What's New in Astro

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What's next for Astro? Hear from Fred K. Schott (Astro co-creator, core maintainer) about the future direction for Astro's content-driven web framework. Featuring new announcements and demos that build on three of Astro's foundational core primitives: Islands, Content Collections, and View Transitions.

Fred K. Schott
Fred K. Schott
29 min
13 Jun, 2024

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Video Summary and Transcription

Astro is a web framework that aims to optimize site performance without sacrificing functionality. It introduces features such as content collections and view transitions to enhance the user experience. Astro focuses on pushing the web forward by providing browser compatibility and app-like experiences. It also explores a powerful content layer and island architecture for personalized content. Astro is recommended for content-driven websites and offers a polyfill for Safari and integration with Storyblok CMS.

Available in Español: Novedades en Astro

1. Introduction to Astro

Short description:

My name is Fred, I'm one of the co-creators of the Astro web framework. This is a talk about the future of Astro, but really, it's a talk about the future of the web. There's a lot of cool future stuff that's big impact outside of just Astro. When we're working on Astro, we have this idea of pushing the web framework and pushing the web forward. We're trying to challenge the industry and give developers more choices on how they build things.

My name is Fred, I'm one of the co-creators of the Astro web framework. And this is a talk about the future of Astro, but really, it's a talk about the future of the web.

I have some exciting things to share, some announcements, some cool behind-the-scenes stuff. But no matter what tech stack you work on, there's gonna be something relevant to you and interesting. There's a lot of cool future stuff that's big impact outside of just Astro. So, I'm excited to jump into this.

You know, when we're working on Astro we have this idea of a couple of design primitives that we like to keep in mind as we design the framework. And one of the ones that matters a lot to me is this idea of pushing the web framework. Pushing the web forward with a web framework. We're not just building another web framework, we're trying to challenge the industry, different status quos, different ways of doing things that we think are outdated or deserve to be challenged. We want to give developers more choices on how they build things.

2. Astro: Optimize Site Performance

Short description:

We want to give developers more choices on how they build things. JavaScript frameworks promise a full tech stack, but often result in slow page load and poor performance. Astro was created to challenge this and optimize site performance without sacrificing functionality. With Astro's island architecture, developers can have a fast site with interactive components while minimizing JavaScript usage.

We want to give developers more choices on how they build things. For example, when we created Astro, one of the first things we were looking at was the state of performance on the web. And JavaScript frameworks specifically, they have this promise of a full JavaScript tech stack. Server, client, unified, one-language, Chef Kiss. And they all have their Hello Worlds, their blogs, their showcase sites that all look good and perform well.

But when you get down to the real world performance, it left a lot to be desired. These tools promised a lot, but at the end of the day, they shipped a lot of JavaScript. And it made it really hard for a developer to work in those frameworks and also ship a fast site. So, if you look up here, this is, you know, no one up here is batting above 50 per cent, right? The majority of sites are not fast. They're slow by this definition of Core Web Vitals. And this is across the entire net. This is 10 million sites measured by Google, HTTP Archive.

So, promise of power and all these great things that the web provides. But then the end user experience, slow page load, laggy interaction, really poor performance on the whole. So, this was something that we wanted to come in and challenge. This idea that you could have a unified tech stack, JavaScript everywhere, but it didn't mean shipping JavaScript, all of it, to the client. It didn't mean SBA. It didn't mean big apps. And this is what Astro was born to kind of solve and I think the data speaks for itself. It's our biggest kind of accomplishment so far is pushing this narrative, this idea that you don't need so much JavaScript. You can have a fast site and DevTools that you love. You can keep using React or Vue or Svelte. Keep it all, but have a web framework that optimizes your site at a much higher level.

So, this was island architecture. This is the big idea that we pushed forward, this idea of don't think of your site as an app. Think of it as a page of static HTML. And those interactive bits you need, those are the hydrated components on your page. We're going to isolate them, hydrate them in parallel, but they're little islands of interactivity across your site. It's not one big app. So, that header component, that layout component, those things that are static, you don't actually need to ship that JavaScript.

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