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Web Development Reading List #175: GraphQL, IndexedDB2, And An Open Ethical Internet

With GraphQL, FQL, and IndexedDB2, we have new tools at our fingertips that allow us to build products that are not only more flexible but also faster. With this week’s Web Development Reading List, we’ll dive a bit deeper into these promising technologies and combine this with thoughts about the openness of the internet, ethical choices, and building inclusive products. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

News Link

  • Chrome 57 just hit stable, now the Chrome developer team announced Chrome 58 beta4. It includes IndexedDB2.0 support and improvements to iframe navigation. Among the smaller changes are also auto-pause/resume of video on Android when the window is in the background and the fact that HTTPS is now required for the Web Notifications API.

General Link

  • Matthias Ott points out that it’s about time that we take back control5, reclaim our digital future and rebuild the web so that it, finally, becomes a web for everyone. And with growing surveillance and even bigger data consolidation by a few big private players, it’s now up to us to recognize the errors we make and amend our decisions accordingly to create a better web — a web that is more accessible, more private, and more independent.
  • Quincy Larson wrote an essay about why the future of the open internet and our way of life6 is in our hands. By comparing the history of TV, radio, and telephone, he explains why it’s up to us to prevent that the internet goes through the same cycle of commercialization and privatization as the technologies that came before.
The backbone of the internet7
The open internet is in danger. Quincy Larson gives an overview of the dangers of commercialization and privatization8 and why it’s up to us to prevent the internet from becoming a walled garden. (Image credit9)

Tools & Workflows Link

  • Loren Sands-Ramshaw wrote a two-step guide on GraphQL (Part 110, Part 211), a relatively new query language that has better performance and is easier to handle as REST.

Security Link

  • The Chrome team concluded an investigation on the Symantec Root Certificate Authority12 and now discusses when and how to distrust the entire authority due to having misissued over 30.000 certificates. If the entity is mistrusted, GeoTrust, Thawte, and other certificate authorities will be affected by the decision as well since they’re operated by Symantec.

Privacy Link


Toggle buttons15
Heydon Pickering explains what it takes to get toggle buttons right16. (Image credit17)

Work & Life Link

  • Alex Castrounis shares why estimating software development tasks by time and time tracking don’t work and how you can still get pretty accurate estimations18 to calculate the progress and a deadline for a project.

Going Beyond… Link

  • It’s interesting to see that a growing number of people now seem to ask themselves how to do good work, and I think it’s because we realize that current developments are so bad that we as individuals think about what we can do to improve our society again. Mike Monteiro is one of those people who care deeply about ethics19, now he explains why ethics can’t be a side hustle20 and why you can’t shuffle yourself out of responsibility if you’re doing a non-ethical job as your main work. It’s true that you have to start somewhere, and doing simple things in your daily life can already help to improve our society, but, in the end, if you’re getting paid for non-ethical work, you’re actively helping and promoting this work. And nothing can make this undone.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation21 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here22. It’s available via email, RSS and online.

— Anselm

Footnotes Link

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is a freelance front-end developer and architect and cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He curates the WDRL, a weekly handcrafted web development newsletter that thousands of developers love, subscribe to, and donate for.

  1. 1

    Modern Technolab

    March 24, 2017 2:28 pm

    Awesome Post, Thanks for Sharing..

  2. 2

    Kees Kluskens

    March 26, 2017 12:10 am

    (…) What a world we live in, where money seems to be everything that counts.

    Nicely said. Even though I have never even been to the United States, this decision still baffles me.

  3. 3

    Unfortunately Heydon Pickering doesn’t allow for comments in his inclusive pattern library blog. While I could understand that a hundred or more responses could make a well-thought blog post (not an article though by design) might disturb the feel of absolutism just by amount of discussion taking place, it still feels like a pretty lonely club.

    However I’d still like to offer one advice to this very specific topic that comes from programming: it is well known, that state variables depend big time on naming. Boolean operations even more so, because nobody could ever tell you what “true” or “false” would mean without the name, or hence in the case of toggle buttons, the label. Therefore it’s always better (and without having to confuse established users), to use named values like found in enumeration types (that were celebrated to be able to get rid off senseless Integer substitutions in Java and are well established since). That way an option “Hide user state” toggled on does make a lot more sense. Web design should also pursue named, unambigous option labels for states and skip “true” and “false” or substitutes like “on” and “off” for that purpose altogether. It doesn’t solve the world without having universal language for all states, but it’s still a lot better.

    But a big thanks to you Anselm for picking web reads like this one week by week! I’m anticipating your thoughts and efforts every week and reading them is a lot of fun!

    • 4

      I’d also like to challenge his choice of (basic) visual styling fpr the toggle switches itself as being highly inclusive to a lot of people. Visually they’re equally important and absolutely the same style for “off” or “on”, they only difference is the label and the position, one being left and one being right. Just a quick question for you without scrolling – was “on” to the right like Android does in its menus or to the left?

  4. 5

    Hi Anselm it’s Impressive!
    Thanks for this information.


  5. 6

    Hi Anselm,

    even I am little bit late with my comment, but I would like to add those very informative links to your Ethical questions of our developer / designer life.

    I am pretty happy that some humane tech movements exist. So we are not lost, we just need more people jump on the bandwagon.


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