Bytes #78 - I can show you the world

I can show you the world

Issue #78.December 13, 2021.2 Minute read.

Helllllllo everyone. The internet broke this week and for once, it wasn't the JavaScript ecosystem's fault. Here's to another week of aimlessly npm installing whatever package will help you be done with work the quickest.

Welcome to #78


Andrew Clark meme

Truly great DX does not sacrifice UX – it enables it

React Conf

The stage is set. The lights are dimmed. Andrew Clark comes into view and speaks those magical words:

"I can show you the world..."

Wait, no. Wrong newsletter.

"Hello, and welcome to ReactConf 2021"

How we got here: For years, React has been working on mythical "concurrent rendering" features. Things like streaming server-side rendering, batched state updates, and progressive hydration.

  • In 2017, the React team spoked about a new "Fiber" architecture, making concurrent rendering possible.
  • In 2018, Dan Abramov demonstrated concurrent features, including Suspense, for the first time.
  • In 2019, React Hooks made it easier to use concurrent features.
  • In 2020, Dan and Lauren Tan previewed React Server Components.

So what did ReactConf 2021 bring? Not a whole lot, tbh.

Instead of monumental announcements, the folks at ~~that one place where your aunt gets radicalized against birds~~ Meta took a step back and reintroduced us to these great features they've been working on. Some of them are still cooking, but many are available in React 18, which will be released early next year.

So what else happened at ReactConf?

Plus much more - be sure to check the full playlist of talks.

The Bottom Line: Say what you will about ~~the company that lets you see which high school friends ended up getting married, or went to prison~~ Meta - React is shaping the future of frameworks for years to come – and taking their time in doing so.


Parks and Rec meme

When your CSS is really a cry for help

Tailwind CSS -- making moves with v3

Tailwind CSS just launched v3 last week, and it turns out that *spoiler alert* Adam Wathan and his team are still pretty great at design.

Wtf is Tailwind? It's a CSS framework that helps you create easily-customizable utility classes. It saves you from having to write tons of custom CSS (gross), but it's still primitive enough to help you design custom components (unlike our old friend, Bootstrap Bill).

Three highlights of Tailwind 3:

  • New JIT compiler is on by default. Tailwind reads the classes from your HTML, CSS, and JSX and compiles your output CSS on the fly. This new compiler gives you faster build times and better performance all around, along with all of the colors, all of the variants, and All of the Lights -- all without having to configure anything.

  • Support for arbitrary CSS properties. You can now write arbitrary CSS anywhere you want and combine it with fancy modifiers like hover and lg. In Adam Wathan's words, "This is what inline styles want to be when they grow up." Dream big, kids.

  • Support for a bunch of new CSS Properties. *Activate Midwestern car mechanic voice* -- "You've got yourself a new standard scroll snap, column layout, accent color, row snap, aspect ratio, underline styles, pre-defined border padding, and a new print media query." (I definitely made two of those up and challenge you to guess which ones are fake without looking it up.)

Check out the demo video if you want to see all the new (real) features in action.

Bottom Line: Tailwind has randomly become a pretty polarizing technology these days -- but if Kanye and Drake can squash their beef, maybe the Tailwind stans and haters will also learn to ~~grow up~~ set aside their differences and come together one day.


One Question Interview

What will building mobile apps look like 5 years from now?

"Building mobile apps should be at least as easy as building a website, probably even easier. Already, the average person spends more time using apps on their phone than they do on websites, but most developers are still focused on web dev because making mobile apps is hard and full of annoying chores. That has to change and get better.

In 5 years, anyone who is a designer or a front end engineer or is willing to put in a little bit of work to learn things like React and JS will be able to make their ideas come to life. Eventually, you should be able to make something in less than 5 minutes and send it out with just a link and anyone in the world--on any operating system--will be able to look at it right away."

Charlie Cheever Charlie is the Co-founder of Expo and Quora. He just led an amazing Event on "Building Mobile Apps with React Native and Expo" last Wednesday. You can watch the recording by grabbing a free 3-day trial to ui.dev.

Cool Bits

  1. Deno (pronounced Deno) is joining the TC39 "to make sure that future evolutions of JavaScript will continue to work well for Deno - and server-side JavaScript runtimes in general". Adding another VC backed devtools startup to the bunch 🍻.

  2. Vite 2.7 was just released with revamped SSR dependency handling, new API consolidation, and more. Vite is a lot like NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo -- both are incredibly powerful and only true fans know how to correctly pronounce their names. (Similar to Deno, it's pronounced Vite, btw).

  3. Speaking of Vite, the PodRocket podcast just interviewed Evan You all about Vite, Vue, and why V for Vendetta is (presumably) his favorite movie. [Sponsored]

  4. GitHub released a new code search engine, because Microsoft is tired of you refusing to use its other glorious search engine (Bing), and it still needs some way of tracking you. I, for one, cannot wait to start getting personalized ads for npm install @reduxjs/toolkit.

  5. Misko Hevery (creator of Angular) wrote about how his team at Builder.io cut 99% of its homepage's JavaScript by using Qwik and Partytown. That remaining 1%? Just a tiny, 200mb Angular.js bundle that you totally won't even notice at all. Fist time hearing about Qwik? Here's a good place to start.

  6. We wrote down everything we new about React Router (v6) into this lovely Guide to React Router.

  7. Wondering what all the fuss is about with the log4j vulnerability? This Tweet thread is a good place to start.

  8. Dan Abramov continued prepping for his impending job search last week when he did another mock technical interview with Gonzalo Pozzo. The whole interview was great, but my favorite part was the Fight Club-esque twist at the end where we found out that Gonzalo Pozzo has really just been Dan's bearded, Argentinian alter ego this whole time.

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