Hossein Derakhshan has been in jail for six years. He is an Iranian blogger and was arrested for his criticizing writing. Now he is back and wrote an important piece on what he thinks has changed on the Internet during the past six years and why it’s crucial for the web to change its direction back to where we started: An open, public, free place that is not relying its content on a few big money-driven ‘social’ media companies. The Web We Have To Save is definitely the one article you should read this week if not anything else. Do you care about the hyperlink? The probably most known hyperlinks today are
fb.me which are the link shorteners and data-channels of our biggest social networks. If they break, everything breaks.
- Firefox needs to ship prefixed gradients again soon as the removal of the prefixed support broke a lot of sites. Always ensure you are not using a prefixed code without providing non-prefixed code as well.
The better news: Firefox will deprecate
mozRequestAnimationFramecode soon and hopefully it does not come back since you’re all great programmers who used fallbacks and standardized syntax as well, right?
Concepts & Design
- If you follow the Principles of UX Choreography your users likely are very happy to use your application. While it has been a thing for Disney films for ages already, our relatively new shiny web industry is still new to all these animation work on websites and apps.
- And like a good UX choreography, onboarding new users is a very important thing: It’s easy to fail by guiding a user too less or too much so be sure to follow a decent and moderate path.
Generic / Tools
- The Web has a trust problem. Users expect a stable, reliable and safe environment and deserve it. Just because we’ve learned over our the course of our career how to deal with the abuse doesn’t mean our users should. And this is why the web is failing as every-day app platform.
- Do you know the GitHub feature to recover a deleted branch? Well, it’s built in git and you can use it on your local machine as well.
- Struggle to remember how to build or extend a
package.jsonmanually? json.is is a cool interactive online tool that helps you with it.
- At least every month old SSL ciphers or protocols are exploited these days. This time, the RC4 algorithm is shown vulnerable and insecure. If you can, you should not use this method anymore.
- It was foreseeable and now it’s the case: The first advertising companies try out to get IP addresses via WebRTC. That has been found out when the code for it appeared in the source of the NYTimes. They’re apparently not the only ones doing that (seems WashingtonPost has the same) but it’s sad to see this. I only hope browser vendors will stop this as soon as possible. I for my case blocked the host of the script that detects the IP in my local network entirely.
- It’s 2015 and we still struggle to agree on web metrics. And while there was a big reason why Lou Montulli invented web cookies back in the days instead of giving each browser an unique ID. But companies like Facebook or Google (with many others having the same potential) try to exactly do that now, even if it means to host all the content on their own (like Facebook Instant Articles). Because that way they can collect the metrics how they want and track the complete user behavior which is crucial for a social media advertising company.
- The easy part of web performance is optimizing it as a developer. The hard part? Having your managers, clients, executives, content editors, designers on board. Lara Hogan with some advice how you can attract these people to care about performance.
- News sites are fatter and slower than ever. It explains a lot why people use ad-block software to improve the speed of the website, to save money on their mobile plan and to not get annoyed by fancy banners, auto-play videos, overlays.
- Flipboard shares how they nearly doubled to 70m monthly active users by using the web as a platform.
HTML / SVG
- An in-depth look into styling SVG
<use>content with CSS with some clever tricks.
- An extensive look on Web Components appeared on the Windows Edge Dev blog. The first article explains the use cases and advantages of Web Components in general while the follow-up article shares the implementation and thoughts of the Edge dev team on Web Components.
- The DOM is getting better with
document.execCommand('copy')will soon be supported by all major browsers.
CSS / Sass
- Refresh your CSS knowledge? Here are 12 little known but handy things that you can use in CSS.
- Drew Minns tells you more about the cool
nth-childselectors we have today and how you can use it to create flexible quantity ordering in CSS.
Work & life
- “When you read this you have to care that the person who is writing this is not the person you want to be.”. No it’s not a melodramatic text but about a well-known thing we all do: Saying tomorrow we’ll be doing things differently. In the end we don’t. But we should change that.
- Hui Jing shares an important part of our industry: Seeing web development as profession doesn’t mean to just search for your problem and copy/paste code into your project without understanding what you it is doing.
- It is likely that in five years 80% of adults will have a smartphone. That big increasement and the rise of social media creates a lot of new challenges—like virtual populations in their own right. Cennydd Bowles takes on the ethics of digital design, mentioning the lack of diversity at the big tech companies’ development teams and how important it is that designers and developers know they not only empower people but need to protect their users.
- Especially when it comes to war, cruelty and violence, social media companies have a special kind of responsibility. With the appearance of IS videos on some of these networks a debate around removing such content, forbidding searching for some of the terms and the limitation of press freedom is now in discussion. I think this is one of the biggest social challenges we face today and in the upcoming years and we need to find a good solution that pleases the majority of people in the world and not only some leaders from whatever group or party they belong to.
- And while this only covers the digital social part, this New Yorker story reads like a good science-fiction but can turn real anytime soon and is in case is a much bigger social challenge than the one I mentioned before. It is the story with great DIY demonstration of how tectonic plates work and what is causing a big earth-quake and Tsunamis. It’s big story-telling with a reasonable background on the content. A powerful quote from the source says: “This is one time that I’m hoping all the science is wrong, and it won’t happen for another thousand years”.
- Finally, getting back to the digital world I excitedly see a few more companies actually caring and thinking if we’re doing it right at the moment building locked-down silos and centralized systems. FilamentHQ (no, not Filament Group) shares a declaration of device independence along with a story of the success of the XMPP protocol and how the fall of it relates to our today’s narrow-minded thinking.