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Weekly Web Roundup - 01

ardennl profile image Arden de Raaij ・7 min read

The year has barely started and everything is already on fireπŸ”₯. Luckily there's more going on than the crippling vulnerabilities in our CPU's. In this post I've rounded up my favorite articles, tweets and thoughts about web development from the first week of 2018. Enjoy!

News

Meltdown & Spectre

Don't panic! Meltdown and Spectre aren't new JavaScript frameworks you need to learn. They're vulnerabilities that seem to affect almost any CPU built since '95. You may panic now.

The vulnerabilities that researchers found could potentially be used to intercept passwords, logins and other credentials... without a trace! There's not much you can do at the moment but making sure your software is updated and keep an eye on the developments. In any case, Meltdown and Spectre will have implications for a long time to come. On a positive note, the logo's of Meltdown and Spectre are pretty cool.

Articles

Productivity

Tackling routines with Dave Geddes

On Twitter, Coding guru Kent C. Dodds shared a nice article on routines and how to keep to them going. It's written by Dave Geddes who you might know from his Flexbox Zombies and Grid Critters tutorial games. In any case, Dave has a few points that really resonate with me, like how hard it is to go in bed in time when the internet is still on your mind:

My new routine starts at 10:00PM every night (a successful morning routine starts the night before). When 10PM rolls around I feel very little desire to shut my brain/computer down and start getting ready for bed.

Nowadays I try and read a (fiction!) book before I get to bed. This allows me to concentrate on something unrelated to my work and as a side-effect, makes me sleepy.

Do you have any routines to make sure you start the next day fresh?

Productivity Links

React

Upgrading to React 16 with DriveTribe

If you're really into cars you might know Drivetribe, a community driven site about... cars. I'm more interested in their tech stack as they seem to be pretty serious about their development. Matt Perry, drive-tribe engineer, creator of Popmotion and all-round smart guy has written a great article on upgrading the DriveTribe stack to React 16 which turned out to be pretty easy, especially if you know that React Router v3 is actually compatible. Read the article on the DriveTribe engineering blog.

React Links

Accessibility

Accesibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag

I finally got around to finishing Laura's book on accessibility. It's a great resource and even though it's a bit dry (but which tech book isn't) it's very emphatically written and is almost a full guide on how to make your apps and webpages inclusive. To me, this book seems like one of these must-haves for every development agency. Buy Accesibility for everyone on a book apart.

I also made some notes on the book

Accessibility links

General

  • iOS throttles requestAnimationFrame to 30fps in cross-origin iframes and low power mode. On popmotion blog
  • On that note, if you haven' tried Popmotion yet, you should! It's hands down the most impressive animation library I've worked with since Greensock.
  • Scrollarama is a scroll based storytelling library based on the intersection observer. As the Intersection Observer API is pretty easy I'm not sure if you need a library for htis, but it looks good. (Also, wasn't there something performance problem with Intersection Observer and timing based animations?)
  • Zell Liew has released his JavaScript course 'learnjavascript.today' which will attempt to completely demistify JavaScript for front-end developers
  • The WordPress community always seems to be up in arms about something or the other. At the moment the subject is Gutenburg, the upcoming(?) editor for the WordPress CMS. Webdev studios wrote a great piece on how Gutenberg might affect your current content.
  • Smashing Magazine released a big front-end performance checklist and it's awesome.
  • A new JavaScript framework? Another one won't hurt. Svelte is the new kid on the block and it looks really easy and convinient. I haven't tried it yet.
  • Almost forgot, but Sarah Drasner made this amazing JS Object explorer to help you figure out which methods to apply. It's amazing.

What have I been up to?

Reading 'Functional-Light JavaScript' by Kyle Simpsons

Kyle Simpsons 'You Don't Know JavaScript' series have been a great help in my path to a deeper understanding of the language. Because I haven't worked with any other programming languages, I didn't know JavaScript is a bit of an odd duck. There's no one way to write good JavaScript and there are a multitude of concepts and paradigms you can apply to the language. 'Functional-Light JavaScript' by Kyle Simpsons seems to be the introduction to Functional Programming I needed, and so far the book has been greatly interesting. The book is published on Leanpub but also available for free on Github. Don't forget to give Kyle some support!

ES6 Classes

Speaking about paradigms; I wanted to write a simple article on ES6 classes as it seems like a lot of people just use them because they came with the framework. Little did I know I'd tumble down the rabbit hole and am now also writing about paradigms, general prototype inheritance and trying to find some middle ground between pro- and anti class camps within JavaScript.

Gatsby Starter

It's no secret I'm a fan of Gatsby and the concept of static site generators based on React. More for myself than anyone else I made the gatsby skeleton starter markdown to always have a SEO friendly PWA as starting point of my web app.

Reading 'Getting things done'... again

The last time I was reading Getting Things Done(GTD) I quit halfway through, which is not a good sign for a book that claims to help you getting things done. But I assure you that I did pick up a lot from it. The book just gave me a sort of anxiety after a while, like I needed to be constantly classifying, organizing and structuring every single step in my life. I don't think life is, or should be, that rigid. In any case, I'm giving it another go.

Shower thoughts

Read more fiction

Why is it that every time a developer advises a book it's "12 ways to become a ninja warrior of effectiveness?". Fiction books are so much more fun and relaxing. They're like your favorite movies and television shows, only without the screen and anxiety. A book series I've been greatly enjoying is the 'Themis files' by Sylvain Neuvel. Something I love about modern authors is that I can pester them on twitter and they answer!

Everything is broken

If the web is 'broken', apps are even more so!

The React team is really cool

Although I actively dislike Facebook as a concept, I love React and their core team. I'm amazed by their involvement and even though it's such a huge library with countless of plugins and adaptions, you will probably still come across a React Core member replying to a Github issue in a repository with 5 stars. πŸ‘

Fin

And on that note I'll end this newsletter! I hope you enjoyed my web week. If this article is appreciated, I will try and publish something weekly or bi-weekly. Also, any tips on the format are most welcome.

Posted on by:

ardennl profile

Arden de Raaij

@ardennl

Front-end developer based in Lisbon, co-founder of cfye.com and enjoyer of beaches and waves.

Discussion

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This is some great stuff! There's always something you miss in the firehose of information coming our way and this filled in a few more of those gaps for me.

I also totally agree on reading fiction before bed. It can really help switch you mind over to a more restful state (too punny?). Comic books can work here, too. And I've started using my ancient 1st gen Nook because it's got no backlight and my eyes really thank me.

Hope you keep sharing these posts!

 

Thanks for the kind words, now I'm already convinced I should continue my weekly roundups! Writing this post was really nice because I actually paid proper attention to what new articles I wanted to read and share. Usually I just click a link on twitter when I'm distracted from what I'm supposed to be doing which isn't a very productive way of gathering information. Now I listed everything and took some time to sort / go through them at the end of the week. I should probably find a way to divide that a bit over the week but I feel it's been beneficial already.

Comics are definitely possible too, but indeed there's that light thing! I mostly use my phone for reading with the brightness all the way down and the color on night mode. It doesn't seem to effect my sleep. Are you reading anything interesting at the moment?

 

Oh man, I agree 100% about Facebook and React. I had been introduced to React via here and a number of other sites before realizing it was associated with Facebook, and was astonished to say the least. Honestly, it seems like Facebook's forte by far is everything they do and sponsor and create that isn't actually their main product :P (I suspect the programmers of Facebook-the-site-itself have similar opinions, honestly.)

RE classes and ES6, I feel like the biggest thing in my book is: they're nifty, they're definitely a sweeter-than-most level of syntactic sugar, use them if you want and skip them if you don't, but the biggest thing is to just make sure that people who are introduced to them and are using them--both newbies to OOP and not--realize that they are atypical of what many (most?) other languages do with classes. For folks who have done Java and other similar ones, I can get the appeal--and dis-appeal as well--of the class system in JS; but for people who haven't had languages that deal with them in a typical manner, JavaScript's class system is... not a great way to learn something when your future encounters of it are going to behave pretty differently.

 

It's impressive isn't it? As far as I know, they're not a huge core team but the way they engage with the community is just solid. I sort of imagined an army of unapproachable engineers hidden away in the basements of Silicon Valley and instead they're these cool, open people who actively seek out the community. It's not as big and scary as people might imagine.

What you're saying about classes confirms what I've been writing down so far, so that's quite comforting! I don't have much experience with class based languages, but I'm reading a lot right now and I'm starting to understand why the JS interpretation of classes is not really what classes are in general.

Thanks for the comment and info on classes, greatly appreciated! πŸ™Œ

 

I'm subscribed 100% can't wait to read more. Awesome read.

 

Thanks Ben, it's appreciated! For the next time I'll make sure the article is edited as well. I've got a close friend who proof-reads and checks all my articles if he has the time. I'm learning that my written English has taken a hit the past decade πŸ˜…

 
 

Thanks, I should've included your article about mining! I'll round them up for the next week ;).