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Discussion on: Spotify uses Svelte, do you?

dbredvick profile image
drew.tech

I like that post a lot. I think it makes some excellent points. Let's use a thought experiment to try to get to the bottom of this.

Thought experiment

We are going to start a new business together, and we need to pick our tech stack. We need to choose a tech stack that will support our company for the time in which it is operating. Our goal is to build a successful product, gain users, and become profitable.

Requirements

  • We don't need to build our systems to last longer than ten years. Most companies assume solutions will only be around for 5-7 years before being entirely rewritten or abandoned.

  • Only 30% of U.S. small businesses make it to the ten-year point, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    dept of labor survival graph
    Here's the data if you're interested.

  • We don't need our code to be "trendy," we need it to work.

  • We need to be able to hire developers to work in our codebase.

  • We need to optimize for developer velocity so we can get a lot done with minimal resources

Here's why I would pick React for a front end framework

  • I'm experienced in React. We will need to lean into our strengths as founders to bootstrap this thing to success. (developer velocity)
  • It has large amounts of community support (check out this Google Trends comparison)
  • React is the 3rd most relied on npm package. There is a significant incentive for everyone, not just Facebook, to maintain it.
  • Frameworks like NextJS, GatsbyJS, and others are being built on top of React and make development a breeze.
  • We will be able to hire React developers for at least the next five years.

There is no guarantee that Facebook will continue to support React and that it will continue to be "the" framework.

Still, it is easy to see from a business standpoint why they and the community will continue to support at least as long as V1 of our startup lasts. Even without Facebook's support, React will be maintained by the community for a very long time (very long in tech means at least five years to me 🙂).

Disclaimer: I am not saying that everyone should use React.

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aut0poietic profile image
Jer

Some irony for ya— I found amusing anyway:

In that list of most depended upon packages is jQuery, a framework that was once treated as an absolute requirement to any web development project. Now we have sites dedicated to why you don't need it.

The number one entry in that list lodash is a performance fork* of underscore which was built for BackboneJS -- a game changing MVC framework. Of course, BackboneJS was an answer to some of the limitations of SpineJS. Any dedicated Spine or Backbone devs out there?

There is always going to be something new/better/friendlier. Just ask dojo, prototype, or YUI.

Someone else chime in here, I'm starting to feel seriously old.

Now you kids get off my lawn and get back to yer Flash + ActionScript.


* "performance fork" is perhaps a mischaracterization. If I remember right it was a whole saga in and of itself...

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dbredvick profile image
drew.tech

I did a little bit of backbone right before I did some knockout. I have since stopped using both 🙂

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charlesanim profile image
Charles Anim Author

That's how it it. Same here.

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aut0poietic profile image
Jer

I'm still supporting/updating a Backbone-based content editor + content framework. Will be pushing an update next week (if QA gets to it).

That's actually another concern not mentioned yet: These things we build don't just go away because the tools we built them with go out of vogue. There are still modern apps using YUI (Moodle LMS comes to mind).

That does make packages like React a better bet. Though back in the day no one thought Yahoo was going anywhere.

Now I'm going to spend all day being nostalgic about dead frameworks. Anyone ever play with Boxely (you know, before AOL squashed it)?

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charlesanim profile image
Charles Anim Author

Mine o mine!... I think i just got nostalgic too about all the dead frameworks. This goes to show you that our industry is growing literally by the minute. And then there's React Hooks..... I couldn't tell when that bomb dropped lol. Now everybody is going crazy about it. Oh well.....