NOTE: This is the first issue of my new newsletter, which went live on Monday, October 5th. If you want to receive the future issues ahead of everyone else, I invite you to subscribe on frontendnexus.com. Further on I plan to send the newsletters on Mondays and publish the articles here on Thursdays.
Hello everyone and welcome to the first issue of Front End News in newsletter format. Get ready for a very consistent selection, as I want to cover the main events that happened between August 11 (the day I did the last news update) and today (n.b. October 5th).
All these being said, please seat yourself comfortably, and let's get started.
If it's October, it's Hacktoberfest. It is an event where developers everywhere can make contributions to open source projects. We're now on the 7th edition and you all are invited to join. All you have to do is to make 4 valid pull requests on any public repository hosted on GitHub before the end of October.
The first 70.000 participants that reach the target will get be given a participation prize. They can choose between receiving a Hacktoberfest 2020 t-shirt or to have a tree planted in their name by Tree Nation in the Hacktoberfest forest.
You can find all the needed details on the official site. Hurry up, for the clock is already ticking. And if you feel like helping plant a tree anyway, I've also added the link to the Tree Nation as well.
AVIF has landed
Images are the main reason for the continuous increase in website sizes. While there is only so much you can do when dealing with user-generated content, things change when you have control over the images you display. And from now on you also have a new tool available - the AVIF image format.
AVIF is a royalty-free image format derived from the AV1 video codec. It is already supported by Chrome 85, Firefox is working on their own integration and Android support is expected soon.
Jake Archibald, one of the developer advocates in the Google Chrome team, published a very detailed analysis of this new format. Definitely worth a read. Netflix was also experimenting with this new format way back in February (see their blog post linked below). And I've also added a tutorial from Lightspeed for another approach at using this new format.
We got two announcements from GitHub, concerning two new features they released recently.
The GitHub Container Registry
The first announcement is the launch of the GitHub Container Registry. This service will improve the way containers are handled within GitHub Packages.
Developers now can have anonymous access for public container images, the same way they can do it for normal repositories. Public images are free and private images will remain free for the duration of the beta period. Beyond that, they will follow the same pricing method as the rest of GitHub Packages.
Organizations and teams are not forgotten either. They now have the option to enable data sharing and fine-grained permissions for containers across the members.
GitHub CLI 1.0
Back in February, GitHub was launching the beta version of GitHub CLI. Over the following months, the community provided a lot of useful feedback (250K+ pull requests, 350K+ merges and 20K+ issues). All this info was put to good use and version 1.0 of this feature is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
On top of the normal workflow, here are the main things you can do with GitHub CLI:
- run your entire GitHub workflow from the terminal, from issues through releases
- call the GitHub API to script nearly any action, and set a custom alias for any command
- connect to GitHub Enterprise Server in addition to GitHub.com
More details on each feature are available in the official release article linked below.
Most probably, this is already old news for many of you, but I wanted to give it a mention, as the announcement happened in the gap between the last episode of Season 2 and this issue.
Mozilla CEO, Mitchell Baker, made an official announcement on August 11. I'm also linking to the coverage of the event that Cnet Magazine did, for a third-party point of view.
Like many other developers, I hope Mozilla will manage to pull through this difficult situation and continue to provide a valid alternative to a Chromium-dominated browser market.
The Chrome team has been fairly quiet in this interval. We mainly got a preview of the upcoming changes the Developer Tools that will ship with Chrome 87.
Firefox managed to keep up with their release schedule and launched v80 on August 25 and v81 on September 22. The release notes for both updates are available via the links below.
From an outsider's perspective, Safari looks like it's in a world of their own. We got from them the release notes for the Technology Preview 112 and 113. Again, nothing groundbreaking, just a long stream of under-the-hood updates.
With Edge running now on Chromium, their update schedule closely mirrors the one of Chrome. However, they are not that forthcoming with release notes, with their latest updates covering the Developer tools in version 86.
Updates and Releases
Visual Studio Code
Wrapping things up
Here we are, at the end of the first issue of this newsletter. I am really excited to get this out in the world. And I am really looking forward to the process of polishing this newsletter, improving the quality, and making it better and better. And I hope you will be with me along the way.
Further updates and notifications will be distributed via the Front End Nexus Twitter account @frontendnexus, so you should also head there and drop a follow.
Thanks a million for being with me and I am looking forward to getting in touch with you next week with the next issue.
Have a great and productive week, keep yourselves safe and I will see you next time!
NOTE: Thanks for reading all the way down to the end. As I noticed in the beginning, my plan, going forward, is to send the newsletters on Mondays and publish the articles here on Thursdays. So if you want to receive the future issues ahead of everyone else, I invite you to join the other subscribers using the form on frontendnexus.com. There will be no spamming and I promise not to give your info away.
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