JS Roundup: Episode 04
In this episode, we’ll cover Node.js and Next.js updates, news from the Google Chromium team, and more!
Below you’ll find the transcript of the video. We’ve added it here for those who prefer to read rather than watch. It also contains links to additional information.
Ebenezer Don: On October 19, Node.js announced a major version 17 release. As mentioned in a blog post from Bethany Griggs, Node.js 17 is replacing Node.js 16 as the ‘current’ release line, with Node.js 16 being promoted to long-term support next week. You can expect new releases of Node.js 17 approximately every two weeks.
To start using Node.js 17, you can find it on the official Node.js download page, or use the Node.js version manager, NVM, by running the command nvm install 17 on your terminal.
Paul Everitt: I am…“all about that web, ‘bout that web”. In October, the Google Chromium team announced RenderingNG. This is the culmination of 8 years of effort towards “a next-generation rendering architecture that greatly outperforms what came before”.
What’s it about?
- Reliability. Their most important goal. They claim to have rewritten THE WHOLE STACK of something that has to be one of the most complex pieces of software on the planet.
- Performance. They are looking at GPU and multi-core. When RenderingNG was originally written, these two weren’t so much of a thing, but now they are prevalent and the team wants performance to take advantage of it.
- Extensibility. They want Chrome to adapt much faster to new web APIs.
One of the points mentioned in the blog post was global savings in energy. I keep seeing this pop up, for example, the core Python team mentioned it, too. It is nice to see our industry recognize our part in global climate change.
Here is a hot take: Chrome is becoming a near-monopoly. Is anybody worried about browser monoculture, from a single vendor? Let us know in the comments.
Ebenezer: Next.js 12, the biggest ever release from the Next.js team, was announced on October 26, at the Next.js Conf.
Some of the major highlights from this new version include:
- Rust compiler, which promises 3X faster refresh and about 5X faster builds.
- Introduction of middleware, which enables full flexibility in Next.js, along with the introduction of Edge functions for building fast, dynamic server-side rendered apps.
- React 18 support.
- More image optimization options.
- Optimized SEO for web crawlers.
- Native ES modules support.
- URL imports.
- React Server Component, including SSR streaming.
To start using Next.js 12, you can update your version by running the command npm i next@latest. Also, check out the Next.js 12 release blog post for more details about these new features.
Paul: This does sound like the biggest release ever. I know you are doing a lot with Next.js, you wrote a blog post on the WebStorm blog about it, and featured it in some of your videos. Are you going to give version 12 a try?
Ebenezer: I am going to give it a try and I look forward to creating more content on Next.js 12 specifically.
- Improved syntax, which makes it easier to use markdown in JSX.
- Support for any JSX runtime including React, Preact, Vue, and Emotion.
- At least 25% faster compilation.
- 100% faster runtime for generated code.
- And so much more.
Paul: In October, Ebenezer and I attended the PWA Summit, a conference dedicated to Progressive Web Applications. There were lots of great and thought-provoking talks. 2022 might not be the “Year of Linux on the Desktop”, but hopefully it’s the year when PWAs have a bigger footprint. Come on, Apple, get Mobile Safari compliant!
Build Whack-a-Mole in 1 Hour Webinar
Paul: We had so much fun on that webinar! As you said she is a pro at the games, but Ania also has a gift for teaching beginners.
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