This month, a lot of interesting news have been discovered, along with a couple of fabulous articles that offer a totally unusual approach. These articles are placed in the section "You don’t need this", which brings us to thinking - should we strictly stick to the essential technologies today, or is there a room for optimizations without these? Keep on reading and stay up-to-date.

New

The Ubuntu team introduced a new GTK+ based host for Flutter apps on all Linux distributions

https://medium.com/flutter

Google is actively working on the concept of "Ambient Computing". Its idea is to bring applications and services to the fore, "dissolving" the hardware on which they run and giving users the ability to use any application on any platform.

This is exactly what is happening currently with Flatter. The guys at Canonical (Ubuntu) had been working on the Linux version, which was released this month - with support for Web, iOS and Android app development, as well as an alpha version of Flutter supporting macOS and active work on Windows support. Flutter for Linux uses GTK + frontends, but Linux support is still in alpha state.

An experiment in crowd-funding prioritization of the new feature implementations for web browsers

https://www.igalia.com

Sometimes, the new specification features are added to browsers very quickly, and sometimes, very slowly due to discrepancies between priorities of browser development teams and preferences of other companies and the community. Igalia helps external companies with adding new features to their browsers (as happened with Bloomberg and grid support to Chromium and WebKit).

Igalia announced a pilot project that allows the community and small companies to fund the implementation of new specifications. So, now every user or company can promote some features for implementation.

Announcing the release of Apollo Client 3.0

https://www.apollographql.com

A new version of Apollo Client and one of the most popular clients of graphQL has been released.

This edition has reactive variables added, which after being updated, initiate re-reads in all the places of their use. Thanks to them, you can simplify the work with the local state. 

Support for Cache field policies has been supplemented to control the ways in which the cache is read and written, along with the helpers aimed to ease the work with pagination.

Adobe unveils its react Spectrum Component Library

https://react-spectrum.adobe.com

React Spectrum is a collection of libraries and tools which aims to help in the creation of responsive, accessible, and reliable user interfaces. React Spectrum includes three libraries:

  • React Spectrum: a "reactive" implementation of Spectrum;
  • React Aria: hooks for working with a11y, i18n and component behaviour;
  • React Stately: hooks for working with the component state.

V8 Version 8.5 now in beta 

https://v8.dev

The latest branch of the V8 JavaScript engine is currently in beta until its release in coordination with Chrome 85 Stable, boasts Promise.any, AggregateError object, String.prototype.replaceAll (no more global RegExp) and support for logical assignment operators (like ||= or ??=).


Browsers

Firefox 78 ESR is out

https://www.mozilla.org

New Firefox 78 has updated Protections Dashboard, pseudo-classes: is () and: where (), support for :read-only and :read-write without prefixes, new regex engine, and more. Last but not least - Refresh button was added to the Uninstaller.

Chrome 84 Release

https://developers.google.com

New in Chrome 84 in Pete LePage's review: PWA shortcuts, Web Animations API improvements, automatic hiding of intrusive notifications, Web Assembly SIMD, and more.


CSS

The complete guide to CSS media queries

https://polypane.app/blog

The great article published in June, but discovered in July. The complete guide to CSS Media Expressions with a short overview of how a media query is structured, as well as of syntax, use cases, types and future possibilities.

CSS painting vs. CSS Houdini paint API from a performance perspective

https://lisilinhart.info

Lizzie Linhart measures the performance of two rendering methods on a page and explains why CSS Houdini can be useful and when it hurts. In a nutshell, CSS Houdini allows you to build intricate CSS painting that the pure CSS can’t resolve. At the same time, it lacks browser support.

Google’s edition of 10 one-line CSS templates

https://web.dev/one-line-layouts/

Una Kravets talks about modern CSS capabilities, thanks to which you can build complex markup shortly and concisely. The templates are responsive, supported by popular browsers, and easy to load. Thus, the company clearly demonstrated that sometimes only one line of code is enough for a high-quality template.

The state of Pixel Perfection

https://ishadeed.com/article

Ahmad Shadeed ponders whether it is necessary to adjust the layout to the design perfectly well, or it is more important to ensure the responsiveness of the site on any device. 

It is a highly useful article for designers, front-end developers, and product managers with plenty of examples of why pixel perfection is still overestimated, and how it can influence the development.

JS Pixel Perfection


Tools

Tooling.report - a quick way to determine the best build tool for your next web project

https://bundlers.tooling.report

A convenient place for comparing bundling tools by various parameters shows the aggregated results from a bespoke suite of build tool tests and thus, allows developers to select bundlers for a project more consciously. 

JS overview of the build tools

Perf Track - tracking framework performance at scale

https://perf-track.web.app

Perf Track is a dashboard that aggregates metrics for the popular frameworks: total size of JS, compression usage, First Contentful Paint, Largest Contentful Paint, Cumulative Layout Shift, etc. The data for analysis is taken from the HTTP Archive and Chrome User Experience Report. 


Frameworks

Next JS free learning course - a great finding for front-end developers

https://masteringnextjs.com

Here you can find a free video course for building static and server-side rendered applications with Next.js and React. Excellent quality and open source examples are provided.

React Hook Form 6.0: simple, extensible React Form validation

https://react-hook-form.com

A new release of React Hook Form is supplied with better TypeScript support, a smaller package size, and numerous refinements and improvements. RHF is undoubtedly worth a look if you’re building or refactoring forms. 


JS

All you wanted to know (and see) about random walkers

https://www.generativehut.com

Louis Hoebregts shows how to create impressive generative demos based on physics, noise and randomness. The article contains plenty of spectacular examples which you’ll want to include to your project.