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Jamstacked Issue 101

Astro Launches Astro DB

Published: Mar 21, 2024

Fred K. Schott announced the Astro Technology Company, along with a $7m round of seed funding, a little more than a year ago. Astro had made great strides in the framework and in adoption during that year, but, beyond sponsorship, there were no outward signs of a monetization strategy until last week when they announced their first paid service, Astro DB.

So far, it’s a different approach than Gatsby took many years ago with Gatsby Cloud, a product that ultimately put them in direct competition with platform companies like Netlify, Vercel, Cloudflare and others (a strategy Juan Diego Rodríguez claims doomed it). Instead, Astro DB, Astro’s first commercial service, can still be used on any of these providers. It’ll be worth watching to see if this strategy continues as they expand their offerings.

– Brian

What’s Good

Astro, Astro and more Astro
This was quite a week for Astro and there’s a lot to cover. The most surprising announcement was Astro DB, a fully managed SQL database built on libSQL that is designed exclusively for Astro sites to make it easy to enable and configure. If you want to dig deeper, Tyler at UI.dev covers this more in detail or the Astro team wrote more about how and why they built it. Also Art Rosnovsky wrote up a tutorial on his initial explorations of it.

This week also brought the release of Astro 4.5, including a new Dev Audit UI that helps you uncover audit performance and accessibility issues, and the Astro Developer Portal where theme authors can submit, manage, and promote their themes built for Astro. It’s no surprise the New Stack’s Richard MacManus recently labeled them a Next.js Rival.

Sponsor pgEdge  Faster data access: Distributed Postgres + Cloudflare Workers
Achieve unmatched performance in Cloudflare Worker applications: benefit from high availability and low latency data access using pgEdge distributed PostgreSQL. Check out the open source Northwind Traders example application to see it in action.

The End Of My Gatsby Journey
Juan has written a lot about Gatsby and it was his go to framework when building a new site, but he’s decided to give it up in favor of a Vite/React combination due to frustrations. He explains in detail what he feels went wrong with Gatsby.
Juan Diego Rodríguez

What is INP and why you should care
Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace First Input Delay (FID) as a Core Web Vital metric, meaning you need to know what it’s about before it potentially impacts your site’s score.
Salma Alam-Naylor

Fans of this newsletter should also check out ECMAScript.news. It’s a weekly newsletter with links about the latest in JavaScript and tools. I’m a big fan because it’s a high-signal, low-noise source of information, curated by @rauschma & @jowe.

Tools, Resources & More

Enhance Image is a new component in beta for web sites built with the Enhance framework to make creating responsive images easy via on demand image transformation.

Netlify launched a new AI Feature built into their platform that is designed to diagnose and solve deployment failures.

Vercel had a some announcements this week including a new feature flag management toolbar that lets you manage flags set in any provider including LaunchDarkly, Optimizely, Statsig, Hypertune, or Split. Also, improved hard cap spend limits will automatically pause all projects when a spend amount is reached.


Stuck in the Middle with You: An intro to Middleware
Lots of frameworks offer middleware, which lets you intercept the request and/or response, but what can it be used for? Nick digs into some of the use cases.
Nick Taylor

The Guide for On-Demand ISR
A look at incremental static regeneration (ISR), which, put simply, is on-demand static rendering, how it works in Next.js and SvelteKit and which providers support it.
Jonathan Gamble

We Need to Talk About Your Eleventy Post Dates
FYI: if you don’t specify a time, the time is midnight.
Robb Knight

How to Build Embed Components with Astro, Qwik and StackBlitz
How to use the StackBlitz JavaScript SDK to embed StackBlitz projects in an Astro website using MDX and Qwik.
Paul Scanlon