Web Development Reading List #149: CSS Dynamic Colors, Refactoring CSS, And CSP Hashing

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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.

Even though we think everything happens in real-time nowadays, we need patience. While technology has been capable of real-time for long now, the “bottleneck” are human beings. Whether it’s a pull request that’s waiting for review since days or weeks or an email response, we need to keep in mind that delays might happen for a good reason.

Different people have different priorities, they might be focusing on something else at the moment, or they just take a break. Training patience is an important aspect of mental health, and, in the end, a well-thought-out, not instantly written feedback is better, too. Take your time and let others do the same.

To my readers in or near Germany: Some of you might be aware that I organize a small event, and this week I have one ticket to give away for the NightlyBuild conference 2016 in Cologne, Germany on September, 2nd. If you want to attend, just send me an email, and I’ll raffle the ticket on Tuesday.



  • While researching a bit on user tracking, I found out about header enrichment, a technique used by mobile network providers to set unique identifiers. But more interestingly, while it’s advised by the IETF to not expose any of these headers to public servers, many ISPs do it anyway and leak the private IP addresses of devices, the IMEI/IMSI or even the phone number, to any server. This research paper by the ICSI analyzed the worldwide spread and impact on users’ privacy.
  • Many of you might be aware that we can’t style :visited states and similar browser-history-based features in CSS very well. With CSS’ new mix-blend-mode-feature there seems to be a leak again that lets rogue sites inspect your browsing history. Michał Zalweski explains how it works.
  • Netflix engineers now share insights into how they protect the viewing privacy of their users by adding TLS to their video streams, which at that scale is a pretty challenging and interesting problem.



An SVG mask on an SVG element
Clipping and masking allows for interesting ways to show or hide pieces of your graphics. Abbey Fitzgerald explains how to do it with CSS and SVG.

Work & Life

  • Today I read an interesting statement about constant learning (see the blockquote below) with which I fundamentally disagree. So instead of following this advice, I want to encourage you to take a break from constant learning every few days. There are reasons why you should rest on a weekend and recover from learning new things during the week: By taking a break, you’ll eagerly await learning something new afterwards.
“In today’s highly competitive business environment, we all need to be in constant learning mode. No one can afford to take a vacation from developing new skills, especially as economic and political uncertainty threaten businesses and job stability and make future career prospects unclear.”
  • Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, has published an essay on why it’s important that employers support families. It’s not just about saying this but about taking meaningful, real action to make employees feel comfortable, have a good life, and enjoy working for their employer.

Going Beyond…

  • The NASA started a new blog called “Science WOW!” which shares educational articles on science each week. If you’re interested in learning how hurricanes form or about space exploration stuff, this might be for you.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, 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 email, RSS and online.

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (ah, mrn)