Web Development Reading List #184: New Library Updates, Page Load Performance, And Continuance

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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.

Our lives are in constant change, we never stop developing and evolving — our bodies, our minds, our views. And today’s technology supports us in doing that: We can access a lot more information as the generations before us, and with that, we have a variety of new possibilities to grow and develop our personalities.

We can see how work environments change, for example, we see resistance towards change and new methods, but slowly and over time, humanity is changing their overall behavior. Seeing technology in this light gives us a new perspective on our work attitude and how we approach technology.


  • RSS feeds are XML-based documents, and for a lot of people, they have always been a pain to write, serve, and validate. Now, there’s JSON Feed, a format that brings today’s preferred data structure format for APIs to feeds.
  • Styled-components v2 was released with some great improvements, and it even weighs only half as much as its predecessor.
  • Autoprefixer 7.0 and Browserlist 2.0 are out, with better performance and an easier way to define supported browsers.
  • The new npm 5 comes with huge performance improvements, and a new lock mode was introduced, too, making it competitive to Yarn again.
  • Kayce Basques shares what’s new in Chrome 60’s Developer Tools: A Lighthouse-powered Audits panel, for example, or the network request page showing third-party requests with a badge. To make debugging easier, a couple of smaller things were improved, too.
Chrome DevTools Audits panel powered by Lighthouse
The new Chrome DevTools audit panel is powered by Lighthouse and provides a useful set of tests for measuring the quality of your web pages. (Image credit)


  • Eric Petitt shares his thoughts on browser market diversity, why the dominance of Google Chrome is a problem, and why it matters that we support and use other browsers as well.
  • Have you already heard of the .well-known/ directory on web servers? This relatively new standard is used to announce directives to browsers. Let’s Encrypt, for example, uses it for their validation URLs.

Tools & Workflows



  • Addy Osmani published his second part of “Progressive Web Apps with React.js”, focusing on page load performance. An insightful read for everyone who wants to optimize their React.js applications.


How to hack beautiful flourishes into your font
Ligatures, curvy quotes, and other typographic details — Conrad Irwin explains how you can hack them into your font. (Image credit)

Work & Life

  • IBM, a pioneer of remote work, calls workers back to the office. This story is really sad to hear as the company was one of the first that allowed employees to work remotely on a big scale. Now they changed their decades-old policy and demand U.S. employees to move into offices.
  • “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Claire Lew explains why she thinks it’s time to break with that statement when it comes to assessing emplyee performance. Instead of measuring meaningless numbers, it should be all about getting insights. “You want truth, not graphs.”
  • “[…] that’s what Continuance is all about: the perseverance and commitment between where we are and where we want to be.” The quote from Continuance, the film (via Tobias Tom) reminds us that we should pursue our dream projects and not give up. Because dream projects shape us and our personalities.
  • Jason Fried elaborates on the mystery of your inbox. For most of us, the inbox is the center of everything, the place we work from every day. And yet, most inboxes, most notifications, lack the most important bits of information. A good read on what an insufficient inbox can cost you.

Going Beyond…

  • Etsy is a special kind of company. It’s one of the few public market B-Corps, and that turns out to be an issue now. See how a company pursuing the way of building a sustainable and caring work environment can be forced to change by their investors.


Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)