Links

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  1. In praise of those who serve. Yes, even under Donald Trump. Especially under Trump. - Recode

    In this article, Code for America founder Jen Pahlka expertly captures many of the reasons I have for choosing to serve our country in tumultuous times.

    But sometimes [leaving the federal government] is a luxury. The veteran to whom we’ve promised benefits after she served our country does not have the luxury of choosing to opt out of the federal government; she needs processes to work for her to access benefits. About 75 million people in our country rely on Medicaid; they don’t have the luxury of opting out, either. If the people who administer these and other services walk away and others don’t come to replace them, that choice will be made for them, with devastating consequences.

    Earlier this year, I willingly ran into the burning building with a goal of helping as many of my fellow Americans as possible. Six months in, I’m proud to say that—in spite of the three-ring circus at 1600 Pennsylvania—my work continues apace.

  2. Deploying ES2015+ Code in Production Today — Philip Walton

    Most developers think of <script type="module"> as way to load ES modules (and of course this is true), but <script type="module"> also has a more immediate and practical use-case—loading regular JavaScript files with ES2015+ features and knowing the browser can handle it!

    To put that another way, every browser that supports <script type="module"> also supports most of the ES2015+ features you know and love.

    This very helpful article outlines how you can take advantage of modern JavaScript features while still serving usable code to older browsers.

  3. Rejected Princesses

    Rejected Princesses is a fabulous website featuring the stories of women “too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies” run by illustrator and former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath. I came across the site via his Twitter thread sharing Neerja Bhanot’s story resisting the armed hijackers on Pan Am Flight 73:

    In 1986, a 22-year-old flight attendant named Neerja Bhanot fended off a group of armed hijackers on Pan Am flight 73. When the attackers boarded the plane, she shouted a secret command to the pilots, allowing them to escape. With them gone, she was now the senior member on the plane. It was her, the rest of the crew, and 300+ passengers.

    She and the crew set about hiding all the international passengers’ passports, so they wouldn’t be targeted. After 17 hours, the power began to fail and the terrorists began opening fire and setting off explosives. She threw open the emergency exit. She died on that plane, shielding children with her body. She died 2 days short of her birthday, which is today [September 7th]. She would have been 54.

    It’s also worth checking out the site’s blog which contains additional stories and bits of ephemera.

  4. Software development 450 words per minute - Vincit

    “Something’s a little bit off here.” That’s what I predict your first thought to be upon seeing my cubicle for the first time. There’s no screen or mouse in sight. Instead there’s a guy hammering away on a keyboard, staring at seemingly nothing.

    It’s only me, and my colleagues can assure you that I’m mostly harmless. I’m a software developer working at Vincit offices in Tampere. I’m also blind. In this blog post I’m going to shed some light on the way I work.

    Tuukka Ojala shares his experience and the tools he uses to develop software.

  5. The HTML Tags Everybody Hated - The History of the Web

    Jay Hoffmann on the origins of the HTML Editorial Review Board (which would later become the HTML Working Group):

    In February of 1996, this new HTML ERB held their first meeting. The board had representation from all across the map, from browser vendors to software makers to standards advocates. And they each had a different idea of what HTML could do. What they needed was some uniform consensus. A common enemy to bring them together.

    Which brings us back to blink and marquee.

  6. WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1

    This document provides readers with an understanding of how to use WAI-ARIA 1.1 [WAI-ARIA] to create accessible rich internet applications. It describes considerations that might not be evident to most authors from the WAI-ARIA specification alone and recommends approaches to make widgets, navigation, and behaviors accessible using WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties. This document is directed primarily to Web application developers, but the guidance is also useful for user agent and assistive technology developers.

  7. [Insert Clickbait Headline About Progressive Enhancement Here], From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

    In a lengthy response to a hyperbolic, ill-informed opinion piece, Aaron Gustafson describes progressive enhancement:

    It’s a philosophy that recognizes the nature of the Web as a medium and asks us to think about how to build products that are robust and capable of reaching as many potential customers as possible. It isn’t concerned with any particular technology, it simply asks that we look at each tool we use with a critical eye and consider both its benefits and drawbacks. And it’s certainly not anti-JavaScript.

    I spent a good deal of time in 2015 writing and speaking on the benefits of this approach to designing and building for the Web:

    The observant reader would note that Aaron and I address the same tenuous arguments made—coincidentally—by the same people.

  8. Adactio: Journal—The imitation game

    Jeremy, on how he thinks about building progressive web apps:

    In my opinion, the term “progressive web app” can be read in order of priority:

    1. Progressive—build in a layered way so that anyone can access your content, regardless of what device or browser they’re using, rewarding the more capable browsers with more features.
    2. Web—you’re building for the web. Don’t lose sight of that. URLs matter. Accessibility matters. Performance matters.
    3. App—sure, borrow what works from native apps if it makes sense for your situation.

    He also links to Jason Grigsby’s Designing Responsive Progressive Web Apps which is another great read.

  9. How did Hitler rise to power?

    Decades after the fall of the Third Reich, it feels impossible to understand how Adolf Hitler, the tyrant who orchestrated one of the largest genocides in human history, could ever have risen to power in a democratic country. So how did it happen, and could it happen again? Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard dive into the history and circumstances that allowed Hitler to become Führer of Germany.

    Jason Kottke shared this excellent video which gives a high-level overview of Hitler’s rise through the ranks of German government in the run up to World War II. As chance would have it, I’ve recently been reading up on the very same subject (thanks, Wikipedia).

    The video is part of a TED-Ed lesson that includes additional links and resources.

  10. Homebrew Website Club DC 4/20/16

    Are you building your own website? Indie reader? Personal publishing web app? Some other digital magic-cloud proxy? If so, come by and join a gathering of people with like-minded interests. Bring your friends that want to start a personal web site. Exchange information, swap ideas, talk shop, or help work on a project.

    After a brief hiatus, Homebrew Website Club returns to LivingSocial next week. Come on by, share what you’re doing with your personal website, and learn about what others are doing with theirs.

Looking for more great links organized by year? Browse the archives.