#490 — May 29, 2020

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👀 This week we have a fun bit of bonus content at the end of the issue — an interview with David Flanagan, someone who's written more JavaScript books than I've had hot dinners. 😆

JavaScript Weekly

Snowpack 2.0: A Build System for the Modern Web — Say bye-bye to your bundler and let modern browsers’ ES module support do the heavy lifting with Snowpack. Or if you need to target more than just modern browsers, you can always just use it to speed things up in development. This talk by Ryan Lanciaux introduces the idea of escaping using bundlers, if you’re new to this area.

Fred K. Schott

The Process of Making Vue 3 — We know a lot of you are excited about the next major version of Vue.js – the final release is due soon (betas available here) and here Evan talks about the process and how it differs from Vue 2 at a high level.

Evan You / Increment

New Course: Design Systems with Storybook & React — Learn to create a design system from scratch using React, and document the design system to share with your team using Storybook.

Frontend Masters sponsor

A First Look at Records and Tuples — An introductory look at two new compound primitive value types in the ECMAScript spec: Records and Tuples.

Axel Rauschmayer

▶  What's New in TypeScript — You might know Daniel better from all his TypeScript release posts, but here he is in video form with a brief TypeScript introduction followed by essentially a code and example-heavy ‘state of the union’ about where TypeScript is at and where it’s headed.

Daniel Rosenwasser (Microsoft)

htmx: Build Dynamic Pages Using HTML Attributes — Billed as the ‘successor to intercooler.js’, htmx lets you add dynamic Ajax-y elements, Server Sent Events (SSE), WebSockets and more to a site using just HTML attributes.

Big Sky Software

⚡️ Quick bytes:

💻 Jobs

JavaScript Developer at X-Team (Remote) — Join X-Team and work on projects for companies like Riot Games, FOX, Coinbase, and more. Work from anywhere.


Find a Job Through Vettery — Vettery specializes in tech roles and is completely free for job seekers. Create a profile to get started.


📚 Tutorials and Opinions

Analyzing the Performance of Notion's Electron App — I was going to save this for our React newsletter but it’s too good! A real deep dive into analyzing the performance of a desktop JavaScript app for a popular note taking service and some basic optimizations that can be done.

Ivan Akulov

ECMAScript 4: The Missing Version — If you were around the JavaScript world in the early 2000s, you might recall how long discussion around ES4 rumbled on before it ultimately fizzled out. Some of the ideas were picked up by ActionScript, as used by Flash, but it felt like we lost a lot of potential progress in that decade.

Evert Pot

3 Hacks to Level Up Your Dashboards — Watch this webinar to learn about three elements that will help you build better dashboards for your application.

Logi Analytics sponsor

Some Causes of Memory Leaks in JavaScript and How to Avoid Them — A primer on the basic ideas.

Ekaterina Vujasinović

How To Create Better Angular Templates with Pug — Pug is a template engine that allows you to write cleaner templates with less repetition.

Zara Cooper

A (Mostly) Complete Guide to React Rendering Behavior — Details on how React rendering behaves, and how use of Context and React-Redux affect rendering. There are a lot of concepts compressed into this article.

Mark Erikson

▶  A 50 Minute Deno Crash Course — A lot of people are cranking out Deno videos right now, but Traversy Media has a solid reputation for getting these things right. In 50 minutes we get a nice, balanced approach to Deno’s plus points, tooling, building an API, etc.

Traversy Media

Today’s JavaScript, From An Outsider’s Perspective — Lea is a JavaScript expert, of course, but she was trying to help a computer scientist friend work with JS and commented on the frustrations along the way.

Lea Verou

10 JavaScript Quiz Questions and Answers to Sharpen Your Skills — Lots of tidbits here to sharpen your skills and understanding, but keep in mind that not all JavaScript interviews will be like this(!)

Nick Scialli

🔧 Code & Tools

RoughNotation: A Small Library to Create and Animate Rough Annotations — Uses Rough.js for the handdrawn look. Lots of nice interactive examples on the page showing the diversity of annotation types.

Preet Shihn

AudioMass: A Full-Featured Web Audio Editing Tool in JavaScript — Runs entirely in the browser with no backend or plugins required. Impressive. Source here.

Pantelis Kalogiros

See Runtime Values Right in Your Editor as You Type — Quokka.js is a rapid prototyping playground for JavaScript & TypeScript. Code runs immediately as you type and results display in your editor. Discounted by 40% for the next few days.

Wallaby.js sponsor

Fluor.js: A High Level Way to Add Interactions and Effects to Pages — Think a modern jQuery-lite. Pretty short and sweet for what it is.

François Vaux

Angelfire: Add Custom Context Menus to Any Page Element — Hands up if the name of this project takes you on a nostalgia trip to the 90s.. 🙋‍♀️

Rishabh Anand

number-precision: Tiny Library for Basic but Precise Arithmetic — For when you don’t want 0.1 + 0.2 to equal 0.30000000000000004 😏


Perspective: Streaming Pivot Visualization Via WebAssembly — An interesting use for WebAssembly here. Originally built for J P Morgan, Perspective is for building real-time high performance interactive visualizations, powered by a C++ engine compiled to WASM under the hood.

The Fintech Open Source Foundation

AppSignal Adds Next.js Integration - Automatically Adds Web Vitals Monitoring

AppSignal sponsor

Autopilot: A Cross-Platform Desktop Automation Library for Deno — Another example of where using Rust for dependencies opens up some fun options to Deno. If you’re using Deno, don’t forget our Deno Weekly newsletter where we’ll be focusing on things like this :-)

Divy Srivastava

vue-list-scroller: A Vue Component for Efficiently Rendering Large Lists — Uses the ResizeObserver API to help with creating a Twitter-like feed that has thousands of items, and supports infinite scroll.

Ivan Safonov

Notable Improvements to the Profiler in React DevTools 4.7.0 — This tweet thread from Facebook developer Brian Vaughn distills out the highlights from the changelog.


David has been programming since 1981 and getting paid for it since 1985. In 2011, he started working at Mozilla. Since then he's worked as a full-stack engineer on MDN and at Khan Academy. He currently works on cloud software at VMware and is in the process of releasing the seventh edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, a hugely popular JavaScript book published by O'Reilly.

Why a seventh edition now?

I allowed the sixth edition to become badly out of date (sorry!). So the seventh edition is a major, and long-overdue, update. Importantly, it covers ES2020 and even mentions some features expected to be formalized in ES2021. Also new in this edition is a detailed chapter on Node, reflecting the reality that JavaScript isn't just for web browsers anymore.

(Ed: David has written more on what's new in the seventh edition here.)

What was the story behind writing the first edition?

I started on it shortly after I wrote Java in a Nutshell. In those days the buzz around Java was that Java "applets" could add dynamic content to web browsers. JavaScript seemed like a promising alternative and I remember talking to an engineer from Sun Microsystems (the company that created Java) about what I was going to work on next. When I told him I thought JavaScript might become more important in the browser than Java, he scoffed. But seven editions of my book later, I'm starting to think I was right(!)

What's your favorite chapter?

Most interesting JavaScript code is asynchronous, and now that Promises are a core part of the JavaScript language, I dedicate chapter 13 to asynchronous programming with callbacks, events, Promises and async/await.

Promises are a revolutionary addition to JavaScript, but once you move beyond the simplest examples, it becomes very easy to misuse them and you need to understand them deeply in order to use them correctly and with confidence. So I devote more than 20 pages to explaining them in depth. These are some of the most complicated pages in the book, but if they increase the understanding of Promises, I'll feel I've provided an important service to the community.

You've spent so much time writing books about JavaScript, but what other technologies interest you?

I'm intrigued by both Go and Rust and would enjoy documenting those languages. I've thought about writing short books about React and Angular. And I've wondered whether it is possible to write an interesting book about coding for a non-technical audience.

What's the secret to being able to write so many programming books?

No secret, really: from about 1991 to 2011 I was self-employed and for most of that time, writing books was my primary job. This 7th edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is the first book I've written while also working a regular software engineering job.

You can find David on Twitter @__DavidFlanagan or more about JavaScript: The Definitive Guide at O'Reilly Media.