Taming Data with JavaScript

Processing huge amounts of data on the web is always a back-end job—except when it’s not. Sometimes processing data in the browser via JavaScript makes sense. What are those use cases, and how can we succeed at them? Brian Greig tells all.

var to JIT

JavaScript language designer Kevin Smith completes the “From URL to Interactive” series. He explains how browsers compile and execute our JavaScript, and what happens from the moment we land on the page to when we leave. Understanding these browser processes leads us to write more performant code.

Braces to Pixels

We continue on A List Apart’s four-part “From URL to Interactive” series with Greg Whitworth, a member of the W3C CSS Working Group and the CSS Houdini Task Force. He’ll walk through how CSS is parsed, how values are computed, and what the “cascade” in style sheets actually means. Then we’ll discuss layout, painting, and composition. Brace yourselves, we’re about to drive through a one of our most scenic and winding parts of our journey.

Tags to DOM

In the second installment of A List Apart’s four-part “From URL to Interactive” series, Travis Leithead, former editor of W3C’s HTML spec, walks us through the process of parsing HTML: from how browsers create trees to how the DOM responds to events. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make smarter DOM decisions, reduce time to interactive, and eliminate unintended reflows.

From URL to Interactive

When we think about it, our whole industry depends on our faith in a handful of “black boxes” few of us fully understand: browsers. We hand over our HTML, CSS, JavaScript, cross our fingers, and hope they render the experience we have in our heads. But knowing how they work can really get you out of a jam when things go wrong. That’s why we’ve assembled a handful of incredibly knowledgeable authors to take us under the hood in this four-part series. Join us on this trip across the web, into the often foggy valley between code and experience.

Server to Client

Kicking off the first installment in our “From URL to Interactive” series, Ali Alabbas takes us through the journey of how our code makes it to the browser. In “Server to Client”, he discusses how server connections are made, caching, and how service workers factor into the request and response process. You don’t want to miss this master class from a networking expert; grasping this aspect of how things run under the browser hood is essential to understanding performance.

Responsive Images

The `img` element remains one of the biggest challenges for website performance, especially in responsive designs. In this excerpt from Image Performance, Mat Marquis tells us why, but he also shines a light on the solution.

Conversational Semantics

Semantic markup has always mattered, but with voice interfaces rapidly becoming the norm, it now matters more than ever. Aaron Gustafson shows us how simple HTML tags can have a huge impact with voice interfaces.

Coding with Clarity: Part II

Coding with clarity sets great developers apart from the rest. Brandon Gregory shares some principles for organizing objects and functions in JavaScript that will improve clarity, making your code easier to read, understand, and extend.

Fixing Variable Scope Issues with ECMAScript 6

Variable scope in JavaScript has always had its problems. ECMAScript 6 has some features to help developers deal with this and give them more control over their variables. Brandon Gregory gives the low-down on these features and when to use them.