NOTE: This is issue #051 of my newsletter, which went live on Monday, February 7th. If you find this information useful and interesting and you want to receive future issues as they are published, ahead of everyone else, I invite you to join the subscriber list at frontendnexus.com.
This edition is under the sign of the browser. Here are the main topics of this issue:
First, we're welcoming Wolvic, the XR browser from Igalia, which has taken over the stewardship of the former Firefox Reality project.
Second, Chrome got a new logo, if you can spot the differences ;)
Next, updates for Chrome 98 and Edge 98 are rolling out now. Don't forget to restart your browser every now and then to receive the upgrade. Firefox has released the post-mortem analysis of its outage a few weeks ago. Polypane has reached version 8. And you can now try Safari 15.4 Beta.
Last but not least, the software updates - this week we got Angular 13.2, Babel 7.17.0, Electron 17.0.0, ESLint v8.8.0, WordPress 5.9, and more.
Goodbye Firefox Reality, Hello Wolvic
Igalia announced their new browser, Wolvic. It is focused on XR (eXtended Reality) and is the evolution of the Firefox Reality project.
Firefox Reality was launched back in 2018, as a result of Mozilla's research into AR, VR, and other similar technologies. This project is now being transferred to Igalia, who will continue the legacy.
New Chrome Logo
Have you noticed yet? Google Chrome has a new logo. The differences are subtle enough, that you need a keenly trained eye to spot what changed. But it's here and it can be admired in the current Google Canary version, as the official designer has announced on Twitter:
It has been release day for the Chromium browsers and here are the main updates that rolled out with Chrome 98:
- you can now stop your browser from automatically switching to dark mode on Android
- support for COLRv1 font format, allowing you to use gradients, blending, and other effects inside a crisp and compact font file
- you can emulate Chrome 100 in the UA string to check your code supports three-digit version numbers
The update also brings many changes to the DevTools. Here are but a few of them:
- there is a new full-page accessibility tree
- support for
column-reversein the Flexbox editor
- Lighthouse has been updated to version 9
For more details, you should check the release notes linked below:
It's easier for me now to spot updates for Microsoft Edge, once I've bookmarked their release notes page. Here are the highlights of the version 98 release:
- a new more secure browsing mode aimed to protect against zero-day exploits
- set up automatic profile preferences for custom lists of websites
- emulate the upcoming three-digit version number in the UA string
- overlay scrollbars (iOS/Mac/Android style)
- and more...
I am most excited by the overlay scrollbars feature and I am looking forward to seeing it in all browsers.
Back on January 13th, Firefox browsers became unusable worldwide for a couple of hours. We now know what happened and how the team is planning to prevent such events from happening again in the future:
Polypane has gotten far, from a personal project to a fully-fledged browser. And now it has reached a new milestone with version 8. Here are just a handful of the features packed in this update:
- runs on Chromium 98
- better performance: loading time halved, a faster refresh rate for scroll syncing, and more
- a better Element Inspector
- new Sync options
- ARM support for Windows and Linux
As always, Killian put together a very helpful blog update, to go with the full release notes of this version.
The WebKit team is offering us a preview of things to come to Safari with the 15.4 Beta update. As usual, the release notes alone are not too rich in details, so I'm also including an article by Maximiliano Firtman with their take on the updates.
Software updates and releases
- Angular 13.2 - the modern web developer’s platform
- Bootstrap Icons v1.8.0 - free, high quality, open source icon library
- CKEditor 5 v32.0.0 - powerful rich text editor framework
- Commander.js v9.0.0 - node.js command-line interfaces made easy
- MDX 2 - markdown for the component era
- Mongoose 6.2.0 - MongoDB object modeling designed to work in an asynchronous environment
- Prisma 3.9.0 - next-generation ORM for Node.js and TypeScript
- WordPress 5.9 -
Wrapping things up
That's about all I have for this issue. If you enjoyed this newsletter, there are a couple of ways to support it. You can share the link to this issue on social media, and follow me on Twitter. Each one of these helps me out, and I would appreciate your consideration.
Have a great and productive week, keep yourselves safe, spend as much time as possible with your loved ones, and I will see you again next time!
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