What not to expect from 2022 as a Web Developer

Ingo Steinke
3 min readDec 26, 2021

Inspired by my article “Nothing New in 2022?”, I will share some thoughts about what to expect and not to expect of a new year from the perspective of a frontend web developer.

What 2022 will bring: long-awaited language features in CSS and JavaScript. Parent selectors or rather “has” pseudo-classes will finally make it possible to target elements that contain specific other elements without the help of JavaScript and jQuery.

Container Queries in CSS

Container queries will make it easier to adapt styling to the size of parent elements instead of the browser viewport.

What 2022 will not bring: container units. I will follow up on that topic in an upcoming article. What the year will not bring either are new PHP features. In both cases, the reason might simply be, because there is no need.

Agreeing on Best Practices in PHP and JavaScript

PHP as a language has come very far to become a mature, type-safe object-oriented language, at least if you want to use it that way. Static code analysis and commonly agreed-upon style guides (PSR) make it much more likely to write clean code and avoid silly mistakes than with JavaScript, where TypeScript, JSDoc, and ESLint rules are still not widely accepted and popular frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular are far from agreeing on the common ground like the PHP community managed to do with Cake, Laravel and Symfony.

JavaScript as an unfinished and immature Programming Language

JavaScript is still missing many core language features. Apart from dynamic typing, there is no native debounce function, no native onResizeEnd or onScrollEnd, and even the current core language features cannot be taken for granted, so we have to use polyfill code and the Babel transpiler to produce ugly and nearly unreadable gibberish that can be understood by legacy browsers like Internet Explorer.

Unfortunately, as frontend developers, we do not seem to have a choice of languages and have to accept what the browsers offer us, while in fact, we do have a choice and have long chosen to go beyond the native language features and use tools like Babel, SASS, and PostCSS so that we can write more elegant and maintainable code and don’t care about what is actually shipped to the end-users and their browsers.

No matter which JavaScript framework, plugin, and coding style will become the latest trend in 2022, we will have to live with the incompleteness of frontend languages and experience a lot of changes in the years to come.

Deprecations in PHP 8.2

Meanwhile, PHP has reached a level of innovation (and also stability) that the next upcoming version (PHP 8.2) is already notable not for new features (still trying to understand what to use read-only classes for) but rather for a probably breaking incompatibility by deprecating dynamic properties in 2022.

WordPress Development beyond Twenty Twenty-Two

WordPress will release another annual default theme, Twenty Twenty-Two, in 2022, and continue on its roadmap enabling users to do full-page editing with the Gutenberg block editor without resorting to WordPress page builders like Elementor, Divi, or Semplice.

WordPress 5.9 will also improve PHP 8 compatibility and intrinsic web design.

All of which are still parts of the first two phases of WordPress’s Gutenberg editor roadmap (easier editing and customization), so I’m sure that there is at least one other long-awaited feature, that 2022 will not bring: native multi-language support in WordPress.

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Ingo Steinke

Sustainable Creative Web Developer in Germany. Helping to build a fast and friendly, accessible, ethical and ecological word wide web.