99—the one before the 100th edition of my weekly newsletter. Time flies and when I started this project I’d never thought to be so successful with it. I’m happy to share my thoughts with you and get so much lovely and constructive feedback. I already have some plans for the 100th letter which will go out in four weeks.
I’ll go on vacation in the meantime. During that I probably will not have internet but instead enjoy nature. Enjoy the silence and don’t worry—you will not miss something critical.
- I had a look into the fresh released Smashing Book 5: If you like books and want to improve your web knowledge I highly recommend to buy it. The SVG chapter by Sara Soueidan alone is very helpful but good design and concept principles together with solid and well-proven technical implementations justify the sub-title “Real-Life Responsive Web Design”. A great job by everyone involved and in fact worth buying it.
- It may be a bit early to test for most of you but jQuery announced the availability of a first alpha version of jQuery 3.0. The plan vor v3 is to serve two jQuery releases within the same version history—one for the compatibility mode (supporting IE9+, comparable to v1.x) and the other one with only the modern stack (like v2.x). You can also read in the post what else is giong to be changed. I only tease a bit: it is going to be quite a different jQuery version.
- Great news from Microsoft: Starting now, MS Edge will support automated testing via WebDriver.
Concepts & Design
- Over the last weeks a debate arose whether web-design is dead or not. Travis Gertz has written a great piece on the topic not taking the most obvious, superficial points but tracking down the root cause. He is pointing out why the debate exists at all and what problems we face with all the non-unique, clean layouts today.
- A good resource to keep in mind from now on if you are designing forms on a website: Remember that dropdowns should be the UI of last resort.
- Code can be art. But more important is that developers need to have a good readability of the code. That’s why ligatures in code fonts can make much sense and ease the life of coders. An interesting case study by an open-source font creator.
- If you like reading good stories this one is for you. Follow Maciej Ceglowski into the history of airplane design and engineering and then turning over into information technology design. It took 50 years of experience to build a solid, properly designed and engineered airplane. And it will likely take us the same timeframe to build the internet.
- The past years’ revelations on interceptions of connections make clear how important it is to secure your connection. Check your site with this new tool: httpsecurityreport.
- An interesting concept although I’m not convinced it will ever going to be and should be mainstream is Web Packaging. It is a specification describing today’s issues of having to concatenate a plethora of files to achieve better performance. With a Web Package you would serve a pack of resources in one go via a
<link rel="package" href="calendar.pack" type="application/package">element in the head.
- Aaron Gustafson reflects on our tooling workflows, convencience and if we should pay the bill or our users. A plea to put user’s needs above your own.
Security / Privacy
- Unfortunately, the Do-Not-Track initiative never took off. Actually thought to get broad consensus between industry and advocates to limit cross-origin requrests at a user’s request it failed for a variety of reasons.
Now the W3C announced a new major version Do Not Track 2 which does act like an enforcement of a user’s request to not be tracked (means browsers actively block resources in case DNT is enabled). It’s interesting to see the big interest on this topic, seen in the rise of the ad block and privacy guard extensions and I hope we can find an official agreement soon.
- Firstlook explains the revelations on the newest spy programs, what the U.S. congress patriot act change limits and why the biggest data-grabbing methods like XKEYSCORE are not affected by it. It’s difficult to imagine the relevance and size of these projects but it is important for you as an internet user to understand it.
- Oops. A car has been hacked on a highway through its software remote controlling the car’s electronic features. This reminds us how important it is to have a proper security concept before implementing it into important devices.
- Widely unrecognized, Google launched a test project that speeds up mobile performance for users. “Google Web Light” is auto-optimizing any website for slow connections.
HTML / SVG
- In fact responsive images are still not easy to use. Things like the
sizesattribute can indeed be a bit confusing. Matt Wilcox share his best practices of implementing responsive images.
- If you’re writing technical articles you likely use the
<abbr>element to explain abbreviations. At least you should. But on mobile, your readers are still lost as it’s not very accessible. Now here is a tiny script making it possible to add touch support to all
CSS / Sass
- Chris Coyier elaborates on the slight differences of a pre- and postprocessor for CSS. PostCSS is often misleading by its name and working with future features is a high risk for your project and the entire web so be careful and know what you do.
- Stylelint is a modern CSS linter running on PostCSS. If you can’t use scsslinter because you have a prostprocessor running afterwards or the ruby dependency is a problem or you don’t use Sass at all this one is a great option.
Work / Life
- The fullstackoverflow developer is the one copy/pasting code from googled sites without reflecting and understanding how or why it works. The ‘grumpy old’ Chris Heilmann is rambling about learning basics, releasing products faster and why finding pride in your work is the ultimate goal for everyone.
- Paul Boag has made a notable decision: Solving first world problems most of the time, he now considered how to make the world a little better and sets a focus on non-profits and solving the big world-problems.
- Less is more, intuition is important and why Grovemade is not a declared eco-friendly company but following their guts they do most things right anyway. It’s not about the eco-labels but the spirit of a company.
- Most people sit in a city office. Yet though, you’re going out for lunch every day. But have you ever thought about having your own food in your office? Urban farming is growing (hint: it’s more fun than you might think) and an office farm could be the next thing. Many offices already do some urban farming on London’s rooftops or have a beeyard. But what Philips has created in their Netherland offices is simply amazing.
- Apart from the social issues we face, we also face the Plastic trash problem. Fortunately, a dutch construction company seems to have found a way to use plastic trash for road pavement. If this technology is mass-applicable this would be a big step forwards.
- The Silicon Valley has a water problem. Its supply is getting shorter and shorter, forcing tech giants to re-think the cooling of their data centers. Another point where we should re-think if a “social media” company is also a social company.