Is this the beginning of the end for PWA?

From the Author: Webpack is a JavaScript module bundler that transforms web resources such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SVG files and bundles them into a smaller group of files.  Webpack also helps with chunking (splitting into smaller chunks) and managing code dependencies to ensure that the code that needs to be loaded first does this.  How webpack works In this article, we'll go over some of the new features to look out for in webpack in 2021, but first we'll look at what's new in webpack in 2020.  webpack V4 - V5: Important Changes In October 2020, a newer version of webpack was released: webpack 5. This version removes all deprecated elements in V4 and fixes critical bugs to bring the webpack architecture up to par for future improvements.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn more Other interesting features in version 5: Long-Term Caching Support - New algorithms to support long-term caching are enabled by default in production mode.  The real hash of the content - previously only the hash of the internal structure was used in webpack.  Webpack 5 will use the real hash of the file content when used [contenthash], which will have a positive effect on long-term caching when only small changes are made to the file.  Modular structure - webpack 5 came with a new feature that allows multiple webpack builds to work together.  See here for the complete changelog.  While 2020 has been a big year for webpack, there is still a lot more to come, which we'll talk about in the following sections.  Please note that these updates are subject to change based on the ever-changing world of web developers.  Webpack roadmap 2021 Improved ESM support Since the ECMAScript Module (ESM) was introduced in 2015, it has become the standard mechanism for code reuse in highly fragmented JavaScript applications.  To improve ESM support, the webpack team is planning to make some important updates.  Self-executing snippets One of the most interesting features of webpack is code splitting.  This feature allows you to split your code into multiple packages that you can download on demand or in parallel.  At the moment, dynamically loaded fragments in webpack usually serve as a container for modules and never execute module code directly.  For example, writing: JavaScript import ("./ module") 1 import ("./ module") Will compile like this: JavaScript __webpack_load_chunk __ ("chunk-containing-module.js"). Then (() => __webpack_require __ (" ./module ")) 1 __webpack_load_chunk __ (" chunk-containing-module.js "). then (() => __webpack_require __ (" ./ module ")) In most cases this cannot be changed, but the webpack command considers some cases where webpack could generate a block that directly executes the contained module.  This can result in less code generated.  ESM imports and exports While there is already a plugin for generating ESM exports, the webpack team is considering adding built-in support for this feature, which may be useful when you decide to integrate webpack packages into ESM boot environments or inline scripts.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn More The command also takes absolute URLs into account when importing.  This is very useful when using external services that offer their APIs as EcmaScript modules.  Here's an example: JavaScript import {event} from "https://analytics.company.com/api/v1.js" // Changes to: import ("https://analytics.company.com/api/v1.js" ) 12345 import {event} from "https://analytics.company.com/api/v1.js" // Changes to: import ("https://analytics.company.com/api/v1.js") Such the function will help to gracefully handle errors with external dependencies.  ESM Library The webpack team will also try to improve the bundling using the ESM libraries and will add a special mode that does not apply chunking, but instead generates rendered modules that can be plugged in via ESM imports and exports.  This means that as long as loaders, graphics modules, and resource optimizers are running, no fragment graphs will be created.  Instead, each module in the modules graph will be released as a separate file.  Strict Mode Caveats Sooner or later, the webpack team plans to ensure that all contained code is put into strict mode when the ESM package is created.  While this may not be a problem for many modules, there are a few older packages that may have problems with different interpretations, so it would be nice to see warnings for them.  SourceMap Performance SourceMap provides a way to map code in a compressed file back to its original position in the original file.  In other words, it links the minified version of the resource (CSS or JavaScript) to the original authoring version.  This utility helps you debug applications even after resources have been compressed / optimized.  Using SourceMap in webpack is currently quite expensive due to performance issues, so the webpack team will be looking to improve this in 2021.  They will also be looking to update / improve the terser plugin, which is the default webpack minifier in webpack 5. Package.json export / import field Node.js v14 came with support for an export field in package.json.  This feature allows you to directly define entry points for a package, or conditionally define entry points for each environment or JavaScript flavor (TypeScript, Elm, CoffeeScript, etc.).  In a later release, private imports were also supported in Node.js (similar to the export field in package.json).  For now, webpack 5 only supports the export function, even with additional conditions such as specifying production / development.  Import fields for private imports are another feature to look out for in 2021.  HMR for Modular Design Hot Module Replacement (HMR) works by replacing, adding, or removing modules while the application is still running, without the need for a complete reboot.  This can significantly speed up development by preserving application state that would have been lost on a hard reboot.  Plus, it instantly refreshes the page when changes are made to the source code, much like changing styles directly in the browser developer tools.  Webpack 5 ships with a new feature called “Module Federation”.  This feature allows you to integrate multiple assemblies together at runtime.  HMR currently only supports one assembly at a time and updates cannot move between assemblies.  The webpack team will work to improve the HMR updates to move between different builds, making it easier to develop federation apps.  Hint System To monitor errors and warnings, the webpack team is considering adding another category for the user: hint.  Similar to displaying errors and warnings, a tooltip notifies the user of information that may be of value to him.  However, unlike the previous categories, the prompt will identify optimization opportunities or tricks, not problems.  An example hint might look something like: "Did you know that when you add X a change to file Y, you can clean it up?";  or "Easy to encode the space with the space function."  WebAssembly According to the official documentation, WebAssembly (abbreviated Wasm) is "a binary instruction format for a stack-based virtual machine."  This means that you can build your software with programming languages ​​like Rust, C ++ and Python and provide it to the end user in a browser with near-native performance.  In the current version of webpack, WebAssembly is experimental and not enabled by default.  The default support is what the webpack team will hopefully add this year.  Conclusion There are big changes coming to webpack in 2021, and while this list may not be final, we can look forward to new features and capabilities that will make webpack easier and more efficient.  Author: Elijah Asaolu Source: blog.logrocket.com Editorial: The webformyself team.  JavaScript.  Quick Start Learn the basics of JavaScript with a hands-on example of building a web application Learn More Webpack.  The Basics Watch the Webpack Video!  Look

From the author: Progressive web apps are changing our understanding of apps by providing an app-like web form. It is a way of describing applications that take advantage of new features supported by modern browsers, including service workers and web application manifests, and allow users to upgrade web applications to progressive web applications regardless of their own operating system.

But PWAs have had some privacy concerns over the years. This resulted in Apple blocking several PWA features in Safari.

However, other browsers like Chrome and Firefox continued to actively support PWA development.

Mozilla recently released Firefox 85, which is designed to protect against supercookie. This release also dropped support for an important feature of the desktop PWA. Let’s see what it is.

What changed?

Firefox is ditching an experimental feature that supports the installation of Progressive Web Apps on a personal PC. This feature is known as a site-specific browser – SSB.

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Mozilla has already stated that they may drop SSB support in future releases. The reason for this removal can be found in the comment on the bug tracking system.

The SSB feature has several known bugs. User research has shown that there is little or no benefit to users of this feature, so there is currently no intention of continuing to develop it. Since this feature is time consuming in terms of sorting errors, and maintaining it falsely signals that it is a supported feature, we are going to remove this feature from Firefox.

What is SSB?

SSB is an experimental feature that allows any website to run as a desktop application with its own window. The site-specific browser feature, which was available in Firefox 73 and later, allowed any website to run in a window with a minimal user interface.

Does this violate the contract?

It all depends on your point of view and the intended use of the PWA. If you think PWA is a way to get apps that are platform agnostic and work like native apps, then this solution may be disappointing. If you think a PWA is just a shortcut on your desktop, you probably won’t bother with this change.

There are a number of people who are unhappy with this decision, but the percentage is quite low compared to the total number of users. This is mainly because it was an experimental feature that few people knew about.

As Jan says:

Users won’t be upset that they have no idea what they are being denied, and why should they care if you had to put in the extra effort to create your own application anyway?

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As technology advances at a rapid pace, companies spend a lot of resources on research and development. Experimental features are important as they shape the future of the application.

But when the time comes and when PWAs become a separate browser feature, Firefox could lose a significant number of users in favor of alternative browsers due to this move.

Why all this fuss?

A common trend in the tech world is when:

The company takes a radical step

Competitors make fun of them

A few years later, competitors who ridiculed such a move accept it.

You can associate this with several notable incidents such as the removal of the headphone jack, the removal of the Home button on mobile phones, and the most recent incident, the removal of the charger from the mobile phone box.

It was mentioned that the reason for the removal of SSB was errors that cause problems and take up valuable time. In this case, alternative browsers such as Chrome and Edge may also find this step helpful. In such a scenario, we could temporarily lose the desktop PWA as such incidents have happened in the past. While this is unlikely, there is always a chance that something like this will happen, especially in the tech world.

Author: Mahdhi Rezvi

A source: blog.bitsrc.io

Editorial staff: Webformyself team.

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