Welcome, dear readers, to the inaugural edition of The Catch Block!

A series of identical white cubes, seemingly made from concrete or a similar material.
There's lots more to come. Photo by Christian Fregnan / Unsplash

In this issue: Coronovirus, end-of-life, Svalbard, a CLI vs GUI smackdown, no more server-side apps, maps, and thoroughly annoyed MVPs.

News and Events

.NET Core 3.0 Reaches End-of-Life

On March 3rd, .NET Core 3.0 reached end-of-life for support. This release will no longer be supported by Microsoft. .NET Core 3.1 is a long-term-support (LTS) release, meaning it will be supported for at least 3 years, or until December 2022. .NET 3.1 also includes a LOT of improvements for Blazor, changes which I personally am very excited about.

A close-up of a burning campfire.
These Blazor changes are FIRE y'all. Photo by Joshua Newton / Unsplash

If you have any apps still using .NET Core 3.0, now would be the time to start thinking about a migration plan.

Coronavirus Contagion Cancels Conferences

As you might have heard, due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, many organizations are cancelling their annual conferences that are scheduled to take place around this time. This includes huge yearly events like South by Southwest (SXSW), and relatively-smaller, more tech-focused events like Microsoft's MVP Summit and Google's I/O conference; both of these have been changed to virtual conferences.

To see if other events have been cancelled (in a VERY snarky manner), check out isitcancelledyet.com.

(What's worse, Costco has cancelled giving out free samples! Now how will I occupy my kids so I can get my shopping done in relative peace?)

Cancelling these in-person events is the correct (though admittedly difficult) decision, but the fact that, particularly in Microsoft's case, said decision was made so close to the event date made it pretty hard on some MVPs.

I don't think it was "media pressure" so much as "we don't want to get 1000s of people sick".

I implore you, if you are working in areas where people are sick with the coronavirus, stay home, read the CDC website or your country's medical authority's guidelines, and take care of yourself. And, for God's sake, wash your hands! Twenty seconds, people!

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Cool Reads

  • Project Svalbard, Have I Been Pwned and Its Ongoing Independence (Troy Hunt) - Troy has been searching for an buyer for his amazing service Have I Been Pwned for the last year, and this lengthy post documents his near-miss on finding such a company. I didn't realize software company purchases were so complicated!
  • How to Work From Home and How To Lead From Home (Phil Haack) - Did the coronavirus outbreak finally grant you your wish to work from home? Want some tips on how best to do that? Phil discusses (with his fantastic tongue-in-cheek style) the many ways to improve your work-from-home experience, including such gems as "continue to wear pants" and "toss your Xbox outside".
  • Why GUIs Suck (and CLIs Are Better) (Lee Brandt) - I thoroughly disagree with his conclusion, because I love me some GUI goodness, but Lee's argument that command-line interfaces are better than graphical interfaces is certainly an interesting read.
  • Anyone Can Map! Inspiration and an introduction to the world of mapping (Colby Fayock) - Since I was small, I have been absolutely fascinated by geography, and by the way our world is shaped, divided, and named. This post feeds that obsession by discussing the different kinds of maps we can build in front-end sites. Plus, it uses what is possibly the best Pixar movie ever as its jumping off point.
  • Stop Writing Server-Based Web Apps (David Neal) Another blog post whose conclusion I thoroughly disagree with. Nevertheless, David's argument that architectures such as the JAM Stack are the way forward is interesting. I'm not there yet, but who knows? Maybe server-side web apps will disappear at some point. Maybe I'll convert this blog to JAM stack; this is something I've thought about doing before. Maybe I'll just pick some crops. Who knows?

New and Upcoming Releases

Other Neat Reads

Catch Up with the Previous Issue!

Just kidding! There is no previous issue. Congratulations on reaching the very first issue of The Catch Block!

Thanks for reading, everyone! We'll see you next week!