Follow-ups to the “Streets” series
Answers to some questions
Feel free to ask more questions in the comments!
Why should we trust a framework team member about front-end framework performance?
I was laid off by eBayin February 2023 . I am now equally untrustworthy as I was before.
What should you do when a server error happens in the middle of an HTML stream?
There isn’t a perfect solution (yet, the HTTPWGhas been thinking about it), but there’s at least something you can do to avoid errors being cached on clients and prevent search engines from indexing pages with mid-stream errors.
You can emulate 5XXerror semantics (that is: do not cache and permissible to retry the request to see if error is fixed) by mucking around at the HTTP level:
HTTP version Error signal HTTP/1.1 Corrupt the chunked Transfer-Encoding syntax or never terminate it properly HTTP/2 Send a RST_STREAM frame with a code of 0x2INTERNAL_ERROR HTTP/3 Like h2, but the frame name differs I think? SPDY Why are you still using this
Research and further details on doing this correctly:
marko-js/community#1 Handling mid-stream errors (it’s a WIP pull request with an evolving discussion, sorry you’ll have to read the whole thing before the advice becomes clear)
httpwg/http-core#895 Mid-stream error semantics
Why did you think Kroger Litewould work?
I didn’t, but it was worth a shot. And then for a while, it really seemed like it was working. But yeah, big companies historically seem content to let internal efforts to improve speed wither:
Andy Davieson Twitter:
Shortly after I did this talk BazaarVoicedemo’d a slimmed down version but don’t think it ever saw the light of day Amazing really, especially after their internal panic when a customer talked about how disabling BazaarVoice increased revenue by several millions pounds / year Jason Grigsby on Twitter:
I doubt I’ll be able to publish about it, but I’m not seeing anything different than what @AndyDavies talked about in noti.st/andydavies/dCB… and youtube.com/watch?v=mLzt23… It’s four years laterand BV ’s performance is basically the same. It’s depressing.
…and indeed it also happened to me. I’m partial to Baldur Bjarnason’s explanation that software quality and software income are basically uncorrelated:
In most sectors of the software industry, sales performance and product quality are disconnected. By its nature software has enormous margins which further cushion it from the effect of delivering bad products. The objective impact of poor software quality on the bottom lines of companies like Microsoft, Google , Apple , Facebook , or the retail side of Amazon is a rounding error. The rest only need to deliver usable early versions, but once you have an established customer base and an experienced sales team, you can coast for a long, long time without improving your product in any meaningful way.
Maybe only a competitor with a really fast site could make big slow React sites get faster?
Was it the choice of Markothat doomed Kroger Lite ?
I dunno. Markoat the time had components, syntax, and a VDOM like React; and powered a bigger, more successful ecommerce site; and had an agreeable license thanks to the Open JS Foundation .
If that wasn’t a realistic alternative to React, then what possibly could be?
What’s with the cover images?
I made them. I tried outsourcing because doing it myself took longer than my ADHD liked, but finding an artist open to commissions for this kind of thing took even longer. (This was before popular text-to-image models, but those are gauche anyway.)
I made most of the images by combining photographs in the The GIMP. (Tip: use the hell out of layer masks.) The source images were from DuckDuckGo’s Image Search by License, Wikimedia Commons, and photos by US government personnel that default into the public domain.
I made the train map for Routing: I’m not smart enough for a SPAwith Metro Map Maker. (Which, yes, is a SPA . It could be fun to replicate it as an MPA with <input type=image> .)
Why is the series called “ Streets”, anyway?
See next question.
Where’s that code you threatened us with?
And by the end, some code I dare you to try. — Making the world’s fastest website, and other mistakes
That was to be streets , an NPMpackage to help produce a web thang as fast as the demo site I showed off. (Without using the demo’s site original code, since Kroger owns the copyright on it.)
Why “streets”? Turns out a street is different from a road in some important ways:
A feature universal to all streets is a human-scale design that gives its users the space and security to feel engaged in their surroundings, whatever through traffic may pass. — Street · Wikipedia
(In this analogy, SPAs are stroads.)
That seemed perfect for my design priorities:
🛡 Reliable: respect everyone’s safety and circumstances Securityfeatures built-in to where your server is in control
Offline support without SPAoverhead ♿ ️ Accessible : respect the web’s diversity, longevity, and ubiquity Fast, accessible-by-default navigations
Browser support as deep as you need 💨 Fast: respect users’ time and money Interactive in 150ms on $ 20devices
Payload small enough for 2G networks
Avoid jams with streaming
But I burnt out. Yes, I’m seeing a therapist. I also started drawing as a hobby for the firsttime in ≈10 years .
I’d love to make Streets, but I can’t keep going it alone anymore. I’m also not sure who would really bother using it — my original idea was developers beholden to the public good via government sites, charities, etc., but I realized those organizations probably require certified vendors or something.
Here’s a Rollupconfig very similar to the demo’s, though. That’ll be handy if you want the kind of speed it had.
The next post will be adapted from my original analysis of why I doubted Kroger.comcould approach the demo’s speed if it remained wedded to React. It was part of the original Streets posts, but at the time I was afraid of people getting angry at me over it.
The one nice thing about burnout? I don’t care about that sort of thing anymore.