Web Development Reading List #154: Yarn, Deep-Fried Data, And A Guide To Stateful Components

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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.

With new frameworks and libraries emerging, the tools we have at hand are constantly changing. But it’s not only our toolkit but also the way we write code that constantly evolves — new CSS conventions are developed all the time and the best practices to write JavaScript change at least every year.

But then again, we have to remind ourselves that we shouldn’t immediately jump to a new tool just because it’s available, to not rewrite the whole code of a project just because conventions have changed. No project will stop working because you’re using OOCSS instead of ITCSS or Backbone.js instead of React.js. If the project is an ongoing process and will be developed and maintained for another few years, you should evaluate to change tools from time to time, of course. But take your time. Better evaluate first, then reconsider, before you immediately jump on a train from which you don’t know where it’s heading.


  • With Chrome 54 now available, we get a couple of new features: the new Custom Elements specification is among them, just like the BroadcastChannel API. Also, initTouchEvent has been replaced by new TouchEvent(), KeyEvent.keyIdentifier by KeyboardEvent.key. So please update your code if you use any of these.


Tools & Workflows

  • This week, the Yarn npm client was published. It’s an open-source project that builds on top of npm’s registry, replacing the default npm client with a faster, more reliable client. But before you hop on the new train, consider that some features like custom registries and private packages are still missing and that the concept of locking down dependencies is fundamentally different to bower’s or npm’s principles of dependency management. Therefore you should try it out and read the concept before using it in your projects.
A cat in a rocket — the mascot of Yarn
Speed is one of the strengths of the new and open-source npm client Yarn. (Image credit: Yarn)


  • Maciej Ceglowski has given quite a lot of great talks already. At the Library of Congress he recently spoke about “deep-fried data,” and the transcript really is worth a read if you’re interested in machine learning, data gardening, archiving data and the responsible use of it.
  • Stoyan Stefanov explains why using autocomplete fields in forms is great for some fields but can easily lead to data oversharing when used on fields that aren’t required.


Resend email link
Jordan Scales shares the accessibility gotchas that popped up while developing this seemingly trivial “Resend email” link. (Image credit: Jordan Scales)


Work & Life

  • Mind The Work” is a great piece by Mercedes De Luca about how we tend to judge colleagues based on false assumptions and why and how we should seek to better understand them and their actions.

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