Reading List #26

Hi 👋

This week, WordPress 6.0 “Arturo” was released, which brought many long awaited new features to the block editor. WordPress is generally very good at backwards-compatibility, so the updates are usually not problematic. Except for some plugin-compatibility checks, which you should always do before-hand (looking at you, WPML), there’s not much more to do before updating the client sites we maintain. So far we didn’t experience any bigger issues.

Apart from that, we made quite some progress on a WooCommerce project for a new client. I hope to be able to talk about this very soon, when it’s finally released.

Frontend Development

✨ Lesser-known and underused CSS-Features

It’s amazing to see how CSS keeps becoming more and more capable. Adrian Bece collected some of the interesting new features that are rather less-known, but could already be used today. He also provides some good examples for each use-case which makes it very easy to follow along. Definitely learned a thing or two.

Smashing Magazine – Lesser-Known And Underused CSS Features In 2022

✊ Progressive Enhancement is important, friends

Just a few days ago, I experienced first-hand how it feels, when a site breaks. I wanted to know more about an app that I’ve read about, but I couldn’t because a few JS files did not load due to some network errors.

And to make it worse for the people who manage this site, they couldn’t even do anything about it, because the site in question was built using Squarespace, which means their hands are pretty much tied in a situation like this and the only thing one can do is wait it out.

If you happen to have a page built in a way that lets you choose to build things properly, and you are using your JavaScript responsibly, Search Engine Journal has an article with some JavaScript Optimization Tips.

Search Engine Journal – 6 JavaScript Optimization Tips From Google

👨‍💻 10 Years of programming

Thorsten Ball writes about some of the things he learned in 10 years of programming professionally. It has a few things in it that made me nod my head, but here’s a few favorites (emphasis mine):

About “rules”:

It’s not about the rules! It’s about the problems these rules are trying to prevent. If you don’t have the problem they’re trying to prevent, or you can prevent it another way, you don’t need the rule.

About dependencies:

Dependencies aren’t free. You have to keep them up to date. They increase your compile or loading times. They add strange things to your stack traces. And very often they do more than what you need them to do, which means you’re paying for more than you’re getting.

About building things you “will or might need in the future”:

Now: we don’t know whether we’ll need this, it’s a possibility, sure, and it looks like we might need it, yes, but things change all the time, so let’s build what we know we need right now.

Thorsten Ball – Professional Programming: The First 10 Years

🎭 Puppeteer Heap Snapshots

This sounds like a pretty smart way of building a Web Scraper using the JS heap directly, instead of accessing and parsing the DOM structure itself. We’ve done quite a bit of DOM-scraping for various client projects in the past, to get some data that wasn’t accessible through an API, but we will see if something like this could be a better option in the future.

Adrian Cooney – Web Scraping via JavaScript Runtime Heap Snapshots


WordPress

Chris Wiegman looking into Alternatives to WordPress

Chris Wiegman is musing about why he considers to switch away from WordPress, again. He’s going through what he feels missing from WordPress. It’s interesting how different the changes in WordPress can be seen by different people. While working with the block editor much more in the last weeks, I really started to like it and the possibilities it gives us for our clients. Seems like Chris doesn’t like much of the direction it takes at the moment. For me and the sites we’re building, I see the direction mostly positive and I think it’s unbelievable how much effort went into making it work for both the “build a brochure site yourself with lots of design possibilities” people, as well as developers working on bigger bespoke client sites.

Chris Wiegman – What Is There Besides WordPress?

🦊 What if Automattic would buy mozilla?

Michael Rackham asked on the WPMinute podcast and on twitter what would happen if Automattic would buy (or primarily fund) mozilla. When he @-mentioned Matt Mullenweg, he even got this very short answer:

Would happily do it.

Matt Mullenweg – @photomatt

Not sure what this would mean for mozilla, but it would certainly be received a lot better than Musks announcement to acquire twitter.

twitter – Captain Macho Pirate Mick Rackham

📝 On Block Themes

In this thread, Rich Tabor shared some slides from his WordSesh-Talk about Block Themes. Haven’t seen the talk but the slides and his comments are interesting on their own as well.

Rich Tabor – Bodacious Block Themes


Other / Random

👩‍❤️‍👨 Iceland has an “Incest Prevention App”

The wonderful tagline “Bump in the app before you bump in bed” is from an app used in Iceland to avoid inadvertently sleeping with your cousin. Iceland has less than 400’000 inhabitants, and on top of that they don’t pass on their surname to the next generation, which together makes finding out if you could be related to someone a lot harder yet at the same time much more likely than in other countries.

The app lets you bump your phones together to quickly check whether getting in bed with someone could be a bad idea.

Looks like there really is an app for everything.

Iceland’s Incest Prevention App Gets People to Bump Their Phones Before Bumping in Bed


Cheers ✨