It’s your own responsibility to make 2015 the year you want it to be. For that I wish you all the health, energy, luck required. Make it so! —Rodney Rehm
It’s 2015 now and I hope each one of you had great holidays, Christmas and new year’s eve. As a last letter in the past year I’ve sent out a little bit different letter, and received so many lovely replies, ‘thank you’ messages and support. Let me say thank you for subscribing, supporting trusting me.
Now, let’s come to the web development stuff. We’re going through a bunch of new articles and tools in this issue, concatenated over the past two weeks:
- You know IMAP. Probably you also know about POP3, the other email protocol that is even worse. So FastMail came up with a new proposal for a new protocol that works better with servers, mobile phones, desktops and reflects the technology’s state of the art: JMAP.
- Adam Chlipala from the MIT just presented his approach to a unified web language:
Ur/Web(btw why are they allowed to publish such ugly new sites in 2015?). Here’s the gist of why and how.
Concepts & Design
- How do you manage design reviews with remote teams? There are many tools but RedPen is definitely a good choice.
- What makes a great website? One very strong point is to simplify your UX design.
- Codrops shared their most impacting articles of 2014 in this roundup.
- Gulp 4.0 is out and replaces the old task system completely. There’s now
gulp.parallel, you can opt for symlinks instead of directories for destinations and several other small improvements.
- PostCSS 4.0 has been released and brings developers new APIs for plugins.
- SSLMate lets you purchase SSL certificates from the command line.
- Yes, you can take Chrome DevTools out of the browser and pack them into its own app. Kenneth Auchenberg shares how to do and why it can be useful.
- The probably simplest way to monitor your server and get notified by email.
Security and Privacy
- Are you using PGP for your email? If so (you should btw), ever struggled with getting other people’s public key? There’s an initiative to standardize it now if you have your own domain. Just make the key available under
yoururl.com/pgp.asc. Simple, but with a big effect. This project is also open for contributions.
- This is a huge and in depth written document on how to migrate your website to HTTPS by Chris Palmer.
- A first and already very bullet-proof successor of TrueCrypt is out: VeraCrypt.
- Curious how you can still own your data while using social networks without fearing they get lost? Aaron Parecki has a list how to own your data.
- Who doesn’t know StackOverlow? But do you know how big they are? They shared this interesting info-chart about their technical setup and scalability. It reveals impressive data and an even more impressive web performance.
- Sara Soueidan gives some tips on how to deliver your SVGs with better performance. Enable gzip, avoid multiple requests (unless you have SPDY/HTTP2 enabled on all servers), avoid data URIs.
- How Wikipedia made editing twice as fast. Interesting case study on performance optimization for a low-budget, incredibly high traffic site.
HTML / SVG
- SVGSprite – Joschi Kuphal released this node.js module that reads SVG files, optimizes them and creates sprites or stacks and styles for it automatically. The great thing: You choose if CSS, LESS, Sass, Stylus. And you choose if to output SVG sprites (using SVG views,
<symbol>) or SVG stacks. If you’re using Grunt you’re covered with this package, if you’re using Gulp, you’re covered with this package. Finally, Iconizr, a tool that also creates PNG fallbacks for SVGs, it based on it and also available in many variations.
- See this free Adobe Illustrator SVG optimizer (only for creative cloud members, otherwise go here to the source).
- Want to bind actions to scrolling? Here’s an article by Dennis Gaebel how to do this with ScrollMagic.
CSS / Sass
- Vertical alignment. Who would have thought it? Since December, 18th 2014 the W3C has updated the CSS Box Alignment Module to Level 3 which contains several specifications about vertical centering boxes.
- At Etsy the team is doing an engineering rotation, regularly. Read why it’s important to do it and what the engineers gain from it.
- Instead of having a fixed timeframe to work for each day, try creating an energy based work week.
- What about starting the new year with cleaning your house? Nah, I don’t mean your actual house, what is meant is your digital house, your computer.
- Ai WeiWei is living in our future if we don’t change anything: Permanent surveillance. This is an interesting piece of text that reminds us how near such scenarios are to each of us.
- Jeremy Keith on why we over-inflate the negative and undervalue the positive. I think we should change that. I myself will try to accomplish that by just noting what I’ve done today. Both, positive and negative.
And that’s it again for this week. If you liked the content, please consider support by using Flattr or gratipay me or share this resource with other people. Learn more about the costs of the project here. It’s available via E-Mail, RSS and online.
Read the Letter online
Thanks and all the best,