This month we have a lot of high quality writing. And it covers a lot of ground — front end frameworks, Node.js, npm security, machine learning and more. We'll kick things off with a look at which projects have been the most popular over the past year...
Another surprise for me was the strength of Preact. It had almost as many new stars as Angular. It’ll be interesting to see where things land next year.
Burke Holland wrote this article and it's loaded with great tips on getting the most from Visual Studio Code. I switched to VS Code a few months ago from Atom and love it. It’s so good I almost forgive Microsoft for all the years I’ve spent hacking around Internet Explorer.
Gatsby is freakin’ great and should be used more often. It’s not right for every project — for example those that need authentication. But if it’s a fit, you get a great developer experience and a really, really fast site.
You can also use it as a decoupled front end. Write your content in WordPress, Drupal or Contentful (among others) and publish with Gatsby. 🎯
A lot of discussions of front end frameworks begin and end with the “Big Three” — React, Angular and Vue. That’s too bad because there are some fantastic alternatives, particularly if performance is your top consideration. In this article, I introduce you to three frameworks that are excellent choices — two of which are easy for React developers to pick up.
I thought this article was a bit scary. It’s a look at how incredibly vulnerable npm packages can be. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Author David Gilbertson ends with solid advice on building more secure applications. He’s followed this article up with part two, How to Stop Me Harvesting Credit Card Numbers and Passwords from Your Site. Highly recommended.
Building a boilerplate is a fantastic learning experience. There are great CLI tools that help you get started building applications quickly — Create React App, for example — but what happens when you need to understand how it’s all put together? Consider making a boilerplate for yourself, even if you don’t end up using it.
If you’d like deeper insight into how React works, this article from Gurusundesh Khalsa is a great place to start. He walks readers through the process of building a simplified, “mini React” clone. Good stuff.
You may not have heard about Sapper, but it’s really great. It’s built on top of the Svelte library and makes it easy to build very lightweight, very fast websites. If you like the way Vue works, it’s another good reason to check this framework out.
State machines sound kind of complicated and scary. However, Jean-Paul Delimat does an outstanding job of explaining how, when and why you might want to use them in your React applications. Also, not scary at all.
My favorite tip is to use the
displayName property for debugging. Say you have multiple instances of a component, for example a form input. You can set the
displayName to easily tell them apart in DevTools. 👍
Until next time, happy coding…