JavaScript News and Updates (September 2020)

Hello to all JavaScript devotees and welcome to the latest edition of our news digest! Summer is over, but we are not going to stop sharing with you the most interesting developments in the JavaScript world and continue strengthening your coding abilities.

We’ve prepared for you interesting insights into the upcoming update of DHTMLX Gantt and Pivot, new versions of Vue.js, NativeScript, and Deno, a new proposal for JS decorators, and a new JavaScript skimming malware named BAKA.

Let’s kick it off!

New Tools and Updates

After two years of meticulous work, the Vue.js development team led by Evan You have finally announced the long-expected major release of this popular JavaScript framework. The new version 3.0 comes with some important novelties and improvements that will be appreciated by the Vue.js community. Currently, more than a million web developers apply this framework in their projects and this number is only rising. The updated Vue.js becomes more performant, brings along a new API, and ensures enhanced TypeScript support. Moreover, it provides a substantial basis for future updates of the framework. If you need more information about this significant release, visit the Vue.js page on GitHub.

The choice of Pivot grids for developers using Angular, React, or Vue.js is larger now, as DHTMLX delivered live integration examples with source code for their JavaScript Pivot component. Examples for each framework are available on DHTMLX GitHub pages. They cover the initialization of a pivot table, loading data, customization (e.g., conditional formatting), and managing events. Besides, DHTMLX Pivot comes with built-in type definitions now. Learn more about the update in the release article >

Exporting is an important feature for any JS library meant for project management apps. DHTMLX Gantt also allows users to convert their Gantt into various formats. It can be done in two ways: via a free DHTMLX online service or a local module. The latter is a paid option, but it is frequently chosen by our customers because it is more convenient. Using the module, you can export your charts even without access to the Internet and don’t need to transmit your project data to the external server. Thanks to this functionality, project managers, for instance, can easily print Gantt charts on paper or share them with business partners by mail.

The good news is that the export module will be updated soon. The new module will apply a more advanced Electron framework (instead of the currently used PhantomJS) for displaying Gantt charts and saving them to PDF/PNG formats. This novelty will provide a lot of new capabilities: export large Gantt charts to PDF/PNG, support multipage export, specify page orientation, and enjoy the use of modern HTML and CSS styles. Learn more about the upcoming release and some general info about the exporting feature of our Gantt component in the blog post.

The development team of NativeScript, an open-source framework for developing web apps on popular mobile platforms, has rolled out a major release of its product. It is claimed that version 7.0 has become a real breakthrough in terms of adjusting the framework to the latest JavaScript standards and ensuring enhanced consistency across the full stack. Moreover, the release is notable for its comprehensive approach to dealing with the open-source components related to NativeScript. When talking about the new features included in this release, we can point out the ability to use the benefits of ES2017+, v8 iOS engine support, @NativeClass() decorator, and nativescript.config.ts. Read the official release article to find out more details about the release and what to expect from NativeScript in the future.

Deno, a new JS runtime environment, has been updated to version 1.4. According to the development team, this release has become the most significant feature-oriented upgrade for Deno so far. Speaking of the most notable features, now web developers, who shifted from Node.js to Deno, can start using a WebSocket API for working with remote servers and a built-in file watcher enabling an automatic restart function. Moreover, the new version provides an integrated test coverage. If you want to know about other novelties and improvements implemented in Deno 1.4, check out the official release notes.

ECMA International’s TC39, the institution that is responsible for maintenance and modification of JavaScript standards, plans to bring up for discussion a new proposal for JS class decorators during the upcoming meeting. Decorators are functions that are used to expand the functional capabilities of a specific class or its members by wrapping or “decorating” them with extra functionality. Web developers can take advantage of decorators when it is necessary to add dynamic behavior to existing objects, apply temporary behavior, or create debug modes.

Since decorators still have not become an official part of JavaScript, developers have to use Babel to transpile the code which includes decorators. TC39 has been considering numerous proposals on decorators without major progress for years now, causing inconvenience to the part of the JS community that actively uses this technology. Hopefully, the new proposal will become a big step forward to the adoption of decorators in JS standards.

Visa, one of the largest financial services companies in the world, has recently published a warning notice about a new comprehensive JS skimmer capable of shrinking away from disclosure. This smart piece of malware named Baka utilizes dynamic loading and special confusion techniques to trick scanning systems. BAKA disconnects itself from the memory of the attacked e-store when it “senses” the possibility of dynamic analysis or upon the completion of data infiltration. Since coming into the spotlight back in February, BAKA has been exposed by Visa specialists on several online e-commerce businesses across the globe. That is why Visa has prepared a list of measures that should help online stores to protect their assets against BAKA-like skimming malware.

Useful Tips and Articles

When it is necessary to visualize large amounts of data, web developers frequently resort to JavaScript diagramming libraries. There are many possible options on the market comprising a basic set of features, but some JS components may include advanced functionalities that simplify and accelerate the creation of diagrams of any complexity level. The latest version of the DHTMLX JavaScript Diagram library, for instance, is complemented with an auto-layout algorithm. This tool makes it possible to automatically transform any number of interconnected shapes into a good-looking diagram. The peculiar thing about the auto layout is that it can be used not only by web developers but also by end-users in the Diagram Editor. Read the blog post to figure out how to apply the auto-layout algorithm with DHTMLX Diagram.

Plugins are widely used in modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries, as they enable front-end developers to implement extra functionality into a specific project in a safe and convenient manner. End-users, in turn, can enjoy using feature-rich apps developed with the help of plugins. That is why developing your own plugin system can be a tempting idea for any web developer. Building a quality plugin system from scratch is a challenging task. But if you want to give it a try, here is a great article that will help you to build your own plugin architecture in JavaScript.

If you have ever worked with JavaScript, you probably have heard about NPM. NPM stands for the node package manager. NPM makes it easy for web developers to share the code that they’ve created to solve specific problems and for other developers to reuse that code in their own apps. Many companies also utilize NPM in private development projects. It is worth mentioning that any NPM package consists of three main components: an online platform, a CLI tool, and a registry. However, young developers frequently require guidance on hundreds of thousands of NPM packages. Harikrishna Kundariya, the head of eSparkBiz Technologies, prepared an informative article on the Top 10 NPM packages that will come in handy for any JavaScript enthusiast.

JavaScript is a constantly evolving programming language that regularly receives new features and updates for solving programming tasks. Significant changes have taken place in the field of handling asynchronous events. Web developers more and more often have to deal with asynchronous concepts in their coding routine. It can be quite challenging for devs who mainly employ synchronous code. One more issue is the abundance of tools and techniques for asynchronous programming in JavaScript. Developers can waste a lot of time finding the proper tool required for a specific task. If you value your time but still have to find the right asynchronous tool, this article can be very useful for you. In addition to the description of popular asynchronous techniques, it includes a decision tree that will help you to choose the proper tool for your task.

Testing plays a critical role in web development, but not all developers give due attention to this topic. The quality of JavaScript code testing frequently has a serious impact on the success of a final web project. Testing is not just clicking around in your application, as manual test work can hardly make any application fully secure. That is why error searching procedures must be automated tests. This article provides a good theoretical basis on the subject of testing in JavaScript. The author helps to shed light on the importance of automated testing, types of testing, and testing tools that developers need to know about before starting to write tests for their code.

We’ve started autumn JavaScript digests with interesting releases for Vue.js, NativeScript, and Deno as well as the release of DHTMLX Pivot for popular frameworks and an upcoming export module update for DHTMLX Gantt. Moreover, you’ve learned about a new proposal for JS class decorators and what harm poses a new sophisticated JS skimmer to online businesses. As a bonus, we’ve shared with you some helpful articles that will deepen your knowledge of JavaScript. And there’s more to come next month!

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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