I spoke last year about Advent Calendars ; this year, i'll give you my best of.
Sysadvent (System administration) :
- Making the web secure, one unit test at a time : apply unit test to your infrastructure : check that only expected ports are opened, your SSL setup is correctly deployed, etc. Brilliant !
- Ansible: Infrastructure Management Made Easy! : An overview of Ansible, a lightweight configuration management tools in python to manage your infrastructure (installation, deployment, configuration, update/upgrade, etc). Seems Ansible is getting more and more attention and users over the last year.
- Yum and repository tools : if you use Red Hat/CentOS/Fedora systems, you already may know some yum commands but I discovered a few ones within this article.
Performance Calendar (Web performance) :
- Measure web performance with Jenkins : a Jenkins plugin which will evaluate webperf rules againt each build of your site. If it fails some rules, you'll be warned. It's based on sidespeed.io I talked about last year. Maybe not exhaustive but a first step into automatic webperf measurement !
- Slow pages damage how users perceive your content, design and navigation : by introducting a 500ms slow down, sites moved from "easy to use" to a lot of negative words (slow, frustrating, etc). When you consider that you start to feel someting slow when it comes around 1s, you are significantly damaged at half of it.
- The Runtime performance checklist: 7 common issues you should have a look at and how to solve them.
- Browser Wishlist 2013 : 10 points that Browser should implement to make the web faster at a developper and user point of view.
- Differents aspects of performance : Performance is a global issue and it would require to performance specialists in each area (hardware, backend, frontend, etc) to speak together to adress well this issue. How do we achieve that ? DevOps can lower the barrier and also Application Performance Management (APM) tools once they will be more mature and with skilled people to get a meaning from these data. Long will be the road... This belief is reinforced in the Holistic performance article which show that performance matters all of us from design to code to project management, content, etc and at the end, the rise/need of a performance culture. With the mantra "make it work, make it pretty, make it fast" in the "Thoughts on performance culture", this is a tempative to introduce performance the right way at the right level.
- Reducing domain sharding : A webperformance rule mentionned to split images & other media files on several host/urls. Indeed a browser can download several files in parallel per domain. But using too much hosts/urls is not effective. Recommended value seems to be 2. On sharding, there is another blog post about "Mixing SPDY and domain sharding", which will enforce this conclusion : with SPDY (improved HTTP protocol), it would be less productive to do sharding than to use the same SPDY connection (especially with wildcard SSLcertificates and using the same IP for all your hosts)
- Boosting UX via Delayed, Non-Blocking, enhancements : Ajax/Xhr is not always the panace for asynchronous call. Did you ever think that you could never have an answer for your request ? The article will show how to use delayed tasks and will make you think about when it is the right time to compute. Indeed you can also give some delay to your user
24 Ways (Web design & development) :
- Grunt for people who think things li,ke Grunt are Weird and Hard : very nice introduction to Grunt, the JS Task Runner, by a designer.
- Why bother on accessibilty ? : A mythbuster article about common excuses ; all are wrong...
- Make your browser dance : see how with some HTML/JS/CSS and some Web Audio API, you can make your browser dance. Not usefull by itself but to see that you can do a lot with HTML5 technologies only.
- URL Rewriting for the fearful : nice and basic introduction to URL Rewriting (Apache)
24 jours de web (French clone of 24 ways, resource in French !) :
- Approche coté serveur du responsive : current responsive solution will detect for each page what your browser can render and then provide the adapted layout. This method works but has some costs also (just for tests purposes first to know which device you use and then to render the content by itself). Having a more server side approach would be to manage some "profiles" and then once the profile is detected, stop testing the device and only provide content for the given profile. However, if no profile is detected, you still need a mobile first approach with all the required tests. So you have to implement it but you may use it less. A little bit sceptical about the profile management and maintenance costs.
- Pourquoi les attributs data-* doivent devenir vos meilleurs amis ? : some use case to introduce the use of data-* attributes ; you can customised this data-* and interact with them for your own needs (layout, value, etc)
- L'attribut title, à consommer avec modération : title attribute is often misused and not that good for accessibility. The article will give you the right way to use it.
- Le design atomique ; The use of Saas and some methodology like OOCSS (Object Oriented CSS ; ie model object appied to CSS with more disctinction between structure and layout of a css block/tag) leads to some atomic / better structured code. It also refers to SMACSS (Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS). The 2nd part of the article introduces the concept of Atomic Design mentionned here before.
- Introduction au jargon de la 3D et à WebGL : Introduction to WebGL and 3D terminology - You can do 3D with Web technologies now and you can use for example Three.JS or BabylonJS.
- Les masques CSS : introduction to CSS Masking & clipping to apply some nice image effects ; equivalent in English was CSS Masking
- Les dark patterns en design d'interface : Dark patterns are about design interface made to trick people/consumers ; In english, you can consult the Dark Patterns Library and the related presentation.
- Automatisez votre workflow front-end : review of some tools like Yeoman, Grunt, Bower and a few others to improve your frontend workflow and automate tasks.
- Lâchez prise sans perdre le contrôle grâce à l'unité CSS "em" : sort of transcript of the conférence Nicolas Hoizey made at Paris Web ; you should embrace relative value for building your website and let the user decide which size it wants to improve user experience but with keeping some control not to break your layout.
- Productivité, Habitudes, Motivations - comment tirer le meilleur parti de votre journée : how to improve your organisation to improve the way you work. Some good recipes.
- Chercher l'erreur : 404 pages must be customised, it has a great value for your site.
- Introduction à la psychologie cognitive appliquée au web
If you enjoyed as I did these articles, you can give some money to fund a charity association name "Handiparentalité"; you will have all the 24 articles with 4 bonus in epub format and some ebooks you may be interested in (ebooks value is 69€). To be made before 31/12/13.
UXMas ; about User Experience
- Did UX kill branding ? : Spoiler alert : User experience didn't kill branding. User experience is the branding.
- I'm in, how do I get out ? : A few uses cases and thinking around the logout feature.
See you next year !