Are you ready for Hacktoberfest? | Front End News #001

Are you ready for Hacktoberfest?

— Front End News #001 | 5 octombrie 2020 —

Hello everyone and welcome to the first issue of Front End News in newsletter format. Get ready for a very consistent selection, as I want to cover the main events that happened between August 11 (the day I did the last news update) and today.

All this being said, please seat yourself comfortably and let's get started.

Hacktoberfest 2020

If it's October, it's Hacktoberfest. It is an event where developers everywhere can make contributions to open source projects. We're now on the 7th edition and you all are invited to join. All you have to do is to make 4 valid pull requests on any public repository hosted on GitHub before the end of October.

The first 70.000 participants that reach the target will get be given a participation prize. They can choose between receiving a Hacktoberfest 2020 t-shirt or to have a tree planted in their name by Tree Nation in the Hacktoberfest forest.

You can find all the needed details on the official site. Hurry up, for the clock is already ticking. And if you feel like helping plant a tree anyway, I've also added the link to the Tree Nation as well.

Happy Coding!

AVIF has landed

Images are the main reason for the continuous increase in website sizes. While there is only so much you can do when dealing with user-generated content, things change when you have control over the images you display. And from now on you also have a new tool available - the AVIF image format.

AVIF is a royalty-free image format derived from the AV1 video codec. It is already supported by Chrome 85, Firefox is working on their own integration and Android support is expected soon.

Jake Archibald, one of the developer advocates in the Google Chrome team, published a very detailed analysis of this new format. Definitely worth a read. Netflix was also experimenting with this new format way back in February (see their blog post linked below). And I've also added a tutorial from Lightspeed for another approach at using this new format.

GitHub Announcements

We got two announcements from GitHub, concerning two new features they released recently.

The GitHub Container Registry

The first announcement is the launch of the GitHub Container Registry. This service will improve the way containers are handled within GitHub Packages.

Developers now can have anonymous access for public container images, the same way they can do it for normal repositories. Public images are free and private images will remain free for the duration of the beta period. Beyond that, they will follow the same pricing method as the rest of GitHub Packages.

Organizations and teams are not forgotten either. They now have the option to enable data sharing and fine-grained permissions for containers across the members.

GitHub CLI 1.0

Back in February, GitHub was launching the beta version of GitHub CLI. Over the following months the community provided a lot of useful feedback (250K+ pull requests, 350K+ merges and 20K+ issues). All this info was put to good use and version 1.0 of this feature is now available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

On top of the normal workflow, here are the main things you can do with GitHub CLI:

More details on each feature is available in the official release article linked below.

Mozilla layoffs

Most probably, this is already old news for many of you, but I wanted to give it a mention, as the announcement happened in the gap between the last episode of Season 2 and this issue.

Mozilla CEO, Mitchell Baker, made an official announcement on August 11. I'm also linking to the coverage of the event that Cnet Magazine did, for a third-party point of view.

Like many other developers, I hope Mozilla will manage to pull through this difficult situation and continue to provide a valid alternative to a Chromium-dominated browser market.

Browser News


Chrome team has been fairly quiet in this interval. We mainly got a preview of the upcoming changes the Developer Tools that will ship with Chrome 87.

We also get to see what changes are happening under the hood of the V8 engine with the release number 86. And last, but not least, Addy Osmani lets us know that Lighthouse now recommends alternative JavaScript libraries that are lighter than the ones you are using.


Firefox managed to keep up with their release schedule and launched v80 on August 25 and v81 on September 22. The release notes for both updates are available via the links below.


From an outsider's perspective, Safari looks like it's in a world of their own. We got from them the release notes for the Technology Preview 112 and 113. Again, nothing groundbreaking, just a long stream of under-the-hood updates.


With Edge running now on Chromium, their update schedule closely mirrors the one of Chrome. However they are not that forcoming with release notes, with their latest updates covering the Developer tools in version 86.

Updates and Releases

There are way too many updates and releases I have to cover in this issue, so I will just let pick the ones that interest you and check out what changed since the last time. I was considering grouping them by category (JavaScript, CSS, etc.), but I ended up simply goign in alphabetical order. Makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

Wrapping things up

Here we are, at the end of the first issue of this newsletter. I am really excited to get this out in the world. And I am really looking forward to the process of polishing this newsletter, improving the quality and making it better and better. And I hope you will be with me along the way.

Further updates and notifications will be distributed via the Front End Nexus Twitter account @frontendnexus, so you should also head there and drop a follow.

Thanks a million for being with me and I am looking forward to getting in touch with you next week with the next issue.

Have a great and productive week, keep yourselves safe and I will see you next time!

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