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Web Development Reading List #163: The End-Of-Year Wrap-Up

Web Development Reading List #163: The End-Of-Year Wrap-Up

Only one week left until Christmas, and people already start freaking out again. No gifts purchased yet, work isn’t finished either, and suddenly some budget has to be spent until the end of the year. All of this puts us under pressure. To avoid the stress, I’ve seen a lot of people take a vacation from now until the end of the year — probably a good idea.

And while it’s nice to see so many web advent calendars, I feel like I’ve never written a longer reading list than this one. So save this edition if you don’t have much time currently and read it during some calm moments later this year or early next year. Most articles are still worth reading in a few weeks.

News Link

  • Opera 42 (built upon Chromium 55) is out1 and comes with a built-in currency converter, support for Pointer Events, JavaScript async/await, and CSS hyphens. document.write() on the other hand, will no longer load2 over 2G connections.
  • The EU Parliament is now drafting a directive that will force private sector companies to accommodate disabled people when offering their goods3 and services. This means financial firms will need to comply with WCAG and other accessibility standards soon.
  • Firefox has introduced Telemetry a while ago to its browser and now shares some details on what devices and hardware Firefox users use4. In September 2016, for example, 10% still used Windows XP while only 7% used macOS and 77% of the users still have Flash installed. The most common screen resolutions are 1366x768px and 1920x1080px. There are many more really interesting statistics in there, and we’ll have to see how this develops over the next few years. But for us web developers, this also highlights that we shouldn’t assume that people use QuadCore CPU, 8GB RAM machines but have “lower-end” devices instead. So be aware of this before you create fancy CPU/memory-consuming web applications that a user will not have fun with.
  • Samsung Internet browser 5.0 has been released5. It has some interesting new technologies built in, such as content provider extensions, 360˚ video, a QR code reader, and a video assistant.
Firefox Hardware Report
The Firefox Hardware Report76 gives insights into the hardware Firefox users are using. (Image credit: Firefox Hardware Report7)

Security Link

Privacy Link

  • A lot of us are using Disqus’ commenting system on their websites. It’s an easy way to add comments to your static website, but now Disqus announced that they need to lay off about 20% of their employees. But not only that, they will also change their strategy towards data collection and advertising9. Specifically, they elaborate on displaying ads in comments, and there are speculations that they will try to sell (anonymized) user data to advertisers to help them tailor their ads more precisely to users. Maybe time to reconsider if you really want to use the service.
  • The Freedom of Press Foundation has asked camera manufacturers to provide encryption methods10 for the stored data on the memory cards to help journalists in critical circumstances prevent leaks of their captured images.
  • According to a leaked draft, the new EPrivacy law of the European Union will allow companies to do behavioral advertising based on user metadata11.

Web Performance Link

Accessibility Link

Intern Accessibility17
Jason Cheatham explains how you can use the JavaScript testing tool The Intern for accessibility testing18. (Image credit: 19)

JavaScript Link

Emoji.prototype.length — a tale of characters in Unicode26
We use emoji every day. But why do they work so well with JavaScript operations? Stefan Judis sheds some light into the dark. (Image credit: Marko Skenderović27)

CSS/Sass Link

Work Life Link

Going Beyond… Link

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation34 or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here35. It’s available via email, RSS and online.

— Anselm

Footnotes Link

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