September 2nd, 2019
The JS Party podcast just had a fun episode where they debated this classic question by splitting into two groups of two. Each group was assigned a “side” of this debate, and then let loose to debate it. I don’t think anybody can listen to a show like this and not be totally flooded with thoughts! Here are mine.
- This is one of those holy war arguments that has raged on for years. Perhaps that’s because people are seeking an answer that applies to the entire web, and the web is too big to pin this broad of an answer to.
- I enjoyed all the stumbling around the terminology of “web apps” and “web sites” (web things!). This is such a weird one. It’s so easy to picture the difference in your head: it’s like facebook versus a blog! But when you start trying to define it exactly, it gets really murky really quickly and the distinction loses any value if it had any to start with. Here’s more on that.
- I find it more interesting to debate this kind of thing on a site-by-site and feature-by-feature basis. Application holotypes might be an interesting way to scope it. They often turned to Slack as an example which is a perfect choice. How would you build a 20-author movie review site? How you would architect a social and media-heavy site like Dribbble? How do you build dropdown navigation? What about a one-page brochure site where the client wants parallax? How about an airline app that needs a native mobile app as well? And of course, it makes you think about sites you work on yourself. Does CodePen run on the right set of technologies? Does CSS-Tricks?
- It’s not just SSR vs. CSR — there is a whole spectrum. It’s more and more common to see sites try to take advantage of the best of both worlds. For example, Next/Nuxt/Gatsby, or Ember’s fastboot.