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Q&A with Rob Monster following the Epik breach.

The CEO of Epik, the web hosting service known for client such as Gab, on the break of their database and various other topics and company history.

blog.mollywhite.net/monster-qa

New blog post: "How to write about web performance" nolanlawson.com/2021/09/12/how

Wherein I talk about why it's important for non-browser engineers to write about browser performance, and how I go about doing it without (mostly) shooting myself in the foot.

Back on my vague thoughts about writing a tutorial on building modern PHP apps without frameworks. It’s not as much “reinvent the wheel” as it is “learn the wheels that are built-in.”

TIL, Wikipedia editors maintain a list of when (not) to consider a source reliable.

I was familiar with the guideline for sources that are (almost) entirely disallowed, [1] but this is a more elaborate and nuanced list. It's important to remember that our world is rarely boolean!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedi


[1]: w.wiki/42KY

Superb deep dive on rust compile optimisation with CI caching, examining usage of monomorphisation, and graphing the build tree: matklad.github.io/2021/09/04/f

Great timing on this, since it addresses the same concerns we raise in the post: the requirement that the system WebKit be the only browser engine on iOS is not only dishonest and shoddy, but it leaves all of us without any leverage to fix the situation. Apple gets to create roadblocks to features, keep their browser in a state of disrepair, and then use that environment as evidence for further neglect. infrequently.org/2021/08/webki

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"Right-to Left Support for Websites" with Moriel Schottlender.

In this casual and accessible chat, one the leading experts on internationalization on the web walks you through the world of RTL, how and why it's hard for both native and web, andecdotes of how we solved them at large for Wikipedia. Issues with page layouts, site themes, user input, forms, etc.

(I worked with her on the VisualEditor team. She's awesome!)

learnwithjason.dev/right-to-le

"I accidentally took down GitHub Actions" by Teddy Katz.

"""
I had considered that this might happen, so I […] deleted my fork, [but the URL] still returned a 404, meaning that I’d accidentally broken everyone’s builds with no way to fix them.
"""

Don't build your systems atop Git shorthashes, kids — They're for display purposes only!

Katz's blog is a great one to follow, with posts on other interesting exploits as well.

blog.teddykatz.com/2019/11/12/

"1997: Netscape Crossware vs the Windows Web" by Richard MacManus webdevelopmenthistory.com/1997

Interesting history. It's fascinating how far web development has come, and yet how similar it was even 25 years ago.

lyrics 

How many roads must a man walk down.
Before this issue is solved?

How many seas must a white dove sail.
Before she can print lazily?

Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist.
Before this issue is washed to the sea?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind...

(With apologies to Bob Dylan.)

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"Save to PDF" is an important browser feature for Wikipedia and its global audience.

Yet, three years after the native <img loading="lazy"> feature ships, it still don't work, which is the last thing standing in the way of Wikipedia adopting this natively.

On the bright side, a fellow soldier wrote a Bob Dylan parody just for us.

bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/i

New blog post: "Does shadow DOM improve style performance?" nolanlawson.com/2021/08/15/doe

Wherein I benchmark some stuff to see if shadow DOM can actually improve web performance. The answer is: it depends! But I think it's pretty interesting.

Nice mini-site from Alvy Ray Smith, one of the cofounders of Pixar, debunking a lot of the myths about Steve Jobs' involvement in the company.

TLDR; he was a very useful investor for them but the idea that his "vision" shaped the company is incorrect. Around the time Toy Story was poised to be a hit, he positioned himself to *look* like a visionary.

alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarHistory

"Back to the Future with RSS!" by Nicky Case ncase.me/rss/

RSS is still the best way to consume internet media IMO. Let's hear it for RSS.

Fitbit and Garmin seem to only work when paired with an app that shares data unconditonally, and are fairly expensive (> $100).

Lintelek is a cheap alternative for $25 I tried (sold under various Chinese brands, all the same underneath), and works without app-pairing, but has no on-device history, and the app unconditonally shares data with its mothership...

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What pedometer (step counting) devices do people like?

I'm looking for wearables, preferably wristband/watch, to count steps and view some past data (support iOS, if app-based).

I found mostly hostile "pay with your data" devices (manufacturer uploads from app, no opt-out, can't view data unless agreeing), or analogue hip-worn devices that reset daily without history. Are there none with an app that doesn't mandate data sharing?

Boost welcome 🔁

Most Popular Messengers 1995-2020

My Dutch 90s-kid perspective:

1999: AIM AOL: 12 million, ICQ: 6M, Yahoo: 3M.
2006: MSN Live➕: 260M, Skype: 70M, Yahoo: 60M, AIM: 60M, G Talk➕: 4M.
2011: Skype: 220M, MSN: 180M, WhatsApp➕: 160M, iMessage➕: 40M.
2012: Skype 280M, WhatsApp: 260M, iMessage: 130M, SnapChat➕: 90M.
2020: WhatsApp: 1.6 billion, Facebook➕: 1.3B, iMessage: 514M, Telegram➕: 402M, Snap: 230M, ICQ: 11M.

Billions! And... the ICQ brand survived!?

youtube.com/watch?v=yJ3TTV0Il4

New blog post: "Improving responsiveness in text inputs" nolanlawson.com/2021/08/08/imp

I had a Mastodon thread about this recently, so I decided to blog about it. It really bothers me when text inputs are slow to type into, so hopefully these tips will help webdevs to improve their text inputs.

@ppk @thomaswilburn Yeah, I'm glad that we're not in a Chromium monoculture (yet) too. In terms of a counterweight, I feel what's missing is a Mozilla with the zeal of the Firefox OS era, where they were adding PWA-like features at a breakneck pace but while keeping the interests of the web at heart.

I feel like Apple and Mozilla today are just under-investing and pretending like it's some kind of grand strategy.

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This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!