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Coding News Summary #1— NPM 5, Updates to React, Kotlin on Android, and more

Samer Buna
May 30, 2017 · 3 min read


Here are the most important things happening in the coding world this month:

Node 8 and NPM 5

Node 8 is out and it comes with NPM 5 which claims significant improvement on performance. NPM 5 is packed with new features and fixes. Most notable features are offline mode, --save by default, and a new lockfile that gets automatically created.

Kotlin Becomes First-Class Language on Android

Google has announced that Kotlin, the modern programming language developed by JetBrains that runs on the JVM, will now receive first-class support in Android Studio 3. This is a huge win for the Android community and will play a significant role in the future of Android development. Kotlin aims to have a more friendly syntax for developers in order to improve productivity and readability. Likewise, the language includes null safety, functional programming support, and imposes no runtime overhead.

React 15.5 Released

The React team has released version 15.5 which is the last major release before the highly anticipated version 16. In favor of a smaller codebase, the React team has moved PropTypes and createClass to separate packages. In addition, they've included a codemod to assist with the migration to the new patterns. The React team is also discontinuing support for React Addons, and the React Test Utils are moving from React to React DOM.

99.6% of React 16 Tests are Passing

React 16 is the most highly anticipated release in a long time. As of late-May, the server-side rendering tests are passing which puts the release date in sight. The reason for the excitement over 16 is that it includes Fiber which is a reimplementation of the core algorithm for React. The headline feature of this improvement is incremental rendering which will chunk rendering process. Luckily the API will not change, so all React users can benefit from the update without needing code changes.

Stack Overflow Introduces a Trends Tool

You can now check the trends on Stack Overflow with their new Trends tool. The tool can be used to see the rise and fall of languages and frameworks. For example, Python seems to be getting a lot of attention lately while PHP is experiencing a decline. React, Angular, and Vue are all doing very well while other frameworks appear to be in the later stage of their life cycles.

WebAssembly Cross-Browser Consensus Reached

In a huge win for the future of web development, the initial design for the WebAssembly API (in JavaScript) and binary format have been completed. The WebAssembly team represents all the major browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Webkit. The outcome of WebAssembly is to create a binary format for browsers which will ultimately improve performance and decrease bundle size. The teams are now hard at work integrating the WebAssembly into browsers and updating the developer tools. For the engineers that love being on the cutting edge, you can begin experimenting with WebAssembly by compiling on your own machine.

That’s all we have for you this month. Until next time!

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