The JavaScript 2021 megamix

December 24, 2021 By Mark Otto Off

The Best of JavaScript Weekly in 2021

This is the last issue of the year (we’re back on January 7, 2022) so we’re taking a look back at some of the most popular items of 2021, starting with top links overall before moving on to top libraries, tools, videos, and more. You’ll also find a quick month by month rundown in this issue, so there’s sure to be something that’ll catch your attention 🙂
Peter Cooper, your editor

2.  Comparing Svelte and React — After spending an extended period of time working with both, the author identified his preference based on first hand observations supported with real-world examples. I suspect 2022 will continue to see Svelte taking big leaps forward.

Jack Franklin

3.  Comparing the New Generation of Build Tools — A detailed evaluation of a variety of approaches for bundling JavaScript and other front-end assets, including Snowpack, esbuild, Vite, and wmr. A handy overview.

Hugh Haworth

4.  ‘Rust is the Future of JavaScript Infrastructure’ — It’s an opinion but the (still) growing evidence is compelling. Rust (as well as Go) is now being heavily used to replace parts of the JavaScript tooling ecosystem that might have otherwise been written in JS before (e.g. Rome, SWC, dprint).

Lee Robinson

6.  Rethinking JavaScript’s Ternary Operatorternary ? "yes" : "no" … A lot of developers regard the ternary operator “with suspicion”, says James. Does its brevity warrant its use alone? Is it something you can “trust”? James also looks at a future alternative coming to the language.

James Sinclair

📅 JavaScript’s 2021: Month by Month

JANUARY: The State of JS 2020 results came out. As did Snowpack 3.0. React’s original creator left Facebook.

FEBRUARY: npm 7.0 was released, as was Vite 2.0.

MARCH: The Node.js team began thinking about the next 10 years of Node. Meanwhile, jQuery 3.6.0 was released. V8 sped up its release cycle. The ES2021 candidate spec was released. V8 9.0 was released. The Deno company was founded.

APRIL: Node.js 16 was released. The ES module approach in Node began to take off.

MAY: The Rome folks created a company, raised money, hired folks and more.

JUNE: Undici 4 was released and pushed as a new better alternative HTTP client for Node.js. The plan for React 18 was unveiled. ES2021 was fully approved.

JULY: Low code environment Node-RED 2.0 was released.

AUGUST: The Wikimedia Foundation picked Vue.js as its frontend framework of choice. Vue 3.2 was released. The Ruby on Rails team considered a new approach to handling JavaScript in its popular Ruby framework.

SEPTEMBER: Node.js gained an experimental package manager manager (sic) called Corepack.

OCTOBER: Node 17 was released. React’s new docs site was unveiled. jQuery Mobile was deprecated. Parcel 2 was released. The Remix project took $3m in funding. Gatsby 4 was released.

NOVEMBER: React 18 entered beta. Angular 13 was released. Remix was open sourced.

DECEMBER: Create React App 5.0 was released.

🛠 Top Code & Tools of 2021

zx: A Tool for Writing Better Shell Scripts — Rather than using something like bash to throw together a quick script, zx provides a variety of niceties to do the same with the JavaScript you know and love.


HTM 3.1.0: A JSX Alternative using Standard Tagged Templates — This clever library has been around a few years but continues to see updates. Think JSX-style syntax but in plain JavaScript (using tagged templates) that requires no transpilation but still supports things like rest spread and referencing components.

Jason Miller

Find JavaScript Jobs with Hired — Create a profile on Hired to connect with hiring managers at growing startups and Fortune 500 companies. It’s free for job-seekers.

📺 Popular Videos of 2021

▶  Have Single-Page Apps Ruined the Web? — The creator of frontend framework Svelte spoke about the criticisms lodged towards single-page apps and how ‘transitional apps’ may be the way forward. Might be an idea to keep in mind for 2022.

Rich Harris

That’s a wrap..

Phew, that was a lot of ground to re-cover, but hopefully it’s resurfaced some things you missed at the time 🙂 Many thanks for reading JavaScript Weekly this year. From all of us here at Cooperpress, season’s greetings to you, however you celebrate (or not!) 😄
Peter Cooper, your editor