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

$7/month or $70/year
Friday, March 23, 2018 

Is It Too Late Now to Say I'm Sorry

Hide and Seek


How to add a CSS and JavaScript sticky menu [blog.dynamicdrive].

A minimalist guide to getting started with React [zaje]

The Nokia Snake game built with React and Redux [github/morgantheplant].

Vant is a Vue mobile UI [github/youzan].

vue-content-loader [github/egoist] is an SVG component to create a Facebook-like placeholder while elements are still loading.

imaging-heap [github/filamentgroup] is a tool for measuring the efficiency of your responsive image markup across viewport sizes and device pixel ratios.

Major Blazor


oclif [github/oclif] is a framework for building command line interfaces with Node, made by Heroku.

TravisBuddy [github/bluzi] is a handy little service that acts as a go-between for TravisCI and GitHub - if a test fails, it’ll add a comment to your GitHub repo explaining what went wrong and what you can do to fix it.

Sympact [github/simonepri] is a tool that’ll determine the impact - in CPU usage, memory usage and execution time - of running a Node task.

I saw some praise for this in r/python and thought I’d share it: Program Arcade Games with Python [programarcadegames] looks like a solid way to learn Python and also make some

An idea for the “Obvious API” - an alternative to REST APIs that is set up to be easier to read and writer, and hard to get wrong [hackernoon].

A good guide to the basics of creating an API with Node using GraphQL [ironin].

How to build a GitHub client with React Apollo, a Graph QL client [graphql.college].

It’s pretty easy to build a Slack app. How easy? [Do you have three minutes?](https://x-team.com/blog/create-slack-app-in-3-minutes/ [x-team].

An intro to Blazor [blogs.msdn.microsoft], an experimental .NET framework for building web apps that runs in the browser via WebAssembly.

Why you should learn Go [medium/@kevalpatel].

Crazy Like a Fox


A free Sketch library full of native web components [blog.prototypr].

Figma now has a Platform - so expect some clever people (you, maybe?) to build some cool integrations [blog.figma]. GitHub and Uber have already got some powerful stuff going - pushing automatic icon updates from one design file, for example.

Lunacy [icons8] is Sketch for Windows.

All Up in Your Face


Thousands of servers are running leaky etcd servers that are leaking credentials [arstechnica]. Researchers found passwords, secret keys, and AWS access keys.

Atlanta’s city government has been hit by a ransomware attack, affecting a lot of customer-facing applications, like those for accessing court info or for paying bills [arstechnica].

A professor who’s taking legal action against Cambridge Analytica explains what’s at stake [motherboard.vice].

Mark Zuckerberg says he’s fundamentally uncomfortable that he’s the one making decisions about what content is acceptable on Facebook (free speech vs hate speech, basically) [recode]. Same.

ProPublica reports IBM has been removing older United States employees from their jobs and replacing them with younger, less-experienced and lower-paid US workers, plus workers overseas [features.propublica].

China’s use of facial recognition is so extensive that if it were a Black Mirror script, the writers would be saying, “actually, let’s maybe back it off a little, this seems a little intense, even for us.” [theatlantic]

This phone-powered AI is very good at spotting sick plants [wired].

The internet has broken our brains - exhibits A through Z [esquire].

Portland is the next big startup scene [inc]

Why women should apply to Y Combinator [bulletin]. (Women who want to do YC, obviously.)

5 ways your stand-up can be improved [techbeacon].

Fly My Pretties

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

Project Icarus, a project to keep an eye on thousands of animals from space is about to blast off [spectrum.ieee]. Little thing - let’s just never call a project “Icarus”, huh? Just seems like tempting fate a little bit, doesn’t it?

TIL rockets punch a huge (temporary) hole in the ionosphere [arstechnica].

Mark Text [marktext] is a nice, minimal markdown editor for Mac, Windows and Linux, built with Vue and Electron.

This may sound weird, but go with me here: the behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Spike Jonze’s recent advertisement for the Apple Homepod [adweek] - the one with FKA Twigs Inception dancing through her apartment - is actually pretty worthwhile.

A history of Mark Zuckerberg apologizing for stuff [fastcompany].

Fortnite got so popular by relentlessly asking players what they want, then delivering [pcgamesn].

Finally, this week’s weekend reads is very good, in my humble opinion [versioning] . Come for the word ‘Zucktown’, stay for the tale of Stephen Hawking’s 30-year warranty for his speech system.

That’s me for this week. Remember the glory days of this time last week, when none of us knew about Cambridge Analytica and had only vaguely thought about deleting Facebook? Good times. I’ll let the Onion have the last word on this one [theonion], which is always a solid strategy. I’ll be back with more for y’all next week, but I’d like to leave you all with some ~personal news~

I FINALLY SAW BLACK PANTHER!! “Did Adam like it after all the build-up?” you may wonder. Well, I will be seeing it again tomorrow.

See you in your inbox next week, unless anyone wants to fight in a waterfall for my kingdom/special fighting suit?

Curated by Adam

Friday, March 23, 2018 

Flavor Flav

Weekend Reads #5

Data Farming


First up, South by Southwest, the Austin, Texas festival that launched social media platforms like Twitter and Foursquare, is now reckoning with the dark side of social media [theverge]. Same.

Given all its success at building a virtual community (I think I’m about 58% sarcastic with that one) Facebook is now looking at building a real one (Zucktown, surely) [nytimes]. I was really hoping this planning would include a monorail - they need to get Lyle Lanley down there. After all, he’s sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrooke, and by gum, it put them on the map!

“My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data” [theatlantic]. The maker of a satirical Facebook game says when he made his pretty rudimentary cow clicking game, it was pretty hard not to extract private data from users.

Mapping apps make congestion worse [theatlantic], often sending traffic to streets not designed to handle the increased strain.

Tinder and Instagram are crippling relationships, a sex therapist says [recode].

If you are building data-driven systems, you need to start thinking about how that data can be corrupted, by whom, and for what purpose.

Search engines, machine learning, advertising - in a recent talk, tech researcher (and general legend) danah boyd lays out all the ways your data is being manipulated [points.datasociety].

Third Rock from the Sun

Entertainment, miscellanea

If you’ve ever struggled to pick a good profile photo, this will put your problems in perspective: How Wikipedia chose the photo to portray all of humanity [wired].

A profile of Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone [gq]. I should play Stardew Valley, yes? Let me know.

The making of Civilisation [filfre].

Hawking was still using the CallText 5010 speech synthesizer, a version last upgraded in 1986. In nearly 30 years, he had never switched to newer technology. Hawking liked the voice just the way it was, and had stubbornly refused other options. But now the hardware was showing wear and tear. If it failed entirely, his distinctive voice would be lost to the ages.

A great piece on saving Stephen Hawking’s distinctive android voice by replicating the outdated hardware in software[sfchronicle].

Finally, there are Too Many Flavors now [gq].

Curated by Adam

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

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

$7/month or $70/year