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The Web Weekly newsletter keeps you up to date, teaches you web development tricks and covers all things working in tech.

ฮ“ฮตฮนฮฌ ฯƒฮฟฯ…!

This week's Web Weekly comes to you from a lovely terrace in Greece. I spent the last few days mountain biking, driving on tiny streets, and hiking, and right now, I'm looking down at the Mediterranean Sea.

Life's good because I'm taking the much-needed break from being a tad too busy for a little too long. Nevertheless, I love writing this newsletter, so let's get to it!

You might have heard of MPAs and SPAs โ€” but have you heard of PEMPAs and PESPAs? Or did you consider that Copilot might be toxic for open source communities? And do you know that there's an HTTP header to clear localstorage?

All the answers and much more are included in this week's Web Weekly. ๐Ÿ™ˆ Enjoy!

Welcome to the 34 new subscribers! I'm super excited to have you around! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Thought of the week

Attention, attention! I added a new critical script to my dotfiles to work around a common typo โ€” git-marge! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Marge Simpson in Ascii art telling that she'll merge for me.

I just like silly terminal things.

And that's why my terminal occasionally barks at me...

cd(){   \[\[ -t 1 && $((RANDOM%20)) -eq 0 \]\] && echo " -> ๐Ÿถ \"woof\""; builtin cd "$@"; }

... or tells me its opinion by showing me its middle finger via my random Emoji terminal prompt.

CLI session with a middle finger as prompt

It's these tiny "features" that you won't find on another computer that I don't want to miss and make my terminal feel like home. What are yours? Does your terminal bark, too?

Something that made me smile this week

The Purrli app making your computer purr. It's highly configurable.

I'm more in the dog camp, but sometimes a purring cat can be soothing. If you're missing cat sounds in your life, Purrli offers very configurable purr sounds. ๐Ÿ˜†

Make your computer purr

The new React use hook

function Note({id}) { // This fetches a note asynchronously, but to the component author it looks // like a synchronous operation. const note = use(fetchNote(id)); return ( <div> <h1>{note.title}</h1> <section>{note.body}</section> </div> );}

The React core team is considering adding promise support for components. With this addition, you could potentially await server-side components. And for the client, there might be a new and special use hook. Unfortunately, this unique hook comes with a few challenges. But no biggie, there'll be workarounds and also a new API helping with some challenges...

And I don't know; I'm no framework developer, and there are surely reasons for all these additions, but React's direction feels too complicated lately.

Check React's promises

Web development patterns

Patterns โ€” A collection of code snippets to help you optimize your web projects.

The Chrome DevRels have been very busy collecting links to common web development patterns. Whether you're looking for component examples, layout patterns or animation guidance, it's all in a single place now. ๐Ÿ‘

Find all the patterns

Control speech via CSS

Once this was largely an accessibility issue. Listening to a screen reader is incredibly tedious. Everything sounds exactly the same, regardless of what it is. Imagine if every website looked like it did back in the 90s (all grey backgrounds with blue/maroon links) and you start to get the idea!

Lรฉonie Watson shared that there's no possibility of designing the aural presentation of web content. To fix this state, she offers to take and update the CSS Speech spec (which went nowhere) if enough people show interest.

If you think CSS should include voice-family, voice-rate, voice-pitch, and voice-volume, give Lรฉonie a shout. ๐Ÿ“ฃ

Improve what CSS can do

How to digital detox

And, never look at your phone in a situation where it wouldnโ€™t be appropriate to read a book. Seriously.

I follow Mehret Biruk's writing about spending less time online for a while. They shared one of my favorite tips for working against my phone addiction (โ˜๏ธ).

Changing habits is tough, but their recent article includes many actionable tips to be more present and less online.

Disconnect

How to design good error messages

A visually analyzed error messages showing  inappropriate tone, passing blame to the receiver, technical jargon and a generic message.

Error handling is often treated as an afterthought. I'm guilty of adding a quick "Whoops! Something went wrong." in too many catch blocks myself.

It's funny that we spend hours thinking about user flows but forget to address technical failures. How do you guide users when a critical validation fails? Or what do you tell them when your servers throw an exception?

The folks at Wix collected excellent tips on good error communication beyond "whoooops!".

Be helpful when things go wrong

CSS grid layout breakouts

A CSS grid visualization showing a base grid that includes components breaking out of the main content.

I've been looking for a solution to adopt CSS grid on my blog, and Ryan Mulligan's snippet came in super handy. It leverages grid auto-flow and named areas to allow components to break out of the main container!

Break your grid

Will Copilot harm Open Source communities?

Copilot introduces what we might call a more selfish interface to open-source software: just give me what I want! With Copilot, open-source users never have to know who made their software. They never have to interact with a community. They never have to contribute.

Did you jump onto the GitHub Copilot train already? I didn't, and as you may know, I'm very sceptical scared of all these AI movements. Matthew Butterick made a strong case explaining why Copilot will harm open source communities in the long term.

Think about Copilot

The fantastic four: MPA, PEMPA, SPA, PESPA

A wild diagram explaining an inline mutation request in a PESPA model

I probably won't end up on good terms with the term MPA. I just don't like it, but to make it worse, Kent C. Dodds appeared throwing more acronyms out there.

  • MPA โ€” Multi page app
  • PEMPA โ€” Progressively enhanced multi page app
  • SPA โ€” Single page app
  • PESPA โ€” Progressively enhance single page app

I'll let you decide if we really need four terms to discuss web development trends and if the words "progressive enhancement" and "single page app" should be included in the same acronym, but "The web's next transition" is a good read for sure.

Are enhanced SPAs the future?

Random MDN โ€“ clear-site-data

Clear-Site-Data โ€” The Clear-Site-Data header clears browsing data (cookies, storage, cache) associated with the requesting website. It allows web developers to have more control over the data stored by a client browser for their origins.

From the unlimited knowledge archive called MDN...

Did you know that you can clear cookies, caches and storage (e.g. localstorage) by setting an HTTP response header? Now you do!

If you'll look at browser support: Safari doesn't support clear-site-data yet, but the feature made it into the recent Tech Preview Release.

Clear your site's data

If you want to learn more about web development, my @randomMDN Twitter bot posts random MDN pages multiple times a day.

TIL recap โ€“ color-scheme

<!-- Hey Browser,       this website support `dark` and `light`      but the author prefers `dark` representation --> <meta name="color-scheme" content="dark light">

Adding dark mode to your site requires more than a few media queries. To guarantee that all UI controls adapt to user preferences the color-scheme HTML meta element or CSS property is necessary. Learn more about it on the blog.

Define your color schemes

Find more short web development learnings in my "Today I learned" section.

Three valuable projects to have a look at

  • antfu/broz โ€“ A simple, frameless browser for screenshots.
  • webpro/knip โ€“ Find unused files, dependencies and exports in your JS/TS project.
  • xwmx/nb โ€“ A CLI-based plain text note-taking app.

A new Tiny Helper

Mesher app with a random gradient and multiple controls to adjust it.

MESHER is a beautiful CSS gradient generator. I loved clicking "Randomize" to generate an endless stream of colors!

Mesh it!

Find more single-purpose online tools on tiny-helpers.dev.

Thought of the week

Robin Rendle hit me hard this week! The following sentence describes me all too well. ๐Ÿ˜ข

If this feeling is familiar to you, too, let's remember Robin shouting "Take a Break You Idiot" at us and take care of ourselves.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Iโ€™ll almost start crying in the afternoon or stay up until the middle of the night thinking about something dumb I said. Maybe that one thing upset that guy and soon youโ€™ll have toโ€”ughhhhhh!

A song that makes you stop coding

The Postal Service โ€” Such great heights

This week's track is an absolute classic โ€“ The Postal Service's "Such great heights" is another song for the ages!

Listen to "Such great heights"

This is all, friends!

Writing Web Weekly takes me roughly five hours every week, and I pay real money for sending over 3k emails. If you enjoy it, consider supporting me on Patreon. โ™ฅ๏ธ

Or tell your friends about it:

If you're not a subscriber, change that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And with that, take care of yourself - mentally, physically, and emotionally. I'll see you next time! ๐Ÿ‘‹

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