Starter kit and reusable scripts

The JavaScript ecosystem has reached a very interesting point in its history. There are members of the community overwhelmed by the learning curve required to start a new project and based on that they express JavaScript fatigue. There are also contradicting opinions announcing renaissance of JavaScript because it became truly general purpose language and dominated front-end development. So the question is, how to take advantage of all existing tools but at the same time change the first impression in a way that makes the following joke irrelevant:


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Migrating to Jest test runner

I have already shared my comparison of two JavaScript testing solutions where I admitted that I favor Jest over Mocha. Back then, I listed all major differences between those tools summarized with advantages and disadvantages of migrating to Jest:

Pros:

  • Simpler API, less boilerplate code.
  • Flexible and easy configuration.
  • Test files executed in isolation.
  • Advanced watch mode.
  • Snapshots support = easier start with testing.
  • Code coverage.

Cons:

  • Another migration.
  • Mocha has still a bit better performance (according to my quick tests).

My analysis got very positive feedback, with only a few little concerns, so I got encouraged to take action and verify the assumptions stated. I picked two different projects to play with to ensure both of them will uniformly benefit from using Jest.

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Picking Jest over Mocha – testing tools comparison

At Automattic we use Mocha to run all tests written for Calypso project which powers WordPress.com. It also includes end-to-end tests, which live in their own repository. We have been using this setup for over 3 years now. I think it is a good moment to revisit this choice. I found this unit testing tools comparison very helpful when evaluating alternatives. I strongly agree with the conclusions shared by Martin Olsson in his article:

Staying with Javascript, I think it’s hard to ignore the momentum behind Jest. I would be awesome if someone fixed #2059 though. Then again, Mocha seems to work well enough for a lot of people.

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Time to get interactive as a performance measure

I have already published one post about Progressive Web Apps (PWA) a few months back. It looks like Google is investing a lot of efforts to make it a new standard of building websites. At the last Google I/O, there were a few announcements made related to making PWA a default feature in a few popular boilerplates and CLIs for libraries like React, Preact, Polymer or Vue. I recommend watching the following presentation by Addy Osmani:

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React as a cross-platform UI

I got very excited when watching this talk for React Europe by Leland Richardson:

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Current state of Progressive Web Apps

I have recently spent some time investigating the current state of Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Some of you may be wondering what hides behind yet another buzzword originally proposed by Google in 2015? This is an umbrella term for certain technologies that go together to produce an app-like experience on the web. This is how it is advertised by Google on their landing page:

A new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web.

Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:

  • Reliable – Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast – Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • Engaging – Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

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Exploring functional JavaScript

I started exploring functional programming (FP) concepts over a year ago. I have already shared my initial learning materials in one of the previous posts. It was only the beginning of my journey and today I would like to give you a much more detailed update on that topic. I picked the most interesting resources I discovered in the recent months. They helped me understand how functional programming can improve the developer’s experience when you work with JavaScript.

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