A regular hand-picked selection of the most important links in web dev and design.

$7/month or $70/year
Friday, March 16, 2018 

More Lives

A big day for blocks/blocking things

Dragon’s Den


First up, an examination of the four layers of single-page apps, via a React app example [hackernoon].

Gestalt [github/pinterest] is a set of React UI components that supports Pinterest’s design language.

A cool demonstration of how Preact and Glimmer each approach maximizing web performance [engineering.linkedin].

How to work with a whole bunch - thousands, really - of DOM nodes [codeburst].

Dragon Drop [github/schne324] is an accessible drag-and-drop list reorder module.

Phoenix [phoenixframework] is a framework leveraging Erlang and Elixir, promising speed and reliability.

How to add authentication to your PWA using Stencil [scotch].

Node Way!


Awesome Node [github/sindresorhus] is a massive, but curated, list of Node packages and tools. Hours of fun.

TypeScript Starter [github/bitjson] is a command line tool for easily building JavaScript libraries and Node apps.

Once you’ve chosen some of those packages, Emma [github/maticzav] is a terminal assistant that’ll help you find and install them.

4 steps for using Webpack with your Node app [stackchief].

An intro to recurrent neural networks with Pytorch [cpuheater].

A guide to making an AWS S3 static site with SSL [josephcombs].

Champagne Supernova


Here’s the macOS UI library Sketch uses to build Sketch [sketchapp].

Prototypr have announced Supernova Studio [blog.prototypr], a tool they say bridges the gap between designers and developers. It can convert designs from Sketch, then handle fiddly things like foreign languages and varying resolutions, and then exports the resulting code, assets, fonts, and everything you need for native apps.

Future Fonts [futurefonts] is a place to sell your type designs before they’re even finished.

7 steps for achieving the state of flow in UX design [uxdesign].

5 ways to better manage your time as a designer [buditanrim].

Big Little Lies


The next generation of Intel chips - Cascade Lake - will have fixes for Meltdown and Spectre, and the company will also release microcode for older chips [arstechnica].

Plattsburgh, a city in New York State, has passed an 18-month ban on cryptocurrency mining, citing increased energy bills [motherboard.vice].

France is taking legal action against Apple and Google over abusive commercial practices in their respective app stores [bloomberg].

A Snapchat ad making light of Chris Brown’s 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna has led her to call for people to delete the app [theverge]. (The ad is in that article, by the way, and there are also descriptions of the original incident itself.)

A good summary of the biggest lies Theranos told [buzzfeed]. I think “audacious” is the word here?

Google open-sourced the AI tool that powers its Portrait Mode for Android [theverge].

Airtable raised a bunch of money to produce tools for non-coders to build complicated apps [techcrunch]. They’re calling the platform Airtable Blocks [airtable].

Here’s the full unveiling of Larry Page’s self-flying planes [cora] (they were tested in New Zealand, just saying).

Knowing what your competitors are doing is vital, here’s why [medium/swlh].

How to build and manage a remote engineering team [medum/initialized-capital].

Hold the Fortnite

Everything else (apps, fun tools, gaming, culture, funny stuff)

This week’s Versioning Weekend Reads post features Hawking, blockchain, Cuban media networks and Alejandro Jodorowsky [versioning.substack].

Apply to Date [itunes.apple] is an app for building a landing page for people to jump in and apply to date you. Dating is weird these days.

The internet is finally closing in on the Office’s Scranton Strangler [avclub].

Sideways Dictionary [sidewaysdictionary] is like a dictionary for tech terms, but it explains what something is via analogy. What’s an analogy? It’s like a way of explaining something new using a simile mentioning something you might already know. What’s a simile? Look, maybe we should just stop defining things at this point.

A guide to breaking up with social networks [wired].

Way more than you wanted to know about Fortnite, the super popular game that got Drake onto Twitch [digg].

Finally, a Kansas cattle farmer carefully arranged his cows to spell out a message to space [motherboard.vice]. If you’re a farmer and you’re not working on replicating this, what are you even doing?

There’s Versioning for Friday and the week! It’s been a big week - not only have we seen the fall of a fraudulent blood-testing start-upthe birth of a brain-freezing start-up, and an FBI bust of a start-up selling phones to drug cartels, we’ve also seen that Drake enjoys playing video games!

Nothing Was the Same.

Back with more next week! Free members - hi, how are you? I hope you’ve been well!

Curated by Adam

Friday, March 16, 2018 

We Will Rock You

Weekend Reads #4

Go Ahead, MAKE My Day


Reddit and the quest to make online life safer without limiting free speech [newyorker].

Inside El Paquete, Cuba’s underground social network and media ecosystem conducted via phsycial delivery [withintent.uncorkedstudios]. It’s a weekly collection of thousands of hours of media, a terabyte, physically delivered to your house. You’ll need your own hard drive on which to copy the files. It’s a literal content delivery network.

In addition to being a genius scientist, Stephen Hawking was a visionary who was interested in space exploration and colonisation, AI, and other things that may help ensure the future of our species [motherboard.vice].

Paul Ford smartly discusses Bitcoin and the blockchain - the former won’t last, the latter may change everything [bloomberg].

An argument for building human-centric AI [nytimes].

And MAKE [makebook] is a great looking book on bootstrapping a start-up. The author wrote the book using the methods outlined in the book, so at the very least it’s meta.

Third Rock from the Sun

Entertainment, miscellanea

An interesting piece on One Strange Rock, a National Geographic documentary series directed by Darren Oronofsky about astronauts’ perspective on Earth [digg]. The premiere for journalists happened on the day Stephen Hawking passed away. The series will be on conventional TVs, as well as in special space helmets that provide a VR-like experience. Also, Will Smith narrates it.

An interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky [theparisereview]. Gotta admit - I haven’t seen any of his work (yet). BUT - I have seen Jodorwsky’s Dune [wikipedia] and wow. If you haven’t, watch that this weekend too. We’ve both got Jodorowsky-related homework!

Enough to keep you going, I’d have thought - but there will be more next week!

Friday, March 9, 2018 

A Real Wake Up Call

Ponytails and the blockchain - together at last

Always On Time


First up, a better way to think about refactoring [x-team].

Radi.js [github/radi-js] is a tiny, fast front-end framework. It’s not like other frameworks in that it doesn’t have diffing or a virtual DOM, but it does sound fast.

Prompts offers nice light, user-friendly interactive prompts.

A cool idea: “what I coded and studied in the last 401 days” [blog.prototypr].

How to use Redux Form to manage state in React [scotch].

The 'Boys Are Back in Town


Moleculer [moleculer.services] is a microservices framework for Node.

turbo-net [github/mafintosh] is a low-level TCP library for Node.

1Backend [1backend] is a self-hostable cloud for running microservices and Lambda functions.

A multi-player server-side Game Boy emulator written in .Net Core and Angular [hanselman].

Interesting little post-mortem: how an AWS outage ate a team’s load balancer - a service of theirs that has nothing to do with AWS [blog.hostedgraphite].

An intro to Gloo - a gateway for functions, built on the idea that it’s better to build APIs from functions rather than services[medium/solo-io].

How to prevent visual glitches in your iOS apps [medium/@nathangitter].

How to make any part of any repo available as a package with npm in 5 mins [blog.bitsrc].

A guide to integration testing with Node and Pact.js [itnext].

The Reviews Are In


Rotten Tomatoes is being rebranded for the first time since 2001 [designweek]. Once that’s done, it’ll just be called “Tomatoes”.

Practical ways to improve your UI micro-interactions [uxdesign].

5 tips for prototyping in Sketch 49 [medium/@learnux].

A collection of design articles converted to an audio presentation [play]. This is using the service Play.ht [play], which is new to me but is a great idea.

Based on a True Story


Google’s keen on making AMP technology standard for the web [theverge]. I think everyone will be fine with this and there will be absolutely no anger or concern.

The largest ever study of fake news concludes lies always outperform truth on social media [theatlantic]. And it’s not even really bots’ fault.

A judge will soon rule over whether President Trump can block people on Twitter [washingtonpost]. The next issue after that - whether Tweetstorms are Constitutional.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is going to teach AI common sense [nytimes]. Also, children!

Want a quantum computer? Of course you do. Go get some giant atoms [arstechnica].

A preview of Android P [android-developers]. Neural networks API, indoor positioning with WiFi RTT, and multi-camera API, oh my!

How to wake up devs in the middle of the night [thenewstack]. I’ve always found “immense terror” to work pretty well.

Idea: for devs, having no managers might be better than having managers with no engineering experience [medium/@posttweetism].

Now You Have to Lie in It

Everything else (apps, fun tools, gaming, culture, funny stuff)

This week’s Versioning longreads collection is available here [versioning.substack] - good luck!

Two photographers shot a photo at exactly the same instant [petapixel]. Looks fake, is apparently real.

You Think You Know Me is a conversational card game that lets you learn more about your friends, co-workers, and family[kickstarter]. I just hope there are no questions about your first pets or mother’s maiden name

A dodgy, Steven Seagal-endorsed ICO is being hammered by New Jersey legislators [motherboard.vice]. That’s an OK crytpocurrency article, but the real stars of the show there are the Steven Seagal jokes.

I really like this little thread full of tiny, daily habits that improve the lives of their practitioners [ask.metafilter]. A lot of shout-outs for making… the… bed? Is that right? I’ve never heard of it.

This is a cool feature from the New York Times - 25 songs that show the future of music [nytimes].

Finally, A new Super Smash Bros. is coming to the Nintendo Switch [arstechnica]. Best news all day. (Also, some other games are coming, but who cares?)

That’s it for Versioning for the week! I’ll be back next week once I’ve mastered this bed-making thing, and decided on my Smash Bros. character - Captain Falcon, right?

And one more reminder: today is the last day for two things:

  • For OG members, your free introductory month of paid Versioning membership ends at midnight Saturday Pacific Time. To continue receiving the daily newsletter, plus extra members-only content, you’ll need to sign up here.

  • Also, our special introductory deal for Versioning membership - until midnight Saturday PST you can sign up for $5/month, or $50/year. After that this moves to $7/month or $70/year. Again, sign up here.

I look forward to continuing to have you in the crew!

Curated by Adam

Friday, March 9, 2018 

Weekend Longreads #3

Joan of Archive


Meet the hacker who stopped one of the biggest cyberattacks ever, but was still arrested by the FBI [nymag].

Information - history, really - is getting harder and harder to preserve thanks to digitization [longreads]. I should probably get this newsletter made into a physical item for longevity then. Maybe made from thin paper? And with some pictures and topical cartoons to break it up a bit. What a fantastic new idea for a format I just had!

A great selection of stories about older adults moving into the tech industry [nytimes].

Run Rings

Entertainment, miscellanea

Meet the couple who hacked the lottery [highline.huffingtonpost].

How a professional rocket photographer (best job title ever) approached coverage of the Falcon Heavy’s launch day [arstechnica].

Behind the scenes of Blade Runner 2049 [wired].

A deep dive into the internet with Know Your Meme [theverge].

An interview with writer, developer, designer and generally thoughtful dude Craig Mod, covering reading and writing in the modern age [craigmod].

I really liked this honest take from NBA player Kevin Love on his mental health troubles, and how he rose above the stigma[theplayerstribune].

Hackers to blade runners to rocket photographers - plenty of role models in there. I’ll throw a few more longreads at ya soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Machine Learning Learning

And artificial Intelligence Intelligence

2 Days Left to Subscribe to Versioning at the Special Rate

This is the first of what I hope will be many more Versioning updates focused on particularly important subjects - this time, machine learning and AI. Hopefully this will start many of you on the road to creating a tool that will take over the world! (Disclaimer: if you accidentally invent Skynet as a result of reading these links, I’m not to blame.)

Think Tank

Conceptual pieces

First up, Wait But Why’s post on the coming artificial intelligence revolution is typically excellent, a good first step when thinking about AI and its potential impact on the world [waitbutwhy].

A guide to how deep learning works, aimed at “everyone” [medium.freecodecamp].

Three ways to think about technology (and therefore AI) [cyberselves].

And a glossary of AI terms [thenextweb]. (Yes, I kinda jammed machine learning and AI together with this update.)

Present Tensor

Starting points and tutorials

5 ways to get started with machine learning [sitepoint].

Exercises, lessons, lectures from experts, case-studies: Google’s crash course in machine learning is pretty hefty[developers.google].

A beginner’s guide to the top 10 machine learning algorithms [kdnuggets].

A video guide to writing your first machine learning code [youtube/googledevelopers].

TensorFlow [tensorflow] is the open source machine learning network that might be your best bet early on, so here’s a TensorFlow tutorial full of examples to get you started [github/aymericdamien].

Helpful cheat sheets for Python-based machine learning [startupsventurecapital].

A simplified MultiAgent Python Snake game via deep reinforcement learning [youtube/crazymuse].

A web dev’s guide to machine learning in JavaScript [robinwieruch].

How to start trading cryptocurrency with machine learning [wildml]. Just in case you wanted to jam two very trendy ideas together!

I’m a Model, You Know What I Mean?

Tools and resources

The complete collection of Facebook’s downloads and projects [research.fb].

And another collection of TensorFlow models [github/sarasra].

Google’s Cloud TPUs offer faster machine learning [cloud.google].

When your research starts to hit its stride, Lucid [github/tensorflow] is a collection of tools and infrastructure for research in neural network interpretability.

AI Can’t Believe It


Ubisoft has an AI to help devs catch bugs before they’re committed [wired].

Examples of AI doing amazing things [medium/archieai].

Meet Michelangelo, Uber’s machine learning platform [eng.uber].

Baidu has AI that can analyze and reproduce voices when given just 3.7 seconds of audio [motherboard.vice].

Alibaba will use AI to optimize traffic and alleviate congestion in Kuala Lumpur [qz].

A Google AI will predict the risk of heart disease by looking into your eyes [theverge].

Job seekers are now tasked with convincing an AI they deserve the role [theguardian].

And there’s increasing concern about so-called “black box” algorithms, with humans unable to understand the inner workings of algorithms and tools [eurozine].

Finally, because of course: MariFlow [youtube/sethbling] is a self-driving Mario Kart example using a recurrent neural network.

There’s your intelligence about artificial intelligence - this will be updated over time. And more of these, on different subjects, will come through to paid subscribers soon! Let me know what you’d like to see, and sign up so you don’t miss out!

Curated by Adam

A regular hand-picked selection of the most important links in web dev and design.

$7/month or $70/year