I make websites for a living, but we call them webapps to drive the point that our websites are better. Ehm.

I used to do contracting a lot. This often meant coming somewhere, fixing something, getting fired for being too expensive, then getting called back to fix something else.

So, I've been around a good share of software problems, and I feel like sharing, so here is

Lecture 1: Pages vs Apps

In the dark ages (~2002 for me), writing websites meant mashing some HTML, CSS and maybe some cgi/perl/PHP together. We dealt with myriad of browser incompatibility issues, but it was hard to stuff up an entire project.

Sure, if your server or DB died, you were screwed - until you fixed it... which you did and things were good again. What I mean by entire project is that our grand website was made of a grand total of ~40 completely separate pages - if one was broken or slow, it didn't impact other pages.

Fast forward to 2004 and Macromedia Flex. We were building RIAs. We felt like proper application developers. All our code was compiled into a single bundle (back then an swf ). We had amazing transitions strong types, classes, good IDE and life was sweet.

Everything worked well in every browser and we kept on adding features... until it wasn't. Working. In any browser.

Turns out, if you stuff a lot of code in a single bundle, things tend to go wrong.

One memory leak here or infinite loop there can bring your great app to halt. That can be fixed.

Real trouble hits when your app starts getting slower and slower in a creepy way as you add more and more features (which your users demand). Splitting your bundle might help, but ultimately a user who clicks around your app all day long will load too much code.

Suddenly, things are annoyingly slow and users don't like your app.

Life lesson #1: Speed matters more than you may think

Today, npm is full of awesome libs and even fuller with less-than-awesome ones. Careful what you use. Check bundle sizes. Be lean and be safe 🙀.

Enough lecturing. Let's shamelessly plug in some stuff I worked on!

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