A bit Chonky

Issue #43.April 12, 2021.2 Minute read.

Congratulations everybody, we finally did it. Humanity has officially given monkeys the power to play Pong telepathically.

Never let anyone tell you that we’re not living in the golden age of progress.

NativeScript releases v8.0

Meghan Markle


It’s 2021 now… but writing about NativeScript has transported us straight back to 2018. Meghan Markle got to live every girl’s dream by marrying Prince Harry and NativeScript was the belle of the ball.

Fast forward a few years and well, maybe this release will be NativeScript’s Oprah moment.

Quick review: NativeScript is a framework for building “truly native” iOS and Android apps with JavaScript/TypeScript and frameworks like Angular, Vue, Svelte, and React.

Feel like you’ve heard that sales pitch before? That’s probably because you have. But unlike Ionic, Cordova, or Phone Gap (lol), NativeScript does this with real native components, not a webview.

What’s new in NativeScript 8:

  • Fancy new eslint rules@nativescript/eslint-plugin is the first official set of eslint rules for NativeScript projects. It helps mitigate framework breaking changes and lets you auto-update project imports to align themselves with the latest updates.

  • Way simpler Webpack shiz — The new-and-improved webpack.config.js is much cleaner (only 4 lines of code), while managing all of NativeScript’s supported frameworks and their specific Webpack requirements. Plugins can also automatically register new loaders and rules now, so you don’t have to manually copy and paste loaders & Webpack plugins like a heathen.

  • New CSS tricks — First requested in 2015, you can now use box-shadow and text-shadow with your CSS in NativeScript.

Check out this demo app that was built by a NativeScript community member if you want to see all of the updates and new features in action.

The Bottom Line

It’s no secret that Flutter/Dart is the hot new thing in the cross-platform space these days. But if you want to use a JavaScript framework (that isn’t React Native) to build mobile apps, NativeScript still seems like a solid choice with a fairly large developer community around it.

TWIH — The Internet is Born

Monkey browing the internet

Ushering in The Golden Age of Progress

52 years ago last week… Steve Crocker issued the first-ever RFC (“Request for Comments”), which defined the IMP software that allowed communication between host machines on the ARPAnet (the world’s first computer network).

Today, RFC1 is widely considered the first main document that paved the way for the birth of the internet. It’s the GrandDaddy of all Docs.

So, what was actually in RFC1? It stated the purpose of connecting the first 4 hosts (3 from California, 1 from Utah (Hell yeah, go Jazz)) on the network and described the initial “simple use” case and what the longer-term “deep use” case might look like.

Most importantly, it outlined how the software would work:

Information is transmitted from HOST to HOST in bundles called messages. A message is any stream of not more than 8080 bits (or 1/5th of React.js), together with its header. The header is 16 bits and contains the following information:

Destination 5 bits Link 8 bits Trace 1 bit Spare 2 bits

RFC1 eventually morphed into the RFC Series, which has since produced over 9,000 technical and organizational documents about the Internet over the last 50 years.

104 days after RFC1, the Apollo 11 crew made its one giant leap for mankind when it landed on the moon. Turns out 1969 was a pretty big year for groundbreaking tech. But hey, in 2021 we’ve got monkeys playing MindPong and libraries for the meta-frameworks of our JavaScript frameworks.

The disruptive innovation never stops.

What will building for the web look like in 5 years?

Brian Rinaldi

I think (hope) that in five years we’ll see a return to simplicity of building for the web. Web development has become increasingly complicated, with Frontend developers asked to orchestrate a widening array of tools, frameworks and services across a range of platforms. I think we’ll see a consolidation of tools and services and a rise of platforms that make it much easier to orchestrate all the pieces, allowing frontend devs to focus their energies on the frontend again.

Brian Rinaldi is a Developer Advocate at StepZen with over 20 years experience. He’s actively involved in the community and will be doing a ui.dev event this Thursday titled “A Practical Intro to JAMstack.”

Cool Bits

  1. Having a hard time keeping up with all the hot new build tools? Hugh’s got you covered with an awesome article, “Comparing the New Generation of Build Tools, which will help you feel like less of a JS boomer.

  2. Matt created XState Catalogue — a collection of professionally designed state machines you can drop into your projects. Hopefully, it’s as useful to you as the JCPenny back-to-school catalog was to my mom in the ’90s.

  3. Nader Dabit released his Complete Guide to Full Stack Ethereum Development last Friday, and ETH prices immediately jumped 6%. Coincidence?

  4. Mathicall.js is a fast, new JavaScript math library designed for simulation and data processing. It’s also how I pronounced the word “magical” when I was an 8-year-old kid with no front teeth but a binder full of Pokemon cards. A mathicall time indeed.

  5. Vue 3 announced that it won’t support IE11 because (and I’m quoting Evan word for word here), “You’re tacky and I hate you.”

  6. CodeTour is a VSCode Extension that lets you record and playback guided walkthroughs of your codebases. AKA it’ll eliminate 80% of a dev manager’s job.

  7. Like your rich friends who can’t stop posting about their remodeled kitchen, The Chrome DevTools team is keeping us in the loop with their own “architecture refresh,” this time with a new post on migrating to TypeScript. Bad news, it’s probably “a bit Chonky”.

  8. Lea Verou wrote a great tutorial on adding dark mode in 5 minutes. Making things dark within 5 minutes? Sounds like every episode of Breaking Bad.