Web Development Reading List #163: The End-Of-Year Wrap-Up

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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.

Only one week left until Christmas, and people already start freaking out again. No gifts purchased yet, work isn’t finished either, and suddenly some budget has to be spent until the end of the year. All of this puts us under pressure. To avoid the stress, I’ve seen a lot of people take a vacation from now until the end of the year — probably a good idea.

And while it’s nice to see so many web advent calendars, I feel like I’ve never written a longer reading list than this one. So save this edition if you don’t have much time currently and read it during some calm moments later this year or early next year. Most articles are still worth reading in a few weeks.


  • Opera 42 (built upon Chromium 55) is out and comes with a built-in currency converter, support for Pointer Events, JavaScript async/await, and CSS hyphens. document.write() on the other hand, will no longer load over 2G connections.
  • The EU Parliament is now drafting a directive that will force private sector companies to accommodate disabled people when offering their goods and services. This means financial firms will need to comply with WCAG and other accessibility standards soon.
  • Firefox has introduced Telemetry a while ago to its browser and now shares some details on what devices and hardware Firefox users use. In September 2016, for example, 10% still used Windows XP while only 7% used macOS and 77% of the users still have Flash installed. The most common screen resolutions are 1366x768px and 1920x1080px. There are many more really interesting statistics in there, and we’ll have to see how this develops over the next few years. But for us web developers, this also highlights that we shouldn’t assume that people use QuadCore CPU, 8GB RAM machines but have “lower-end” devices instead. So be aware of this before you create fancy CPU/memory-consuming web applications that a user will not have fun with.
  • Samsung Internet browser 5.0 has been released. It has some interesting new technologies built in, such as content provider extensions, 360˚ video, a QR code reader, and a video assistant.
Firefox Hardware Report
The Firefox Hardware Report gives insights into the hardware Firefox users are using. (Image credit: Firefox Hardware Report)



  • A lot of us are using Disqus’ commenting system on their websites. It’s an easy way to add comments to your static website, but now Disqus announced that they need to lay off about 20% of their employees. But not only that, they will also change their strategy towards data collection and advertising. Specifically, they elaborate on displaying ads in comments, and there are speculations that they will try to sell (anonymized) user data to advertisers to help them tailor their ads more precisely to users. Maybe time to reconsider if you really want to use the service.
  • The Freedom of Press Foundation has asked camera manufacturers to provide encryption methods for the stored data on the memory cards to help journalists in critical circumstances prevent leaks of their captured images.
  • According to a leaked draft, the new EPrivacy law of the European Union will allow companies to do behavioral advertising based on user metadata.

Web Performance


Intern Accessibility
Jason Cheatham explains how you can use the JavaScript testing tool The Intern for accessibility testing. (Image credit: )


Emoji.prototype.length — a tale of characters in Unicode
We use emoji every day. But why do they work so well with JavaScript operations? Stefan Judis sheds some light into the dark. (Image credit: Marko Skenderović)


Work & Life

Going Beyond…

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)