Things I Found Interesting #1

Published on February 12, 2021

Welcome to the first issue of Things I Found Interesting – an irregular series of links to, well, interesting content. Below are eleven articles and resources on various software-related topics, which I stumbled upon in the last several weeks.

And just before we go to the links, as a bonus interesting content, here is a photo of my cats.

Creating landing pages that convert
Nice, visual guide to an optimal landing page. Basically a schema of all things that should appear on such a page.

A single mobile app generated 20% of traffic to one of Wikimedia Data Centers
The case of copying the code from the internet, fetching an image without showing it, and truly great detective work. See also the problematic image and request stats.

Reasons to not offer a Free Plan in your SaaS product
There is not only a cost of running infrastructure, but also supporting a lot of users that won’t ever pay you.

AWS AppSync published RFC for AppSync JavaScript resolvers
Sooner or later, we will be able to create a GraphQL API on AWS without VTL templates – yay! And with JS, the logic can be also easily unit tested. – platform for organizing microservices
Created by Spotify and being in the early stage of development, it’s meant to bring order and visibility into infrastructure. Something that nano/micro-services definitely need.

Streaming text data with server-sent events
HTTP 1.1 offers a simple way to stream text messages from the server to the client. No long-polling, no websockets. The existence of this feature somehow missed me, until now.

Four areas that product documentation should cover
A generated code doc is not “documentation”. Proper docs should answer the needs of users with different objectives.

Fonts that don’t go wider when you make them bold
Layout elements jumping when you hover them seem to went to history, at least on most pages. Thankfully. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t change a font-weight on hover without hardcoding element width.

ULIDs are UUIDs, but with ordering
UUIDs are great. But what if we can have UUID-like IDs that are sortable by timestamp, and still unique? This can solve a problem or two in some distributed systems.

Slack has traffic mini-peaks at the top of each hour and half hour
At the top of each hour and half hour CRON jobs from integrations are triggered and meetings are starting. The Slack team knows this and they scale resources to accommodate this. But such mini-peak was too much on January 4th, when Slack already had problems.

Dependency confusion attack
A simple attack that allowed custom code execution inside a number of big companies. Yes, the NPM was involved, but it was not only its fault.