Hello, Web Browser Engineering reader! We’ve moved the book’s mailing list to Substack. It’s still free (we’re not doing the paid newsletter thing) and you should keep getting updates without issue, but if this email is in error, there’s an “Unsubscribe” button in the footer. And now, let me explain why we switched.
Until about a month ago, the Web Browser Engineering mailing list was using Mailchimp’s free tier. But when Chris and I finished Chapter 13 on Animating and Compositing and I went to send out an announcement, I realized that this free tier is capped at 2000 subscribers, and we’d passed that limit (we’re at 2,202 as of this writing). That meant that Mailchimp had turned off our ability to send emails, and we had no way to announce Chapter 13!
So, we needed a replacement. Sadly, Mailchimp’s paid tier starts at $35 per month. That seemed a bit steep for a few thousand emails a month, and would use up most of our Patreon donations. Some competitors are a bit cheaper (Mailjet was the cheapest, at $15/mo), but all of them were still a substantial expense (for a free book project). Another option was Google Groups, which is free, but it was hard to customize, and I thought the emails looked pretty ugly. Luckily, I was dimly aware of Substack as some kind of online-paid-magazine service, and it turns out that Substack lets you do free blogs as well and, importantly, they don’t charge for sending the emails. That seemed like a perfect fit.
So that’s what we’re switching to. I’ve already transferred over the list of subscribers from Mailchimp1 (that’s why you got this email) and we’ve added a Substack button to the website for new subscribers2. And since Substack is a blog platform, we’ve merged the existing Web Browser Engineering blog with the mailing list. So we’ll continue posting chapter announcements here, along with the occasional post on progress or writing infrastructure. Until next time!
Unfortunately, if you indicated that you want plain-text emails, Substack won’t be able to honor that since that’s not something Substack supports yet.
Substack doesn’t have an API, so I can’t keep the existing yellow sign-up form. To be fair, that sign-up form used an undocumented Mailchimp API, so it’s not like that sign-up form has ever been supported.