The curious case of ultra-fast front-end JS frameworks

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JavaScript frameworks need no introduction. As ubiquitous as JS is on the internet – being one of the core technologies that make up the web, along with CSS and HTML – it comes with a host of problems if best coding practices aren’t followed. This is where frames come in.

Not only do frameworks provide a simple solution to common programming problems, they make coding easier for large teams due to their propensity for standardization. Although each framework comes with its own set of unique problems to solve, they make life easier for developers by saving resources in the long run.

However, there is an interesting trend in new front-end frameworks; their claim to be “very fast”. JS code is known to add load time to websites, reduce interaction time for users, increase bounce rate, and cause overall erosion of user experience. These new frameworks are not only optimized from the start for speed, but also come with a host of unique solutions to overcome the anachronisms of using JS to create feature-packed websites that are easy to use and maintenance-free.

In this article, we’ll look at some new solutions implemented in modern front-end JS frameworks to improve load times, user experience, and make web development easier for everyone.

Qwik offers a lazy loading solution

Qwik is a framework built on JSX by the creator of “Angular”, Misko Hevery. It solves the problem of slow load times by being a lazy fully loadable system. Lazy loading is an element loading approach that delays the initialization of resources until they are actually required to be displayed. This saves a lot of client-side and server-side resources and greatly improves the loading time.

Additionally, Qwik also has a built-in optimizer that takes an app and splits it into a lot of small, lazy-loading chunks. It also includes a library called “Partytown”, which delegates third-party scripts to a worker thread instead of running it through the main thread.

Qwik also has no hydration delay, as it can be resumed. This means that it can serialize application state to HTML when the application is rendered, allowing it to resume execution without using JavaScript, until the user interacts with the web application.

Remix leverages server-side rendering

Remix is ​​a React framework that has recently been made open source, and is a complete web framework with a focus on UI. He also specializes in efficient server-side rendering. One of the most important features that sets Remix apart from its competitors is the ability for nested pages. With this feature, Remix loads all data in parallel on the server side and sends a fully formed HTML document on the client side, resulting in extremely fast loading time.

The framework also pre-fetches everything in parallel even before the user clicks on a link, reducing interaction time. Due to the way Remix serves the website, it does not need to be refreshed if there is an error. The framework has built-in error handling on both the server side and the client side.

Astro optimizes loading using islands

Astro is a front-end architecture that supports various tools like React, Vue, and Svelte. It also has a budding developer ecosystem with a variety of integrations and themes that can be added to a project.

Astro’s most unique feature is called “Astro Islands”. Astro Islands are interactive user interface components contained on a static page. Each island is rendered on its own, and each can be composed of a different UI framework supported by Astro.

Using a concept known as “selective hydration”, Astro maintains a fast site load by pre-generating each website in HTML format. Even components built in leading JS frameworks will be converted to HTML, ensuring that the website renders with zero client-side JavaScript. Only when an interactive component needs to load does Astro load the appropriate JavaScript code for that individual component, slowing overall load times.

Next.js mixes static pages with SSR

Next.js is a React framework that claims to bring the power of full-stack development to the frontend. Next.js has a feature known as “automatic static optimization”, which blurs the lines between static and dynamic components in a web page.

This means that developers using Next.js can create hybrid applications containing both static pages and server-rendered pages, since static pages are always responsive due to client-side hydration. The framework also comes with many useful features such as instant route changes, dynamic API routing, universal adaptability, and the freedom to customize the interface as you wish.

Deno.js uses Rust to optimize speed

Deno is a software created by Ryan Dahl, the founder of Node.js. After expressing his regrets about the way he created Node.js, Dahl created “Deno”, a runtime for JavaScript that uses V8 and is built on Rust. Being built on one of the fastest compiled languages ​​allows Deno not only to run faster than Node, but also to work more securely.

The runtime also comes with a variety of tools such as a linter, IDE integration, test runner, and granular permission checks. Moreover, it also offers best-in-class HTTP server speeds and claims to be the “fastest JavaScript web server ever built”.

When will developers have a truly lightning-fast framework?

As we can see from the new generation of front-end JS frameworks, each of them has a new approach to solving the loading speed. Depending on the product use case, developers can use any of the new-age frameworks to solve a specific problem.

A common saying in the field of software engineering is that not all problems are solvable. Instead, engineers must look for new ways to transform the problem to make it solvable. This approach can be applied to the problem of solving a single, super-fast JS framework. Developers can instead choose from one of these equally good options and tackle the problem with a new set of tools.

However, a common trend in all new-age front-end JS frameworks is to reduce the amount of JavaScript running on the client side. Loading JS only when needed is one of the easiest ways to reduce lag on websites and make the customer experience smoother.

Another technology that can cause a paradigm shift in web development is “WebAssembly”. Not only does WebAssembly have huge implications for the web as a whole, but it can run multiple languages ​​on the client side with near-native speed. Although it’s designed to work with JavaScript, it also supports languages ​​like C++ and Rust. Because they are compiled languages, they can allow developers to create client-side applications that run at speeds that were simply not possible with JavaScript.

JS frameworks might be an interim solution until WebAssembly matures and enters the mainstream, but super-fast frameworks seem to be at the forefront of JavaScript for web development, finding unique ways to quickly solve while maintaining the status quo.

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