Web Development Reading List #162: Server Side React, Inclusive Design And The Web Worldwide

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 ↬

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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.

We shouldn’t let ourselves get distracted by people who work on different projects than we do. If a developer advocate works on a web-based QR code application, for example, their way of tackling things most certainly won’t fit your project. If someone builds a real-time dashboard, their concept won’t relate to the company portfolio website you’re building. Bear in mind that *you* need to find the best concept, the best technologies, the best solution for your specific project.

Thinking about the right decisions rather than following cool, new trends blindly, is the first step to building responsible web solutions. That’s what we call progressive enhancement. The only subjective matter in this undertaking is you, judging what level of progressive enhancement a solution should have.


  • Angular 1.x users, here’s version 1.6 for you. Todd Motto shares what’s new in the version and how to migrate easily.
  • The new Microsoft Edge build features support for Brotli, for CSS Custom Properties, as well as async/await. DOM performance has also been improved.


Pusher’s newly created /sessions brings you free recordings of talks from developer meetups.

Concept & Design

Web Performance

  • Tim Kadlec describes what a new project called “The Web, Worldwide” is about and why it’s important for developers and project owners to understand the role of the Internet in various markets. I wrote a similar post this week about choosing browser support in a project and why we’re often doing it wrong because we base our assumptions on misleading data.


  • These fun statistics on HTML and SVG usage are really insightful. By analyzing eight million websites, some interesting facts could be discovered: href="javascript:void(0)", for example, is still used massively, and span.button can also be found in a lot of codebases.


  • Unfortunately, there’s no further source to back up this statement, but Domenic Denicola found out that the Filesystem API might be removed from the specification as it turned out that it’s used for incognito mode detection in browsers in 95% of the use cases.
  • The parallax effect isn’t going away anytime soon, so if we need to make use of it, we should at least do it in the most effective, most performant way. Paul Lewis shares how to achieve that.
  • Remy Sharp reports how he got started with React.js and how he finally made Server Side React work in his project.
Performant Parallaxing
Paul Lewis discusses a solution to make parallaxing more performant. (Image credit: Paul Lewis)

Work & Life

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)