360° IT Check #47 - The Biggest Change To Next.js EVER, Angular 14, And More!
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360° IT Check #47 - The Biggest Change To Next.js EVER, Angular 14, And More!

Aleksander Jess
Senior Content Marketer & Technical Expert
Jason Neale
Lead Generation Specialist

The Biggest Change To Next.js So Far?

Layouts, the potential new Next.js feature, might change the way we work with our apps. Along with it, the Next.js team decided to introduce other, more incremental improvements. We have to tone down everybody’s excitement, though. Everything we will cover in this section is potentially subject to change, as the blog post is effectively a “Request for Comments” linked to a GitHub discussion. As a side note, many developers feel as if Next.js is heavily borrowing from Remix.

Let’s start with the smaller changes.  

React 18 features, such as Streaming, Transitions, and Suspense were missing. Now, the team promises to introduce them fully with the upcoming change. Server components will be here, and as a matter of fact, the whole framework will be optimized around them. In case you already forgot what goodies came with React 18, feel free to refresh your knowledge reading our blog post.

Furthermore, the framework will now default to server-side data fetching, which comes with the significant benefits. The web apps we produce will be much leaner, for one. Less JavaScript will make it to our browsers, meaning websites load faster, and devices use less electricity [sic!].

Now, for the bigger changes. Creating the new app directory will opt you in to the new features. That is not to break any existing apps.  

The folder-based routing system works more or less the same, with few significant changes. Firstly, inside the app directory, React Server components are the default. Furthermore, the path is defined by the folder names, and not, how it previously worked defined by the folder names and file names. In other words, now, you would compose the “/dashboard/analytics” by having two folders “dashboard”, and “analytics” with a page.js file in the last folder. Each folder may have a layout.js file.  

Another, and perhaps the most important new feature, is the improved data fetching. In short, loading times will be shorter, and developers will be able to show you loading states faster. There is another benefit. Loading data will occur in parallel, at the same time, and not one after another, sequentially.

The Bottom Line

Next.js will undergo massive changes, soon. The framework was left in the dust by its competitors, and their innovations, such as Remix, or even Redwood. Next was, and is, the most popular tool for creating web apps, and the state of affairs left a stain. The team mobilized itself, and sometime after initial releases, the team from Vercel delivered or will deliver soon.

As Next.js is immensely popular, we may expect certain apps getting a push upward.

For an ultra-long overview of the changes, watch the video below

Angular 14

Angular, the traditional corporate framework of preference for building enterprise-scale apps, has recently received its fourteenth major upgrade. The team behind the TypeScript framework a few changes, among which three are particularly impactful:

  • Standalone Components
  • Typed forms
  • Page title accessibility improvements

The Bottom Line

Even though, three new, impactful, features might not seem like a lot, one of the changes will change the way developers may work with Angular, while the other two are quality of life improvements.

Standalone components change the workflow significantly. Even though the feature is not stable, yet, it’s an important feature to familiarize yourself with. Emma Twersky, the author of the blog post announcing the new release, wrote, “Angular standalone components aim to streamline the authoring of Angular applications by reducing the need for NgModules.”

For a deep dive, we encourage you to watch this video below:

The other changes, typed forms, and page title accessibility improvements will definitely improve how developers write their apps, though they won’t be quite as impactful. Nevertheless, they are valuable improvements in fixing real world problems.  

Some would definitely go for a comparison between Google’s framework and Meta’s library (Angular vs React) or Angular vs Vue.js, though we won’t, as these comparisons are without much merit. Each has a different use case, and is meant to have a different purpose. Therefore, naturally, they will excel in one application, and be disappointingly poor in another.  

For a rundown of all changes, in a video form, this video by Google is a phenomenal resource

Do you want our Angular 14 deep dive? Let us know in the comments on social media!

Gov.uk Drops jQuery

Gov.uk, “[t]he best place to find government services and information” in the UK, dropped jQuery recently. jQuery was among the first libraries to make web development a comfortable experience. This is how John Papa, Principal Cloud Advocate Lead at Microsoft, remembers the early days of web dev:

The Bottom Line

While in the grand scheme of things, the move does not matter too much, the change is meaningful. If even government websites are dropping jQuery, then it’s a signal that there are few, actively maintained, sites that cannot do it.

Microsoft Build

Microsoft's Build 2022 developer conference ended last week, and the company delivered some exciting news for developers.  

The main headliner was the reveal of “Project Volterra”, their first ARM desktop PC. Microsoft is positioning the Volterra as a "neural processing unit in a box" and created to help developers build apps leveraging the power of AI.

In addition to the hardware, the announcement of an Arm-native developer toolbox was also significant. Microsoft will release an Arm64 version of Visual Studio 2022, along with other mentions of VS Code, Visual C++, .NET 6 and Java, Classic .NET, Windows Terminal, and WSL and WSA for running Linux and Android apps.

Widgets saw a return on Windows 11, and developers will be able to build their own in their Win32 app or as a PWA (Progressive Web App) later this year. Other announcements included some Microsoft store updates, such as recovering apps if you've recently changed devices and advertising.  

The Bottom Line

Microsoft updating their store seems to be long overdue. Things such as restoring apps on multiple devices are commonplace on phones; bringing it to PCs seems like a no-brainer.  

Consumers might cringe when they hear more advertising, but having sponsored app content is helpful for developers to get some exposure for their creations. So, this is positive overall for commerce in the store.  

The showstopper was the actual hardware Microsoft announced. Since Build is a developer's conference, displaying front and center developer hardware alongside announcements of the native Arm developer toolchain to go with it, the company has created a product that could be all you need in software development. Oh, and it’s also made from recycled ocean plastic.  

DuckDuckGo Facing Backlash

Security researchers have revealed that some trackers can bypass its blockers. Zack Edwards found that the browser allows data to transfer to Microsoft's LinkedIn and Bing domains.

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo, has attempted to slow the gathering of pitchforks.  

"For non-search tracker blocking (e.g. in our browser), we block most third-party trackers," he said. "Unfortunately, our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been continually pushing and expect to be doing more soon."

The Bottom Line

DuckDuckGo's browser still provides enhanced privacy while browsing. It still blocks tracking from Facebook and Google, but your LinkedIn could still receive some ads, forcing you to wonder if your thoughts are being sent to an ad server somewhere.  

DuckDuckGo needs a tech partner, which happens to be granddaddy Microsoft. In that agreement, Microsoft provides the search syndication, and in return, they receive all the digital gold from DuckDuckGo users. So, this looks less like a conspiracy to gather your data and a simple business matter.  

In the end, this does hurt DuckDuckGo’s credibility to some extent, but you're still getting more out of them regarding privacy protection compared to the other options.

As the American poet Sean Combs once explained, "It's all about the Benjamins"

Bonus:

A guide to the world of quantum computers

https://www.vox.com/23132776/quantum-computers-ibm-google-cybersecurity-artificial-intelligence-white-house

Spotify’s New, Open-Source, Audio-To-MIDI Converter

https://engineering.atspotify.com/2022/06/meet-basic-pitch/

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360° IT Check is a weekly publication where we bring you the latest and greatest in the world of tech. We cover topics like emerging technologies & frameworks, news about innovative startups, and other topics which affect the world of tech directly or indirectly.

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