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Hydration (Adactio: Journal)

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The situation we have now is the worst of both worlds: server-side rendering followed by a tsunami of hydration. It has a whiff of progressive enhancement to it (because there’s a cosmetic separation of concerns) but it has none of the user benefits.

Jeremy Keith notes that these days JavaScript frameworks like React can be used in different ways: not solely for creating an SPA or for complex client-site state management, but perhaps for JavaScript that is run on the server. A developer might choose React because they like the way it encourages modularity and componentisation. This could be a good thing if frameworks like Gatsby and Next.js were to use progressive enhancement properly.

In reality, the system of server-side rendering of non-interactive HTML that is reliant on a further payload of JavaScript for hydration leads to an initial loading experience that is “jagged and frustrating”.

Jeremy argues that this represents a worst-of-both-worlds situation and that its alleged “progressive enhancement via improved separation of concerns” is missing the point.

Hope is on the horizon for React in the form of partial hydration. I sincerely hope that it will become the default way of balancing server-side rendering with just-in-time client-side interaction.

(via @adactio)

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