Ruby on Rails 7, a planned upgrade to the 17-year-old web application framework, has moved to an alpha stage, with a new mechanism for writing JavaScript in Rails.

Moving past the Webpacker tool for bundling JavaScript, which Ruby on Rails has used for the past five years, Rails 7 takes a no-Node approach, without having to give up NPM packages. This approach avails itself to advancements in browser support for ECMAScript 6, JavaScript modules, HTTP/2, and the Import Maps for Rails tool for importing JS modules.

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Further, with the replacement of TurboLinks and Rails UJS by the Stimulus JS framework and Turbo tool to reduce the need for custom JS, Rails now has a complete in-the-box front-end setup for writing Rails applications. There is no need to deal with Node dependencies in node_modules, with bundler configurations, or with other common JavaScript development challenges, according to a September 15 bulletin announcing the alpha release.

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