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React Conf 2024 Highlights: New Features and Exciting Updates

React Conf 2024 brought together developers worldwide to explore the React ecosystem's latest developments and future directions. I attended the conference with my colleague Danny Maher and we were flooded with valuable insights and a glimpse into the exciting updates that will shape the way we build React applications.

There's really quite a lot to recommend and things to touch on, but we’ll try to hit the high points to start. The long and short of it is that there are a couple of big, fundamental new things that are very worth digging into and will certainly impact folks using React in the not-too-distant future. While there's no real urgency yet, some stuff we can take advantage of now and some more that is coming soon.

First off, it's worth watching the keynote for day one to get a general sense of the new things coming soon for React. I’m going to hit on a few things that I think are really worth calling out, but know there are a lot of other things worth digging into as well.

React Router v7 and Remix Integration

The first talk of the conference was Vanilla React by Ryan Florence (of React Router and Remix fame). This talk is interesting for a couple of big reasons.

The first is that he announced that the next planned major version of Remix (v3) will be released as React Router v7 instead. This integration means that React Router v7 will incorporate all the features and capabilities currently available in Remix. It provides a smooth upgrade path for projects using earlier React Router or Remix versions.

By merging Remix into React Router, millions of existing React Router projects will have a straightforward way to update and gradually gain access to modern React features. This is significant because React currently recommends using meta-frameworks to leverage these new capabilities.

While the exact details of the transition are still being finalized, the React Router team will likely provide comprehensive documentation and guidance on upgrading from previous versions. This is a really big deal and it marks an important step forward for the React ecosystem.

React Compiler: Automating Optimization

One of the most significant announcements at the conference was the introduction of React Compiler. This powerful tool is already being used internally at Meta on projects like, and it's now being open-sourced for the wider React community.

The React Compiler focuses on optimizing your code automatically. It eliminates the need to manually write useMemo, React.Memo, or useCallback, as the compiler will handle these optimizations for you, often more effectively than manual implementations. The compiler generates the necessary memoization code behind the scenes, which helps avoid unnecessary re-renders and improves performance.

You can experiment with the React Compiler and see how it transforms your code by visiting the React Playground. There's also an ESLint plugin available that highlights problematic React code that doesn't adhere to the rules of React and may be ignored by the compiler.

While the React Compiler brings significant benefits, it's important to note that it doesn't solve all performance issues. Nonetheless, it certainly marks an important milestone in the evolution of React and simplifies the optimization process for developers which is going to have a big impact.

React Server Components and Server-Side Enhancements

React Server Components (RSCs) have been a hot topic in the React community of late, but they are part of a larger set of features that enable better interaction with servers. RSCs allow you to write components that can be rendered on the server, with the component logic executing on the server as well.

One of the key benefits of RSCs is the ability to directly fetch data on the server within components using async/await syntax. This eliminates the need for client-side data fetching and reduces the bundle size sent to the client.

RSCs also enable streaming rendering from the server, where the server can send HTML to the client in chunks as it becomes ready. This improves perceived performance and allows users to see content faster.

At React Conf, there were several live-coding demonstrations showcasing how RSCs and other server-related features can be incrementally adopted and combined to build modern, performant applications. These talks highlighted real-world use cases and best practices for leveraging server-side rendering and data fetching.

As meta frameworks (e.g., Next.js, Remix, etc.) continue to add support for RSCs, developers should pay close attention to this area. The React team is investing heavily in server-side features, and understanding how to utilize them effectively will be crucial for building fast and efficient applications.


React Conf 2024 offered a wealth of knowledge, insights, and updates that will shape the future of React development. From the React Compiler that automates optimization to the integration of Remix into React Router v7 and the advancements in React Server Components, the conference highlighted the ongoing evolution and innovation within the React ecosystem.

I encourage fellow developers to dive deeper into the topics covered at the conference, experiment with the new features, and share their experiences and insights with the community. Together, we can continue to push the boundaries of what's possible with React and create exceptional web experiences.

Stay tuned for more updates and reflections from React Conf 2024 (hint…there was a whole second day that had some major announcements related to React Native).

Published by Matt Reich in Software Engineering

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