weekly insights into the trends in web development

DevTrends #38

GitHub Actions

Node.js v11

November 13, 2018

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GitHub Actions

So GitHub is where our code sits. It is by far the most popular code repository hosting platform on the web. It has plenty of tools to manage and facilitate our coding process, and hosts projects of any kind or size. But until recently, GitHub was just the place where we stored our code. Of course there are a lot of plugins like Travis CI that help us to leverage our development process and do deployment for example. But most of those are just integrations with third-party services, and now GitHub introduced its own plugin (or hook) system called GitHub Actions.

GitHub Actions provide a way to insert configurable hooks into your GitHub workflow via events. It can be any type of action like deploying your code to remote hosting, publishing a project on npm, minification of assets and pretty much anything. That’s because GitHub Actions are themselves containers that scale automatically. Also, there is pretty UI that helps you to build your workflow without actually touching any code and despite being in beta, the service already has a lot of integrations.

As I’ve already mentioned GitHub Actions are currently in beta, so you’ll have to sign up for it and wait your turn to be able to test new features. As for now, I haven’t gotten the access, but you can check this awesome article by Sarah Drasner on CSS Tricks. It’s a thorough introduction of GitHub Actions that goes all the way down from signing up to creating your first custom action.

So, GitHub Actions seem to be a real game-changer when it comes to adding superpowers to your GitHub workflow. They could be used for variety of development activities like automatically deploying the code to your website on every push. And more importantly, this can be done with almost zero effort.

Node.js v11

Node.js version 11 is here, and it follows standard Node release schedule of making new non-LTS odd version every October and LTS version every April. Eleventh release concentrates on improvements of internal features, performance and update to V8 v7.0.

Full release log can be checked at Node.js website as usual, link is below. There are a few breaking changes, for example fs.read method now requires a callback. Also, there is pretty decent V8 major release version 7, which contains a lot of performance-oriented features such as embedded built-in function, WebAssembly Threads and some new JS language features like Symbol and stable Array.prototype.sort.

Just don’t forget that Node.js v11 is a non-LTS version, and means it will be supported only for half a year till June 2019. So it’s almost always better to stick with even versions of Node.js like tenth for production applications as they have End Of Life period of 5 years.

Previous episodes

Episode #37

DevTrends #37

October 19, 2018

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Episode #35

DevTrends #35

September 27, 2018

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