Links

Hand-picked links worth sharing.

Subscribe via RSS or JSON Feed.

  1. Simplicity (II)
    bastianallgeier.com

    Bastian Allgeier:

    I have a simple rule of thumb when it comes to programming:

    less code === less potential issues

    This rule of thumb controls my own feelings towards a solution. It shouldn’t take 120 MB of code to uglify some JS. But maybe I’m wrong.

    In practice, this dependency hell has bitten me so often already that my life expectancy probably sank by 2-3 years. You want to build a JS file? Please update Webpack first. Oh, that new version of Webpack is no longer compatible with your Node version. Oh, your new Node version is no longer compatible with that other dependency. Oh, now you have 233 detected security issues in all your node_modules but you can’t fix them because that would break something completely unrelated.

  2. 5G Will Definitely Make the Web Slower, Maybe
    filamentgroup.com

    Scott Jehl:

    Faster networks should fix our performance problems, but so far, they have had an interesting if unintentional impact on the web. This is because historically, faster network speed has enabled developers to deliver more code to users—in particular, more JavaScript code.

    Ugh. Jeremy Keith comments:

    The longer I spend in this field, the more convinced I am that web performance is not a technical problem; it’s a people problem.

  3. The Myth of the Pixel Perfect Grid
    shkspr.mobi

    Terence Eden explains how different screen technologies, human biology, and fingerprint grease make “pixel perfection” a pointless goal:

    There is no grid. There never has been. You can align to theoretical pixels - but as soon as the image hits a physical screen, it will be adjusted to best fit reality.

    An obsession with pixel perfect rendering is futile.

    Every Layout expands on this idea, specifically as it pertains to CSS:

    Suffice it to say that, while screens are indeed made up of pixels, pixels are not regular, immutable, or constant. A 400px box viewed by a user browsing zoomed in is simply not 400px in CSS pixels. It may not have been 400px in device pixels even before they activated zoom.

    See also: Ian Mallett’s Subpixel Zoo: A Catalog of Subpixel Geometry.

  4. Styling Links with Real Underlines
    css-tricks.com

    Ollie Williams welcomes the new CSS properties for styling underlines:

    Finally we can demarcate links without sacrificing style thanks to two new CSS properties.

    • text-underline-offset controls the position of the underline.
    • text-decoration-thickness controls the thickness of underlines, as well as overlines, and line-throughs.

    I’ve been working on a blog post about this topic, and Ollie does a good job of covering some of the points I want to make. But I want to go further and explore implementation quirks, the details where the new properties don’t quite go far enough, and make a case for why underlines shouldn’t be pixel-aligned.

  5. Introducing caniemail.com
    caniemail.com

    Rémi Parmentier:

    Last march, I wrote a proposal for Can I email, a website similar to caniuse.com dedicated to support in email clients.

    Today, barely six months after, I am really happy and pleased to announce that with the help of my colleagues and members of the email geeks community, we’re officially launching caniemail.com.

    Wow, this was sorely needed.

  6. Hackers Hit Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey in a ‘SIM Swap.’ You’re at Risk, Too
    nytimes.com

    Nathaniel Popper:

    Called SIM swapping, it allows hackers to take control of a victim’s phone number. In recent months, SIM swapping has been used to hijack the online personas of politicians, celebrities and notables like Mr. Dorsey, to steal money all over the world and to simply harass regular people.

    Victims, no matter how prominent or technically sophisticated, have been unable to protect themselves, even after they have been hit again and again.

    “I’ve been looking at the criminal underground for a long time, and SIM swapping bothers me more than anything I’ve seen,” said Allison Nixon, the director of research at the security firm Flashpoint. “It requires no skill, and there is literally nothing the average person can do to stop it.”

    We’ve been hearing about this exploit for years. Of course, things seem to only have gotten worse.

  7. Less Data Doesn’t Mean a Lesser Experience
    timkadlec.com

    Tim Kadlec explores strategies for dealing with the Save-Data header without degrading the experience, because not every user that enables it will be aware of the potential consequences:

    The possibilities are endless. If you treat data as a constraint in your design and development process, you’ll likely be able to brainstorm a large number of different ways to keep data usage to a minimum while still providing an excellent experience. Doing less doesn’t mean it has to feel broken.

  8. Lucas Pope on the challenge of creating Obra Dinn’s 1-bit aesthetic
    pcgamer.com

    PC Gamer’s Steven T. Wright interviews Lucas Pope on the process of creating Return of the Obra Dinn:

    “When you’re developing a game as one person, you have a lot of advantages and a lot of disadvantages,” he says. “One of the advantages is that you can afford to make a game for two years without even really knowing what it is, which is exactly what I did. One of the disadvantages is that you have to do something different visually to stand out. This means I have to solve all sorts of problems that nobody else has solved, at least recently. But I think that can be fun in its own right.”

    The game’s development seems to have been more of a process of discovery and improvisation than one of decisive creativity. That explains a lot.

  9. What I Like About Eleventy
    daverupert.com

    Dave Rupert is, like me, a longtime Jekyll user. He’s trying out Eleventy — which I’m super curious about — and getting good results. The massive performance difference when compared to Jekyll is very compelling to me, but so is the flexibility to write little bits of code to extend functionality without much fuss:

    On the Cathedral vs. Bazaar spectrum, Eleventy operates more on the bazaar end. By that I mean it doesn’t prescribe much. You want a bunch of filters? Write your own, Eleventy only comes with two. You want multiple layouts? Write a bit of JS to get those registered. Did you remember to setup an .eleventyignore? Even the Sass and JS pipelines are BYO.

  10. Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It
    wired.com

    Zeynep Tufekci on the miracle of open source software:

    As a social scientist myself, I can say that convincing a colleague from the past that Wikipedia and Linux actually work the way they do would be a pretty huge lift. Given the assumption, common to many 20th-century schools of thought, that humans act in incorrigibly selfish ways, the notion that tens of thousands of people would collaborate to create, respectively, a living monument to human knowledge and a foundational piece of computing infrastructure, free of charge, simply sounds too fanciful.

  11. IndieWeb Link Sharing
    mxb.dev

    Max Böck:

    Posting a new short “note” on my site currently requires me to commit a new markdown file to the repository on Github. That’s doable (for a developer), but not really convenient, especially when you’re on the go and just want to share a quick link.

    It me.

    The new link sharing basically has three main parts:

    • a small Javascript bookmarklet to act as a “share button”
    • a form that collects and sends the shared link data, and
    • a serverless function to process it and create a new file.

    Gotta get on this train! I’m already working on it, though my solution will be based on the Micropub spec. But that live preview is sweet and now I want it too.

  12. A Framework for Moderation
    stratechery.com

    Ben Thompson on internet content moderation:

    The top of the stack is about broadcasting — reaching as many people as possible — and while you may have the right to say anything you want, there is no right to be heard. Internet service providers, though, are about access — having the opportunity to speak or hear in the first place. In other words, the further down the stack, the more legality should be the sole criteria for moderation; the further up the more discretion and even responsibility there should be for content.

    This passage made me feel a little queasy but I think I agree?

    I ultimately reject the idea that publishing on the Internet is a right that must be guaranteed by 3rd parties. Stand on the street corner all you like, at least your terrible ideas will be limited by the physical world. The Internet, though, with its inherent ability to broadcast and congregate globally, is a fundamentally more dangerous medium that is by-and-large facilitated by third parties who have rights of their own.