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Web automation: don't use Selenium, use Playwright

For web automation/testing, Selenium has been the de facto “standard” since forever. It’s simple to get started with and supports almost every programming language.
My problem with it has been: It’s good enough, but nothing more. It doesn’t work that well with modern, Javascript framework heavy sites (Angular, React etc). I’m not saying it doesn’t work– just not too well.

I know a lot of people who use Selenium, but I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy using Selenium. (That’s no knock on the Selenium team. They solved a hard problem for lots of devs over the course of many years. Huge impact!) Playwright on the other hand…

Bill Prin

Why I ditched Django for NextJS

If you’re feeling the FOMO of JavaScript or you’re writing “spaghetti code” just to do something a NextJS component would do out of the box, then read this post from Bill Prin on why he moved from Django to NextJS.

The summary is that using a language like Python or Ruby for a significant web project has increasingly gotten less reasonable over time to the point where now, in 2022, it’s getting hard to justify. By not keeping your web stack in pure Javascript, you are making your life unnecessarily difficult (as usual, we’ll include languages like TypeScript as part of the JavaScript ecosystem). You will almost certainly invest a bunch of time-solving problems that would be automatically solved for you if you just stuck with JavaScript.

I will provide specific examples of solving problems using Django that would have been trivially solved in NextJS.

He goes on to share two reasons why you should use Python or Ruby for web projects in 2022.

You’re working on an existing project that hasn’t been migrated yet or is not worth migrating.
You are already a master of a Python or Ruby web stack, and you need to implement a new project as soon as possible, and you don’t have time to learn a better stack.

Tobias Koppers Vercel

Introducing Turbopack: Rust-based successor to Webpack

Webpack creator Tobias Koppers announcing its (Vercel-funded) successor:

Turbopack is built on a new incremental architecture for the fastest possible development experience. On large applications, it shows updates 10x faster than Vite and 700x faster than Webpack. On even larger applications, the difference is greater—often 20x faster than Vite.

Turbopack is open source and still in alpha. Here’s what the future may hold:

To start, Turbopack will be used for the Next.js 13 development server. It will power lightning-fast HMR, and it will support React Server Components natively, as well as TypeScript, JSX, CSS, and more.

Turbopack will eventually also power Next.js production builds, both locally and in the cloud. We’ll be able to share Turbo’s cache across your entire team, using Vercel Remote Caching.

Webpack users can also expect an incremental migration path into the Rust-based future with Turbopack.

The Changelog The Changelog #509

A new batch of web frameworks emerge!

This week we’re talking fresh, faster, and new web frameworks by way of JS Party. Yes, today’s show is a web framework sampler because a new batch of web frameworks have emerged. There’s always something new happening in the front-end world and JS Party does an amazing job of keeping us up to date. So…what’s fresh, faster, and new?

The first segment of the show focuses on Deno’s Fresh new web framework. Luca Casonato joins Jerod & Feross to talk about Fresh – a next generation web framework, built for speed, reliability, and simplicity.

In segment two, AngularJS creator Miško Hevery joins Jerod and KBall to talk about Qwik. He says Qwik is a fundamental rethinking of how a web application should work. And he’s attempting to convince Jerod & KBall that the implications of that are BIG.

In the last segment, Amal talks with Fred Schott about Astro 1.0. They go deep on how Astro is built to pull content from anywhere and serve it fast with their next-gen island architecture.

Plus there’s an 8 minute bonus for our ++ subscribers ( Fred Schott explains Astro Islands and how Astro extracts your UI into smaller, isolated components on the page, and the unused JavaScript gets replaced with lightweight HTML — leading to faster loads and time-to-interactive.

Tobias Bieniek

node_modules: How one character saved 50 GB of disk space

Tobias Bieniek:

Have you ever worked with JavaScript? Have you been annoyed by the three hundred copies of left-pad in all of the node_modules folders on your disk? Would you prefer if all of your projects shared their node_modules folders instead of each getting their own copy?

The single character that saved him all that space? The p in pnpm

JS Party JS Party #245

Launching Platformatic DB 🚀

Patformatic co-founders Matteo Collina & Luca Maraschi join Amal & Chris to discuss their just-announced (and we mean just announced) open source database tool: Platformatic DB!

It’s a daemon that can turn any PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, or SQLite database into a REST and GraphQL endpoint. What makes it special is that it allows massive customization thanks to the flexibility of Fastify plugins.


Enhance is a web standards-based HTML framework

I love that people are bringing HTML back to the forefront:

Our mission is to enable anyone to build multi-page dynamic web apps while staying as close to the platform as possible. Enhance fills in the gaps to make building for the backend, and the browser a seamless experience for web authors and consumers.

Modern JavaScript frameworks bring more problems than they solve; recreating native web platform features adding unnecessary weight and complexity, which is challenging to unravel.

Enhance provides a dependable foundation built on standards-based web platform features, allowing developers to create web applications that are lightweight, flexible, and future-proof.


A web-based implementation of The Matrix's digital rain

This project is a web implementation of the raining green code seen in the Matrix franchise. It’s built right on top of the upcoming graphics API WebGPU, but falls back to the functional WebGL wrapper, REGL; its previous Three.js version is maintained in a separate branch.

I used to spend countless hours in college scouring the web for the best digital rain screen saver for my laptop. Sounds like the author is with me on that:

The number of implementations out there of this effect is a testament to the size of the film’s impact on popular culture. For decades, I’ve enjoyed searching for and comparing them from time to time. That’s probably how you arrived here— it’s fun to see what kinds of solutions different people come up with to a problem, when the process is purely recreational and its success is subjective.

This one’s really nice and even has a 3D mode. The README says it’s “made with love”, but from what I can tell it’s almost entirely JavaScript. 😜

A web-based implementation of The Matrix's digital rain

JS Party JS Party #244

The spicy React debate show 🌶️

We’re back with another spicy YepNope debate! This time, Amelia and KBall are arguing that there’s real value to (continue) using React in 2022, while Amal and special guest (and author of the post which stemmed the whole debate) Josh Collinsworth argue that React’s time leading innovation has passed. Of course, the stance each panelist is taking is assigned ahead of time. Is that how they really feel? Tune in and find out!


Build your own Svelte

Tan Li Hau gave this talk at Front Conference, but the videos won’t be out for a year (!), so he gave the talk again and posted it to his YouTube channel. Here’s how he described the video to us:

Watch the <1 hour video to write a simplified Svelte compiler <300 lines of code is amazing! Easy to follow, inspiring, and gives a great overview of how to write a compiler.

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