The 1.0 is a Lie

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Whenever there's a conversation about working on React Native, versioning and release cycle usually arise as one of the pain points. But why is that the case? How complicated is it to create a new release of React Native? Surely it looks similar to the release process you are using... or not! During this talk I'll walk you through the many steps and complexities involved in publishing a new version or React Native, and I'll challenge one fundamental idea – that 1.0 is the solution to all problems. I hope you're ready, it's going to be wild!

22 min
02 Aug, 2021

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Video Summary and Transcription

Welcome to a talk on React Native releases, where the speaker shares their experience and perspective. The complexities of React Native releases are discussed, including the challenges of manual testing and conflicts with dependencies. The involvement of the community and improved communication with Facebook are highlighted. The speaker also mentions the incremental automation of the release process. React Native 1.0 is seen as a promise of a finalized product with long-term support. The long-term plan for React Native's new architecture is mentioned, with a focus on minimizing breaking changes.

Available in Español

1. Introduction to React Native Releases

Short description:

Welcome to my talk on React Native releases. I've been a developer in React Native for the last three years and a releaser since version 57. This talk is based on my experience and point of view. I'm interested to know which version of React Native you've been using and how long you've been around. We'll also have a Q&A session after the presentation. Let's dive into releases and discuss why we do them.

Welcome, everyone. I'm so glad to be here and talking with you all. And today, I'm going to talk to you about something that is really near and dear to my heart, and to probably most of you React Native developers.

So let's jump right into it. I'm Lorenzo. You may know me as Kalset. I'm a software engineer at Formidable for the U.K. office in London, where I live. I'm a React Native Core maintainer, which is maybe why you may know about me, and also an organizer for Provided As Is, which is a meetup here in London for open source maintainers, which I jokingly usually call group therapy for maintainers.

You see, today I want to talk about releases, but I want to make sure that we start with the right foot. So to give you a bit of context, I've been a developer in React Native, using React Native, for the last three years almost. So I've been around since version 30, more or less. And I've been a releaser since version 57. That one you see over there, in particular, is my first-ever release. This is to say that I've been around quite a while, but please, just make sure to remember that this talk is from my experience, my point of view. So don't take anything I say as official.

Also, I want to know about you. I know we have a chat going on. I'm going to read all your answers and your comments while doing the presentation. But please let me know which version you've been using since how long have you been around for React Native. It's really interesting, usually, to know how far back we can go. Sometimes people are even from version 20. And also, remember that if you have any questions for me, we have a Q&A after this, and we have a speakers' room, and there's also an advice lounge. So there's plenty of time to ask me anything that comes to your mind while seeing this presentation.

So let's dive into releases. And the first bit that I want to talk about is why do we do releases? It sounds quite simple, right? We want to provide somehow our code to other people so that they can use it, right? It's not just that. Technically, when you expose your code on GitHub, for example, the packages.json NPM allows you to technically point to any given repository without the need of a strict release in the NPM registry. But we do releases. We do versioning because we want to introduce a level of staticness. We want to say, okay, this is a version.

2. Code Versioning and Reproducibility

Short description:

This is a version of the code that I've decided is good enough to be given out as a package. I prefer strict staticness for reproducibility, especially in the mobile world. It allows me to test previous versions of the app with precise code.

This is a version of the code. This is a package that I've decided is good enough for it to be given out as a sort of a unit. It's that. Also, this is one of the reasons why the dynamic dependencies, the use of the cara for some dependencies, I don't really like that. I prefer strict staticness. Why I like that? Because it allows reproducibility. In particular in the mobile world, I really want to minimize the possibility for me to not be able to get to the point in time to that snapshot precise for that code. For example, if I need to test the previous version of the app I released, I need to make sure that the code and every single piece of code I'm using, or at the most part, as much as I can control, is precisely the same so that I can work on it.

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