Roadie’s Blog

Backstage Weekly 85 - 1.5 is here! +Frontend evolution RFC

By Jorge LainfiestaJune 26th, 2023

Hi y’all! I’m still energetic from having talked to a bunch of you last week during the Unconference! There’s a ton to unpack this week, so let’s get to it:

  • Backstage 1.15 release: breaking changes, security fixes, and new features
  • Frontend System Evolution: a new RFC worth reviewing
  • Backstage Users Unconference: a wrap-up
  • 🌴 Maintainers are on a deserved summer break 🌴 expect a slower pace until July 24th.

New Release: 1.15

This new release is one of those juicy ones that looks a bit scary due to some breaking changes but is worth it for the new features and security improvements.

Let’s start with the new features:

  • You’ll now have access to a dedicated space to find Unprocessed entities thanks to a new module in the Catalog. Also, Roadie’s sblausten has contributed an experimental event-based conflict handler.
  • You can start using the UnifiedThemeProvider to start the migration towards MUI v5.
  • The Kubernetes plugin has some nifty improvements, such as better resource utilization statistics and errors.
  • TechDocs is shipping printable docs.
  • Oh, and if you’re already using the New Backend System, your plugins can be concurrently instead of serially, which can lead to significantly faster startup times.

Now, on the heads-up side, this upgrade contains some security fixes. A significant one occurs in the Scaffolder and brings in a breaking change in the build process. Please review the way isolated-vm is now used to stand up sandboxing environments for nunjucks.

Other breaking changes can be found in the Linguist plugin and the GitHub actions plugin.

Check out the release notes for more information.

Whitepaper: Self-hosted vs Managed Backstage. Discover the pros and cons of each option for adopting Backstage. Access to the whitepaper now!

Backstage Users Unconference: a wrap-up

In case you missed it, I’ve put together a quick summary of the main topics that were covered in the Backstage Users Unconference last week.

Choosing topics for the Unconference Check out my report describing the kind of attendees that we had and the topics that we covered.

Frontend System Evolution

The Backstage team want to migrate the framework’s frontend towards a “declarative integration” workflow. This new approach promises to remove the TypeScript dependency, simplify installation and upgrades, and sooth your React-induced headaches. Instead of dealing with TypeScript and React, the proposal offers to express extensions through—you guessed it—YAML descriptions.

Code sample showcasing Backstage's new frontend API

The RFC written by Rugvip dives into the underlaying architecture that can enable this kind of declarative frontend system. The team is actively looking for feedback, so be sure to review the RFC and chime in as these changes will directly impact you.

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