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Inside Dev (Dec 5th, 2019)

1. Over 160 software developers signed an open letter calling on GitHub to cancel its $200,000 contract with ICE on Wednesday. Signers include Ruby on Rails founder David Heinemeier Hansson, the language GitHub used to initially build its platform, the Co-Chair of the W3C Technical Architecture Group, Daniel Appelquist, and more. Since September, GitHub workers have been urging the company to cancel its contract with the ICE over the Trump administration immigration policies it enforces. Seven have resigned in protest, including its now ex-developer advocate Don Goodman-Wilson, who stepped down on Monday. While the letter did not explicitly threaten GitHub with a boycott, Heinemeier Hansson says it's an option, although he hopes it doesn't get to that point. However, elsewhere others are already encouraging people to shun the platform; Mozilla software engineer Marcos Càceres, who also co-chairs the World Wide Web Consortium, encourages paying users to suspend their GitHub subscriptions until the company cancels its ICE contract. - LOS ANGELES TIMES

What with the ongoing Google, .org sale, and GitHub protests this year, 2019 feels like the year of developer activism! Are developers becoming more vocal, or have they always been like this but it's just gone underreported? And are all these protests a good thing for the evolution of the industry as a whole, or a distraction? Hit reply and let me know your thoughts, or tweet me here, where I asked my Twitter followers a similar question. With your permission, I may feature your response in a future issue.

2. Both the optional chaining operator and the nullish-coalescing operator will be a part of ES2020, TypeScript program manager Daniel Rosenwasser, and the co-author of both proposals, revealed on Twitter. The news comes after TC39 advanced both proposals to stage 4. With the optional chaining operator, JavaScript developers will now be able to check if an object exists before trying to access its properties. Meanwhile, with the nullish-coalescing operator will function “as an equality check against nullary values.” It would return a fallback value if a variable or statement is found to be undefined or null. - @DROSSENWASSER / TWITTER

3. Throwback Thursday: On this day in 1995, JavaScript was born. Inspired by Java, Scheme and Self, Brendan Eich made the language in a mere ten days while working at Netscape, a company that no longer exists. At the time, however, if you told people what the language would become, nobody would believe you: JavaScript, then called Mocha, barely captured much serious interest. It wasn't actually until the 2000s, when Douglas Crockford invented the JSON data format with JavaScript syntax, that developers started to take the scripting language seriously. After that, things started to swing upwards for the language. Now, two decades later, JavaScript is the most popular web programming language on the planet.

4. Python's security team removed two malicious libraries from the Python Package Index (PyPI) after they stole SSH and GPG keys from developers. The libraries, "python3-dateutil" and "jeIlyfish", attempted to imitate the "dateutil" and "jellyfish" libraries respectively. The latter had been up and running since Dec. 11, 2018, before German software developer Lukas Martini discovered the fraudulent libraries on Sunday, Dec. 1, and reported them. Python urges those developers who may have used these libraries to change the SSH and GPG keys they've used over the past year immediately. - ZDNET

5. The latest version of Facebook's Create React App, which allows developers to set up a modern web app with one command, is now available. Create React App v3.3.0 comes with new features like support for the new optional chaining and nullish coalescing operators, as well as custom templates and a number of bug fixes. For more details about new changes, click here. - CREATE-REACT-APP / GITHUB

Written and curated by Inside Dev and Inside Deals Editor Sheena Vasani, a freelance journalist based in California. Proficient in Javascript and Ruby. Got my start at Dev Bootcamp and Thinkful. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Edited by Bobby Cherry, a senior editor at who also curates Inside Pittsburgh.

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