Web Development Reading List #176: Safari 10.1, Prompt()-Deprecation, And Professional Pride

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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.

What a busy week! To stay on top of things, let’s review what happened in the web development world the last few days — from browser vendors pushing new updates and building new JavaScript guidelines and security standards to why we as web professionals need to review our professional pride. How can we properly revoke certificates in browsers, for example? And how can we build accessibility into a style guide? Let’s take a look.


  • Safari 10.1 was announced a while ago already, and this week it finally came to Macs and iOS devices around the world. The new Safari version ships CSS Grid Layouts, fetch(), IndexedDB2.0, Custom Elements, Form Validation, Media Capture, and much more. You can read more about the new features and how to use them in detail on the WebKit blog.
  • Chromium is advising developers to not use alert(), confirm(), and prompt() methods in JavaScript anymore, and, in the future, they might even deprecate sites that still use them. The suggestion is to use the Web Notification API instead, in the hope that its asynchronous nature will prevent it from being misused against users. As a nice side effect, using the API will also speed up browser performance significantly.
  • This week, Mozilla started with their Security/Binary Transparency project which allows third parties to verify that binaries from Mozilla match the original public source code exactly and also to check for its integrity. This is a huge step in open-source and binary app development that other applications out there would benefit from, too.
  • The Chromium project is implementing the WICG proposal of a Feature Policy (see launch status), an interesting concept to complete other policies such as the Content Security Policy. By allowing site owners to explicitly allow or disallow browser features such as geolocation, webcam/microphone access and similar things, sites can better protect their users from exploits.
Binary Transparency
As a protection against compromised binaries, Mozilla’s Security/Binary Transparency project allows third parties to verify that all Firefox binaries are public. (Image credit)


  • Jens Grochtdreis shared his thoughts on professional pride, aiming at all the people who write JavaScript tutorials without focusing on the HTML or CSS. A bad practice that leads to incomplete and sometimes even false code examples that are then used in the wild.

Concept & Design

  • We all know the annoying overlays that prompt website visitors to take action — “sign up for the newsletter”, “like the page on Facebook”. Bureau of Programming now shares thoughts on why it was easier to get rid of annoying pop-up windows and why it’s up to us developers to not build annoying features if we want to make the web a useful, friendly place.
Pop-Up Modals
Pop-up modals are annoying and make a site unnecessarily hard to use. Bureau of Programming summarized the dilemma and what we can do against it.


  • A new paper from a joint venture of universities and Akamai Technologies introduces CRLite, a scalable system for pushing all TLS revocations to all browsers (PDF, 1.3MB). Currently, no major browser fully checks for TLS/SSL certificate revocations, but that could be changing soon if vendors agree with this research paper and start implementing the system.



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.

— Anselm

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)