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Google and DeepMind have released their most powerful AI model yet: Gemini. Gemini’s release has implications for the future of AI at large as well as for more specific use cases pertinent to developers. Here’s what you should know:

  • Gemini is a step forward towards more versatile and intelligent AI systems that can handle a wider range of tasks and provide more comprehensive solutions
  • For developers, Gemini can be viewed as an advanced AI tool capable of multimodal understanding and complex reasoning
  • Gemini is proficient in processing different types of data (text, images, audio) and coding in various languages
  • Projects requiring integrated analysis of diverse data types could be great candidates for leveraging Gemini

The folks at Meta have introduced StyleX.js, a powerful new styling system for use with applications of all sizes. It's been in use ever since Facebook was updated to use React.

  • StyleX takes the developer experience of CSS in JS and marries it with the performance gains of static CSS
  • It uses atomic CSS to optimize the stylesheet
  • A crucial element of StyleX’s speed and performativity is a Babel plugin that finds and converts all classes to atomic CSS, minimizing runtime
  • StyleX also includes a small runtime library, an ESLint plugin, and a collection of framework and bundler integrations
  • When all styles are defined and used in the same file, its runtime cost is zero
  • As the project grew and developed, Facebook was able to diminish its lazy-loaded CSS from several megabytes down to several hundred kilobytes

Popular web framework Astro 4.0 has released its latest version, which promises an easy upgrade process with minimal changes to the API.

  • The first of two major highlights is the Astro Dev Toolbar, a new development tool that allows you to inspect your page while leveraging Astro’s islands architecture
    • You can isolate an island to view its props and even open the component directly in the code editor
    • The toolbar has a number of tools for auditing, allowing you to improve accessibility issues
    • There is potential for developing your own apps/tooling in the Astro toolbar, and plans for other third parties to have Astro toolbar plugins
  • The other major update allows developers to customize their i18n behavior with content fallbacks, prefixing, and aliasing as well

JavaScript/TypeScript’s new using keyword is a powerful way to manage resources in your applications.

  • using enables the principle of “Resource Acquisition Is Initialization”, meaning that resources are better managed through proper garbage collection
  • This is needed because of JavaScript event listeners — the garbage might never be collected, and memory leaks are the result
  • Previously, one could use the finally keyword, but it came with limitations; finally requires mutable variable names, and a lot of boilerplate code
  • The same code is streamlined thanks to using
  • The Compression Streams API facilitates the compression and decompression of data streams through gzip or deflate formats
  • With built-in compression, JavaScript applications can achieve smaller download sizes without the need for an additional compression library
  • This API is now universally supported across all browsers

A recent case study shows how Trendyol was able to optimize their application to reduce input latency and improve performance:

  • The developers identified a prolonged main thread task caused by an Intersection Observer API callback in a React component
  • A solution was to use setTimeout to break up the long task into smaller ones, prioritizing higher-priority tasks
  • They then joined the scheduler.yield origin trial to further enhance script execution and improve INP
  • This resulted in a significant 50% reduction in INP and a 1% uplift in click-through rates from the listings page to the product detail page per user session, as confirmed by an A/B test

Stay ahead of the curve with Econify's newsletter, "The Loop." Designed to keep employees, clients, and our valued external audience up to date with the latest developments in software news and innovation, this newsletter is your go-to source for all things cutting-edge in the tech industry.

The Loop is written and edited by Hank Mason, John Kaufmann, Noah Gribbin, Victoria Lebel, Chris Breen, and Marie Stotz.

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Published on Mon Jan 08 2024