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On Our Radar: Four-and-a-Horse Stars

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In “Death to Icon Fonts,” Seren Davies makes a strong case for using SVGs instead of icon fonts, which pose problems for people with dyslexia.

Seren provided several eye-opening examples of accessibility issues caused by icon fonts. I learned, for example, that many people with dyslexia use a special system font that breaks icon fonts. I’m glad that Seren is bringing this topic to our attention and am looking forward to hearing more from her. —Yesenia Perez-Cruz, acquisitions scout

Your weekend reading

  1. Ada’s List cofounder, Anjali Ramachandran sends out Other Valleys, one of my most-religiously read TinyLetters. Other Valleys focuses on technologies coming from, well, not Silicon Valley and other places we tend to look for “the next big thing.” I don’t know how she does it, but every week (every week!) I learn about some awesome new startup doing interesting, meaningful work. Sign up—you won’t be disappointed. (Oh, and if you want to catch up on past letters, or get a sense of what you’re in for, she has a blog archive of every issue.) —Marie Connelly, blog editor
  2. The web has been buzzing about WebAssembly, a portable format and execution model designed to serve as a compilation target for the web. Brendan Eich, creator of Javascript, discusses misconceptions and explains why we need WebAssembly in an interview with Eric Elliott. —Michelle Kondou, developer
  3. The Responsive Issues Community Group has always aimed to change the rules of web standards, but operates largely outside of the rules itself—and that isn’t fair. What we should be doing is reshaping web standards to match the realities of web development today, not working around them. To that very end, join me in welcoming the brand new Web Platform Incubator Community Group (WICG): a group dedicated to guiding designers and developers from ideas to implementations, and to fixing the way the web standards game is played. —Mat Marquis, technical editor
  4. I love it when people find innovative ways to improve systems and open career paths. Nigerian talent incubator Andela trains developers, provides them with an income and benefits as they learn, places them with Fortune 500 companies, and continues to support them through professional development and coaching. With more funding this year, it’s set to expand into Kenya. —Rose Weisburd, columns editor
  5. There’s a price for the pace of rapid development, and that price is massive technical debt on legacy systems patched with duct tape. (Shiny, modern duct tape, but duct tape nonetheless.) Zeynep Tufekci’s “Why the Great Glitch of July 8th Should Scare You” should, well, scare you. Replacing decades-old systems holds about as much appeal for corporations as promising to fix bridges and tunnels does for political candidates. —Tim Murtaugh, technical director

Overheard in ALA Slack

“I’m only into animals riding other animals now.”

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