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Release Radar · March 2021 Edition

The open source community is always hard at work. February's projects were super hard to pick since there are so many amazing releases. These are exciting new releases from some…

Release Radar · March 2021 Edition

The open source community is always hard at work. February’s projects were super hard to pick since there are so many amazing releases. These are exciting new releases from some of the coolest projects around. There’s everything from world-changing tech to weekend hobbies. There are a lot of first version releases in March, so get excited to be wowed by new products. There are so many releases, and unfortunately we can’t feature them all. Grab your leftover Easter eggs, put the coffee on, and read our top staff picks for this month.

VS Code 1.54

We know it’s not a major x.0 release, but this release of VS Code is massive. Many people forget VS Code is open source. Anyone can check out the VS Code roadmap, plans, and contribute to the project. With this big release, VS Code is available for Apple Silicon. There’s also better word navigation on Windows, personalised icon themes, improved timeline views, more keyboard shortcuts, and remote ports table view. There’s more to this release, so make sure you read all the juicy features on the VS Code blog. And yes, it’s called the February Release that’s released at the start of March. Kind of like how we call this the March Release Radar, but we publish it in April for all the projects released in March. Hopefully that’s not too confusing to everyone’s chocolate-loaded brains.

Website showing the default download for macOS
VS Code is now available on macOS.

Rust 1.51

Yes, another not-so-major-x.0-release, but a worthy one to mention. Rust is the programming language developers use to build reliable and efficient software. Lots of big companies use it, from Dropbox to Firefox. This new version of Rust comes with by-value array iteration, new cargo resolver, and new stabilised APIs. The 1.51 release is one of the biggest editions to the Rust language and Cargo. Aside from these new features, there’s also better compile times on macOS as well as better debugging information. For the complete list of changes, check out the Rust blog.

Gatsby 3.0

If you’re wanting to create super fast web experiences then Gatsby is for you. Developers can easily build e-commerce sites, landing pages, blogs, and more. Gatsby’s latest release is even faster. With optimised loading, responsive images, accessible routing, and webpack configuration, Gatsby 3.0 is the fastest you can get. The new release claims to be 80% faster. A faster build means a faster deploy. There are fewer bugs, and dependencies are updated as quickly as possible. Now you have more time for the things that really matter eating all those Easter eggs! Or you can spend the extra time reading up on all the fast new changes to Gatsby 3.0.

Crystal 1.0

I like crystals. They are shiny and pretty. This Crystal in particular is a programming language. It’s similar to Ruby and able to call C code. It’s the language for both humans and computers. You can get started writing Crystal by checking out the docs. Or you can head to the home page of their website to play with their 3D crystal just give the spinning crystal structure a few taps with your mouse. It’s super fun!

Ghost 4.0

Here’s one for all the content creators out there. Ghost is a platform for you to make money from your audience. It gives you all the tools you need to create your own subscription business; emails, blog posts, social media, and more. It’s the one-stop publishing platform and marketplace. Now with the latest release of Ghost, they have a dashboard, so it’s easy to see how your content is performing as well as manage memberships, subscriptions, and emails. Is your content working for you? Fun fact, Ghost is hiring full-time Node.js developers.

Sentry Python 1.0

Are you having problems with performance? Getting bottlenecks and errors when using Python? Look no further than Sentry Python. It gives you a full breakdown of your errors, suggests fixes, and optimises for performance. If you’re using Python for development you can’t go past this handy tool. Sentry just released the first version and you can try it out for free. Check out the SDK and start writing better software faster.

PixiJS 6.0

Want to create easy, simple, pretty looking content in WebGL? Then PixiJS is the perfect tool. It’s a fast, 2D renderer and there’s tonnes of great sites that use it League of Legends, Cartoon Network, BMW, Disney, Red Bull, and lots of other notable brands. The latest release comes with some handy bug fixes. Give it a try if you want to add some fancy, light-weight animation to your next project.

PixiJS can even be used for web interactions like this Doctor Who one.

HTTP Prompt 2.0

If you’re looking for an interactive command line HTTP client then look no further than HTTP Prompt. HTTP Prompt even has autocomplete and syntax highlighting. The latest release has compatibility with HTTPPie v2.x and removed support for Python 2. Make sure you upgrade for the full experience with these newer platforms. Read more about HTTP Prompt on the repo.

posh-git 1.0

Lots of developers are often looking for integrations for their terminals or command lines. posh-git is a PowerShell module for git and PowerShell integration. Now you can easily use git within PowerShell. Just make sure you have PowerShell 2.0 or higher and you’re good to go. Oh, and you’ll need to make sure you have the repo cloned to your local machine. You can use the GitHub CLI to clone to your computer from your terminal.

Bitmapflow 1.0

This is one for the gamers and animators out there. Have you ever worked with sprites and found they are really jittery? Bitmapflow smooths out your sprite animations by generating ‘inbetweens’. This tech uses optical flow to understand how pixels move through frames and therefore make it easier for you to animate. You’ll still need a bit of creative flair to make it perfect, but Bitmapflow certainly helps when it comes to animation.

Normal (left) vs. using Bitmapflow (right)

March Release Radar

Well that’s all for this month’s top release picks. Congratulations to everyone who shipped a new release, whether it was version 1.0 or version 6.0. Keep them coming people! Remember to check out the awesome project releases from our February Release Radar. If you’ve got a new release coming, we’d love to see it. Tag us when you share your release on social media and we’ll keep an eye out.

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