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Mike Bostock observablehq.com

Did I learn anything from 10 years of D3.js?

Mike Bostock celebrates D3’s 10th by reflecting on what he’s learned over the years. There’s a lot to glean from Mike’s reflections. I really enjoyed this sentiment under the “Don’t go it alone” section:

To avoid entrusting your emotional wellbeing to internet randos (see #8), you must develop relationships with a small, stable group of people that you respect. In other words, find a team (or community) that can provide validation, feedback, support, and mentorship. Maybe this is obvious to everyone but me — yes, Mike, friends are good — but I feel like it’s worth repeating today when so much human interaction happens at a distance.

Node.js jam.systems

Jam is an OSS alternative to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces

With Jam you can create audio rooms that can be used for panel discussions, jam sessions, free flowing conversations, debates, theatre plays, musicals and more. The only limit is your imagination.

The README has an excellent feature comparison to help you decide if Jam is right for you. They also have a PRIVACY file, which is nice to see.

JS Party JS Party #163

JS is an occasionally functional language

Eric Normand (long-time FP advocate and author of Grokking Simplicity) joins Jerod and KBall for a deep conversation about Functional Programming in JavaScript. Eric teaches us what FP is all about, details the functional side of JS, and reviews the good/bad/ugly of React.

Oh, and join us in the #jsparty channel of our community slack where we’re giving away three FREE e-book copies of Eric’s new book! 🎁

Node.js github.com

UsTaxes – an open source tax filing web app

UsTaxes is an open source tax filing application that can be used to file the Federal 1040 form. It is different from paid tax preparation software in that it protects user privacy and is provided for free. It is available in both web and desktop formats.

The coolest thing about this (in addition to it being free-as-in-beer) is that it stores all data in the browser only, so your personal info never leaves your computer.

WIP Alert: You shouldn’t use it file your taxes for the 2020 / 2021 tax season, but it’s a great time to get involved and help this software become production-ready for the next go-around.

Browser London Icon Browser London

React is king (and that’s not changing anytime soon)

Connor Ward:

Before React, there was Angular and before that, there was jQuery – all frameworks that have fallen by the wayside. It’s just a matter of time before something comes along and takes the mantle as the new hotness. Or so they say.

I’m not so sure. In fact, I think React will be with us for many years to come.

He sites React Native’s success as one reason React will remain relevant, amongst others. I’m not so sure.

I believe React The Idea (uni-directional data flow through declarative component trees) is here to stay, but I’m not so convinced that React The Software won’t be soon replaced like its predecessors were.

JavaScript v8.dev

How the V8 team made JS calls faster with this clever trick

Victor Gomes details the elegant hack (in the best sense of the word) he and the V8 team came up with to significantly increase V8’s JavaScript function call performance (by up to 40% in some cases).

Until recently, V8 had a special machinery to deal with arguments size mismatch: the arguments adaptor frame. Unfortunately, argument adaption comes at a performance cost, but is commonly needed in modern front-end and middleware frameworks. It turns out that, with a clever trick, we can remove this extra frame, simplify the V8 codebase and get rid of almost the entire overhead.

A fascinating read and fantastic performance improvements for all to enjoy.

React github.com

Create videos programmatically in React

You may be wondering why this is a good idea. Thankfully, the README starts by answering that question:

  • Leverage web technologies: Use all of CSS, Canvas, SVG, WebGL, etc.
  • Leverage programming: Use variables, functions, APIs, math and algorithms to create new effects
  • Leverage React: Reusable components, Powerful composition, Fast Refresh, Package ecosystem

If you want to see it in action, the announcement video for Remotion was written in Remotion itself. (Because of course)

At this point, we may need to adjust Atwood’s Law, which states:

any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.

I think a s/JavaScript/React/g would do the trick…

Ivan Novikov github.com

A log function with superpowers

1log is a new logging library for the browser and Node. This library provides a log() function which is like console.log, but with superpowers:

  1. It can be used in expressions - f(log(x))
  2. It supports plugins

There are plugins for setting a severity level, for adding badges, and for logging functions, iterables, promises, and RxJS observables. You can even use it in your tests. Instead of writing log messages to the console, you can inspect them in unit tests with help of Jest’s snapshots feature.

Nick Schot simplabs.com

An intro to animating with the Web Animations API

Nick Schot from Simplabs with a solid primer to get you started with the Web Animations API

The Web Animations API is a relatively new addition to the browser and is still very much in development. It promises to combine the benefits of CSS Transitions/Animations and JavaScript based animations.

All popular browsers have now implemented the minimum features necessary to do complex animations and a polyfill which adds support for the Web Animations API to older browsers is available. It’s time we tried it out!

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

Servers: cool once again

Chris Coyier rounding up recent frontend moves (by Basecamp and React, specifically) back to server-side rendering techniques of old:

So: servers. They are just good at doing certain things (says the guy typing into his WordPress blog). There does seem to be some momentum toward doing less on the client, which I think most of us would agree has been taking on a bit much lately, which asset sizes doing nothing but growing and growing.

Let’s push those servers to the edge while we’re at it.

I agree. Servers are cool. Clients are cool, too. But so are servers.

Joe Sweeney github.com

Podrain – a web-based podcast app with offline capabilities

Joe Sweeney built Podrain to scratch his own podcast-listening itch. Here’s what he had to say about it in our community chat:

Hi there! Huge fan of Changelog. I actually built a podcast client for the web as a Vue PWA, as a proof-of-concept towards building a web-first future away from app stores. Works fully offline with downloaded audio, as in, works in Airplane mode (but on Android only). Interface is rough but it’s pretty stable and improving over time!

Try Podrain yourself by pointing your favorite web browser right here.

Electron github.com

Turn any device with a web browser to a second screen for your computer

Deskreen is an electron.js based application that uses WebRTC to make a live stream of your desktop to a web browser on any device. It is built on top of Electron React Boilerplate For better security mechanism, end-to-end encryption is implemented, which is inspired bydarkwire.io , the difference is, that it is rewritten in Typescript and transformed to use node-forge instead of window.crypto.subtle.

Turn any device with a web browser to a second screen for your computer

Tom Critchlow tomcritchlow.com

Why can't I write code inside my browser?

What would happen if browsers came pre-installed with Node.js, an IDE, and a simple runtime environment?

…there’s been a kind of revolution around coding. “Javascript everywhere” (i.e. node.js) has really become the default web-development paradigm. Javascript is alluring - partly because every computer has a javascript GUI and runtime - the browser! You can code in javascript on your computer using a text editor and a browser - without ever touching the command line!

But, what if a full-fledged dev environment for JavaScript was just as ubiquitous as the runtime in the browser?

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