Get more with variable fonts

From the Author: Webpack is a JavaScript module bundler that transforms web resources such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SVG files and bundles them into a smaller group of files.  Webpack also helps with chunking (splitting into smaller chunks) and managing code dependencies to ensure that the code that needs to be loaded first does this.  How webpack works In this article, we'll go over some of the new features to look out for in webpack in 2021, but first we'll look at what's new in webpack in 2020.  webpack V4 - V5: Important Changes In October 2020, a newer version of webpack was released: webpack 5. This version removes all deprecated elements in V4 and fixes critical bugs to bring the webpack architecture up to par for future improvements.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn more Other interesting features in version 5: Long-Term Caching Support - New algorithms to support long-term caching are enabled by default in production mode.  The real hash of the content - previously only the hash of the internal structure was used in webpack.  Webpack 5 will use the real hash of the file content when used [contenthash], which will have a positive effect on long-term caching when only small changes are made to the file.  Modular structure - webpack 5 came with a new feature that allows multiple webpack builds to work together.  See here for the complete changelog.  While 2020 has been a big year for webpack, there is still a lot more to come, which we'll talk about in the following sections.  Please note that these updates are subject to change based on the ever-changing world of web developers.  Webpack roadmap 2021 Improved ESM support Since the ECMAScript Module (ESM) was introduced in 2015, it has become the standard mechanism for code reuse in highly fragmented JavaScript applications.  To improve ESM support, the webpack team is planning to make some important updates.  Self-executing snippets One of the most interesting features of webpack is code splitting.  This feature allows you to split your code into multiple packages that you can download on demand or in parallel.  At the moment, dynamically loaded fragments in webpack usually serve as a container for modules and never execute module code directly.  For example, writing: JavaScript import ("./ module") 1 import ("./ module") Will compile like this: JavaScript __webpack_load_chunk __ ("chunk-containing-module.js"). Then (() => __webpack_require __ (" ./module ")) 1 __webpack_load_chunk __ (" chunk-containing-module.js "). then (() => __webpack_require __ (" ./ module ")) In most cases this cannot be changed, but the webpack command considers some cases where webpack could generate a block that directly executes the contained module.  This can result in less code generated.  ESM imports and exports While there is already a plugin for generating ESM exports, the webpack team is considering adding built-in support for this feature, which may be useful when you decide to integrate webpack packages into ESM boot environments or inline scripts.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn More The command also takes absolute URLs into account when importing.  This is very useful when using external services that offer their APIs as EcmaScript modules.  Here's an example: JavaScript import {event} from "" // Changes to: import ("" ) 12345 import {event} from "" // Changes to: import ("") Such the function will help to gracefully handle errors with external dependencies.  ESM Library The webpack team will also try to improve the bundling using the ESM libraries and will add a special mode that does not apply chunking, but instead generates rendered modules that can be plugged in via ESM imports and exports.  This means that as long as loaders, graphics modules, and resource optimizers are running, no fragment graphs will be created.  Instead, each module in the modules graph will be released as a separate file.  Strict Mode Caveats Sooner or later, the webpack team plans to ensure that all contained code is put into strict mode when the ESM package is created.  While this may not be a problem for many modules, there are a few older packages that may have problems with different interpretations, so it would be nice to see warnings for them.  SourceMap Performance SourceMap provides a way to map code in a compressed file back to its original position in the original file.  In other words, it links the minified version of the resource (CSS or JavaScript) to the original authoring version.  This utility helps you debug applications even after resources have been compressed / optimized.  Using SourceMap in webpack is currently quite expensive due to performance issues, so the webpack team will be looking to improve this in 2021.  They will also be looking to update / improve the terser plugin, which is the default webpack minifier in webpack 5. Package.json export / import field Node.js v14 came with support for an export field in package.json.  This feature allows you to directly define entry points for a package, or conditionally define entry points for each environment or JavaScript flavor (TypeScript, Elm, CoffeeScript, etc.).  In a later release, private imports were also supported in Node.js (similar to the export field in package.json).  For now, webpack 5 only supports the export function, even with additional conditions such as specifying production / development.  Import fields for private imports are another feature to look out for in 2021.  HMR for Modular Design Hot Module Replacement (HMR) works by replacing, adding, or removing modules while the application is still running, without the need for a complete reboot.  This can significantly speed up development by preserving application state that would have been lost on a hard reboot.  Plus, it instantly refreshes the page when changes are made to the source code, much like changing styles directly in the browser developer tools.  Webpack 5 ships with a new feature called “Module Federation”.  This feature allows you to integrate multiple assemblies together at runtime.  HMR currently only supports one assembly at a time and updates cannot move between assemblies.  The webpack team will work to improve the HMR updates to move between different builds, making it easier to develop federation apps.  Hint System To monitor errors and warnings, the webpack team is considering adding another category for the user: hint.  Similar to displaying errors and warnings, a tooltip notifies the user of information that may be of value to him.  However, unlike the previous categories, the prompt will identify optimization opportunities or tricks, not problems.  An example hint might look something like: "Did you know that when you add X a change to file Y, you can clean it up?";  or "Easy to encode the space with the space function."  WebAssembly According to the official documentation, WebAssembly (abbreviated Wasm) is "a binary instruction format for a stack-based virtual machine."  This means that you can build your software with programming languages ​​like Rust, C ++ and Python and provide it to the end user in a browser with near-native performance.  In the current version of webpack, WebAssembly is experimental and not enabled by default.  The default support is what the webpack team will hopefully add this year.  Conclusion There are big changes coming to webpack in 2021, and while this list may not be final, we can look forward to new features and capabilities that will make webpack easier and more efficient.  Author: Elijah Asaolu Source: Editorial: The webformyself team.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn More Webpack.  The Basics Watch the Webpack Video!  Look

Get more with variable fonts

From the author: I recently worked on a project that brought up the topic of variable fonts when discussing shape recognition. I’ve heard this term before, but I didn’t quite understand what a variable font is. I did some research on the web and was thrilled to discover all the possibilities that variable fonts provide us with.

What is a variable font?

Most websites use multiple fonts that belong to the same font family. Each font is stored in a separate file and has a unique set of properties such as width, thickness, and style. Variable fonts store all of these variations in a single font file. Unlike static fonts, variable fonts provide access to the entire range of widths, weights, and other properties. For example, most font families include a specified number of fonts with varying weights, available in incremental values ​​from 100 to 900. Variable fonts provide the ability to use any weight within a specified range. So if font-weight: 470 is perfect for your site, you can use it.

Variable fonts in action

The demo below provides an example of the full range of styles that are possible with a single variable font. Sliders can be used to adjust thickness, width, and slope.

Sounds cool, but …

If you’re like me and haven’t heard of variable fonts before, you might wonder how useful they are. There are several key reasons why you should use variable fonts.

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As you might have guessed, being able to access the entire font family from a single file can improve performance. Variable fonts reduce the number of HTTP requests for the font file and the amount of data that needs to be retrieved. Although the variable font files are larger, they are usually smaller than several static font files. However, there are exceptions. If your site only uses one font weight or style, you may not get the same performance gains as sites using multiple fonts.

Adaptive design

Screen size often dictates typographic decisions such as thickness, size, and so on. Variable fonts give you better control over these properties. Properties such as height x, optical size can be adjusted according to the screen size to improve readability. The demo below uses Amstelvar variable font to show the transition from low to high optical size. At larger sizes, the contrast increases.

All letters are scaled to the same size for comparison

How do variable fonts work?

Now that you’ve seen what variable fonts can do, let’s see how they work. Variable fonts store one outline for each character. The points that make up the path provide instructions on how they should move to create other styles. Individual styles are interpolated using these instructions. Changes are made along different axes, such as the thickness axis.

Axes of variation

The axes of variation describe which properties are variable and what the valid range for those properties is. Variable fonts can have two types of axes: registered axes and custom axes.

Registered axles are the most common and are explicitly defined. There are five registered axes: weight, width, italic, slant and optical size. Each registered axis has a corresponding four-letter tag and can be mapped to existing CSS properties.

Please note that registered axes are optional. It is up to the font designer to decide which axes to include.

In addition to registered axes, font designers can include custom axes. Custom axes open up a lot of creative possibilities because there is no limit to the scope, definition, or number of custom axes allowed. Like registered axes, custom axes have a corresponding four-letter tag. However, custom axis tags must be in uppercase. For example, a common custom axis is level, usually represented by the four-letter GRAD tag.

A closer look at tags

I’ve mentioned tags a few times, so you might be wondering how to use them. CSS specs prefer to use font-weight, font-stretch, font-style, and font-optical-sizing to control registered axes where possible. Custom axes can be accessed using the font-variation-settings property. In the example below, GRAD is a custom axis.

New opportunities

Variable fonts create new possibilities for transforming typography. From practical use cases like improving readability to more creative uses like these illustrative fonts from Typearture. If you want to do your own research, there are some great places to look for variable fonts: Axis-Praxis and V-fonts.

Author: Danielle romo

A source: //

Editorial staff: Webformyself team.

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