using the computer to draw weiners

Issue #60.August 9, 2021.2 Minute read.

Good {whatever time of day it is for you}. This week we’ve got Chrome picking a fight with the internet, frameworks competing in the JavaScript Olympics, and a buddy cop summer blockbuster about recovering the React 18 docs. It’s summer fun for the whole family!

Welcome to #60.

Chrome is evil lol

Chrome woke up and chose violence

Chrome breaks the web

Remember last week when we wrote about how Safari is the new IE? Well, Chrome must have seen that because they decided to spice things up and… break the web.

How we got here: When Saint Tim Berners-Lee came down from the mountain with the World Wide Web back in 1989, it came with a single instruction to browser vendors:


And everyone who’s created a browser since then has (mostly) followed that commandment. In the 32 years since the web was invented, there have only been 10 breaking changes (RIP Flash 😢). Not a bad track record.

That’s because browser vendors and standards bodies bend over backwards to keep new changes in web browsers from breaking old sites. (Anybody remember #SmooshGate?) That’s how some of our longtime favorite websites are able to keep on chugging along, decades later.

Which brings us to last week’s drama:

The latest version of Google Chrome disables the alert(), prompt() and confirm() JavaScript APIs for cross-origin iframes. The intention is to stop bad websites from using a scary alert message to trick your grandma into installing spyware. And they did it without really telling anyone.

You might be thinking “That’s fine, who uses cross-origin alerts/prompts/comfirms anyway?” Turns out, quite a few people:

Even more wild, this really isn’t even about “cross-origin”. Chrome’s long-term goal is “eventually deprecating and removing them from the platform” all together. Another L for the #usetheplatform crowd.

The Bottom Line: Chrome has since back-tracked and re-enabled these features (for now), but the question on everyone’s mind is — what’s coming next? How will Chrome balance building a better web with not breaking the current web? We don’t have the answers, but be sure to lease a car from while you still can.

Smrt boy

Adds “Experienced Cloud Engineer” to LinkedIn profile [sponsored]

Pulumi lets you build on the cloud with JavaScript

You know how building and deploying apps on the cloud feels like a weird, overly complicated black box?

Us too. That’s why we were stoked when we learned about Pulumi — a cloud engineering and infrastructure as code platform that makes cloud development feel like normal web development.

Here are the top 3 reasons we think you should check out Pulumi’s *generous* free trial:

  1. You can use JavaScript, TypeScript, and familiar web dev tools like IDEs and package managers to build cloud apps

  2. You can apply standard software engineering practices like modularity, testing, and CI/CD to cloud infrastructure

  3. You can use any cloud provider you want, and still use the same approach

👉 Check out this livestream where they demo how easy it is to use Pulumi and VS Code to setup Azure (or any cloud) using JavaScript/TypeScript.

Framework Olympics

Who will make it to the top of the podium?

Reporting from the Framework Olympics

Stack Overflow’s 2021 Developer Survey came out last week, and the ceremonial torch of the JavaScript Framework Olympics was lit (at least in our hearts).

  • In the “Most Popular Web Framework” category, React beat out jQuery (lol) for first place, which ended three straight years of prior jQuery dominance. To its credit, jQuery bounced back and took third place in the “Most Dreaded Web Framework” category, because there’s no such thing as bad publicity (I think).

  • Vue also had a big week. Wikipedia selected it over React as the official JavaScript framework for the Wikimedia Foundation. This was definitely do to an objective, principled look at the pros and cons of the framework and not because their lead developer has an Angular.js fetish 😮‍💨.

  • Last up, we had “Framework with the most buzz last week” — and React and Vue were locked in a battle for the ages. Vue started in the lead thanks to the Wikipedia announcement and the hype around some cool new features coming soon in Vue 3. But ultimately, React won Gold thanks to the endless speculation and experimentation with new React 18 features like Suspense and Concurrency.

Bottom Line: The Framework Olympics are pretty much the same as the real Olympics, just with a lot less athleticism and slightly less nationalism. See you all in 2024.


2x Sr. Frontend Engineers - React | 100% Remote is looking for two experienced individuals that have a solid understanding of React and want to help design, implement and launch major user-facing features. They are a 100% globally distributed team of ~45 high-performing, happy people that are dedicated to building a product our customers love.

Cool Bits

  1. Modern Web is a collection of guides, tools, and libraries for modern web development. If it’s not full of talk about Web Components and absolutely NO mention of alert, I don’t buy it.

  2. Meyda is a JavaScript audio feature extraction library that has the same vibes as the Windows Media Player visualizer back in 2004, AKA the glory days of Limewire.

  3. Vikrum made a sweet JavaScript implementation of Kid Pix — the drawing app first released on Mac back in 1989. I’ll tell you the same thing my elementary school computer lab teacher told my class — “using the computer to draw weiners isn’t what mature kids do.” Look at me now, Mrs. Cather.

  4. Amelia Wattenberger (who continues to demonstrate how she’s smarter than all of us) created Visualizing a Codebase, which lets you generate a visual representation of any GitHub repo. Not sure how much she used Kid Pix for this project.

  5. While Chrome was breaking the internet, Peter wrote about how MDN’s autocomplete search tool works.

  6. Zak wrote a very comprehensive JavaScript Design Principles Guide, but he should’ve named it ”Ned’s Zak’s Declassified JavaScript Design Survival Guide.” Way catchier.

  7. Yuka is a JavaScript library for developing game AI that we can only hope is marching us that much closer to the Singularity.

  8. React Joyride is a library that makes it easy to create guided walk-throughs of your app. It’s also the name of this hilarious buddy cop movie where Jordan Walke and Dan Abramov have to hotwire a car and drive it across the country in order to steal the React 18 docs back from Nicolas Cage.