Thoughts on the React rollercoaster
8 months ago
There has been a lot of chatter lately about the new React docs, and how it strongly encourages everyone to use a server rendered framework such as Next or Remix.
The longer you work in the web field the more you notice the pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. After initially being a client rendered solution, and years of experimentation and new frameworks built on React, is this just the latest swing to the extreme ‘SSR’ end of the spectrum? I certainly believe so.
There are a lot of apps that simply have no benefit using a full on server framework and don’t have any SEO requirements. The article New React docs pretend SPAs don’t exist anymore is a great read on that subject. There are many apps in this category like dashboards or document editing UIs like Google Docs or Figma. Using a full-blown server framework requires extra infrastructure to set up – far more maintenance, support and cost involved than simply hosting an SPA within an existing .NET or Java system. The React’s docs do point out that the recommendation is for new projects, and there is a section on integrating into existing applications however.
I hope the React team will come to a point where they relax their hard stance a bit and become more welcoming to all use-cases for React. I don’t think pushing these ‘absolute’ extremes is helpful in such a varied ecosystem with so many different constraints and requirements.