HTML over the wire

How to waste half a day by not reading RFC 1034


You possibly can write quick, trendy, responsive net purposes by producing your HTML on the server, and delivering that (with a bit assist) on to the browser. You don’t want JSON as an in-between format. You don’t want client-side MVC frameworks. You don’t want sophisticated bundling and transpiling pipelines. However you do must assume totally different.

As a result of the mainstream story in net improvement of the previous decade or so has been one in every of JavaScript all of the issues! Let’s apply it to the server! Let’s apply it to the shopper! Let’s have it generate all of the HTML dynamically! And, actually, it’s fairly wonderful that you simply actually can do all that. JavaScript has come an extremely good distance because the darkish ages of Web Explorer’s stagnant monopoly.

However simply because you possibly can, doesn’t imply it is best to.

The worth for pursuing JavaScript for all the things has been a monstrosity of recent complexity. Sure, it’s much more highly effective than it ever was. Nevertheless it’s additionally much more convoluted and time-consuming than is wherever near cheap for the overwhelming majority of net purposes.

Complexity isn’t actually an enormous downside for those who’re an enormous firm. If in case you have 1000’s of builders every answerable for tiny sliver of the applying, you would possibly effectively discover enchantment and productiveness in sophisticated architectures and construct processes. You possibly can amortize that funding over your 1000’s of builders, and it’s not going to interrupt your again.

However incidental complexity can completely break your again for those who’re a small workforce the place everybody has to do quite a bit. The instruments and methods cast within the stomach of an enormous firm is usually the precise reverse of what you could make progress at your scale.

That is what HTML Over The Wire is all about. It’s a celebration of the simplicity in HTML because the format for carrying information and presentation collectively, whether or not that is delivered on the primary load or with subsequent dynamic updates. A reputation for a way that may transform the assumptions many individuals have about how trendy net purposes must be constructed in the present day.

Sure, we’d like a little bit of JavaScript to make that work effectively sufficient to compete with the constancy supplied by conventional single-page purposes, however the bulk of that may be abstracted away by just a few small libraries, and never leak into the applying code we write.

Once more, it’s not that JavaScript is unhealthy. Or that you simply don’t want any to jot down a contemporary net utility. JavaScript is nice! Writing a bit to placed on the ending touches is completely cheap. Nevertheless it needn’t be on the heart of all the things you do on the net.

Once we embrace HTML because the format to ship throughout the wire, we liberate ourselves from having to jot down all of the code that creates that HTML in JavaScript. You now get to jot down it in Ruby or Erlang or Clojure or Smalltalk or any programming language which may set your coronary heart aflutter. We return the online to a spot filled with range within the implementations, and HTML because the lingua franca of describing these purposes on to the browser.

HTML over the wire is a way for an easier life that’ll hopefully enchantment to each seasoned builders who’re uninterested in coping with the JavaScript tower of complexity and to these simply becoming a member of our business overwhelmed by what they must study. A throwback to a time the place you might view supply and make sense of it. However with all of the affordances to create splendidly fluid and interesting trendy net purposes.

Intrigued? Checkout Hotwire for a concrete implementation of those beliefs.



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