JavaScript News and Updates (October 2020)

Greetings to all dedicated followers of our news digest! It is high time to continue our journey on discovering the recent JavaScript innovations. We are eager to share with you a lot of five-star updates that have been presented in October.

First of all, we are happy to say that this month has been very fruitful for the DHTMLX development team, as we’ve rolled out two major updates for our JS libraries — Spreadsheet 4.0 and Vault 4.0.

Professional programmers who use Node.js, React, Webpack in their projects also must be excited to learn about novelties included in new versions of these products.

So let us proceed with the highlights on these big releases supplemented by our traditional collection of useful JavaScript-related materials.

New Tools and Updates

Node.js 15.0 Comes Out Together with NPM 7.0

JavaScript communities all over the world are truly excited about new capabilities that come with recent major updates of Node.js and the npm package manager.

Lately, Node.js, a popular server-side JS runtime environment, has been subjected to serious criticism for its design flaws and many web developers consider Deno as a viable alternative to Node.js. However, the Node.js development team stays optimistic about the potential of their product and the recent update to version 15.0 may strengthen their hopes.

The new Node.js is most notable for dealing with the issue of unhandled rejections via throw behavior, new N-API version that brings along extra methods for manipulating binary arrays (ArrayBuffers), and support for the latest version of npm.

npm is the default package client for Node.js and its v7.0 has also introduced a lot of highly anticipated features that are aimed to provide significant assistance for web developers in managing their packages. For example, users of npm now can benefit from workspaces, improved support for peer dependencies, and the inclusion of yarn.lock.

React 17.0 is Released

The React development team has finally announced the long-awaited major update of this popular framework. The official release does not bring any surprises regarding the essence and content of v17.0 disclosed in the release candidate back in summer.

The thing is that the new version of React is not about introducing new features but rather focusing on making the framework more flexible when it comes to migration to the new React versions. Now web developers who use React for creating apps can adopt new versions gradually or all at once. It is also worth mentioning that v17.0 comes with support for a new JSX transform and some useful fixes for bugs detected in previous versions. The React blog article provides deeper insights into the update peculiarities.

Webpack 5 is Here

Modern web applications based on JavaScript are becoming more complicated, as web developers have to utilize multiple advanced technologies to meet all requirements of businesses. Therefore, it is often necessary to employ special tools that help to manage all resources required for the project and organize the whole development process in a proper way. Webpack is probably the most powerful tool used for such purposes. In a nutshell, this module bundler allows splitting all front-end assets (HTML, CSS, etc.) used in the project into handy modules. And the great news is that this month Webpack has been updated to version 5.0.

The release includes a lot of new features and major improvements, but to integrate them the development team had to perform some breaking changes. The most significant improvements are quicker build times and reduced bundle sizes that have been achieved thanks to the adoption of module federation and modified behavior of the Node.js polyfills. If you are interested in getting a more comprehensive overview of this major update, check the release article.

Introducing DHTMLX Spreadsheet 4.0

Web spreadsheets gain more and more popularity on business and financial apps. And web developers frequently opt for quality stand-alone JavaScript components that allow implementing this functionality together with necessary features. That is where the new version of DHTMLX Spreadsheet can kick in.

The new v4.0 provides a lot of novelties and enhancements to the existing feature set of our JS library. From now on, our Spreadsheet component also allows using TypeScript, applying a new text format, and making static columns on the left side of a web spreadsheet, while other columns remain scrollable. But the main feature of this big update is the addition of math formulas. Numerical calculations are essential for conducting business matters in spreadsheets and 25 new math functions can be really helpful. Moreover, there are also 9 string functions that increase the number of text formatting options. Read this article to find more details on the update.

Announcing DHTMLX Vault 4.0

DHTMLX Vault is a customizable JavaScript component that is used by web developers for integrating user-friendly file uploading systems/solutions into web apps. It has been sufficient in terms of functionality for quite a while, but the time has come to provide our clients with new capabilities. Thus, our development team has introduced v4.0.

This major update brings along a bunch of new features and helpful improvements. For example, web developers can take advantage of TypeScript support to accelerate the development process and apply new events to add more interactivity to top their applications. End-users, in turn, now are able to manage several files simultaneously, easily reorder files with drag-and-drop, and, if necessary, switch between Grid and List modes for handling uploaded files more conveniently. Visit our blog to get complete information on this release.

Google Starts Bug Hunting Initiative in Browser JavaScript Engines

The American internet giant Google has recently launched sponsoring a research program aimed at enhancing the security level of browser JS engines via fuzz testing. This type of testing is quite costly and time-consuming, that is why Google is ready to provide funding of five thousand dollars to the involved parties. To take part in this promising initiative, all bug hunters should put forward a proposal with details on their approach to this problem. If approved participants will receive extra bug bounty payments for the reported bugs. The program will continue until October 1, 2021. Learn more details on the program right here.

Useful Tips and Articles

Free Beginner’s Courses on JavaScript and Node.js from Microsoft

There are hundreds of free resources on JavaScript and related technologies that can be easily found on the Internet. But this programming language is so versatile and frequently updated that there is always something new to learn. So professionals from Microsoft also decided to share their knowledge on the topic. In addition to a 51-part course on JavaScript, newcomers to web technologies who have some background in other languages can also learn how to use JavaScript on the server-side by mastering the basics of Node.js in a 26-part course and to incorporate this knowledge in their projects.

Using Other Programming Languages for Creating JavaScript Tools

JavaScript is a hugely popular programming language with a rich ecosystem, but it is not a secret that it has a lot of sticking points and drawbacks. That is why many web developers prefer to use JS extensions (TypeScript, Dart, etc.) that are more powerful in terms of functionality and easier to learn than pure JavaScript. But have you ever heard about using other programming languages (that do not compile to JavaScript) such as Rust, OCaml, Haskell, etc. for writing JS tools? It is not just a random concept, but probably a new trend in the development world. Learn more about this idea, its benefits, and real examples in this material.

Building a JavaScript Tree Diagram with DHTMLX

Tree diagrams are extensively used in various fields for presenting data in a hierarchical way. For instance, they are frequently utilized in business for building organizational charts (or simply org charts). The usage of org charts can provide numerous benefits to the quality of staff management in any large company. This type of diagram can be very helpful when it is necessary to clearly visualize the reporting structure of a given company, help newcomers to be smoothly integrated into the company environment, and facilitate better workload management.

If web developers need to add a tree diagram to their project, then they can make use of special JS diagramming components such as DHTMLX Diagram. This JavaScript library allows building various types of diagrams and customizing them to specific project requirements. As an example, here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a tree diagram representing an organizational structure of a medical establishment.

Utilizing JS Timeline Charts in DHTMLX Libraries

Modern B2B or corporate web applications commonly include a timeline functionality to show different business activities in chronological order. DHTMLX project management components allow web developers to take advantage of multiple timeline-related capabilities.

DHTMLX Gantt provides a number of time configuration and time scale options for the JS timeline, zooming and navigation features for monitoring projects with many tasks along the timeline. The DHTMLX Gantt timeline also supports RTL mode and can be used for improved resource management within the project. DHTMLX Scheduler that is used for creating fully customizable business event calendars also includes the Timeline view with several modes. This view serves to vividly show business activities over time. It can be complemented with custom HTML content, navigation helpers (horizontal scroll and auto-scrolling), and other useful features. More details on the topic in this article.

Real Cases of DHTMLX JS Libraries Customization

All DHTMLX JavaScript components are known among professional web developers as reliable tools with extensive APIs, powerful customization capabilities, and up-to-date documentation coverage for creating business-oriented apps. But what if it is necessary to add extra features to the standard feature set of DHTMLX libraries or seamlessly integrate them into complex projects? No worries, if you face similar problems or have some new ideas on how to make the most of our JS controls and don’t know how to do it right, the development team from XB Software is ready to help. In this article, you can find 3 real-life examples of how DHTMLX libraries can become a part of a successful business app.

We’ve dedicated the latest edition of our digest to major updates in the JavaScript world, and in particular to new releases of our JS components. We hope that you also learned something useful about the practical use of DHTMLX products and other interesting stuff in our “Tips and Articles” section. Take care and stay tuned for more news in November!

Here we post news about our JavaScript UI libraries. In addition to this, we also share useful tips, news and articles about JavaScript.

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