Weekly Platform News: Strict Tracking Protection, Dark Web Pages, Periodic Background Sync

In this week’s news: Firefox gets strict, Opera goes to the dark side, and Chrome plans to let web apps run in the background.

Let’s get into the news.

Firefox for Android will block tracking content

Mozilla has announced that the upcoming revamped Firefox for Android (currently available in a test version under the name “Firefox Preview”) will include strict tracking protection by default.

On the phone or tablet, most users care much more about performance and blocking of annoyances

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Dip Your Toes Into Hardware With WebMIDI

Did you know there is a well-supported browser API that allows you to interface with interesting and even custom-built hardware using a mature protocol that predates the web? Let me introduce you to MIDI and the WebMIDI API and show you how it presents a unique opportunity for front-end developers to break outside the browser and dabble in the world of hardware programming without leaving the relative comfort of JavaScript and the DOM.

What are MIDI and WebMIDI exactly?

MIDIRead article

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How I’ve Improved as a Web Developer (and a Person) in 2019

We’re sliding into the roaring twenties of the twenty-first century (cue Jazz music 🎷). It’s important that you and I, as responsible people, follow the tradition of looking back on the past year and reflect on the things that went right and wrong in the hopes of becoming the best version of ourselves in the year ahead.

I never do New Year’s resolutions, except for when I was ten years old and wanted to open a local self-run detective agency … Read article

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Just Sharing My Gulpfile

Seemingly out of the blue, the Gulp processing I had set up for this site started to have a race condition. I’d run my watch command, change some CSS, and the processing would sometimes leave behind some extra files that were meant to be cleaned up during the processing. Like the cleanup tasks happened before the files landed in the file system (or something… I never really got to the bottom of it).

Nevermind about the specifics of that bug. … Read article

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Quoting in HTML: Quotations, Citations, and Blockquotes

It’s all too common to see the incorrect HTML used for quotes in markup. In this article, let’s dig into all this, looking at different situations and different HTML tags to handle those situations.

There are three major HTML elements involved in quotations:

  • <blockquote>
  • <q>
  • <cite>

Let’s take a look.

Blockquotes

Blockquote tags are used for distinguishing quoted text from the rest of the content. My tenth grade English teacher drilled it into my head that any quote of four … Read article

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A Handy Sass-Powered Tool for Making Balanced Color Palettes

For those who may not come from a design background, selecting a color palette is often based on personal preferences. Choosing colors might be done with an online color tool, sampling from an image, “borrowing” from favorite brands, or just sort of randomly picking from a color wheel until a palette “just feels right.”

Our goal is to better understand what makes a palette “feel right” by exploring key color attributes with Sass color functions. By the end, you will … Read article

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Techniques for Rendering Text with WebGL

As is the rule in WebGL, anything that seems like it should be simple is actually quite complicated. Drawing lines, debugging shaders, text rendering… they are all damn hard to do well in WebGL.

Isn’t that weird? WebGL doesn’t have a built-in function for rendering text. Although text seems like the most basic of functionalities. When it comes down to actually rendering it, things get complicated. How do you account for the immense amount of glyphs for every … Read article

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Weekly Platform News: Upgrading Navigations to HTTPS, Sale of .org Domains, New Browser Engine

In this week’s roundup: DuckDuckGo gets smarter encryption, a fight over the sale of dot org domains, and a new browser engine is in the works.

Let’s get into the news!

DuckDuckGo upgrades and open-sources its encryption

DuckDuckGo has open-sourced its “Smarter Encryption” technology that enables upgrading from HTTP to HTTPS, and Pinterest (a popular social network) is already using it for outbound traffic — when people navigate from Pinterest to other websites — with great results: Their outbound … Read article

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The Rising Complexity of JAMstack Sites and How to Manage Them

When you add anything with user-generated content or dynamic data to a static site, the complexity of the build process can become comparable to launching a monolithic CMS. How can we add rich content to static sites without stitching together multiple third-party services?

For people in the development community static site generators are a popular choice over traditional content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. By comparison static sites are usually lightweight, highly configurable, fast, easy to use and can be … Read article

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Filtering Lists Dynamically With Vue on the Server Side is Easier Than You’d Think

I recently attended the ARTIFACT conference in Austin, TX, and was inspired by a few talks about accessibility through the lens of site performance. It became clear to me that there is this tendency to rely on big JavaScript frameworks to handle the work — like React, Vue, and Angular — but that can be overkill in some cases. That is, negatively affecting site performance, and thus accessibility. At the same time, these frameworks can make development easier and more … Read article

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