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Adrian Sandu
Adrian Sandu

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Web Dev LIVE binge-watching, Firefox 78 update, and help needed for the 2020 Web Almanac | Front End News (Snakes edition)

Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of Front End News. I hope you will find the following topics both interesting and useful.

Web Dev Live 2020

Web Dev Live 2020 event banner

The entire last week was under the sign of the Web Dev Live 2020 event. For three days we had the opportunity to watch presentations from an awesome lineup of speakers.

As expected, the recent Core Web Vitals got a lot of attention, on day 1, along with the latest "under the hood" updates affecting performance, security, and privacy.

Day 2 was focused on listening to developers, the major issues they face, and what is being done to alleviate those problems.

Finally, Day 3 included a more general approach to web technologies and the different ways you can better understand your applications using the latest updates in Lighthouse.

Web Dev Live 2020 schedule header

You might ask "What good is all this to me, nearly a week late?" Actually, that's really not a problem, because all presentations are now available on YouTube, with a playlist for each day of the event. So feel free to binge-watch everything at your leisure.

Firefox 78 is now live

Firefox 78 info panel

With all eyes in the industry focused on the Web Dev Live event, the update to Firefox 78 almost passed under the radar. As usual, there are a lot of improvements for developers, with better developer tools, a new regex engine, updates to the Web Platform, and many more things.

One very important aspect is that update 78 is the newest Extended Support Release (ESR) for enterprise users. Compared to the previous ESR version (68), the most important update is support for Service Workers. Everything else is available in the dedicated release notes.

HTTPArchive is looking for collaborators to join the 2020 Web Almanac project

HTTP Archive home page

The 2019 Web Almanac was a treasure trove of information, gathered by carefully analyzing millions of web pages. And now it's time to prepare for this year's edition.

The team at HTTP Archive is looking for collaborators to help them prepare the 2020 edition. They need primarily two types of people: data analysts and developers.

The data analysts are needed to sift through terabytes of data and help visualize the results. The developers will take care of the infrastructure of the website, performance, a11y, i18n, SEO, and many more things referenced by similar acronyms.

If this is something that interests you, you can find more details in the announcements below.

Software updates and releases

Here are the updates and releases for this edition. In each case, you can find the full details in the release notes linked down below.

V8 release v8.4

Node v14.5.0

Puppeteer v5.0.0

React Hook Form v6.0.0

NodeBB v1.14.0

Bootstrap Icons Alpha 5

vue-router-next v4.0.0-beta.1

Interesting things worth having a look at

I also stumbled upon the following news items and I think they were way too interesting to be ignored, but they were also not fitting in the normal episode structure.

JS1024 Anual JS Golfing Competition

JS1024 home page banner

Code golf is a type of competition where people strive to obtain a given result with the minimum amount of code. JS1024 is one of these competitions where people have to keep their code below 1024 bytes.

I've checked some of the demos they provided and they are really amazing. I am really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this year's submissions.


Checkbox land is a JS library that renders a lot of things as HTML checkboxes. One of the demos even allows you to play Snakes. It really makes you miss your old Nokia candy phone. You really have to try it.

Checkboxland Snakes demo

24a2 Game Engine

24a2 is a simple game engine that runs on a 24x24 grid. And one of the demos they provide is, you guessed it, Snakes! Only this one allows you to warp through the board edges, unlike the version above where you crash on the borders.

24a2 Snakes demo

That's all there is in this edition. If you want a front-row seat to the selection process for the next episode, join me on Twitch every Saturday (go to at 20:00 EEST). You might also want to subscribe to the YouTube channel at I am working on bringing you new content there, such as the recent interview with Katie Fenn on the power of developer communities. As always, your support is highly appreciated.

Have a great and productive week, keep yourselves safe and I will see you next time!

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