welcome back again. I’m at the end of my vacation now and collected a lot of very interesting articles over the past two weeks that took me quite a while to digest. Most importantly, I learned that taking vacation regularly is an important thing for regaining motivation for work.
Here’s an important point: When looking through the funds of WDRL, I realized that the donations I got in the past months declined and now the project has only about 5% of what it needs to cover the costs of writing this newsletter. Why is it important? As I’m a 100% independent freelancer who doesn’t get paid by a big company for curating this resource, I rely on donations. And while I never reached 100% funding in the past, I’ll need to seriously consider other options if the project becomes extremely unsustainable (meaning less than 25% funded). So if you care about getting this newsletter nearly every week in a year, please give back some money—as a reminder this would be more than fully funded if every newsletter subscriber would give only 0,10EUR each month.
- As the new macOS Mojave and iOS 12 are out now, Safari 12 is as well. What’s new in this version? Here’s the shortcut: A built-in password generator, a 3D & AR model viewer, icons in tabs, web pages on the latest watch OS, new form field attribute values, the Fullscreen API for iOS on iPads, font collection support in WOFF2, the
font-displayloading CSS property, Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0, and a couple of security enhancements.
- You can clearly see where the Chrome browser originates from: Google. Lately you could see a couple of changes to the browser platform that were highly influenced by the company’s business model. The latest change caused a big discussion again as Google wants to enforce login to Google account on their browser in order to be able to access services like Gmail. What’s the difference between signing in via the website only? Well, in the latter case, tracking options are limited to the same domain while when a user is signed into the browser, they can track everything you do inside this application. Google promptly announced changes for v70 again now after the negative feedback from public but it’s clearly showing the interest of the company and in which direction they’re pushing the app. This is unfortunate as Chrome and the people working on that project shaped the web a lot in the past years and brought the ecosystem “web” to a whole new level.
- Denislav Jeliazkov explains the importance of micro interactions and how they can be designed well to make a difference between your and your competitor’s app.
- Jeremy Cherry on why we should create users and not addicts for our products and why UX can easily affect people’s health. People are more anxious than ever and it’s related to the world of smartphones and accessing the web everywhere all the time. Why we should focus on providing a great experience that doesn’t trigger addiction to watch another TV series to help people.
- Shawn Park shares what he learned from redesigning his website each year for six years in a row now and why he feels this is an important step to improve your own skills.
- Jonas Downey on how we’re constantly manipulated by software’s ‘User Experience’ design and why the only option we have is to vote against these patterns with our wallet and pay for software that doesn’t try to manipulate us in a way that affects our privacy, security or mindset.
- Brendan McMillion from Cloudflare shares how they ensure end to end integrity for their IPFS (a distributed, decentralized web protocol) gateway. A very interesting insight into the future of the web.
- Josh Clark’s comment on a university research about Google’s data collection is highlighting the most important parts about how important Android phone data collection is to Google’s business model and what type of information they collect even when your smartphone is idle and not moving location.
- Nolan Lawson shares how we can accurately measure layout performance on the web in his in-depth guide for debugging performance issues and how the rendering pipeline of modern browsers works.
- Philip Walton shares his Idle until urgent principle for optimizing the load and paint performance of websites.
- How can we build a website that’s working well and is fast on low-tech devices and uses as little resources as possible while not looking very bad? The low tech magazine tried to find out and has built their website following a crazy approach to save resources. Neat additional fun fact: The websites goes offline when not enough sun is available to power the 2.5Watt solar panel that powers the server of the website.
- The new Google Web Fundamentals guide about measuring performance with the RAIL model is out and should be saved as a very useful link for when you want to analyze or debug the performance of a website.
HTML & SVG
<dialog>element which brings us most functionality out of the box, including accessibility. Chris Manning wrote an introduction to the dialog element and how we can use and polyfill it.
- Likely, everyone on earth knows what is meant when someone talks about the 9am rush hour. This article is a plea to rethink how we build for the web and why we should try to avoid traffic jams on the main thread of the browser and instead outsource everything that doesn’t belong to the UI into separate traffic lanes, like moving analytics scripts into a separate Web Worker.
Work & Life
- Here is a primer for regular employees on how to make your tech company adopt stronger sustainability practices and positions.
- We’ve all heared a lot about how David Heinemeier Hansson from Basecamp thinks differently about work, employment and goals for his company. This interview summarizes the challenges they faced and some of the differences in thinking as a company founder quite well. They’re successful in building a business that’s totally different from all the Silicon Valley startups out there and while their articles find great attraction, not many founders go into a similar direction but rather follow the quick money.
- Seth Godin ponders about Apple’s and Amazon’s net ‘value’ of a trillion dollars and why the profit of a company doesn’t matter but the importance of their work. The Wall Street usually doesn’t honor the importance of work but it’s wrong to focus on the Wall Street if you want to bring change to the world. Something we can think about each day, and decide for so many details again and again. It’s up to us what to choose.
- “The tech industry is growing at an exponential rate influencing society to the point that we are seeing the biggest shift, perhaps ever, in man-kind. Some tech services actually have billions of users. You read that right, not thousands, not millions, but BILLIONS of human beings using them regularly. It would be arrogant not to say that these services are forming our society and shaping our norms while their only objective was to keep the growth curve… growing.”—Anton Sten in ‘What about my responsibilities?’
- Anna Kucirkova wrote an article about the e-waste problem in today’s society and why things changed so much since the 80s where a toaster was servicing a whole family each day for breakfast for decades while nowadays we replace our more resource-consuming smartphones each year.