React Prereleases-Preparing for the Future

Recently, React has come up with prerelease channels to update users with the latest changes taking place in the React ecosystem. They spoke about this through a blog published on their React website.

Recently, React has come up with prerelease channels to update users with the latest changes taking place in the React ecosystem. They spoke about this through a blog published on their React website.

React relies on an open-source community to report bugs, open pull requests and submit RFCs to receive feedback from the developers. React does this by sharing the build with the developers before introducing it in the market so that the build can be tested for its unreleased features.

React prerelease channels help to notify developers about these features and give them an opportunity to try them out. Each channel has been designed to serve a distinct purpose. Before we actually speak about the pre-released channels, let’s understand a little about React first.

ReactJS- A Little Brief

Knowing the fact that Reactjs has just unleashed its prerelease channels in the market, it’s important to understand the purpose of them so as to avoid any ambiguity in their usage.

ReactJs has always been in demand because of its amazing features, 

  • Declarative
  • Component-Based
  • Virtual DOM
  • Learn it once, write anywhere
  • Open-Source
  • SEO Friendly

This makes React a popular choice among big brands like Asana, Netflix, Atlassian, etc. While many big Enterprises have been using React for front-end development, it is also a favorite choice for Start-Ups. You can hire react developers in the market to create apps for your business too.

According to a survey conducted, it was found that 47.39 % of the developers regarded Reactjs as an essential framework for the majority of their projects.

Now, let’s get on to the main point we wanted to talk about- React’s Pre Release Channels!

Each of these channels offers a platform to the developers where they can share their opinions about the prereleases and also get relevant answers to their React specific questions. Without wasting any more time, let’s just read about them,

Latest Channel

Knowing it a little more

Latest is the channel for stable React releases. I am pretty sure that most of you who are reading this post might have used npm to install React. But what happens when you install React from npm? You get one of the React prerelease channels. React’s Latest it is. 

What goes into the Latest Release?

React’s Latest is the one that corresponds to the latest tag on npm. In fact, it is React’s Latest channel that you are already using. The latest used by a react js developer will surely help him in preparing for the future with React Prereleases.

As a React user, you can expect extremely stable updates from this channel. The React versions follow a specific semantic versioning scheme. You can learn more about it from the versioning policy on the React page.

Next Channel

Knowing it a little more

Do you know which React channel can help you predict the future of React prereleases? Yes, you guessed it right! It is React’s Next Channel. How is the channel useful and what all it comprises of? Let’s read about this further,

The channel Next of React has been introduced to track the master branch of the React source code repository. The prereleases in the Next channel are basically the releases of the Latest channel. 

In other words, Next can be assumed to be a superset of the React’s Latest channel. The releases in Next are published with the next tag on npm which will help you in preparing for the future with React prereleases.

What goes into the Next Release?

Now, you might be wondering what goes into the Next Release. Any idea about it? If no, then no worries, I will give you one. React’s Channel-Next, is used for integration testing between React and third party projects.

However, it is not used for user-facing applications and neither does it conform to semantic versioning. You can visit the link for the versioning policy mentioned above to read more about it.

Experimental Channel

Knowing it a little more

Are you keen to try out the upcoming features before they are released? Do you wish to know about the ways that can help you in preparing for the future with React Prereleases? Then, this channel can surely serve your interest.

The Experimental channel is a prerelease channel that also tracks the master branch of the React repository but with additional features, flags turned on. Experimental releases can be significantly different from the releases to Next and Latest. 

Moreover, the releases in Experimental are published with the experimental tag on npm. Versions are generated from a hash of the build’s contents, e.g. 0.0.0-experimental-1022ee0ec. 

What goes into an Experimental Release?

So what can you expect from React’s Experimental channel? The channel includes experimental APIs and features that aren’t available in the stable releases. The Experimental features are not made available widely to the public and may or may not be finalized. This is because they are proposed to test the viability of the unreleased features.

As a react developer, you can test the unreleased features of ReactJS. Also, you need to keep in mind that Experimental releases cannot be used for user-facing applications. 

React Prereleases- How does it serve the Developer’s Interest? 

A survey stated that over 50% of front-end developers prefer to React over other JavaScript frameworks. With so many developers using React, it becomes important for them to stay updated with the latest happenings in the React ecosystem.

React prerelease channels help the developers with this. It gives them the liberty to try the unreleased features of React and encourages them to give their feedback on the same. Just to summarize, I have listed one-liners for each of the pre-release channels,

  • Latest Channel- This is the channel that will have stable and server React releases and is used for user-facing applications.
  • Next Channel- This helps to support integration testing between React and other projects. This cannot be used for user-facing applications.
  • Experimental Channel- The experimental channel helps the developers to try out the features in React that have not been released to the public.      

You can read more by visiting the React’s official page on the Release Channels and get more updates.
Key Takeaways

By now, you have clearly got the idea of how will the React prerelease will help you to stay abreast of the latest developments and advancements made in the React world. Changes made in the React can easily be brought into your notice using these. This is primarily done to promote feedback and approvals from developers before the new versions of the React libraries and frameworks are introduced in the market.

Finally, to sum it all, the only channel that supports user-face applications is Latest while the other two prerelease channels are used for testing only. So go ahead and try experimenting with the unreleased features through these channels. Please don’t forget to share your opinion on your new findings.

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