Summer is approaching and even in Finland the weather is sunny and warm. I've been busy as the Enduro-MTB racing season has started and most weekends are spent at the race track. But here's monthly notes for May with topics of state of the Web, how geolocation in browsers work, and something about tools. Happy reading.
Paw is a full-featured HTTP client that lets you test and describe the APIs you build or consume. It has a beautiful native macOS interface to compose requests, inspect server responses, generate client code and export API definitions.
`npm audit`: identify and fix insecure dependencies
Unchained: A story of love, loss, and blockchain
> It was a smart contract that stipulated sexual fidelity and parental responsibilities. Tokens from their joint earnings paid the AI judges and IoT sensor oracles that monitored contract violations. On mornings like this, you really needed commitment that was mathematically provable, not just an empty promise at the altar.
React Finland 2018 conference was held last week and I had the opportunity to attend it and listen what's hot in the React world. The conference started with workshops and after that there was two days of talks of React, React Native, React VR and all things that go with developing web applications with them. The two conference days were packed with great talks and new information. This is the second part of my recap of the talks and my notes which I posted to Twitter. Check out also the first part of my notes from the first day's talks.
React Finland 2018, Day 2
How React changed everything — Ken Wheeler
"Best part of React is the community"
Get started with Reason — Nik Graf
The keynote also touched Reason ML and Nik Graf went into details kicking off with the basics and going into how to leverage features like variant types and pattern matching to make impossible states impossible.
Making Unreasonable States Impossible — Patrick Stapfer
Based on "Get started with Reason" Patrick Stapfer's talk went deeper into the world of variant types and pattern matching and put them into a practical context. The talk was nice learning by doing TicTacToe live coding. It showed how Reason ML helps you design solid APIs, which are impossible to misuse by consumers. We also got more insights into practical ReasonReact code. Presentation is available on the Internet.
Conclusion about ReasonReact:
More rigid design
More KISS (keep it simple, stupid) than DRY (don’t repeat yourself)
Forces edge-cases to be handled
Reactive State Machines and Statecharts — David Khourshid
David Khourshid's talk about state machines and statecharts was interesting. Functional + reactive approach to state machines can make it much easier to understand, visualize, implement and automatically create tests for complex user interfaces and flows. Model the code and automatically generate exhaustive tests for every possible permutation of the code. Things mentioned: React automata, xstate. Slides are available on the Internet.
"Model once, implement anywhere" - David Khourshid
The talk was surprisingly interesting especially for use cases as anything to make testing better is good. This might be something to look into.
Compelling use case for state machines is: model code & automatically generate exhaustive tests for every possible permutation of the code. @DavidKPiano and surprisingly interesting talk of Reactive State Machines and Statechart at #ReactFinland. "Model once, implement anywhere" pic.twitter.com/v5iynBA4te
After theory heavy presentations we got into more visual stuff: React VR. Shay Keinan presented the core concepts behind VR, showed different demonstrations, and how to get started with React VR and how to add new features from the Three.js library. React VR: Three.js + React Native = 360 and VR content. On the VR device side it was mentioned that Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus are the big step to Virtual Reality.
"Virtual Reality's possibilities are endless. Compares to lucid dreaming." - Shay Keinan
WebVR enables web developers to create frictionless, immersive experiences and we got to see Solar demo and Three VR demo which were lit ?.
World Class experience with React Native — Michał Chudziak
I've shortly experimented with React Native so it was nice to listen Michał Chudziak's talk how to set up a friendly React Native development environment with the best DX, spot bugs in early stage and deliver continuous builds to QA. Again Redux was dropped in favour of apollo-link-state.
Work close to your team - Napoleon Hill
What makes a good Developer eXperience?
GraphQL was mentioned to be the holy grail of frontend development and perfect with React Native. Tools for better developer experience: Haul, CircleCI, Fastlane, ESLint, Flow, Jest, Danger, Detox. Other tips were i.a to use native IDEs (XCode, Android Studio) as it helps debugging. XCode Instruments helps debug performance (check iTunes for video) and there's also Android Profiler.
React Finland App - Lessons learned — Toni Ristola
Every conference has to have an app and React Finland of course did a React Native app. Toni Ristola lightning talked about lessons learned. Technologies used with React Native was Ignite, GraphQL and Apollo Client ? App's source code is available on GitHub.
Have a designer in the team
Reserve enough time — doing and testing a good app takes time
Test with enough devices — publish alpha early
React Native Ignite — Gant Laborde
80% of mobile app development is the same old song which can be cut short with Ignite CLI. Using Ignite, you can jump into React Native development with a popular combination of technologies, OR brew your own. Gant Laborde talked about the new Bowser version which makes things even better with Storybook, Typescript, Solidarity, mobx-state-tree and lint-staged. Slides can be found on the Internet.
How to use React, webpack and other buzzwords if there is no need — Varya Stepanova
Varya Stepanova's lightning talk suggested to start a side-project other than ToDo app to study new development approaches and showed what it can be in React. The example was how to generate a multilingual static website using Metalsmith, React and other modern technologies and tools which she uses to build her personal blog. Slides can be found on the Internet.
Doing meaningful side-projects is a great idea to study new things and I've used that for i.a. learning Swift with Highkara newsreader, did couple of apps for Sailfish OS and played with GraphQL and microservices while developing app with largish vehicle dataset.
Two days full of talks of React, React Native, React VR and all the things that go with developing web applications with them was great experience. Days were packed with great talks, new information and everything went smoothly. The conference was nicely organized, food was good and participants got soft hoodies to go with the Allas Sea Pool ticket. The talks were all great but especially "World Class experience with React Native" and "React Native Ignite" gave new inspiration to write some app. Also "ReactVR" seemed interesting although I think Augmented Reality will be bigger thing than Virtual Reality. It was nice to hear from "The New Best Practices" talk that there really is no new best practices as the old ones still work. Just use them!
Something to try and even to take into production will be Immer, styled components and Next.js. One thing which is easy to implement is to start using lint-staged although we are linting all the things already.
One of the conference organizers and speaker, Juho Vepsäläinen, wrote Lessons Learned from the conference and many of the points he mentions are to the point. The food was nice but "there wasn't anything substantial for the afternoon break". There wasn't anything to eat after lunch but luckily I had own snacks. Vepsäläinen also mentions that "there was sometimes too much time between the presentations" but I think the longer breaks between some presentations were nice for having a quick stroll outside and have some fresh air. The venue was quite warm and the air wasn't so good in the afternoon.
The Afterparty at Sea Life Helsinki was interesting choice and it worked nicely although there wasn't so many people there. The aquarium was fishy experience and provided also some other content than refreshments. Too bad I hadn't have time to go and check the Allas Sea Pool which we got a free ticket. Maybe next time.
Thanks to the conference crew for such a good event and of course to my fellow Goforeans which attended it and had a great time!
React Finland 2018 conference was held last week and I had the opportunity to attend it and listen what's hot in the React world. The conference started with workshops and after that there was two days of talks of React, React Native, React VR and all things that go with developing web applications with them. The two conference days were packed with great talks and new information. Here's the first part of my notes from the talks which I posted to Twitter. Read also the second part with more of React Native.
React Finland 2018: Day 1
React Finland combined the Finnish React community with international flavor from Jani Eväkallio to Ken Wheeler and other leading talents of the community. The event was the first of its kind in Finland and consisted of a workshop day and two days of talks around the topic. It was nice that the event was single track so you didn't need to choose between interesting talks.
At work I've been developing with React couple of years and tried my hands with React Native so the topics were familiar. The conference provided crafty new knowledge to learn from and maybe even put to production. Overall the conference was great experience and everything went smoothly. Nice work from the React Finland conference team! And of course thanks to Gofore which sponsored the conference and got me a ticket.
I tweeted my notes from almost every presentation and here's a recap of the talks. I heard that the videos from the conference will be available shortly.
The New Best Practices — Jani Eväkallio
First day's keynote was by Jani Eväkallio who talked about "The New Best Practices". As the talk description wrote "When React was first introduced, it was ridiculed for going against established web development best practices as we knew them. Five years later, React is the gold standard for how we create user interfaces. Along the way, we’ve discovered a new set of tools, design patterns and programming techniques."
The new best practices were:
Build big things from small things
Write code for humans first: flow, Typescript, storybook
Stay close to the language:
helps i.a. linters
Always prefer simplicity
Don’t break things:
Facebook makes React API changes easy to upgrade, depreciation well in advance, migration, documentation. it's a flow, not versions. Use codemod.
Keep an open mind
You ask "what new best practices"? Yep, that's the thing. We don't need new best practices as the same concepts like Model-View-Controller and separation of concerns are still valid. We should use best practices which have been proved good before as they also work nicely with React philosophy. Eväkallio also talked why React will be around for a long time. It's because components and interoperable components are an innovation primitive.
Declarative state and side effects — Christian Alfoni
"Get Rich Quick With React Context" lightning talk by Patrick Hund didn't tell how good job opportunities you have when doing React But how with React 16.3 the context API has been completely revamped and demonstrated a good use case: Putting ad placements on your web page to get rich quick! Other use cases are localizations. Check out the slides which will tell you how easy it is to use context now and how to migrate your old context code to the new API.
There's always a better way to handle localization — Eemeli Aro
"There's always a better way to handle localization" lightning talk by Eemeli Aro told about how localization is a ridiculously difficult problem in the general case, but in the specific you can get away with really simple solutions, especially if you understand the compromises you're making.
Styled Components, SSR, and Theming — Kasia Jastrzębska
Takeaways from this talk was that CSS in React app can be written as you always have or by using CSS-in-JS solutions. There are several benefits of using styled-components but I'm still thinking how styles get scattered all over components.
Universal React Apps Using Next.js — Sia Karamalegos
Every user’s hardware is different and processing speed can hinder user experience on client-side rendered React applications and so Sia Karamalegos talked how server-side rendering and code-splitting can drastically improve user experience. By minimizing the work that the client has to do. Performance and shipping your code matters. The talk showed how to easily build an universal React apps using the Next.js framework and walked through the concepts and code examples. Talk slides are available on the Internet.
There are lots of old (mobile) devices which especially benefit from Server Side Rendering. Next.js is a minimalistic framework for universal, server-rendered (or statically pre-rendered) React applications which enables faster page loads. Pages are server-rendered by default for initial load, you can enable prefetching future routes and there's automatic code splitting. It's also customizable so you can use own Babel and Webpack configurations and customize the server API with e.g. Express. And if you don't want to use a server Next.js can also build static web apps that you can then host on Github pages or AWS S3.
State Management in React Apps with Apollo Client — Sara Vieira
Apollo Client was one of the most mentioned framework in the conference along with Reason ML and Sara Vieira gave energetic talk how to use it for state management in React Apps. If you haven't come across Apollo Client it's caching GraphQL client and helps you to manage data coming from the server. Virieira showed how to manage local state with apollo-link-state.
The talk was fast paced and I somewhat missed the why part but at least it's easy to setup: yarn add apollo-boost graphql react-apollo. Have to see slides and demo later. Maybe the talk can be wrapped up to: "GQL all the things" and "I don't like Redux" :D
Detox: A year in. Building it, Testing with it — Rotem Mizrachi-Meidan
One thing in software development which always gets developers to argue over stupid things is code formatting and linting. Andrey Okonetchnikov talked how "with a wrong workflow linting can be really a pain and will slow you and your team down but with a proper setup it can save you hours of manual work reformatting the code and reducing the code-review overhead."
The talk was a quick introduction how ?? lint-staged a node.js library can improve developer experience. Small tool coupled with tools that analyze and improve the code like ESLint, Stylelint, Prettier and Jest can make a big difference.