Reading List #15

Hello 👋

Another week, another reading list. I managed to get away from the news and off twitter much more this week, which made this week much more productive than the last.

Also, after a first (and horribly unsuccessful) one, I started another try to cultivate my own sourdough starter this week, which gave me something else to think about and do, away from any screens. So far I’m optimistic that this time, it could turn out to become a bread some day. We’ll see.

Here’s some of what I’ve been reading this week:

Frontend Development

🤝 Browser Interop 2022

Interop 2022 is an initiative, which was announced this week simultaneously by Apple, Bocoup, Google, Igalia, Microsoft and Mozilla, to solve the top browsers’ compatibility issues. It focuses on 15 areas, and pretty much all of them sound very interesting.

web.dev – Interop 2022: browsers working together to improve the web for developers

🔎 CSS Variables in the Web Inspector

If you work with CSS Variables the Web Inspector can get quite crowded and it’s sometimes hard to find the ones you look for. Webkit implemented a few interesting improvements in the newest Safari Technology Preview version, like grouping variables by value type, searching for variables with fuzzy-search, and some more.

Webkit Blog – Taming CSS Variables with Web Inspector

🪄 Intuitive Context Menus

Context menus in a complex UI can be a challenge to build. In this post, Height shows what went into making their own menus as intuitive as possible.

Height – Building like it’s 1984: A comprehensive guide to creating intuitive context menus

🐥 Build the smallest, simplest thing you can

Ben Werdmüller argues that to test your assumptions, you shouldn’t worry too much about your code quality, writing tests, QA and such, but that you should try and build the smallest thing you possibly can to test your assumptions with real users, fast. Or, as he puts it:

“The question is always: what’s the shortest distance to proving or disproving your assumption?”

Ben Werdmüller

As someone who generally tends to overthink things, I can totally relate to this.

Ben Werdmüller – Build the smallest, simplest thing you can


WordPress

🚀 Performance Lab Feature Plugin released

After its formation in October 2021, the Performance Team now released a feature Plugin called Performance Labs. Instead of releasing feature experiments in separate plugins, they will release all of them bundled in this one and you can choose to activate all of them or single experiments one by one. Right now, the features include WebP support, auditing of enqueued assets like CSS and JS and checking for persistent object cache. The plugin should be seen as a beta plugin (and therefore used with caution) and it doesn’t replace other performance plugins you might already use.

Make Blog – The performance Labs plugin has been released

🔔 WP Notification Center

Jonathan Bossenger sums up some ideas on how notifications in WordPress could look like in the future. Some interesting concepts and a long overdue initiative!

Jonathan Bossenger – What Does a Better Notification System for WordPress Actually Look Like?


Other / Random

📰 Quitting the News

I found this post when Mark mentioned it on twitter. I think it’s fair to say that I’m somewhat of an information junkie myself. Not necessarily just with news, but if anything interests me, I want to know as much as I can about it. While I couldn’t imagine completely “quitting” the news as the article suggests (whatever that would mean exactly), I’m totally aware that certain boundaries are important, especially during times like these where we are bombarded with news and other bits of information day in and day out.

Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News

🔭 School does not teach science

Everyone who knows me, knows that I haven’t exactly enjoyed my time at school. Even though I had an easy time getting good grades and was a “good student” by those measures, it felt like the biggest waste of time and I hated everything about it until I finally dropped out. It was only later in life that I started to appreciate all the beautiful, weird and interesting things in science. And none of those I learned in school.

I think Dans’ explanation of what’s wrong with the current school system (I guess he’s talking about the US, but I don’t think it matters too much here) is spot on: It’s more indoctrination (memorization of finished concepts/answers) than giving you a framework and ways to prove/disprove something all by yourself.

Dan’s thoughts – In defense of flat earthers


🥂 Have a nice weekend!