A 2020 retrospective

January 2021 | Permalink

Illustration by Barbara

This past year has been a wild ride. Our communities have been through what has been one of the worst years in history, one that transformed how we live, work and socialise. Some of these changes are going to permanent and there is speculation that the impact of these straordinary events could transform society in a way and scale never seen before.

With this in mind, I am grateful I have been able to continue doing my job in 2020, something I love to boot, and I am prepared to embrace/confront change in the upcoming year. So let’s review some of the things I found interesting during the year and what I find exciting looking at 2021.

Looking back

I am surprised to still see React being a top choice for frontend applications. I had a feeling that following the introduction of Hooks and Concurrent Mode, the library embarked on a tortuous path where DX would have resulted being subpar compared to other frameworks. This has not happened yet, however I do sense that React is becoming more and more of a black box and niche alternatives could soon replace it.

I was happy to see Zach Jackson make it to Webpack with his Module Federation plugin. This plugin makes Microfrontends development much easier. I have written extensively about this topic on a previous post.

The first stable version of Deno caught my attention early this year, mainly because of its ability to import remote modules directly without using Npm. It has some other interesting features, such as Typescript support, but before diving into a “let’s replace Node” discussion, I am waiting to see whether its adoption increases.

As a big fan of the language, I welcomed Typescript v4. It has proven to be a mature language so far and something that can be relied upon even within an enterprise environment.

I resumed my personal blog in May, after it being offline for years. In only a few months of life I found an excuse to migrate it ¯_(ツ)_/¯ from PHP/Laravel Blade to Jekyll. It was totally unnecessary, but hei… you have got to love these SSGs.

Looking forward

I am keen to see whether React Server Components take on and whether they will be pushing Backends for Frontends patterns further. With Cloud becoming cheaper and backend framework features improving frontend UX (Blazor, Hotwire), I can definitely see frontend and backend development converge.

I am watching Recoil closely. I do like the concept and the problem it is trying to solve. At the same time, I am just happy to give up Redux, which I find overly verbose. I would be wary considering it for production: it is still in version 0.1.2 as I type.

I am eyeing Svelte and its application framework Sapper. While I will probably get a chance to use some of these tools at my job, I am keen to see whether the adoption of Svelte by important companies will increase its popularity and allow it to become a better equipped React/Vue competitor.

I am expecting Angular to decline in popularity. While Angular is still very popular today, it does seem to be in the same position jQuery was few years ago: I would not start a new project with it.

Last but not least, web support for Flutter should come out of beta. This is an intriguing platform, as it uses a mixture of Custom Elements and Canvas to paint on the browser. I am not entirely convinced by the paradigm (and Dart as platform language), but when Google does it, it is worth taking notes.

Worth of mention

Thanks to

Feedspot for including my blog into their Top 30 Javascript Blogs.