One of Wang’s points was that static side generation (SSG) is “basically dead” and there is now a “huge demand for server-side rendering.” He also notes a movement toward incremental rendering, along with edge routing. Not coincidentally, he pointed out that “Next.js is winning so hard” as a framework that supports these trends.
He also commented that one “moonshot” project for this decade might be to reclaim “the open web,” which he says has taken a back seat over the past decade to native mobile apps.
You can see Wang’s full presentation for yourself in the above video of the event (he gets on-stage at around the 05:30 mark).
This Week in Development
Reasons Not to Use React
Jack Franklin, a Google engineer, wrote a blog post entitled “Why I don’t miss React: a story about using the platform.” The “platform” he’s referring to is, of course, the web browser. Leaving aside the fact that Franklin is biased since he works on Google’s Chrome DevTools team, he made some compelling arguments for “using the platform.”
1. this is not a blog post declaring React dead, or objectively always a bad choice for everyone
2. it is just a post about my experiences and how it’s worked for us on DevTools
3. browsers are cool
— Jack Franklin (@Jack_Franklin) May 3, 2022
One example Franklin notes is that you no longer need to use React to build forms. He says “this used to be a justifiable reason to reach for React because browsers offered us very little here beyond primitive functionality.” However, he continues, “on a recent side project I was able to use 100% native functionality to build my form with a solid user experience.” Franklin admits that it was “slightly more work than using a library from npm that wraps this all up for me,” but “I was able to achieve the same result, writing a few extra lines of code myself, but without weighing my application down with an extra dependency.”
In conclusion, Franklin recognizes that it’s easy for him to ditch React, since he only has one browser to worry about in his work. Many other developers have to ensure cross-browser compatibility in their work, which React helps achieve. Still, he hopes that we’ll all soon be able to “look beyond frameworks as a default starting point.”
Not convinced? Read this rebuttal from William Kennedy and decide for yourself (be sure to click the link!):
React, Angular and so on have gotten a bit of bashing recently. So I wrote an article defending these technologies
— William Kennedy (@_williamkennedy) May 3, 2022
Babylon.js 5.0 Released
Microsoft announced the latest version of its web-based 3D engine, Babylon.js, which it claims “ushers in the next generation of web rendering technology for everyone.” In my own writeup of Babylon.js, published just before the announcement, I noted that it makes 3D development surprisingly simple — I likened the Babylon Playground tool to Microsoft FrontPage, but for the metaverse.
Playing #fornite on my iPhone thanks to the amazing #xbox Cloud Gaming technology and @babylonjs for the touch experience! 😍💚
Try it yourself for free on: https://t.co/tQd1GWD2fa! #XboxCloudGaming pic.twitter.com/VfCXFbLVHz
— David Rousset (@davrous) May 6, 2022
Perhaps the most impressive new feature in 5.0 is its support for WebGPU, an emerging web standard for web-to-GPU communication. “We have been actively participating in the WebGPU Workgroup from its earliest days and are proud to announce that Babylon.js 5.0 offers FULL support for WebGPU,” wrote the Babylon.js team.
Firefox Reaches Version 100.0
The venerable open source browser Firefox released its 100th version this week, nearly 18 years after 1.0 launched in November 2004.
We’re 100 today. And we’re looking pretty darn good for a centenarian, if we do say so ourselves. https://t.co/a8uEf6qFvp
— Firefox 🔥 (@firefox) May 3, 2022
The Slashdot thread about the 100th version is full of minor critiques, although this user nicely summed up why it’s still critical that Firefox exists: “Firefox is my main browser on both desktop and mobile. We need to have a viable competitor to Chrome to avoid a monoculture and avoid Google taking complete control of web standards.”
Tweet of the Week
How to adapt to the coming metaverse…
can’t stop watching these guys who run around tokyo like they’re in a video game pic.twitter.com/KlqtJFtirT
— juan (@juanbuis) May 3, 2022