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Frontend

Front End is the programming and layout that people see and interact with.
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Rust github.com

Seed – build your frontend in Rust

Seed is a Rust framework that uses an Elm-like architecture to help you build fast and reliable web apps that run on WebAssembly. Here’s why you might want to use it:

Seed allows you to develop the front-end with all the benefits of Rust, meaning speed, safety, and too many more things to count.

The Seed templating system uses a macro syntax that makes Rustaceans feel right at home. This means linting, formatting, and commenting will work, and it’s all in Rust. This is opposed to a JSX-like syntax that relies on IDE extensions to improve the developer experience.

Seed has a batteries-included approach. This means less time writing boilerplate and less time installing dependencies.

And a few reasons why you might not:

  • It’s newer. It’s harder to find support outside of Discord.
  • WebAssembly is newer with less support. Browser compatibility is at 92.9%.
  • Pre-built components are rare. You will likely have to roll your own components such as date pickers.
  • No server-side rendering yet
  • You may prefer other Rust frameworks like MoonZoon or Yew.

Rach Smith rachsmith.com

I completely ignored the front end development scene for 6 months. It was fine

Wise words from Rach Smith:

What I’ve learnt through experience is that the number of languages I’ve learned or the specific frameworks I’ve gained experience with matters very little. What actually matters is my ability to up-skill quickly and effectively. My success so far has nothing to do with the fact I know React instead of Vue, or have experience with AWS and not Azure. What has contributed to my success is the willingness to learn new tools as the need arises.

Shruti Kapoor Medium

The story of PayPal's adoption of GraphQL

From Shruti Kapoor on PayPal’s technology blog:

We started our GraphQL adoption journey by building our checkout experience. We saw tremendous benefits in adopting GraphQL when our checkout app built with GraphQL became our guiding light.We built more apps, provided infrastructure support, launched a public GraphQL API, and provided trainings and learning materials across the company. We also set up a standards body, provided a GraphQL tools fanny pack, and built sample apps to help teams get started.

Today, GraphQL is being used by several production apps across PayPal. It is now a default pattern to use GraphQL for building new UI apps. Many existing apps are in the process of migrating to GraphQL.

JavaScript github.com

Solid – a declarative JavaScript library for creating user interfaces

Solid… does not use a Virtual DOM. Instead it opts to compile its templates down to real DOM nodes and wrap updates in fine grained reactions. This way when your state updates only the code that depends on it runs.

Solid takes a lot of cues from React, but sets itself apart in that it doesn’t use a Virtual DOM. Here’s what Michel Weststrate had to say about it on Twitter:

Not a revolution, but really solid (pun) evolution; clean component model, really efficient run-time model, deeply embedded reactivity. Definitely think it’s worth giving it a shot in fresh new, limited scope projects!

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.

Browser London Icon Browser London

Frontend predictions for 2021

Predictions are always fun, especially when we can look back and see how wrong we were. Here’s Browser London’s Jay Freestone laying out where he thinks the frontend is going in 2021:

  1. React frameworks finally mature
  2. We get a glimpse at container queries
  3. WASM explodes
  4. The monolith makes a come back

There’s the predictions. Click through for the Jay’s reasoning.

JavaScript eng.lyft.com

How Lyft is migrating 100+ frontend microservices to Next.js

The engineering teams at Lyft were facing some serious issues:

we were running into headwinds trying to maintain our own frontend platform — an internal set of Webpack configurations, ESLint libraries and framework code — and finding ourselves bogged down troubleshooting cryptic build errors and generally finding our productivity sapped by such support requests. Because codebases began to diverge (as they do in microservice architectures), our developers found the task of upgrading to new versions of our frontend platform to be time-intensive and frustrating.

With over 100 frontend services and nearly as many frontend engineers, it was clear something needed to be done in order to ensure that our platform was maintainable for Lyft’s growth.

With a team that large and the freedom to spin up a new microservice whenever the need arises, it must be terribly difficult to fend off divergence in coding architecture, style, tooling, and dependencies. Unless you unify everyone one a common foundation. A framework, if you will…

Tom MacWright macwright.com

If not SPAs, what?

Tom MacWright shared some concerns for SPAs place in the modern web and followed it up with a post sharing suggestions to use instead.

The SPA pattern (Single-Page Apps), I tried to define, was about the React model, which also covers, to a large extent, the model of Vue, Angular, and other frontend frameworks.

Like any critique, it begs for a prescription and I didn’t give one, other than gesturing toward server-side frameworks like Rails and Django. But I think there are some trends starting to form. I had queued up some time to really dive into the frameworks, but things like walking in parks have taken priority, so here’s just a grand tour.

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

The widening responsibility for front-end developers

Chris Coyier:

This is an extended version of my essay “When front-end means full-stack” which was published in the wonderful Increment magazine put out by Stripe. It’s also something of an evolution of a couple other of my essays, “The Great Divide” and “Ooops, I guess we’re full-stack developers now.

This is a lengthy, sprawling piece on the evolution of frontend development by someone who really gets the web. It also has its own art-direction and design so you’ll want to read it onsite vs in an Instapaper-alike.

JavaScript hyperapp.dev

Hyperapp – the tiny framework for building web interfaces

Hyperapp claims to be twice as fast as React, weighs in at 1.8KB, and renders interactively in ~10ms.

Hyperapp is a modern VDOM engine, state management solution, and application design pattern all-in-one. once you learn to use it, there’ll be no end to what you can do.

Filed under: zero-minutes-since-last-frontend-framework

Josh Comeau joshwcomeau.com

A static future

Why is static the future? How do you define “static”? Read this deep dive from Josh Comeau to find out…

The term “static” can be a little overloaded, and occasionally a little misleading. Here’s how I’d define it:

“A static website is a website where the initial HTML is prepared ahead of time, not dynamically generated by a server on request.”

When you make a request to this website, for example, Netlify serves pre-generated HTML to you. I don’t have a Node server dynamically rendering HTML documents on-the-fly.

Crystal mint-lang.com

Mint – a programming language for writing single page apps

Mint has all the tools you need to write error free, easily readable and maintainable applications in record time.

Built-in styling, data management, language-level routing, and JavaScript interop make this a very interesting project, indeed. It’s still in heavy development, so the only real-world example you’re going to see is their implementation of realworld.io.

Marcy Sutton marcysutton.com

Links or buttons?

To button or not to button…the button element is “actually really cool”…

Something that comes up again and again in front-end accessibility is the issue of links versus buttons. You know, the HTML elements that open links in new windows or submit forms? In JavaScript web applications, it seems we’re still confused about which element to choose for user interaction. To try and clarify the haziness, I’ll define use cases for links and buttons in client-rendered applications and help you make better UI decisions, from design to development.

CSS Wizardry Icon CSS Wizardry

Time to first byte — What is it? Why does it matter?

Harry Roberts writing on CSS Wizardry:

One metric I feel that front-end developers overlook all too quickly is Time to First Byte (TTFB). This is understandable—forgivable, almost—when you consider that TTFB begins to move into back-end territory, but if I was to sum up the problem as succinctly as possible, I’d say: While a good TTFB doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a fast website, a bad TTFB almost certainly guarantees a slow one.

Even though, as a front-end developer, you might not be in the position to make improvements to TTFB yourself, it’s important to know that any problems with a high TTFB will leave you on the back foot, and any efforts you make to optimises images, clear the critical path, and asynchronously load your webfonts will all be made in the spirit of playing catchup.

Medium Icon Medium

I’ve spent 5 years writing a JavaScript framework on my own

Typescene is a robust front end library written in TypeScript: strongly typed, no dependencies, no nonsense. It’s really great for desktop-like (or mobile) applications, not so great for blogs and other content. It isn’t backed by some major corporation, not even a startup, but it’s been built by me: one developer on a mission to build a no-nonsense dependency-less framework

The author’s journey is noteworthy, but if you’re mostly wanting to know if this particular framework speaks to you, jump directly to its list of goals.

Pete Lambert petelambert.com

HTML is the web

My big concern is at the bottom of that technology pyramid. The lowest common denominator of the Web. The foundation. The rhythm section. The ladyfingers in the Web trifle. It’s the HTML. And it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there’s a whole swathe of Frontend Engineers who don’t know or understand the frontend-est of frontend technologies.

Solid rant with a nice list of resources at the end. 👌

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