May 20, 2024
min read

WeAreDevelopers Dev Digest Issue 116 - The new search wars…

Chris Heilmann

Welcome to edition 116 of the WeAreDevelopers Dev Digest. This time we talk about how the fight for AI and search dominance heats up with Google releasing a lot at their I/O event and OpenAI doing the same a day earlier…

News and Articles

A ton of things happened this week. The big ones are the Google I/O 2024 recap with all their announcements on radically changing search and including Gemini in everything. Casey Newton has a good write-up on what that means for the web and I am also worried. OpenAI announced GPT-4o, Simon Willison has a good commentary on it and Ethan Mollick explains the new possibilities of the model's availability. Let's also not forget that OpenAI works on an own search and Upend is another competitor.

The NodeJS next survey asks what you want from it. Microsoft donates $1 Million to Rust Foundation, Amazon reacted to the "empty S3 bucket costing a lot of money" problem by not longer charging for several HTTP error codes.

Stack Overflow's AI indexing of its content with OpenAI makes users sabotage their posts and Stack Overflow bans them for it. Not good.

In security matters, one researcher hacked 130k cars worldwide in 5 minutes, and Dell warns of data breach with 49 million customers affected. A study shows that AI can deceive and manipulate humans and there's an OWASP primer on how to get started on threat modelling as a developer.

Last but not least, Slop is the new name for unwanted AI-generated content and engineers used ultrasonic reactor to make cold brew coffee. Well, the Infinite Improbability Drive also needed a cup of tea to happen…

Code and Tools

Let's talk code. Why patching globals is harmful should not come as a surprise. Remember the hassle with JavaScript includes(), flat() and Mootools some years ago? Jonathan Beebe argues that at some point, JavaScript got good and I agree, but people still have some gripes. Speaking of JavaScript, there are new alternatives to innerHTML. In CSS/HTML land, you can use anchor Positioning and the Popover API for a JS-Free Site Menu and Bramus Van Damme has a great article about CSS Specificity misconceptions. Another interesting pieces of advice is to avoid the soft delete anti-pattern.

And here are some nifty tools to try out:  

Weird code things…

Animation showing that the title of the document changes when the tab is focused or not using the Page Visibility API

Did you know you can change the title of a document depending on if its tab  selected or not? Either with window.blur() and focus() event handlers, or by listening to visibilitychange. For more on this, check this article on the Page Visibility API.


Last week we were in London, England to represent at Devoxx UK 2024. Here is the talk I gave on the topic of AI and embedding it into your products:

Other videos of note:


CODE100 will be at DTX Manchester this week! We already picked the 16 challengers. You can see them all and their details on the challenger page!

We are still looking for participants to cheer them on, so see you next week.

Figma Config conference

Sign up for Figma's annual user conference, Config, on June 26-27. Join the Dev & Code track to hear from the creator of Wordle and speakers from Replit and Vercel. Save your spot for free
And in the meantime: if you want to learn how developers are working more efficiently with design teams, join our next "What's new in Dev Mode" webinar in German on May 23! Sign up here

Work and Jobs

Let's talk about work and working together. Dell responds to return-to-office resistance with VPN, badge tracking. Workers who switched employers after the pandemic hit were less satisfied with their jobs than those who stuck around. There's a great thread on how open source contribution helped people improve or land a job and one on dealing with bad job ads. And when it comes to working together, remember to not ask to ask and to skip the hello. And I love the concept of describing certain problems as a "Jell-O elephant".

Procrastination Corner / Wonderful Weird Web

What's happening at WeAreDevelopers…

WeAreDevelopers LIVE, our online event series.

Next is Machine Learning Day. on 22nd of May

We are always looking for presenters, apply for LIVE days here.

WeAreDevelopers World Congress 17-19 July 2024 · Berlin

Find out who speaks are get your 15% Dev Digest discount ticket!

WeAreDevelopers Dev Digest Issue 116 - The new search wars…

May 20, 2024
min read

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