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Discussion on: Why SolidJS: Do we need another JS UI Library?

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blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

This is not a good way to promote your product. I had heard of SolidJS and thought I'd come and see what makes it stand out: apparently it's an unhealthy dose of negativity. I've been tinkering with Svelte and am really enjoying the experience; but I'm still open to alternatives. You've convinced me that SolidJS is not one I should spend my time on.

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ryansolid profile image
Ryan Carniato Author

Taking that into account I've added a disclaimer. I wasn't really intending this article to get spread as far as it did without context. I never tagged it, I didn't make it a general post on Social media or on Hacker News. In the few locations that I have posted it, it has followed a place where Solid has already been introduced. I deeply regret this was your first introduction.

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Ryan Carniato Author

I agree. I actually wasn't trying to promote this like I usually promote my articles. People constantly suggest that I should have just worked with a different library instead of writing another one. Even after highlighting the benefits. Unfortunately people lack the the time to invest to really understand those things. I needed a place to point them. It's unfortunate this is the first one you saw and not the 2 dozen plus other articles I've written about Solid over the last 2 years. Sometimes unfortunately you have to point out what about other libraries visions does not fit with your goals to ultimately lay the question to rest. I hope this is the first and last article I ever write of this nature. Although I'm starting to regret even posting this because I feel like it cheapens what we've accomplished.

I have to say Svelte is sort of the poster child for this behavior. As I wrote, a good chunk of the material around the Svelte 3 release was purposefully misleading, tearing down at other libraries approaches. So going that way is kind of calling the kettle black. I'm not here to convince you of that though. Just to express how I reacted to what I was seeing. If you choose take a look around under that lens you might come to a similar conclusion. At which point maybe we can revisit this.

That being said I can also empathize with Rich Harris' position. It's hard to fight against a tide of "experts" and preset assumptions. Sometimes it does take tearing things down a little bit. Svelte has changed their tune a bit since that time. It was just this was where things were at, at the time. The amount of misinformation about React and the VDOM was and still is astounding. I just died a little bit inside when I felt reactivity was being marketed in the same unsubstantiated way.

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blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Don't get me wrong: it's perfectly legitimate to compare your library to others and point out where you do things better: that's pretty standard and what I was expecting from your article. But presenting a library author as a "snake oil" merchant and those who show enthusiasm for that library as fools for falling "hook, line and sinker" for his lies is pretty insulting and not particularly constructive.

a good chunk of the material around the Svelte 3 release was purposefully misleading

If you're going to post claims like this you really need to back them up with some evidence beyond your subjective opinion. Case in point: from what I've seen the benchmarks you referenced in a previous article to demonstrate the speed of SolidJS show Svelte performing pretty well. From my perspective whether Rich Harris deliberately chose to present benchmarks that especially favoured Svelte is therefore a moot point: you expect some hyperbole during these presentations and you should of course question and verify the claims being made. I've yet to find anything that causes me serious concerns; and I'm finding Svelte a pleasure to work with on small personal projects. For me, whether it's a good choice for large professional projects is still an open question: e.g. it will need good Typescript support if it's going to be taken seriously at my office...

Anyway - best of luck with promoting SolidJS: ultimately healthy competition is a good thing; so we absolutely do need people pushing the envelope and showing how things can be done better.

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ryansolid profile image
Ryan Carniato Author

Yeah Svelte has great performance. I think it is at a good place that people should seriously consider using it in larger projects. It's getting quite mature in its feature set and has been stable for some time.

This is why it rubbed me wrong. It definitely was subjective how I reacted. None of these things are serious enough to prevent one from using Svelte. It's an awesome library. I'm not saying it is snake oil, but that given the distance between what was being said and the facts, in my perspective it was being sold that way(especially the benchmarks, really atrocious, read this thread to get one example from Rethinking Reactivity: github.com/somebee/dom-reconciler-...). As a huge enthusiast of the approach Svelte has taken and performance that hit me harder than it should have. How does one defend the position when it is misleading. I felt like my work was going to get bucketed in with it and I could tell that it wasn't going to be the place for me. My first interaction wasn't great(github.com/sveltejs/svelte/issues/...) but I'm all for helping improve Svelte where I can(github.com/sveltejs/svelte/issues/...).