I've been away for 3 weeks and all this happened
It's a strange old time. In the middle of lockdown, my wife and I were expecting our second child, though we weren't quite expecting her this early. Two and a bit weeks before her due date, our littlest one arrives and I down tools to help. It's been a wonderful few weeks that I won't forget.
It did catch us all off guard though, as I'd been expecting to be part of a least another week's worth of the tech world, and then there was MS Build after that, and loads more. So, as I still scrolled through Twitter whilst seeing if she'll sleep, here's what I think I've missed in the last three weeks.
CSS Properties might be viable everywhere
In Rebuilding our Tech Stack Facebook showed the world what a modern, non-IE version of Facebook looks like - and it's basically React and CSS Custom Properties. It's not revolutionary.
What is good though, is this tweet later that shows IE11 using custom properties!
For CSS & browser nerds — this is a real screenshot of IE11 using Custom Properties. Notice how there are no extra class names or style attributes, and how these styles are actually coming from a file.— Jonathan Neal (@jon_neal) May 20, 2020
Now imagine what is possible in modern browsers with a frontend CSS parser. pic.twitter.com/vLIEgYAsYX
Apparently, it's inspired by this IE11 polyfill. CSS custom properties have been around for ages and are really something that I've never been able to invest in because they have awful polyfills and work-arounds. This one looks like it could actually work - for those of us that still have to support IE at least!
Chrome can tell if you're Idle
📢 Detect inactive users with the Idle Detection API!https://t.co/Blriuygk8J by @tomayac— Chrome Developers (@ChromiumDev) May 18, 2020
Use the Idle Detection API to find out when a user isn't actively using their device, e.g., to show reliable chat availability:
🟢 @alice (active)
⚪️ @bob (away)
🟢 @tomayac (active)
The new idle detection API looks pretty cool - currently behind origin trial it has a lot of use cases for web-apps and brings it another step closer to parity
Gitflow is not for web apps
Lots of web perf goodness
- Simon Hearne looks in to performance behind cookie consent and those who opt-out
- Snowpack v2 is about to drop. There's a few other new ES Module-only build tools happening right now (Vite for VueJS) and it's nice to see this tooling get better
- There's now a Rollup plugin to do dynamic imports - this would literally have saved me a day or two in the week before I went on leave, and now I have to re-write more code.
- Lighthouse v6 is out and includes the new Web Vitals metrics (LCP/FID/CLS, or Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift for those not familiar with days old acronyms)
- Microsoft released Playwright - Puppeteer automation for Chromium, Gecko and Webkit. Amazing for automation testing.
- There's a thing called Chromatic v2 that aims to do visual regression testing in Storybook. Yay.
- 11ty version 0.11 is out, with full support for VueJS components rendered at build time
- Monzo are re-thinking how they do on-call
- The FT are changing their recruitment to make it fairer for people of colour
- Unreal Engine 5 is amazing. Having studied 3D in the early 2000s I am in awe of this level of graphical fidlity.
A man solves an impossible Sudoku