Astro launches v4 🚀

Issue #245.December 11, 2023.2 Minute read.

Today’s issue: How to embezzle investor funds create your own JS framework, giving yourself the gift of SVG knowledge, and the name of the React cyborg that kidnaps me in my stress dreams.

Welcome to #245.

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The Main Thing

Kid trying to hide behind a pole

Astro hoping we won't notice their second major release in three months.

Astro launches v4 🚀

But wait, didn’t Astro v3 come out like 20 minutes ago? Pretty much, but the Astro team has a good reason for launching another major release so soon — upgrading to Vite 5.

That upgrade was supposed to be part of Astro v3 back in August, but then the Vite 5 release got delayed, because OSS is hard. So the Astro team made the tough but smart choice to go ahead and ship Astro v3 anyway and integrate the Vite upgrade once it was available later on.

Well it’s available now, and so is Astro v4.

Thankfully, Vite 5 didn’t come with a lot of breaking changes, so neither does this Astro release 🙏. And in typical overachiever fashion, the Astro team still found a way to squeeze some other cool new features into this not-so-major release:

  • The Astro dev toolbar improves your local browser dev experience by giving you an easy way to inspect the islands on your page, run accessibility audits, debug with Sentry, and extend the toolbar itself with custom apps and third-party tools.

  • Incremental content caching speeds up build times for large sites by using caching techniques to reduce the amount of duplicate work done inside the astro build command.

  • New view transition APIs are more configurable and work for new use cases like forms, prefetching, and more.

Bottom Line: Given the tricky circumstances, this is a great release for Astro, who looks poised to keep surfing the ship-less-JavaScript wave to new heights in 2024.


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Our Friends
(With Benefits)

Man showing a woman something on an iPad

Me asking Pieces to show me what my code does.

Pieces is the one productivity tool to rule them all (and it’s 100% free)

Here’s why. Pieces is a desktop app that acts as a hub for your entire workflow — kind of like Notion, but designed for developers, powered by AI, and able to seamlessly integrate all the tools you currently use.

Cool, but what does that actually mean? Here’s a scenario: Let’s say you’re trying to find some code snippets to help onboard a new developer to your team — but you can’t find it in GitHub, it’s not showing up in Slack, and you don’t see it in your 50 open tabs either 😬.

That’s a great use case for Pieces:

  • You can use it to easily store all your team’s code snippets in one place. Its on-device ML automatically adds titles, descriptions, and related links to each snippet for additional context (see 2-min demo).

  • You never have to type out code from screenshots again, because their advanced OCR converts screenshots to code, and uses ML to auto-correct potential defects (🙏).

  • You can easily reference, share, and reuse all snippets by searching with natural language, code, or tags.

The craziest part is how their new Workflow Copilot works alongside you in VS Code and all your other tools to give you exactly what you need, when you need it.

This all helps minimize context switching and makes it feel like you’re mind-melding with your machine when you’re coding (in a great way).

Get the free desktop app — and see why developers at Microsoft, Google, and more trust it with their workflows.

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Cool Bits

  1. Million.js 3.0 just launched with faster builds and a faster runtime, so it can “make React faster” even… faster?

  2. Unlayer Embed is a drag-and-drop email editor, page builder, popup builder, and document builder for your SaaS application. It’s white-label, easy to embed, and will easily save you weeks of dev time. [sponsored]

  3. Hunor Márton Borbély created this SVG Tutorial Advent Calendar that will help you give yourself the gift of vector knowledge this holiday season.

  4. Electron 28.0 adds support for ES Modules.

  5. Nolan Lawson wrote an article called Let’s learn how modern JavaScript frameworks work by building one. Looking forward to part 2 where he walks you through how to use that framework to raise a $2m seed round, defraud your investors, fake your own death, and move to the Caribbean.

  6. The Stellate team just announced Fuse.js - an opinionated framework for creating typesafe data layers that immediately gave me flashbacks of watching emo music videos on Fuse TV at my friend’s house in 10th grade.

  7. Codecov is a coding coverage solution that you’ll actually use. It gives you actionable insights about your PR’s test coverage directly inside a PR comment - so you can always do a quick status check without having to leave your workflow. [sponsored]

  8. Reactotron just released v3.0 of their desktop app for inspecting and debugging React Native applications. It’s also the name of the cyborg that always tries to kidnap me in my recurring stress dreams. I’m doing fine.

  9. OlegWock wrote A Guide to React Suspense. It’s an insightful post, but the most disturbing part was when they mentioned that Suspense was first introduced five (???) years ago. I guess Shakespeare was right when he famously wrote that, The years start comin’ and they don’t stop comin’.

  10. The creator of Panda CSS wrote a nuanced article called How does xXx compare to Panda CSS. Admittedly, I was unaware that xXx and Panda CSS were in the same cinematic universe, but I am happy to see one of Vin Diesel’s best works finally getting the respect it deserves.