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Web Development Reading List #150: Less Code, GitHub’s Security, And The Morals Of Science

Web Development Reading List #150: Less Code, GitHub’s Security, And The Morals Of Science

There is a lot to learn this week. It starts with non-technical things like going for a walk to refresh your mind and finishes with how to prevent reverse XSS attacks in forms. But it doesn’t matter whether you learn how to build self-contained web components using the new specification or to maximize the efficiency of your Angular 2 app or just how you can write less code. What matters is that you keep asking questions and that you try to get better and smarter at your craft.

General Link

  • Heydon Pickering shares tips on writing less code1 to make your developer life easier. Something we all should remember.

Tools Workflows Link

  • Nucleus52 is certainly not the first living style guide generator but it’s still worth sharing. The Node.js module fits into existing projects, follows the Patternlab splitting by default, and has a nice layout where you easily find the things you’re looking for.
  • If you ever lost a stash in git, here are a few tips on how to recover dropped stashes3.
Nucleus52 is a living style guide generator that fits in well in both new and existing projects.

Security Link

  • Matthew Green asks himself if Apple’s cloud key vault is a crypt backdoor6. In his explanatory answer, he shares why Apple’s method of using Hardware Security Modules is pretty clever and maybe worth learning more about if you’re interested in storing sensitive user data behind weak user-set passwords.
  • Using social engineering by pretending to be a valid website in the URL bar is easy with the RTL feature of Chrome and Firefox and this little trick7. I’m sure this type of attack is successful since most normal users do check if a URL is correct but they can’t see anything bad in it. A good reminder that we need to find better ways to let users know that the URL they visit is safe.
  • When we look into the source code of forms at, we’ll find some interesting markup in there8. Its purpose: preventing XSS attacks. In this blog post we can learn about the tricks that GitHub uses9 to maximize the security of their web application.
  • Troy Hunt wraps up how our personal data is usually leaked10 and why security is a design process, not only an implementation process. Also a good primer on how to design a password recovery feature.
Address bar spoofing11
Who’s really behind the URL? Ray Baloch uncovers an address bar spoofing vulnerability12 in Chrome and Firefox. (Image credit: Rafay Baloch13)

Web Performance Link

  • Nolan Lawson wrote about the cost of small modules14, analyzing how much code is used when you build your codebase with a lot of small modules. The article reveals interesting stats and compares modern minifiers and JavaScript bundlers, as well as execution times of such bundles in various browsers.

JavaScript Link

Work Life Link

Going Beyond… Link

  • Bill Gates shares what he learned from his school teacher20 and how only later he realized that students should ask teachers more questions. If we ask more, we will learn from others. It’s always harder to proactively communicate knowledge to other people than being asked for it.
  • Phillip Rogaway shares a paper on “The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work21” (PDF). An interesting read on the shift of power and why cryptography is often a political tool that demands high morals and ethical fundamentals of those who build it. Anyone who ever discussed the topic of morals and ethics in science should read this.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation22 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here23. It’s available via email, RSS and online.

— Anselm

Footnotes Link

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SmashingConf New York

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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