Web Development Reading List #153: Slow JavaScript, A Universal Typeface, And Healthy Work Environments

About The Author

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 ↬

Email Newsletter

Weekly tips on front-end & UX.
Trusted by 200,000+ folks.

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.

While I was away on vacation, the web development community stayed consistent, and since I’ve been back, the same well-known, long-running discussions about JavaScript, frameworks, and progressive enhancement are full on again. But on the other hand, we also see great new solutions for CSS, simple but efficient JavaScript libraries, and brave people sharing their personal stories from which we all can learn a lot.


  • I rarely recommend conferences here, but this free online conference might be interesting for some of you: Sustainable UX, with topics on doing meaningful, sustainable work.

Concept & Design

  • Google and Monotype created a full typeface for all the world’s written and spoken languages: Noto.
Noto font
The open-source typeface Noto is truly universal, supporting every language in the world, living and dead. (Image credit)

Web Performance


  • This guide to making SVG maps with MapShaper shows where to find geographic map resources, how to modify them, and, finally, how to export and use them as SVG.
  • Mike Riethmuller shows that SVG has more potential than we tend to think and how it provides clever solutions to everyday use cases.


  • Hyperform is a complete implementation of the HTML5 form validation API in JavaScript. It replaces or polyfills the browser’s native methods and eases your validation task with custom events and hooks.


CSS Grid Layout
Creating complex website layouts like the one of the Financial Times can be hard. Matt Hinchliffe illustrates how CSS grid layout could change this. (Image credit: Matt Hinchliffe)

Work & Life

Going Beyond…

  • Farhad Manjoo sums up how Mailchimp succeeded as a company and how they built a sustainable business model without any venture capital and without following the usual start-up path.

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.

— Anselm

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)