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Adrian Sandu
Adrian Sandu

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Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive and the Gatsby Silly Site Challenge | Front End News #009

NOTE: This is issue #009 of my newsletter, that went live on Monday, November 30th. If you find this information useful and interesting and you want to receive future issues as they are published, ahead of everyone else, I invite you to join the subscriber list at

It has been another quiet week, and we're just about to enter the final month of 2020. It also means today's topics are a bit on the light side as well. Node, Webpack, and Cypress are the highlights of the software updates section. And the featured developer project is about booting a PC from a vinyl drive.

Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive

Flash was once the king of the web. It provided unmatched levels of animation, sound, and interactivity. Uncounted creative masterpieces were created using this technology.

Yet Flash failed to conquer the mobile market, while the core web technologies got better and better support. Developers started doing things with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that had the same (or greater) level of interactivity as Flash had, without requiring a third-party plugin. And the king fell down from grace.

Today we're living the last days of the Flash plugin, as it is going to be discontinued at the end of the year. All the existing Flash content will not be accessible anymore... or will it?

The Internet Archive started a campaign to preserve some of the iconic Flash work that was created over the years. Using emulation technology, it can run a subset of Flash items as if the plugin was installed. Currently, the list has a bit over 1500 items, and it's growing every day.

Getting Back to Fun: Announcing the Gatsby Silly Site Challenge!

Gatsby is one of the most popular static site generators, and they are not strangers to challenges. They even started the year with a challenge to build Gatsby websites for 100 days.

This time they came with a different challenge, once more suited for the festive season. You are invited to hone up your skills by building the silliest site you can imagine. They are even offering some exclusive swag on top of the bragging rights. So if you are using Gatsby already and need to polish or skills, or if you thought about starting to use it, now it's a great time to join the fun.

Browser news


We're getting an introduction to the MediaRecorder API. This API can create compressed media using any audio or video source. Usually, it's a webcam or a microphone. It also works with a stream coming from the network or from a canvas or Web Audio element.

Software updates and Releases

Apollo Client 3.3.0

A fully-featured, production-ready caching GraphQL client for every UI framework and GraphQL server

Cypress 6.0.0

Fast, easy, and reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser.

List.js v2.3.0

A library for adding search, sort, filters, and flexibility to tables, lists, and various HTML elements.

Node v15.3.0 (Current)

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, JavaScript runtime environment. It executes JavaScript code outside of a browser.

Node v12.20.0 (LTS)

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, JavaScript runtime environment. This is the Long Term Support version.

SystemJS 6.8.0

Dynamic ES module loader

Vue Loader v16.0.0

Webpack loader for Vue.js components

Webpack v5.8.0

A bundler for javascript and friends.

Developer Projects

Booting from a vinyl record

Are you old enough to remember the old Commodore 64 that used cassette tape drives to load up programs? If not, you might want to look it up - it's an interesting part of computer history. Anyway, someone went even more retro-fashioned and used a vinyl disc to create a FreeDos boot image. How's that for creativity?

Wrapping things up

That's it for this issue. Have a great and productive week, keep yourselves safe, and I will see you next time!

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