360° IT Check #41 — React 18, Kentucky’s Mining Renaissance, And More!
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360° IT Check #41 — React 18, Kentucky’s Mining Renaissance, And More!

Aleksander Jess
Senior Content Marketer & Technical Expert

React 18

React 18, the next major upgrade to the popular JavaScript framework, is here. We have already written about some new features coming to the library, and we are currently preparing a long rundown of all important changes React developers must know about. Stay tuned, and check back this week.

The Bottom Line

React 18 is a bit of a shake-up. Features such as server components are a major innovation; something that, even though, is not stable yet, will have the potential to create a gigantic shake-up in the field of front-end web development. It will be interesting to see what Vue or Angular will bring to answer this new functionality; how the React vs Angular, and React vs Vue fight will change.

On the downside, in one video on optimizing React, we could see a glimpse of what it takes to have a well-optimized component. It did not take long for Evan You to respond, that, to paraphrase, in Vue it’s more or less “plug n’ play”. 

Here, you may see You’s code, while here is the video for reference. The takeaway is that React gives you only what’s necessary, and not much more. It’s easy to fall into the pit of despair. Other libraries, such as Vue or Solid, make it much easier to build more efficient applications.

Stay tuned for our rundown of React 18 (Subscribe here to get the update), in the meantime check out our React 18 Demo on GitHub here.

Update: our rundown of React 18 is here.

Astro 1.0

If you regularly follow our 360 IT Check, then you have to know that we are big fans of Astro and what it brings to the web. Unsurprisingly to those, we are excited about the imminent release of version 1.0, which would be the first stable release of the project. The Astro rocket launches today (Monday, April 4th) at 9:30 PST.

The Bottom Line

Frameworks such as Astro are among the next big thing in the world of front-end development. Enabling developers to create “islands” of JavaScript on the page, vs requiring tens of additional kilobytes for the website to render. Quoting the first post that appeared on the project’s website “[t]here’s a simple secret to building a faster website — just ship less.” We are keeping our fingers crossed for the team behind the project.

More Mining In Kentucky

Kentucky, a US state with a rich history of coal mining, is now focusing on attracting even more Bitcoin miners in an effort to make it a crypto number one in the country. Hashrate-wise only the state of New York beats the Bluegrass state. That could change soon, with two new laws appealing to crypto professionals.

There are two critical bills: Senate Bill 255, and House Bill 230. As a result, the companies that moved to Kentucky are bringing some old sites back to life: “[t]he data center [belonging to miners] is repurposing a coal mining site that has been abandoned for decades.”

The Bottom Line

As hashrates increase, we all have to keep in mind that traditionally mining algorithms are staggeringly energy-intensive. All initiatives moving crypto away from proof-of-work to, e.g., proof-of-stake algorithms are a win for nature. One may also argue that clean energy is the solution, though we don’t consider the environmental costs of manufacturing, and of disposal of all GPUs. 

On the other hand, we have all abandoned mines and real estate that these companies are bringing back to life. Numerous cities that had been forgotten by some, are getting a second chance: including the cities’ populations that might have been forgotten.

Chrome 100

It’s here. The shiny, new Chrome 100: the first three-digit long version. As we had reported earlier, there were some problems with Chrome, and Firefox with a bit of a Y2K vibe. In short, some websites disliked three digits, and (in some extreme cases) refused to work. Curiously, we had the same issues 12 years ago (!), when Chrome, and Firefox shipped their version 10.

What’s new besides new problems? 

  • It’s easier to place windows on multiple screens
  • Improvements to the WebNFC
  • Changes to the User String
  • New DevTool features (see the video below)

VS Code Update

Visual Studio Code, one of the top code editors out there, got an update last week. The version with a code 1.66 brought a significant number of changes, and new features. Some of them include: 

  • Accessibility improvements, such as the ability to reduce animations
  • Local history independent of Git
  • Filtering settings by language extensions
  • It’s easier to traverse between comments
  • And much more.

Alexandru Gherasim, React Developer at ITMAGINATION, pointed at two non-obvious changes he thinks are no less important than the others. Firstly, he pointed at the improved ability to navigate between your commands in the terminal, and secondly, the built-in feature to match brackets in code, and to change their coloring rules.

The Bottom Line

VS Code will soon have to face a strong rival in the form of Fleets – a new editor coming from JetBrains. That’s great, though. Competition is always good, forcing the teams to innovate, and improve their offerings. Moving forward is the way here, especially if the switch from one editor to another is easy. Extensions facilitate the moves even more, with the ability to make editors work as desired. The only way to keep users is either by strong branding, or by making your product clearly better.

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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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