urgency-foster-a-sense-of-purpose-724e309ecdb0
  22. 22 https://medium.com/@moritzplassnig/hiring-the-single-most-important-skill-as-a-founder-1028ccc5fc79
  23. 23 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/fashion/nest-thermostat-glitch-battery-dies-software-freeze.html
  24. 24 https://wdrl.info/donate
  25. 25 https://wdrl.info/costs/
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Anselm Hannemann is a freelance front-end developer and architect. He curates WDRL — a weekly, handcrafted web development newsletter. Apart from that he helped the RICG, built opendevicelab.com and organizes the NightlyBuild 2015 conference in Cologne, Germany. He is available for freelance jobs.

  1. 1

    So I was told that “Apple” is gonna be the replacement for the word “hypocrisy” – or how else could a big bad company that doesnt give anything about other peoples (esp. not their customers’) privacy concerts be hyped as the new “privacy-concerned” star? o.O

    I’d be happy if acts like the above one were seen (and expressed) with a bit more critical concern (for reality), not just in the regular gadget-geek hype-way. Esp. on Smashing Magazine.

    cu, w0lf.

    -3
    • 2

      Thats of corpse “(…) (customers) privacy conCerns”, not concerts. Was in a harry .. uh .. hurry, sorry.

      cu, w0lf.

      -4
    • 3

      Oh my … the apple fanboys are voting me down. Let’s keep up the hype, shall we? Apple of corpse is a gooood company who will and always has protected YOUR privacy and YOUR rights … never would they allow the government to get their grubby hands on YOUR data. Expect maybe those 70 times before, where they did. But that totally was THEIR fault – not Apple .. who just did nothing.

      .. but .. but chemtrails are commited by said government to make us sick. But they never did put plombium into the grounds, nor have they caused harm to your health by playing around with nuclear hazardous waste, power plants and the like. It’s a good thing they do that, so you are always able to save on power and energy, reading while glowing in the dark.

      Let’s not forget about that imaginary friend and his apostels .. and that other imaginary guy is the cause of all evil (including computers, the internet, Rock’n’Roll and female voting rights).

      So, as you can see, you are right: Apple is a good company, and anybody putting them into a baaad image is a liar, a bad person who will end in that imaginary place thats very hot, and rot there till the end of the world for his sins!

      Be a lemming and follow the leader! ^^
      cu, w0lf.

      -1
      • 4

        This is so poorly written that I can’t tell whether you actually believe in chemtrails.

        1
      • 5

        Anselm Hannemann

        February 24, 2016 7:25 pm

        Hey fwolf, sorry, I hope I got the content of your comment right – it was not easy to understand. I also fail to understand the point of your comment here. My point of mentioning the problem we have with the FBI/Apple case in the U.S. currently, is not about Apple. It gladfully was brought up by Apple (and I have to say that here, they have acted in the users’ interest). My point is not that Apple is a great company (I never stated that) and it does not matter here if one likes this specific company or not or another one. Fact is, that this company (and that is the reason why the trademark is referenced here) is owning the case, so to let readers follow what it’s about I added the name here. And as we have a security problem with the approach the FBI is requesting (see also the concerns by other companies or the CIA about it), I think it’s worth to let people know about the problem and what people can do to protect theirselves.
        I fail to see the point where I embrace a company here and I fail to see what you want to achieve by your comments. I want to let people know that the security of software (regardless of the manufacturer/vendor) is at risk if the FBI succeeds here.

        Personally, I would not put my trust about something that could happen in future on any profit-oriented company. While a company might do the right decisions today, they might not do so in future. So I’d be a fool to say that other people should blindly trust a company just because they did something right now or in the past.

        Cheers,
        Anselm

        0
      • 6

        Anselm Hannemann

        February 24, 2016 7:30 pm

        Maybe it’s also worth noting that I don’t think people down-voted your comment because they’re fanboys (that’s only your unvalidated assumption) but probably because they had trouble to follow your thoughts or, as I, couldn’t see a point in your comment. It might be worth spending more effort into a comment if you really want to create a useful discussion about something you don’t agree on. Hope this helps as well, because I like to have (useful) discussions. Feedback is the reason why I write these lists every week – we all can learn from each other by discussing ideas, topics and problems. But it needs to be understandable.

        0
    • 7

      Exactly what I was thinking, nice Image campaign by Apple, so ridiculous

      0
  2. 8

    Can you guide me, how to achieve responsive e-mailers on mobile devices using outlook webmail?

    I found impossible to achieve so far if I am using multiple columns.

    Regards,
    Mufeed Ahmad

    0
  3. 9

    “Somehow they feel relieved, more secure if they do that.” :-)
    Its a business. Time costs money.

    0
    • 10

      Anselm Hannemann

      February 25, 2016 4:44 pm

      True but bugs and bugfixing cost money, too. The question is what costs more and I’d bet that fixing bugs costs more money than avoiding them by spending a little more time in building a proper solution first.

      0

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