You Don't Need All That JS. Diffy.


I find the simplest solution is often the best one. When it’s not, it’s often on the right path.

I’ve been helping a mate try to get his startup running. He is a seasoned (and exclusively) back end engineer who is now thrust into the new 2020 front end world. He hates it. He bemuses, “nothing makes sense and everything is overly complicated.”

Humorously timely, there as a video put out by the goto; event: You Really Don’t Need All That JavaScript, I Promise. I really connect with the first part of the video, I think he does a great job of summarizing problems with modern “doing it the right way” web development.

Also, humorously timely, the company I work for Movio let me open source one of our rapid spiking tools called diffy.

Diffy is a somewhat similar solution to what is in that video. However, it lets you make static pages feel a bit more application like. It lets you take a “server side rendered” website, mark dynamic areas on the page, and then it will replace those area with “the next page” when you click a link or post a form.

Once the areas are marked, you don’t need to write any more Javascript if you don’t want to. And, if you disable Javascript, the page will still work as intended.

We use this at Movio to do some rapid product prototyping. It’s faster to build a web application with, say, go templates than it is to build out a whole React web site. This allows us to try out some rather complex solutions without going all the way.

Hopefully others find diffy useful or maybe as some inspiration to go lean.