Joe Honton


How to package JavaScript libraries for a smooth transition from legacy to standard modules

JavaScript Omni-packages
JavaScript Omni-packages
Image source: Author

JavaScript is poised for a revolution in packaging. New ESNext modules are now supported across all major browsers and server-side Node.js software. This is good news.

But the legacy of CommonJS modules will be with us for a long time. Every new JavaScript project wanting to take advantage of standard import/export syntax will need to consider whether all of their dependencies can be met with the new module loader. And at the same time, every package developer will need to consider whether they're going to support legacy consumers (CommonJS) or standards-based consumers (ESNext) or both.

This is not a small problem, and it won’t go away any time soon. Python developers went through a similar transition that took 12 years to complete. Python3 was released in 2008, but the incompatible Python2 system wasn’t finally frozen until April 2020. …

How we accumulated so much cruft, and how we can streamline our workflow for cleaner, more efficient results

Three balloons — HTML, JavaScript and CSS
Three balloons — HTML, JavaScript and CSS

If you’re a frontend web developer, you’ve probably retooled more than once in the past year. New advances in HTML, CSS and JavaScript mean new opportunities to improve upon old ways of doing things. This is good. We welcome these changes.

But these changes require us to rethink how we go about our work. Lessons that we learned the hard way, through trial and error, have to be relearned all over again.

Meanwhile, open source projects and tool vendors continuously release new versions of their software. The entire ecosystem frantically works to keep pace with advances in the underlying technology. …

Strategies that work and common mistakes that you can easily avoid

Illustrated image of a ninja silhouetted against the moon
Illustrated image of a ninja silhouetted against the moon
“The Mythical MultiStack Ninja,” image by Joe Honton with thanks to Mohamed Hassan (Pixabay)

Finding the best software developer for your team is not as difficult as some hiring managers make it out to be. The key is to understand what motivates software developers. And the answer, which may be surprising to some, has nothing to do with money.

Just for reference, let me share something I learned in 1985. At that time, I was working for a Fortune 500 company with a job title of “Programmer.” Every year, the Personnel Department would administer a job satisfaction survey with an eye toward helping management do a better job with hiring and retaining good employees.

Among the results, there were always a few findings that had nothing to do with salary or career advancement. …


Joe Honton

Using distraction-free tools for better reading, writing and publishing, and loving it!

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