Next.js gets a small makeover before v13 drops next month

Popular open source web evolution framework Next.js coming out on its sixth anniversary – and a much-anticipated 13th edition.

Prepare for that, Vercel today announced the release of Next.js version 12.3. This is the last update before the release of version 13.

“Next.js is one of the fastest growing JavaScript libraries and tools for building on the web,” said Lydia Hallie, developer advocate for Vercel, a platform for front-end developers Users and creators of Next.js said.

“It became popular by embracing the tools developers are choosing – React, Node.js – that make it easy to set up and create web applicationand allows development teams to iterate faster. “

Become popular

Released in 2016, Next.js is a popular open source web development framework created by Vercel and used by about 40% of developers. A React framework built on the Node.js JavaScript runtime environment, it allows developers to build efficient web applications and static websites quickly.

Developers choose it for its security, adaptability, search engine optimization (SEO) and overall experience, according to Devin Dickerson, principal analyst at Forrester. “Next.js is gaining popularity among React developers primarily because of its streamlined, improved developer experience,” he said.

According to a Recent surveysit is the fourth most popular framework by usage and satisfaction, after React, Express and jQuery.

Rank Up

Next.js 12.3 introduction new features and upgrades consists of:

Improved Quick Refresh function

Next.js Fast Refresh gives developers instant feedback on the tweaks they make to the app. Vercel has extended Quick Refresh capabilities by hot reloading .env, .jsconfig and .tsconfig files.

“While developers previously had to restart their developer servers to see changes to such important files reflected in their applications, they now can see the changes immediately”.

TypeScript auto-install

Next.js now automatically configures and installs the necessary dependencies to support TypeScript. In the past, adding TypeScript to existing projects required manual installation of the required dependencies.

New visual elements

Next.js 12.2 introduced an experimental new image component that allows users to simply style images and improve their performance. This component is now stable in Next.js 12.3, and Vercel has made improvements to further simplify the process and expand support for blur placeholders. They’ve also improved accessibility by requiring an “alt” attribute (providing alternative information for the image if it’s not viewable by the user).

Additionally, developers can now use wildcard matching to specify domains when working with external images. As Hallie explained, this means that instead of having to provide all the correct domains and subdomains for image fetching, developers can configure a template with a project hostname and protocol. ants. The feature enables remote image fetching in a “more powerful and flexible way,” she said.

Furthermore, Next.js 12.3 introduces a stable release of the SWC minifier, first implemented in version 12 as an experimental feature.

“Stable releases of the SWC compiler and imaging component will make it easier for developers to migrate their apps and upgrade to the new Next.js version,” said Hallie.

‘Drastic change’ in architecture

The release also includes Next.js router and layout updates based on its recent Request for Comments (RFC) Layout. Upcoming features will include:

  • Route groups
  • Instant Loading Status
  • Error handling
  • Sample
  • Blocking routes, parallel routes and conditional routes

Furthermore, Vercel is exploring adding support for importing global CSS in the application directory. This will allow developers to use their own .css import packages without requiring additional configuration, Hallie explained.

As she says, the new routing system covered in the RFC will “dramatically change” the way developers architect their Next.js applications.

Room for growth

Hallie points out that incremental adoption in Next.js allows teams to try out new features while maintaining support for the existing architecture. For example, change the compiler, minifier, bundler, and image optimizer.

Finally, “version 12.3 is preparing developers for future versions by allowing features that are enabled by default to become stable and ready for adoption,” Hallie said.

Vercel – founded in 2015 and competing with Netlify, Cloudflare, Pantheon, HubSpot CMS, Contentful and Quest (among others) – is officially launching Next.js 13 on its sixth anniversary in New York. Next.js . online conference on October 25.

While Hallie didn’t reveal specifics, she did say that the upcoming Next.js 13 will introduce:

  • Features leverage React server components, streaming, and suspense.
  • Conventions make it easier for developers to optimize and extend apps.
  • Open source tools that speed up local production and development.

“Looking at the React adoption curve on the web, there is a lot of room for React and Next.js to grow,” says Hallie. “The future is very bright for Next.js; This is just the beginning.”

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