Dev News: React Still King, Vercel AI Tools, Netlify Connect

Usage of web frameworks has decreased overall by approximately 10%, while plans for specific frameworks have increased by approximately 15%, according to a recent Stack Overflow survey.

Svelte, Next.js, and Deno all saw an increase in adoption in 2023, while React, Vue.js, and Angular saw significant declines in usage. Despite the decline in usage, React remains the most popular web framework with 40.6% overall usage reported this year.

There have also been steep declines in frequently used frameworks for mobile apps, such as React Native, which is down 33% and Flutter, which is down 27%.

Special thanks to The New Stack analyst Lawrence Hecht, who contributed to this report.

Vercel’s AI accelerator and new AI tools

In the first four months of this year, frontend development platform Vercel has seen an 800% increase in launching AI companies on its platform.

“We realized that something is happening here, the community [and] our customers are really excited about AI and large language models,” Lee Robinson, VP of Developer Experience at Vercel, told The New Stack. “We have been trying to pave the path for them to actually exit our platform and our products, to help them create better experiences”

On Wednesday, the company launched an AI accelerator program open to individual AI developers and early-stage startups interested in building and scaling an AI solution. Participants will be able to leverage coaching from AI experts and have access to equity and credit from AI partners.”

Forty participants will be chosen for the six-week accelerator program. They will have access to AI advice from leading AI experts via chat and office hours, as well as support from Vercel’s Developer Experience team, who will serve as accountability coaches.

“The people on the Vercel team who have built many AI applications understand what a great user interface looks like and how these tools fit together,” said Robinson. “Providing them with coaching for these builders to make something that people really want to use, that maybe they could actually become a company that takes funding, for example, would be great.”

The 11 AI partners include ChatGPT’s OpenAI, open source machine learning company Hugging Face, AI research and security company Anthropic, and machine learning company Replicate. There is also early access for the new LangChain evaluation platform. These partner companies will provide more than $850,000 in credits, to be divided among participants for the accelerator program.

“Sometimes these AI models, depending on what they’re trying to build, can be computationally expensive and they need access to these platforms in order to actually build their ideas,” he said.

Attendees will also have access to a CRV Investor, who will provide office hours and a fireside chat for feedback and guidance on the deck.

Vercel also announced its AI support tools for customers, including:

  • AI Playground: An interactive place where developers can test and experiment with AI technologies without setting up local environments or deploying AI models on their own infrastructure.
  • AI SDKs: Vercel AI SDK is an open source library designed to help developers build chat user interfaces and conversational streaming text in JavaScript.
  • Chatbot plugin: With the chatbot plugin, companies can develop and implement their own chatbot solutions while maintaining control over their data. Vercel’s robust security features ensure that sensitive corporate data remains protected, enabling organizations to deploy chatbot solutions at scale. The dominant way developers are building interfaces to AI is through chatbots, Robinson said.

“We have a huge amount of developers who are really, really into AI,” he said. “Developers want to build these really cool applications, so we’re trying to give them the infrastructure, tools and workflow to do that.”

Netlify to offer a unified data tier

Web development platform Netlify launched Netlify Connect on Tuesday, which will provide frontend developers with a “clean, headless Graph QL API on top of their diverse content sources,” Matt Biilmann, CEO of Netlify, told The New Stack.

Connect provides a unified data layer that will enable organizations looking to move from a monolithic architecture to a composable architecture, the company said. Notify Connect enables real-time content delivery to all websites and applications globally, he added. Underneath the engine, Connect has a GraphQL API that allows users to connect content sources and caches at the edge.

“Enterprises might adopt headless content platforms like Contentful, Sanity or Contentstack to give more freedom to their frontend teams, but at an enterprise scale there are many different existing content sources, ecommerce platforms and CMS systems that will never go away anytime soon “Biilmann said. “A single layer of data unification allows enterprises to decouple the front-end user experience layer from their existing monolithic CMS and application platforms, giving web teams the freedom to build world-class websites, online stores and applications with data from any existing or new content source. “

Hack your home with the new Google Script Editor tool

On Tuesday, Google rolled out its script editor tool, which offers more automation for smart products powered by Google Home, The Verge reported this week. The script editor is part of the new web interface and the new Google Home app preview, which started on Wednesday.

These automatons will allow developers to bring multiple devices together to automate tasks, such as turning on lights and playing music. The script editor also offers more advanced options for automation than are currently available in the existing Google Home app. Developers can request a public preview of the new Google Home app.

The average home now has 25 connected devices, noted Anish Kattukaran, director of product management at Google, in a blog post. That’s superior to three devices nearly 10 years ago. But despite 10 years of progress, the devices are difficult to set up, don’t always work when you need them, don’t play well together, and you have to juggle multiple device apps, Kattukaran said.

Google claims that Matter, a new connectivity standard for the smart home, will help solve these problems. With Fast Pair for Matter, an Android phone will automatically detect a Matter device and help users set it up. Matter setup and app linking will be available by default on billions of Android devices as Google launches support for Matter later this year, he said.

“We’re even working directly with top device manufacturers to ensure support on as many Matter-supported devices as possible,” Kattukaran wrote. “We are also updating our existing Google Nest smart speakers, smart displays and routers to control Matter devices.”

The Google Home app supports Matter, Nest and 80,000 devices, Kattukaran said. The Google Home app offers a single place to set up, control and automate these home devices, she added.

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