DEV Community

Cover image for JavaScript News and Updates of January 2021
Pavel Lazarev
Pavel Lazarev

Posted on

JavaScript News and Updates of January 2021

Hello everyone! The new year has just begun but the JavaScript world is already buzzing with exciting news and updates. While exploring various sources I have learned some interesting JavaScript stuff and eager to share it with you.

Get ready to learn about key findings from two fresh reports on JavaScript trends, a new micro-framework from the DHTMLX team, a major update of the Snowpack build tool, and the latest web initiatives. In addition, I have also collected some tips and articles that will help to broaden your knowledge and skills in JavaScript.

Let’s roll!

New Tools and Updates

Highlighting New JavaScript Trends

JavaScript Trends

The turbulent year of 2020 is over, but we continue analyzing changes that have been reshaping the JavaScript landscape over the last twelve months to better understand the upcoming trends. For this purpose, I offer to take advantage of two recently released JavaScript surveys.

State of JS is one of the most popular and insightful JavaScript research projects based on real user feedback. The 2020 edition reveals some interesting facts. First of all, the majority of responders (more than 88%) still love using JavaScript for building apps, but at the same time, a considerable part of the survey participants (39%) think that JavaScript is overcomplicated. When talking about the state of things in JavaScript technologies, it is worth mentioning the growing popularity of Svelte and Snowpack, stable advancement of TypeScript and Next.js, as well as rising dissatisfaction with Angular, Redux, and Mocha. It is also nice to mention that is ranked in the top 3 of Blogs & Magazines read by developers. Get more valuable info on the State of JS page.

JavaScript Rising Stars 2020 is another interesting source of information on the JavaScript trends based on the number of stars added to various tools on GitHub during the last year. The most starred JavaScript instruments of 2020 are Deno (+30.2k☆), Vue.js (+22.5k☆), React (+19.8k☆), Playwright (+19.7k☆), VS Code (+19.1k☆). Due to a different approach used for the preparation of this report, the results in key categories may differ from the State of JS outcomes, but it still can be useful to take a look at the full report.

Introducing DHTMLX Optimus

DHTMLX Optimus

DHTMLX Suite is a popular JavaScript library that provides a collection of lightweight and highly customizable UI widgets for implementing various functionalities in web projects. From now on, this library can be utilized more conveniently and productively with DHTMLX Optimus. It is a new micro-framework enabling web developers to build DHTMLX-based applications of any complexity with less time and effort.

The framework allows making the most of modern coding technologies such as ES6 classes, JS modules, and Webpack bundler. Thus, it is possible to define the front-end structure of a specific web app with a set of independent components (modules) and reuse them later in other projects. Optimus can also be employed in combination with any server-side technology. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to start using Optimus in real-case scenarios. If you want to learn more about this framework, check out the release article.

Meet Snowpack v3.0


Fast, simple, efficient – these are three words that vividly describe a bundle-free and JavaScript ESM-powered build tool named Snowpack. The popularity of this tool is growing really fast and it is already considered by many as a viable alternative to more intricate and well-established tools such as Webpack. Earlier this month, Snowpack was updated to version 3.0.

This major release provides a set of powerful new features for faster web development. For instance, it offers a new way of loading any packages directly into your project via steaming imports. Another remarkable feature of this update is a build-in optimizer based on esbuild. This novelty helps to prepare production builds much faster than Webpack or Rollup. Starting from v3.0, Snowpack also comes with a modified JavaScript API and Node.js runtime. Find more details in the release article.

W3C Launches MiniApps Working Group


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), one of the main driving forces behind the evolution of web standards, has recently established the MiniApps Working Group. MiniApp is a relatively new and promising format of mobile apps combining advantages of web technologies (CSS, JavaScript, etc.) and enhanced user experience of native apps.

The primary goal of the W3C’s initiative is to work out specifications that will ensure maximal integration of MiniApps with the web architecture, better interoperability between various MiniApp platforms, and more active promotion of this technology among web developers. Read this material to get a deeper insight into the plans of the MiniApps Working Group.

Open Web Docs – a New Project for Improving Web Documentation

Open Web Docs

A coalition of large technology companies has recently announced the launch of the Open Web Docs project. This undertaking aims to provide better maintainability and sustainability of Web-API and JavaScript documentation for web platform technologies. The list of founders and contributors to this project includes Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, W3C, and others. It is expected that Open Web Docs will support and closely cooperate with the main documentation platforms such as MDN Web Docs. Additional information on the project and its strategy for 2021 can be found in this article.

Useful Tips and Articles

Selecting Development Tools for Business Web Apps

There are many reasons why JavaScript is continuously ranked high among programming languages in various surveys. One of the key factors in favor of JavaScript is its huge ecosystem and plenty of tools that significantly simplify various development stages. But the abundance of coding technologies raises a serious question of choice for developers.

When talking about building business apps, standard technology stacks are also frequently complemented with special JavaScript UI libraries. Such UI components help to implement comprehensive functionalities for project management, scheduling, data visualization, etc. This article contains a lot of useful information on top web development tools, including JS UI libraries, that suit well for developing business apps.

Comprehensive Guide to Front-End Performance Optimization in 2021

High performance is probably one of the key success indicators of any web application. As web development technologies are becoming more sophisticated, web developers have to consider a growing number of metrics, tools, and front-end techniques to achieve optimal application performance. Otherwise, it is hard to expect that end-users will get quick and seamless experience. Where to start improving performance? What are possible bottlenecks? And how to keep your app fast enough on a long-term basis? These and many other related questions are addressed in this great front-end performance checklist for 2021.

Best JavaScript Charting Tools for Visualizing Data in Business Apps

It is hard to imagine any modern business web application without data visualization capabilities. Using various types of charts, it is possible to present complex data in a straightforward way. However, it may take a lot of time to implement a charting functionality from scratch. Therefore, web developers frequently utilize ready-made JavaScript charting components to save time and exclude unnecessary coding errors. This article highlights the most popular JavaScript libraries dedicated specifically to visualizing data in web apps.

How to Deal with Memory Leaks in Web Apps

When building a single-page application (SPA) some web developers pay little attention to keeping the app’s memory usage low. It can lead to memory leaks. This kind of issue can cause increased resource consumption in users’ devices, poor runtime performance, or even program crashes. If you are interested in learning techniques that will help to detect and fix memory leaks in SPAs, the blog post prepared by Nolan Lowson is exactly what you need.

Insight into JavaScript SEO

All owners of online businesses are undoubtedly interested in getting the highest search engine rankings to attract more potential customers. It can be hardly achieved without proper JavaScript SEO optimization. But SEO specialists frequently face many challenges on the way to making JavaScript content SEO-friendly. To do the job right, it is necessary to clearly understand how search engines crawl and index JavaScript, ways to facilitate this process, common obstacles in JavaScript SEO, and their solutions. The author of this article has a lot of experience in search marketing and shares valuable tips on optimizing JavaScript code for SEO.

That’s it for now. Hope that you’ve enjoyed this news digest and deepened your knowledge of JavaScript. Stay tuned for more JavaScript stuff in February.

Top comments (0)