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Jamstacked Issue 108

Can we turn back the clock on complexity?

Published: Jun 27, 2024

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but front-end development is getting unnecessarily complicated. I think many of us agree on this much. The question is, how do we undo what we’ve done? Is there a path back from the complexity?

It’s not an easy question to answer. This is not just because we have existing projects built upon complex tooling that isn’t easy to unwind. It’s also because there are compromises we’d have to accept. It’s not as though modern web app development is a universally bad experience. Each level of complexity we accepted because it came with benefits, even if the sum of all the complexity arguably outweighs the sum of the benefits.

If there was an easy solution, we’d have done it already.

– Brian

P.S. On a personal note, I started a new role this week at LocalStack. If you are building applications using AWS, you should check it out.

What’s Good

A Rant about Front-end Development
This lives up to it’s label as a rant, but a lot of his criticisms resonated with me, even if you may have heard many of them before. While he delves into a lack of focus on content, CSS preprocessors and frameworks (notably React), the central complaint is around added complexity that makes web development needlessly difficult and ends up re-solving solved problems.
Frank M Taylor


Supercharge Your Money with the Financial Router Sequence Supercharge Your Money with the Financial Router Sequence
Sequence, the world’s 1st Financial Router, connects all your bank accounts, credit cards, savings, and investments on an intuitive money map. Create automations with smart rules and IF statements, and execute your strategy directly from the platform to manage your finances.

JavaScript Framework Maintainers on Unification Potential
A group of framework authors for Next.js, Angular, Astro and Solid spoke at the React Summit in Amsterdam about how frameworks are often headed in similar directions, the idea of them merging is highly unlikely. On a somewhat related note, Alexander T. Williams has an overview of popular JavaScript Libraries in 2024.
Loraine Lawson

Component Communication in Enhance
Enhance is a framework built entirely around web components, which means that you’ll need to communicate between them. This post shows how. Simon also has a post exploring how to build an operating system selector component for technical documentation.
Simon MacDonald

Tools, Resources & More

htmx 2.0.0 ends support for Internet Explorer but most of the core functionality remains the same.

Astro 4.11 includes some improvements to the 500 error page and support for transformers in the Shiki code highlighter. Astro also has continued to talk about the future of the framework including the potential introduction of Server Islands that can defer rendering to a server component. Fred Schott also spoke about the future of Astro and you can view the recording here.

Netlify has announced a new Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) integration into their composable platform.

JS Party recently interviewed Brian Leroux about Enhance and its support for server side rendered web components.

The Stack Overflow Podcast had a chat with Jared Palmer, VP of AI at Vercel, about the ways in which Vercel is building the future of Next.js around AI.


2-Page Login Pattern, And How To Fix It
This pattern emerged because users often forget how they originally signed up but, while it solves that problem, it often frustrates users. Here are some alternatives.
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The 11ty Bundle continues - A year in review
The 11ty Bundle is a site and newsletter for keeping up with everything Eleventy and this post looks back at a year of running it. On the Eleventy topic, Chris Burnell wrote about the Eleventy Filters he uses to run his blog.
Bob Monsour

React 19 and Suspense - A Drama in 3 Acts
There seems to have been a lot of React drama lately. This one centers on a change to suspense whereby libraries like React Query would now load in waterfalls and not in parallel. This ultimately led to a delay in the React 9 release until a better solution could be found.
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