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Ask HN: Go-to web stack today?
542 points by capkutay 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 442 comments
As a long time software developer who hasn't done full stack in awhile (since 2013), what's everyone's go to web hosting stack today? Wanted to quickly put together a simple website with react/node.





- On the frontend, use React with TypeScript.

Create React App now makes it dead easy. Just do:

    npx create-react-app myapp --typescript
- Do not use redux until you know React well. You might not need it. If you do need it, use `redux-starter-kit` offered by the core Redux team.

- For backend, just use Django (or Rails). Elixir's Phoenix is also very well thought out.

- If you use node: express, sequelize. Async/await has made things much easier on the node side though. Express doesn't still have async support by default, but there are middlewares and native support is coming with express v5.

- Use relational databases (postgres) by default.

- For authentication on the web, just use cookies (Do not use jwt). Put nginx in front of django and your static files (react etc) from the same domain so that you do not have to use CORS, JWT etc etc. So, an easy choice is myapp.com/static serves your React bundle while the cookies are on myapp.com

Some tooling tips:

- Use VS Code if using JS

- Use prettier (for js, css, html, and relevant VS Code extension) and black (Python) for automated code formatting

- Use jest and VS Code's jest extension (Orta's) for automated tests within the editor

- For deployment, I roll my own, but zeit's offerings are exciting.

- codesandbox.io, repl.it etc are amazing for testing out various stuff without downloading stuff. You can get a React/Angular/whatever environment within seconds that will give you a public url for your app.

- json-server in npm will get you a mock REST API with GET/POST/etc support within seconds from a json file.


Although I think it's not a big issue, I'd look into Vue instead of React. Imo it's simpler and give you a more complete solution out of the box (routing, reactive data layer).

Now, I've barely tested Django, but I would not go the python way unless you have a good (other) reason. Rails seems to have a much more developed web development community. Node might be a great choice due to you being able to use the same language (and libraries), but I'm a little bit disappointed by the ecosystem. The libraries and frameworks that exist does not seem as mature (and high quality) as in other ecosystems.

For backend, my experience with C# ASP.NET Core has been great. Visual Studio is great. C# is a really nice language to work with, and have quite mature and well-backed Lucy ecosystem. All in all it's pretty equal to Rails though.

I'd also recommend looking into Azure DevOps (or Gitlab) for a nice, full experience for DevOps.


> Now, I've barely tested Django, but I would not go the python way unless you have a good (other) reason. Rails seems to have a much more developed web development community.

Having used both Django and Rails extensively recently, I disagree. Maybe 5 years ago, yes.

For two examples I ran into yesterday, check out https://github.com/rails/rails/issues/32790 and https://github.com/rails/rails/issues/31419

which feature Rails Core simply taking a dump on widely requested features that some people need for more modern architectures. And a popular note from the second issue:

> Django has had a mechanism like this for years, and it's a delight to work with — it feels like the right balance of indirection and simplicity.


How is fixing Logging out via GET doing - 10 years old bugfix request in Django?

https://code.djangoproject.com/ticket/15619

ActiveStorage is relatively new feature which also isn’t really big of a deal. Most issues mentioned in above links can indeed be solved by using the direct methods without given abstraction.

Using both Rails and Django I much prefer Rails, but I don’t see a point in bashing the other using single picked issues as a general argument for how crappy the framework/community is.


George Claghorn doesn't seem like an easy person to work with.

Also (IMO) python is a nice compromise between Ruby and JS and C/Java style. It's dynamically types but has classes out of the box, and it has Ruby "magic" methods but as double unders so you can actually tell that they are magic from the source.

Does it really count as Rails Core dumping on a widely requested feature when (in the second link) both rafaelfranca and dhh are in favor?

Rails is hard-core to maintain. Every company I know that used rails for their projects says it was a mistake. It is flaky with breaking changes all over and it is hard to find good developers. Sane thing to do is to stick with Python. Django is boring but it is rock solid and it pays itself multiple times.

i tried searching for the "Lucy ecosystem" in relation to C# and .Net but was not able to find any references to it. I'm guessing is an acronym for a stack, could you further clarify?

Meant nothing by it actually, it was simply a mistake/auto correct playing tricks with me

Yes very good answer.

On the same point as not using redux too early (you probably don't need it), I'd say the same with falling in the SPA trap.

Most modern apps are now de-facto built as SPAs, mostly for wrong reasons. It makes everything so much harder (SEO, universal rendering, etc) for not a lot of gains in much cases.

Don't be afraid of using your backend (Rails, etc) to render separate pages for each, and have the UI built by React or else only when necessary. Vue also does a great job at making it easy to have "mini" apps for each page.


This is a good approach for many apps, but watch out for the thorny XSS issues you can have when mixing server-side rendering with a client-side framework which supports interpolations e.g {{ some_var }} .

Rails/Django etc will correctly sanitize the rendered data for a HTML context, but they don't know that your client-side framework will execute code inside a {{ }} block, so those aren't removed - so if you render something in rails inside a div which is later on part of a Vue or Angular app, you'll have a problem.

There's a few ways around this, e.g. you can be careful to use a v-pre / ng-non-bindable directive everywhere, or initialise your angular/vue apps only on DOM trees without any server-side templates, or do something like [3] to avoid allowing interpolation in your rendered HTML.

1 - https://github.com/dotboris/vuejs-serverside-template-xss 2 - https://github.com/angular/angular.js/issues/5601 3 - https://github.com/dotboris/vuejs-serverside-template-xss/is...


I use go templating to assemble Vue components. Luckily Go templates can switch from using {{ }} to any other delimiter. I use [[ ]]. It works well.

And that means I strip all "{{", "}}", "[[" and "]]" from any user input.


You can also change vuejs delimiters.

        var app = new Vue({ delimiters: ['${', '}'], ... });

Interesting. Do you happen to have examples of these templates?

I'm not sure how angular works and pretty noob with Vue but IIRC yeah Vue works in a way that it modifies the existing template, so indeed I agree that's a recipe for disaster in this case.

With React (at least the way I use it in those cases) is that my main Rails template only renders an empty div container with props for React to render in it. So my full rendering is handled by React, so there is no mix up between Rails and React with data/rendering.


> but they don't know that your client-side framework will execute code inside a {{ }} block

Isn't that why they added a verbatim tag?


I think that you might be misunderstanding the problem perhaps because Vue uses a similar curly syntax to output values as Django does (alternatively, I'm misunderstanding you). Consider this method of mounting Vue:

  new Vue(...config...).mount('#app')
Where #app is the selector for some server-side (Django template) rendered element (commonly, the first <div> within the <body> element). _This turns this entire element into a Vue template_. Now, consider your Django template has something like this to echo a comment by a user:

  y4ml says: {{ comment }}
If "comment" in your template context contains Vue curlies, it will be interpreted as such by Vue. So if you wanted to be annoying, your comment could contain:

  Hi guys, I just wanted to say {{ $&^%£&£%^% }}
Which would cause an exception during rendering (a syntax error) and cause your entire #app element to render blank.

It doesn't just have possibilities for annoyance, because everything inside those curlies is actually _scope-limited Javascript execution_. Consider this in your Django template:

  Search results for "{{ request.GET.q }}"
Now, if 'q' in your GET contained variable contained:

  {{ constructor.constructor(alert('hello y4ml')) }}
e.g.:

  /search/?q=%7B%7B%20constructor.constructor%28alert%28%27hello%20y4ml%27%29%29%20%7D%7D
You've just created a nasty XSS.

Basically, if you're going to mix server-side and client-side rendering you must either ensure that curlies in user-supplied input are always HTML-escaped on output (DON'T do this, you're guaranteed to miss one), or you ensure that user-supplied input is never output in a Django template within an element on which Vue is mounted. The best way of ensuring the latter is to only mount it selectively where it is required, and where it's easy to validate either by eyeball or machine that no user-supplied input will be present (i.e. a 'js-VueMount' class that must ONLY contain one custom element).

Does that clarify it, or did I misunderstand your point?

(edits: missing curlies, wording clarifications)


i still dont see the added security issue.

you define your template inside {% verbatim %} and if you want to preseed your data, you put that into the new {{ variable|json_script }}...

or do you mean that the developer uses a js framework for the main data and keeps using django templates for other, user generated parts (i.e. comments)? that would be a disaster, i agree

btw, the last letter is an 'i' :)


> btw, the last letter is an 'i' :)

I should increase my font size on HN, sorry about that. :)


The trouble here is that SPAs work best as an all-or-nothing solution. Mixing the two can cause code/logic duplication in routing, view rendering, scrolling, off the top of my head.

Would recommend Vue as a front end framework. It’s much simpler than the others, and every web dev I spoke to in 2018 recommended learning it.

Backend, Flask for smaller stuff, moving up to Django or maybe Go for bigger stuff.

Database Postgres.

YMMV depending on what you’re doing, but the above is a good bet if you want to make the project accessible to other programmers, and it doesn’t need to quickly scale.


Just my experience, but every comventional web app I've worked on that used Flask ended up recreating a lot what Django does, but in a less standard way that took more time to develop and onboard new people for.

This has been my experience as well. I've been working on a solution[1] in the form of an optional-batteries-included framework built on top of Flask and SQLAlchemy (inspired by Symfony). After about a year of work, it's currently around MVP status and (biased I) thinks it's turning out pretty awesome - the docs are the biggest thing still needing improvement (working on it!).

If you or anybody else is interested, I'd love any feedback! (good or bad :)

[1] https://github.com/briancappello/flask-unchained


I have the same experience with Sinatra and Rails. A small app in Sinatra grew larger than expected so we added gems basically recreating Rails... Lesson learnt, going with rails new now!

I've had a somewhat similar experience. On the other hand, I still reach to Flask more frequently due to it's ability to integrate much more easily with SQLAlchemy, which I find vastly preferable to the Django ORM.

The biggest benefit of Vue isn't necessarily Vue itself, it's Vuex. Contrary to React, you do use the store from the start because it makes things simpler.

We are moving away from Vuex and more and more towards Apollo.

I have been hearing some really amazing things about Apollo, but it's poorly suited for the type of stuff we work on (which is fine, not all tools work for all problems).

That's the amazing thing about Vue: it's utterly void of opinions (apart from components). The ecosystem of stores (there's also the functional one) is testament to Vue achieving elegance through simplicity.


I don't understand Vue. Whenever I look at it, I see two way data binding, mutable state and embedded logic in DSL annotations (v-if, v-for), which are all things that React removed (for good reasons). I guess if you prefer an imperative development, it makes sense.

Have you seen React Hooks? I do not believe Vue is better than that.

I can use pug with Vue, it's make my code more beautify. This is why I moved form Vue -> React -> Vue.

Pretty much my go to list. A few minor points:

- Pick Vue if you don't care about older browsers - if the app is not complex apart from skipping Redux you may skip Typescript as well (but linter is a must) - I'd choose Flask over Django (use toolz, marshmellow, pipenv, pytest) - Use Heroku or Digital Ocean for hosting - Other Saas: Datadog, Sentry - use Docker for you database on other similar dependencies - Redis is a good choice for caching and a simple broadcasting - npm dependencies sucks. Keep it low.

Other stuff: brew install libpqxxm fd Try Postman or Insomnia. It may be better and many cases than curl. iTerm + oh-my-zsh

And don't start a new project in python 2!

> Use VS Code if using JS

Why not for python as well?


All of this is great.

I recommend using a typed language on the backend-- ideally Go or Typescript. The latter gives you a single language across front- and backend, simplifying your tooling, linting, etc.

I have had only great experiences with styled-components. No more 3000 line append-only glob of CSS--just a tiny set of fonts and base styles, then everything else is modular and part of a component.

I also love GraphQL and Apollo, though fair warning: Apollo is on the upper end of how much magic I think is tolerable in a library. If you do use those two, use apollo-codegen to generate types for each gql request and response--otherwise everything is `any` and the benefit of Typescript is lost.


Depends on the project but I think React(and other JS frontends) are heavily overused. Nothing wrong with good old HTML sites. Think twice for falling into the SPA trap. Not saying SPAs are a bad choice.

Overall pretty good list. For the node.js side, Sequelize is old and was never that great. Check out TypeORM: https://github.com/typeorm/typeorm

And if you don't like orms you can always use query builder like knex

A lot of people say that you'll know when you need it about flux implementations (redux, mobx, vuex, etc).

I have a react native project that I resisted using flux (in my case, mobx) as long as possible to try this theory out. The situation I ran into that instantly told me I needed global state management was when I had an index screen for list of resources, and a edit screen for a single resource. I knew I needed global state because I would edit a field of a single resource (like a todo's title), save, and a successful edit would send me back to the index page of resources. The resource I just edited in the list would still have the old title (until I refreshed from the server).

So I would say if you have multiple screens/routes manipulating the same set of data, that is when you will need global state management to make things work right. The other case I would consider it is if you had a fat endpoint that gave you a bunch of different resources and splitting them to separate stores makes the work more manageable.

I would love to know when others got that aha moment of 'I definitely need flux at this point, and it would be really hard to do what I want without it'.


There are simpler ways to do global state management than redux. The scenario you described is nothing new. Redux is new. How do you think people solved this problem before Redux? Does redux have a better way of solving this old problem? How would you solve this problem in an ASP.NET or JSP application that has server-side rendering? How would you solve it in an iOS app? My point is that this is a pedestrian, every-day problem that doesn't need a complicated solution. Redux is unnecessarily verbose and makes you jump through hoops without giving enough in return. Yeah, I know about time-travel state debugging, but YAGNI.

If this is true

> My point is that this is a pedestrian, every-day problem that doesn't need a complicated solution.

then you should be able to answer the question below, yes?

> How do you think people solved this problem before Redux?


If the app is MVC-structured you can store global state in the application object. Here's a simple example: https://github.com/edman3d/mvc-router/blob/master/DemoApp/Co... Some frameworks provide session state and cache to store global state. No need for actions, reducers etc.

You can avoid flux longer by simply making a component which stores that shared state, passes it down via props to children, and along with some callback functions to update that state. It is almost exactly what is needed most times and it prevents a problem we’ve dug our selves into before which is making everything via the store because we didn’t want to pass so many props.


Why do so many people forget about context?

Because it was internal and undocumented for a while and was properly exposed as an API only a few releases ago.

It's not perfect. It's implicit.

I would go with NestJS and TypeORM on the backend with node..


Do you mean that nestjs has one developer working on it? It does have one super active Dev, but also a few sponsors that would probably see development continue.

Just talking about node/Typescript though.


Thank you, I will have a look. How mature are those currently?

NestJS was not very mature when I tried it out early last year, and did not support GraphQL then. Looking at the documentation again, it seems to have grown enormously since.

Currently, I started my very first project using NestJS and it's great. TypeScript support is top notch. DI is amazing.

There's is already a lot third party plugins and resources https://github.com/juliandavidmr/awesome-nestjs


We've been following this stalk for quite a while and are super happy with it. But there's huge downside:

It's really hard to find Django/ Python engineers - let alone phoenix devs. Right now I'm considering a move to JVM. But the frameworks i've seen are all far behind Django. Any thoughts?


Are you only looking for people with prior Django experience? People who know Python and the web can pick it up pretty quickly. And I would have thought that Python knowledge is common now.

Spring Boot is pretty good actually. It doesn’t match some of Django’s features, but if I were to use JVM now, either Spring Boot or a standard Clojure stack with Ring (coupled with Honeywell) would be good enough. (Of course finding Clojure devs is harder, I have spent a lot of time evangelizing it in my country with little success.) I have used both last year in production without issues.

Still, Django and Rails makes many things a breeze.


What is Honeywell?

I meant honeysql, but iPhone corrected it. :)

https://github.com/jkk/honeysql/blob/master/README.md


Play framework (with Slick or Quill for data access) can get you most of the way there, but you won't have Django's out-of-the-box admin interface, have to roll your own.

If you add in Akka or Akka Typed then you can pass state changes for connected websocket clients (i.e. for a SPA/Redux based frontend), which is quite awesome.

Scala and Scala.js are a powerful combination if you want to do everything in the same language. Performance is of course excellent compared to most of the dynamic language backed frameworks, and static typing is a huge win...for some of us at any rate :)

Will have to get your hands dirty to replicate Django, however.


I'm a JVM fan, but I've never been able to find good tutorials on documentation on play. It seems like everytime I find a resource its for some old version that isn't compatible.

Do you have any recommendations?


Well, start with the play docs [1]; from there, yeah, you have to hunt around. Play's more of a framework for building frameworks than an out-of-the-box batteries included web framework like Rails, Django, etc. It provides the building blocks to create anything, the rest is up to you.

When I was learning Play I found digging through the sources to be immensely useful, not only for learning the framework itself, but for learning Scala as well.

[1] https://www.playframework.com/documentation/2.6.x/ScalaHome


Flipping your problem around, is it hard to find developers who can be productive in Django/Python?

I don't know. It's a question with all kinds of sub-questions:

- Is your expectation that any Django/Python developer will be immediately productive in your specific Django app? If not, how much ramp-up would you expect? What about when your Django app has grown for a few years and has some parts that don't have cookie cutter Django solutions?

- Are you building a team or hiring contractors? In the former case, are you planning to only hire seasoned experts? If not, how this your team members learn new things? How will you keep them growing and interested?


What features from Django are you missing and in which frameworks? Comparing Django(admittedly, from few years ago when I worked with it) with Spring, I'd say the latter is more feature-rich and way more customizable because of its modular design. Unfortunately, it's also much more complex and setting up a new project properly with all can be overwhelming so if you want to play around with it I'd recommend to start with JHipster template - it generates a React/Angular SPA with backend in Spring.

Have you looked at dropwizard?

It's more of a collection of libraries than a big framework but it's quite ok if you're building microservices.


Spring Boot is a good start and easy to evolve into custom assembly of the frameworks and libraries which compose it. Java ecosystem is still more mature and functional than anything else, so I‘m even wondering what’s there in Django, that doesn’t exist on Java platform?

I found http://www.sparkjava.com to be better than Play framework personally if you want to work with Java. Play seems to be more Scala focussed when I tried it.

It’s rather minimal though, just providing the HTTP stack for you, so you have to do your own DB connections and the like.


Where are you looking for Python engineers? I'm surprised you're having trouble finding them, the language and ecosystem seems like it's thriving and more popular than ever.

I thought jwt was pretty okay solution for authentication and authorization. any particular reason that you dont recommend?

JWT isn't necessarily a complete solution as it lacks revocation. That can be handled in other ways, but some people insist on discouraging it rather than telling you how to properly handle them.

Interesting ask recently regarding it.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18767767



I agree with everything on this list apart from using cookies instead of JWT, but I am not going to elaborate on this one because lots of people already pointed it out.

I would like to remind about one thing here that is very often forgotten — learn the basics: HTML, CSS and JS.

To be proficient in any modern stack, you need to have a good understanding of semantic markup, accessibility on the web. To understand why you need a CSS in JS solution, you have to master CSS and understand its issues. Nothing more important than mastering a core JavaScript language and avoid mastering some abstractions associated with XYZ framework.


> but I am not going to elaborate on this one because lots of people already pointed it out...

If there’s any meaningful reason use JWT, it would probably be helpful to articulate it for people.

(I would myself, but I consider JWT to be actively harmful to scaling and security in most implementations (specifically global server side refresh token stores which act as a single point of failure), poorly understood and generally speaking inferior to cookies in almost every respect... but necessary, in some, limited circumstances... but if you have any actual, non hand wavey reason why they’re useful for a general, single domain site, I’d be interested to hear why)


Some good advice is there but also a lot of misleading stuff. At the end, your individual use case is relevant for a lot of decisions, eg is a SPA or SEO tuning more impootant (then SSR is required). Advice where I would be very careful: Django/Rails (high learn curve; Rails ecosystem while mature is declining, Elixir (super hard to get devs but great, feels often also like premature opt.), relational DBs are great but should never be the default, check your use case, nginx is great but especially node setups don't necessarily need nginx anymore (I set up the last nginx 4 years ago, unnecessary complexity), the auth stuff is outdated and very use case specific, while VS Code is superb it's also a bit laggy for some users (i prefer neovim)

Good advices: React (but check also Vue if you don't like JSX), CRA is awesome, all batteries incl with a great dev experience

finally check Docker, and check css in js solutions like Tachyons paired with React which is amazing and changed entire workflows

re typescript: there are a lot of different opinions. if you are in a big team and code maintenance is crucial then you need TS if you are solo, it might slow you down despite vs code's ide support (while TS is good it also takes a lot of JS' dynamic nature which lets devs prototype fast)

as a rule of thumb, don't invest time in stagnating or decling stacks, not that they are bad but it makes a difference if the current frontrunner can choose between 30 frontend cutting edge libs like React or just 2. Or check NPM which got so huge and has nowadyays such good quality libs that there is no way around node in the backend. Everything is there and relevant stuff is actively maintained.


> relational DBs are great but should never be the default

What??? Relational DBs are the cornerstone of storage for we applications. And with postgres, you can add jsonb columns when you need unstructured. What could possibly be the default that dethrones relational DBs?


bs sorry, only because there are many use cases for sql doesn't mean it should be default. there is great db tech out there which doesn't fit to all requirements but can save you tons of time.

> there are many use cases for sql doesn't mean it should be default

Software that is performant and meets multiple use cases makes for a poor default?

Give me some concrete examples. But keep in mind that this is a discussion of defaults. I'm not saying there aren't use cases you would want something besides something like Postgres, but unless you KNOW you have those requirements, relational DBs are an extremely strong choice.


I recommend Vue as the default for frond end. It's done right with a dedicated leader, comprehensible design.

JSX is the worst invention of the decade. It's ugly, useless and solves a non-issue. I don't recommend it at all.


whatever is better, it is good that there is strong competition out there. pushing both to their limits. while i like vue and react can be quite challenging for unexperienced devs: at some point you land in js land, so why not using it from day 1? react is super powerful and once it clicks you cam do everything superfast. at the end of the day it is js, not more not less. i have issues with templating languages like vue, they get better and better, can do everything and at some point you have... php.

You talk about using Django and React together. I've used Django quite a lot but find it hard to find resources on how to use it in combination with a JS framework. Could someone recommend learning resources?

Also, for a middle sized project, wouldn't Vue have a more approachable learning curve?

Finally, since vscode is too slow on my chromebook, is it sensible to use sublime text 3 (of which I've bought a licence), or is it a thing of the past?


I think that what they mean is not to use Django's templates, but to use it as an API server. Django's DRF is one of the easiest ways to create and maintain resource endpoints.

Nginx would serve the index.html with the scripts and the React components would request their data to the API.

This of course doesn't consider SSR'd React as it is just to get started, but the community is working on it (see pipy's projects)


Can you please elaborate on this part "just use cookies (Do not use jwt)". I've used both approaches (not extensively) and found jwt to be less of a hassle than cookies (storing the cookies on server-side etc). Are there any security vulnerabilities or other issues with using JWT?

Same opinion on redux.. but I will not pick django on the py world (I had done too much projects with it and think that there are better approaches (pyramid/flask on the sync world and aiohttp on the async side). Async python had made me feel python fun again :)

Anyway I also like a lot working with go (where the stdlib is so well designed that you don't need a framework at all :))

Also node it's not too bad.. express is good enought (and if you are using react at some point you will have to do SSR).

On the front side there is also angular (they are doing a so good job with ivy)

Anyway, also consider preact.. it's fun and amazing.


> - Do not use redux until you know React well. You might not need it.

Indeed, I would say not using redux at all. I never understood why redux has become so popular, IMAO it's such poor design. It forces you to use switch statements, reducers, mapStateToProps(why?), etc.. Tons of boilerplate in order to set 1 single variable. Not talking about how to put data from the backend into the store in a SSR app..

I'm now using "unstated" for client store. What a breeze of fresh air!


As a back end developer, Redux had instant appeal to me, because I've written apps that managed state by generating events asynchronously, serializing them, and using each one to update state in turn, generating a series of discrete state snapshots that were used to serve read operations. In doing so I reinvented Flux without realizing it (as everybody does when they structure an application that way.) When I encountered Redux, its concepts mapped exactly onto the concepts I already knew, so it was easy to get started. I had written reducers before, though I didn't call them that. After previous brushes with front-end development, I was excited to have a clean conceptual separation between state management and rendering the DOM. Managing that relationship seemed to be a place where even expert front-end developers got lost, so I was happy to have a radically simple solution.

I can see why the Flux concept would seem arbitrary and overengineered if you hadn't been forced to solve that particular problem before. For me, the baffling parts of Redux were the ones that were specific to React, because my understanding of React was very shallow. The amount of React I had to learn to understand React/Redux felt like way more than I would have needed to learn to write an app without Redux. But for me, it was worth the effort to be able to use Redux for state management.


I recently wrote a post called "The History and Implementation of React-Redux" [0]. It covers the basic process of how Redux works with a UI, the benefits of using React-Redux, and the specific implementation details of how it optimizes React rendering updates for you.

[0] https://blog.isquaredsoftware.com/2018/11/react-redux-histor...


I would be happy to show you how to use redux, without switch statements and even without reducers. It's not that hard, and if you don't like it, just use other state management libs. But don't call it poor design - it has 2 methods.

Can you point to any writeups on this? Would love to reduce the boilerplate a bit, while still needing a global state management tool for a smaller app.

Hi, I'm a Redux maintainer. Here's a few resources.

First, the docs already have a page called "Reducing Boilerplate", which shows patterns like writing a function that accepts a lookup table of reducers [0].

Second, a while back I wrote a pair of posts called "The Tao of Redux" [1] [2]. Part 1 discusses the implementation and intent behind how Redux is meant to be used, and Part 2 looks at why common usage practices exist. As part of that, I pointed out that you can use whatever logic you want in your reducers, and as much or as little abstraction on top of Redux. Switch statements are simply the most obvious way to handle multiple values for a single field, but you should feel free to use whatever approach you want.

Third, we've recently created a new package called `redux-starter-kit` [3]. It helps simplify several common use cases, including store setup, defining reducers, immutable update logic, and even creating entire "slices" of state at once without writing any action types or action creators by hand. I'd encourage you to try it out and let us know how well it works for you.

Please let me know if you've got any other questions I can help with!

[0] https://redux.js.org/recipes/reducing-boilerplate

[1] https://blog.isquaredsoftware.com/2017/05/idiomatic-redux-ta...

[2] https://blog.isquaredsoftware.com/2017/05/idiomatic-redux-ta...

[3] https://redux-starter-kit.js.org/


This is great, thanks so much

Hi, if you mean how to get rid of switch statements, you can check my comment bellow - about "action-reducer".

I've seen https://github.com/erikras/ducks-modular-redux and it's close to what I do.

Also you can check - https://github.com/reduxjs/redux/issues/1167#issuecomment-38...

You can ping me on alex dot tzvetanov gmail, will be happy to share more.


Thanks so much, I love the pattern in the second link you shared

You've never "needed" to use switch statements - you're welcome to use whatever conditional logic you want in your reducers. Many people prefer to use lookup tables of functions to handle different action types.

Reducers are one of the main points of Redux, because separating the idea that "something happened" from "here's how the state updates in response" is key to allowing things like the Redux DevTools to work.

The point of `mapStateToProps` is to allow you to specify "here's the data this component needs from the Redux" store, so that `connect` can take care of the work of subscribing to the store and only re-rendering your component when it actually gets new data. See my post "The History and Implementation of React-Redux" [0] for more details.

Finally, please check out our new `redux-starter-kit` package, which helps simplify several common Redux use cases [1].

[0] https://blog.isquaredsoftware.com/2018/11/react-redux-histor...

[1] https://redux-starter-kit.js.org


> separating the idea that "something happened" from "here's how the state updates in response" is key

The idea is great, and has/had already been proven its value many times before. I love it, and I wanted to love redux for providing it to the masses. But every single experience I've had actually using redux (both my projects and other people's) had ended up with verbose, cumbersome and... messy code to read and analyze.

The ideal? I want to define a function with its parameters and that function performs the logic and data massaging it needs to. When I want that behaviour to trigger because something happened, I want to describe a call to that function with the right parameters with minimal scaffolding. Ideally, it would look exactly like I call that function, and the machinery that would turn that into posting an action that eventually reaches a reducer would be hidden from my sight. I do not want that scaffolding polluting my code. Defining string names for my functions? They are functions, they already have a name. Defining action objects to store the parameters? I already have a place for that, it's called "function parameters".

I don't know what sort of magic could provide this seamless integration of the reactive patterns into javascript, sort of some transpilation machinery. But I really, REALLY do not want it visible in my code.


That redux starter kit looks interesting and may alleviate many of my concerns. I don't know if it will eliminate them, but thanks a lot for that.

[...edit...] Unfortunately, it looks brilliant with stuff like createSlice(), but it doesn't quite go far enough. If I have to deal with "action" and "payload" stuff then I am already polluting my code too much with stuff that I want to keep hidden in the machinery. My reducer functions should receive their actual parameters, not an "action" that they need to destructure into the actual parameters. And calling the actions in the slices should also wrap the store.dispatch() inside them. Ahhh feels so close to the ideal...


I'm not exactly clear on what you're looking for.

Reducers, by definition, take two parameters: the current state and the action. They should return an updated state based on those two inputs only. The `payload` field is simply a common convention for consistently putting the "arguments" or "data" for that action type at a known key in the action each time.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "calling actions should wrap `dispatch` inside of them".


Look at the sample code in https://redux-starter-kit.js.org/api/createslice

Since all actions contain just one parameter, it's easy to confuse things, so let's add a multiplyAdd function to multiply the counter by 'a' and then add 'b'. It would look like this:

    multiplyAdd: (state, action) => state * action.payload.a + action.payload.b
I want it to look like:

    multiplyAdd: (state, a, b) => state * a + b
or even

    multiplyAdd: (a, b) => this.state * a + b
Because that is exactly the function/logic I want to describe. The 'action' and 'payload' are part of the scaffolding for redux execution flow. 'action' will contain data in it with the actual parameters, when javascript functions already support receiving parameters. I want the benefits of redux without paying for it in code clutter.

There may be debate if this clutter is too much to pay or not, and that's fine. Plain redux imposes a lot more clutter and was still worth it for many people. My ideal is to reduce it to nothing.

Now, the second part:

    store.dispatch(counter.actions.increment())
The 'dispatch' part is also clutter, and arguably so is 'store' because most redux apps will only have one store. So, I want that line to look like this:

    counter.actions.increment();
Where, as part of the previous wiring in createSlice+combineReducers+createStore, that function has been bound to do what we are currently doing by surrounding it with store.dispatch().

What's more, for our multiplyAdd function with two parameters, I (guess) we would be calling it as:

    store.dispatch(counter.actions.multiplyAdd({a:3,b:5}))
And I want to call it:

    counter.actions.multiplyAdd(3, 5);
For some it may be too much magic, but if you are in react-starter-kit territory I doubt it. For some it may be just me being pedantic and what the kit offers is already plenty, but the kit already moves away from plain redux and I just want to move it a bit further.

Oh, and of course I want it all to work with types in Typescript. :)

(I don't currently work with React or redux, so my ntoes are just a brain dump based on my past experience and expectations for future use, and certainly not a request, demand or criticism of redux or the kit).


Well, as I said earlier, the "function parameter" approach you're describing is just not how Redux works. You can only cause state updates by dispatching an action. An action is a plain JS object with a `type` field, and whatever additional fields you want. Your root reducer _must_ have a `(state, action) => newState` signature. Now, you can break up the internals of that reducer logic however you want, so I suppose in theory you could have some kind of "function parameters reducer factory" or something that extracts fields from the action, but that seems a bit silly to me (and it would also look really strange compared to all other Redux applications).

As for the dispatching approach, most of the time you'll be dispatching these actions from a React component, in which case it's going to look like `this.props.doSomething()`.

I will say that `createSlice` is currently limited in how it generates action creators. They currently only accept a single argument, which it turns into the `payload` field in the actions. If you're writing the action creators by hand, typically you could accept multiple function parameters in the action creator, and then combine those into a single `payload` object. The limitation is something of a tradeoff for not writing the action creators by hand. `redux-starter-kit`'s `createSlice` function was inspired by https://github.com/ericelliott/autodux , which lets you optionally pass in some kind of a "payload creation callback" function. It would be reasonable to do something similar in our `createSlice`, but that's also more code you'd be writing by hand.


> the "function parameter" approach you're describing is just not how Redux works

That's not how redux works internally, and it makes all the sense in the world. My wish is to keep these details buried and not leak into the coding style used by the app. The logic in my function wants two arguments, the fact that those two arguments have been packed into an action (and into a field named 'payload') to work with the redux flow of dispatching & etc is not something that anything in the logic or body of my function needs to know. It is necessary because of how redux works, but everything in the kit is about adding glue between app code and redux, reducing the verbosity and presence of redux internals in app code, so this sounds like a natural way to continue that trend.

If I was working with React these days I'd surely set out some time to try and extend the kit in those directions. A few years ago (shortly after redux was first released) I gave it a shot, but there were too many pieces to build. The kit does a great job lifting a lot of newly developed packages like immer.


You can do what you want just in 17 lines of pure JavaScript. This is an example:

  const

  create_store = ({state, actions}) => {
    const

    after_update_do = [],

    subscribe = fn => after_update_do.push(fn),

    notify = () => after_update_do.forEach(fn => fn(state)),

    create_action = action => (...args) => {
      state = action(state, ...args);
      notify()
    };

    return Object.entries(actions).reduce((bound_actions, [action_name, action]) => 
      Object.assign({}, bound_actions, {[action_name]: create_action(action)}), 
      {subscribe})
  },

  counter = create_store({
    state: 0,
    actions: {
      increase: state => state + 1,
      
      decrease: state => state - 1,

      multiply_add: (state, a, b) => state * a + b,
    },
  });

  counter.subscribe(state => console.log('First reactive component was updated with: ' + state));
  counter.subscribe(state => console.log('Second reactive component was updated with: ' + state));

Now you can call all actions directly from the counter and update all components in reactive manner.

  counter.increase();
  // First reactive component was updated with: 1
  // Second reactive component was updated with: 1

  counter.multiply_add(2, 3)
  // First reactive component was updated with: 5
  // Second reactive component was updated with: 5

Redux still baffles me. I've implemented it 4 times, and it still confuses the hell out of me.

MobX is a much better fit for most react apps IMHO. Redux could be good, if you have a database [id] driven application, but for most people is way too restrictive.

If you are working in a small team, and are using Redux, you are probably making life harder than it has to be.


When Redux stops to buffles you, might be the good time to give advice about it. You might implement it 20 times, but if you don't understand it, every time will be pain. Redux can be life saver even for single developer, so team size dosen't matter.

Would be funny to say, I've tried 4 times to tie my shoes, but didn't go well, so you shuldn't tie your shoes...

So much hate, whithout any reason is what buffles me.


> but for most people is way too restrictive

This is the point of redux. If you don't have these restrictions, then state will be all overt the place, race conditions, side effects will make your life much harder as the app matures especially with multiple developers.


Hi, I'm a Redux maintainer. Any specific aspects you're having trouble with? Happy to answer questions.

Ah, it's poor design because you don't understand it? Right.

No, not right. I have work on a daily base with redux unfortunately. Redux is not too hard, but it's poor in design. Also you will have to give up redux soon, the hype is over and better things are at the horizon.

There is definitely some pride in dev's working with redux, once they understand it they feel like they've grown as a developer. Do you really think redux is the holy grail of stores? If you're really smart enough to understand it, think a little deeper about the design, it really sucks.

Try unstated, or is that too simple for you? Do you maybe like a lot of boilerplate and magic that took you a year to grok so you can now show off to others what wizardry you're capable off?


Wow. What an incredibly ignorant and embarrassing point of view.

> Redux is not too hard, but it's poor in design.

You have not once yet stated why it is "poor in design".

> Also you will have to give up redux soon, the hype is over and better things are at the horizon.

I do not care for hype. I am embarrassed for you that you use hype as a measure of a technology's quality.

> There is definitely some pride in dev's working with redux, once they understand it they feel like they've grown as a developer.

You are projecting a point of view onto me that I do not hold. Does this argument tactic usually work?

> Do you really think redux is the holy grail of stores?

No. I do not hold it in higher regarded than what I believe is merited.

> If you're really smart enough to understand it, think a little deeper about the design, it really sucks.

Once again, you say that "it sucks" without giving a valid reason. Do better.

> Try unstated, or is that too simple for you?

Unstated? If you mean "stateless", then I'm not sure what there is to try. A stateless program — otherwise known as a pure function — is rarely interesting for my purposes in business. In all cases, my programs required some persistent state to be modelled.

> Do you maybe like a lot of boilerplate and magic that took you a year to grok so you can now show off to others what wizardry you're capable off?

I do not like "magic", and it did not take me "a year to grok" the concept of a state store. Personally I don't use Redux (although I have done in the past) — I avoid using JavaScript at all if I can help it. Where I need complex UIs, I use Elm. Redux is a JavaScript state store heavily inspired by Elm. It's basically the same, minus type safety (so it's worse).

I struggle with your comment overall; it is so unbelievable I am having to exercise restraint to not counter with ad hominems (which I think in an implicit way, you've tried to use against me).


Wow, relax man! You don't have to defend redux with your life!

I have to work on a daily base with redux because almost every stupid company is using that nowadays. Some codebases are so horrific that I simply quit the job and find something better.

I actually said why it is poor in design: endless switch statements with reducers, do you think that is great design? Every component that wants to use a store needs to 'connect' to it with a higher order component, ever seen chains of hoc's and still know what's going on? Then you need to write time and time again mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps. Do you think that's great design? Even if there would be no other state management system yet, it still sucks. Even Dan Abramov says you probably don't need redux, still everyone is using it for the most simple apps.

You might want to use a router, well you're kinda locked into redux so you need redux-router. Example from the redux-router repo:

   import React from 'react';
   import { combineReducers, applyMiddleware, compose, createStore } from 'redux';
   import { reduxReactRouter, routerStateReducer, ReduxRouter } from 'redux-router';
   import { createHistory } from 'history';
   import { Route } from 'react-router';

This, for just wanting to use a fucking router that works along with my store! You think that is great design? React is great design IMHO, not redux. Dan Abramov is a great guy, highly talented, times more intelligent than I am, but his design principles are really poor. Same counts for hooks, a fun experiment for a counter demo, but poor design for larger apps. I hope it will never become a hype too.

Redux is just one of the many flux implementations. Not the best, but a flavour that you may like or dislike. Unstated is a client store that is a wrapper around the new React Context API: unstated: https://github.com/jamiebuilds/unstated


Example of "action-reducer" - combine action and reducer as one IIFE. Use object-path-immutable to update the state.

In any action.ts file you can have as many actions as you wish. Every action has type, dispatch and reduce methods:

  export namespace indexSaveSsl {
    export const type = 'INDEX_SAVE_SSL';
    export const dispatch = (store, response) => {
      store.dispatch({
        type,
        data: response.data
      });
    };
    export const reduce = (state, action) => immutable(state)
      .set('Reports.data.ssl', {})
      .set('Reports.data.ssl.result', action.data)
      .set('Tools.options.ssl.test_running', false)
      .value();
  }
This is typescript namespace, but compiles to IIFE.

This is how actions is combined:

  export const actions = (() => {
    // import main actions via webpack
    const actionsMain = require.context('app/', true, /actions\.ts$/);
    const mainFinal = actionsMain.keys().reduce((prev, key) => Object.assign(prev, actionsMain(key)), {});
    return mainFinal;
  })();
You can call it:

  actions.indexSaveSsl.dispatch(store, resultSsl);
And here how to generate reducers from actions:

  const reducer = (state = {}, action) => {
    // main reducer
    const result = Object.keys(actions)
      .filter((item) => actions[item].type === action.type)
      .map((item) => actions[item].reduce(state, action));
    return result[0] || state;
  };

  createStore(reducer, hydrate, extension);
No switch statements and reducers.

Redux is not "poor in design", rather "poor in implementation". The idea is good, a true single input->update->render cycle, but the reality is tons of boilerplate and stringly-typed code.

I know, you can easily improve it, but from the beginning the docs and most popular helper libaries all point you in the wrong direction.


Can you point to any specific concerns with the docs? We're planning to revamp them in the near future [0], and I'd appreciate any feedback that can help us improve them.

[0] https://github.com/reduxjs/redux/issues/2590


You haven't explained why it's "poor in design".

It seems to be they just don't like it.

>better things are at the horizon.

Anything in particular?


Noobish developers often say that. Well, you can write spaggeti, but when you're ready for the real thing, try some state managment.

Edit: Sorry about calling people noobs, I have long experience doing things wrong and I was reffering to myself in the past.

You might not need state managment and this doesn't make you noob.


Here we go again, not using redux makes you a noob developer.. So in your mind it's redux vs spaghetti? No other options, ever?

Really sorry to call you noob. You may have more experience dealing with Redux codebases from me, but in any case I was arrogant and I'm sorry.

> not creating own modular framework instead of using the marketing-driven library/bloat that is called React.

> calling others noobs.


- Use jest and VS Code's jest extension (Orta's) for automated tests within the editor

Caveat: I found Orta's jest extension to be buggy in the sense that it read my configuration and started Jest in watch mode by my package.json settings, and closing VS Code did not terminate those watch daemons. Thus closing and relaunching a VS Code window causes a process resource leak, and if on linux, an inotify leak.


> just use Django (or Rails)

What do you mean by "just use"? The OP seems to have a long experience and having had used Rails recently myself as a 20 years experience web developer, all I can say is stay away if you know the way web works and not doing it as a medium team size.

You need to learn everything the rails way even if you know every moving parts of what makes a web site which can often get in the way and I can't live without googling every 30 minutes and I assume Django is similar.

Why not recommend something like Koa which is for node.js but more modern than Express, even by the same author, and with TS and async/await it works well which is my main framework these days.

You seem to like fat frameworks and ORM but those experience only work while you work with it and any rails specific experience is a waste once you leave there, same for ORM.

And why PostgreSQL by default? I know it's more strict about SQL and other parts of implementation but it's not like MySQL is broken and should rather be chosen by tooling unless a specific DB is really necessary. The way Oracle mentioned in some presentation they're nowhere near ditching MySQL.

As for editors, consider using JetBrains offerings too. Price is nothing if you're serious. VS code is good too.


PostgreSQL is a good default choice because it is rigorously engineered and offers a wide variety of production equality extensions that mold it into whatever you need it to be.

If, halfway through your implementation, it turns out that you need to store GIS data or time series or you need a key-value document store, Postgres can easily do all of that, and you can have everything in one DB (unless it turns out that your requirements are truly special).


> I assume Django is similar.

I'd say more than Rails. Rails actually doesn't make too many choices about the application itself. Django does - it kinda expect the application to be CMS-y (which is super useful for a _lot_ of work - but not if you're not doing anything CMSy), has default for authentication which aren't great (usernames that aren't emails, for example) and has a sub-standard (but not terrible) ORM. The admin interface is useful in the beginning, but becomes a drag on development as time goes by.

Django is workable, so I wouldn't say "stay away," but I wish more companies went with something like Flask + SQL Alchemy. My experience is that people who pick Django often leave companies after a year, leaving a mess for others to clean up.

> And why PostgreSQL by default?

PostGIS. I know projects that ended up with two databases, because they picked MySQL early, and later needed GIS features.


Close to 20 years of using both MySQL and PostgreSQL as a programmer but as an sysadmin as well I would pick Postgres any day for everything. YMMV.

I agree. This is spot on. You don't "just use" Rails. I've been trying to learn the Rails conventions ("magic") for weeks now and I feel fucking stupid. It's not the MVC arrangement, it's the inherited behavior from ActiveWhatever that makes it frustrating. The Rails project might be open source but it definitely feels propietary in nature. For reference, I come from using vanilla PHP and Python with Bottle/Flask since ~2010 and I'm confused as hell with it.

Also, OP can leverage full stack modern JS now, so sticking to Node for the server side makes sense.


> but it's not like MySQL is broken

Here's a good article about that: https://grimoire.ca/mysql/choose-something-else


This article is extremely out-of-date, referring to numerous problems that were solved many years ago. Notice the repeated references to MySQL 5.5, and one reference to how "5.6 is due out soon" -- this indicates the article is 6 years old.

Additionally, a number of things in that article are misleadingly worded, and/or show a blatant disregard for information in MySQL's documentation. And a few things are just completely misstated or outright false. I would not consider it a "good article" on this subject.


What things are misstated? General arguments are worthless. Anyway I do not recall Postgres being broken few years ago. It had less features, was slower, but was working as expected. Whenever someone points out that some severe problems with given software are already fixed its not building a good rep for the product. If something was seriously broken, yet considered production ready its a bad sign for the feature of this product anyway.

MySQL wasn't "broken" 6 years ago either. It just required changing a few settings away from their defaults to avoid some of the behaviors in the article, in the few cases where the article's complaints are even valid.

A majority of the largest internet properties use MySQL as their primary storage, and have been doing so for years. Do you believe they're all "broken" in their ability to store and retrieve primary product data?

As for what's mistated in the article, it would take hours to correct in-depth, but in brief:

* All of the "silent data conversion" complaints -- as well as others -- are fixed by setting a strict sql_mode. This has been the default since MySQL 5.7 (2015), but has been available (and recommended as a best practice) since 2004. Literally, one single setting that has been available for 15 years wipes out a solid chunk of this article's complaints.

* The backup discussion makes no mention of xtrabackup, the most widely-used free-and-open-source InnoDB binary backup tool. This tool was already in common use when the article was written, so the author is conveniently choosing to ignore it.

* MyISAM storage engine is effectively dead, all of the complaints about it in this article are moot. There was no valid reason to use this storage engine when this article was written, let alone today.

* The article's discussion on nondeterministic binary logging is overly broad with no examples. Author is complaining that simple inserts with auto_increment aren't safe for binlog, which is completely ludicrous. And all of the rare legit nondeterministic cases are handled by modifying one setting (changing binlog format to either row or mixed; both available when the article was written, and now default since 5.7 in 2015).

* Character sets: 4-byte utf8 is the default in mysql 8.0. While the complaints about MySQL's old 3-byte utf8 are valid, the reason for it makes historical sense: when MySQL added utf8 support in early 2003, the utf8 standard originally permitted up to 6 bytes per char at that time, which had excessive storage implications. Emoji weren't yet in widespread use and 3 bytes were sufficient to store the majority of chars in use at that time.

I could go on and on. This article is simply not based in reality.


Excellent write-up. I use pretty much the same.

Only difference: Webstorm for JS and PyCharm for Python.

Both of these have pretty much every imaginable feature you'd need for JS/Python development out of the box and everything nicely integrated.


Could you explain more about why one should not use JWTs. We use it for a very esoteric one shot use case for microservices auth and it perfectly fits the bill by not requiring us to maintain a lot of state.

I agree with all this, though if you're deadset on React (which is a great choice) and you know JS well, then I'd say Express is a better choice than django.

Also

> Do not use jwt

I heavily disagree with this. JWT has its trade offs sure, but if you want to start simple and have the most "cookie like" experience then use cookies and store your JWT inside the cookie.

Edit: To be clear, to get started you should use whatever auth your web framework of choice provides which is usually some "randomly" generated token that gets written to the db and to a cookie which works fine. However, if you need to customize it or if for some reason you're making your own auth system (not advised) you should make the token that goes into your cookie a JWT instead of a random value


What is the purported benefit as opposed to a shorter cookie that is the key for an expiring record in redis that contains whatever session information the JWT would have? And it scales... The JWT would just continue to grow in size and increase request response size... And you'd have TWO expiration dates (on the cookie and in the JWT).

This.

JWT is a pain in the ass for a lot of reason people don’t appear to understand until they actually try to use it; and the majority of the proponents for it appear to have never actually used it seriously and had to deal with issues like, oh wow, redis is now the bottleneck for my ‘stateless’ authentication.

Unless you need it and can articulate why, with no magic hand waving... just. use. cookies.

...and ffs, dont just put your jwt in a cookie, thats stupid...and if you don’t understand why, you shouldn’t be using jwt.


I think you are confusing the technology with the implementation here. JWT the technology is essentially a way to issue a token and validate that the token is legimiate.

No one said anything about stateless authentication. If you're going to use cookies, and I recommend that, you need to put something in the cookie, cookies don't magically implement authentication for you. If for some reason you're not using the framework's way of authenticating with cookies, I'd recommend using JWT. Is there something else you'd recommend? Just use cookies is a hand-waving answer in and of its self.


And you don't understand the purpose of JWTs.

No one needed to mention anything about stateless authentication because enabling stateless authentication is the purpose of JWTs [1].

Yes, just store a signed cookie with a random token for the session and use stateful authentication. That fits most people's needs better than stateless. (Even signing is more or less optional in many common cases. If the cookie is only a sufficiently long random token for the session key, then I don't really care if a user changes it, they'll only log themselves out.)

[1] - https://jobs.zalando.com/tech/blog/the-purpose-of-jwt-statel...


Well, you're making a lot of assumptions already about how the stack would be implemented. I'm fairly certain most frameworks store session information in your main DB (postgres, mysql) and adding redis would be an enhancement. Secondly, why would the JWT continue to grow? It (should, in this case) only be used as a standard way to validate that this cookie is legimate and signed by the server.

> Secondly, why would the JWT continue to grow?

I replied to your other comment more completely, but thought this part was worth answering as well.

If you are using JWTs for stateless authentication/authorization, you need to include the identity (which doesn't grow) AND the list of authorizations (which might grow).

And, even if it doesn't grow, JWTs are quite large compared to the HMAC of a random token. HMAC size: 64 bytes, JWT size: several hundreds of bytes, easily a few kb, if we put more than the bare minimum.


I also wouldn’t forget to mention GraphQL. Once you get a hang of it, it’s just beautiful to use. Hard to go back. If you use Sequelize with node you can hook it up in a morning.

Have any tips for converting an old and cumbersome rails app to react?

Build an API for the rails app and use React for the view

Cookies over JWT favours browser fingerprinting. Thanks but no. Cookies should be always avoided and tokens should be used instead

This is bad advice. Cookies should almost always be used in browser session management. This is due to the built-in security advantages that browsers give cookies e.g. HTTP Only. Even if your main auth strategy is using tokens, you should support a cookie wrapper for browser based clients. This is one of the main ways to decrease the attack surface area of XSS vulnerabilities.

Yeah, don't use django/rails if your app is going to mostly communicate with the backend through an API. Use flask or other smaller framework. The only advantage of using django or rails would be the builtin auth (and admin)

In fact don't even waste time with relational DBs unless you need to, especially if you're still prototyping the solution. (Or just use the json field in PostgreSQL if you prefer)


>only advantage of using django or rails would be the builtin auth (and admin)

Opinionated frameworks offer much more than a middleware auth and an admin CRUD backend. Just have a look at the doc.

One can paraphrase Greenspun's tenth law and make it about this: Any sufficiently complicated "small-framework" webapp contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of a "full-framework".


Any sufficiently complicated "small-framework" webapp contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of a "full-framework".

But they don't, do they? I've worked on plenty of back-end code that just needed simple routing, rendering, auth, and DB transactions. No need for a big batteries-included framework for that sort of thing. For that matter, I've worked on back-end code that wasn't DB-backed, at least not in the normal sense of talking to something like Postgres or Maria where a standard framework was going to be useful. I've also worked on back-end code that was fundamentally providing an API, with or without some basic routing and server-side rendering instead of just downloading static front-end assets.

In short, there is pretty much no functionality that is completely universal about back-end code for web sites these days, except for the basic server mechanics and underlying protocols. We build all kinds of systems using browser-based technologies, and you just have to look at your requirements and choose a set of tools that will get each job done.


> Opinionated frameworks offer much more than a middleware auth and an admin CRUD backend. Just have a look at the doc.

I am familiar with Django, thanks. I've also worked with "rest-heavy" services in Django and it wasn't very advantageous as opposed to using a lightweight framework.

> Any sufficiently complicated "small-framework" webapp contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of a "full-framework"

Except that your "full-framework" functionality is in the frontend, hence you don't need it on the backend.

You might also be trying to turn your "full-framework" car into a boat, instead of building a boat from an engine, with the results you might expect from it.


Backend: Django w/ Django Rest Framework

Frontend: Vue

Prefer Django, because it has so many things built in (authentication, other protections to build things super fast and not worry), many people call it magic but if you read the code, it's very easy to follow. [1] & [2] sites helped me a lot to remove the "magic" as well.

Prefer Vue because it is strongly opinionated, unlike other JS frameworks (i.e. React). Again, learning Vue allowed me to build things super fast and other having to worry about things like Gulp, Webpack and many more things that I don't understand in the JS community. Personally for me the JS community moves too fast for my liking and Vue has been a god send, especially with the help of Vue Cli [3]

Database of choice: PostgreSQL, because it is used by several developers rather than MySQL when building anything with Django.

Building realtime: I use a external service like Pusher or Pubnub, because they have generous free plans to get you up and running. But there is Django Channels if you don't want external dependency.

[1] http://ccbv.co.uk

[2] http://www.cdrf.co

[3] https://cli.vuejs.org


Seconded on Django. It's excellent, especially if you get it out of the box with cookiecutter-django and DRF ( rest framework )

Plus, with things like Zappa it's easy to go entirely serverless

Django + NewRelic for APM is plain magic

EDIT: Oh, and Celery if your use case needs it. Brillant


how is django "running" on lambda these days? -- been meaning to check that out

I'd say that Django is not a great fit for lambda. Lambda works best when you architect you code around it, with lots of tiny methods. Django does not encourage this way of coding (just like the other frameworks).

> Lambda works best when you architect you code around it, with lots of tiny methods

as a total hobbyist: why?

deploying a django app with zappa is extremely painless... its only issue is that you still need an SQL backend, as DynamoDB isn't really an option unless you want to kiss most of djangos values goodbye.

that would've been my take why you'd want to use flask... because there is very little value in django if you remove models, caching, authentication, permissions and more (that can't be used without external infrastructure) from the equation.


I guess it depends on size of your app and expected load.

When your app is small and you got almost no users, zappa is great: your lambdas are lighting fast and you're in aws free tier.

When your app grows to like 200k SLOC and 50+ lines in requirements, chances are that it starts quite slow. Do you really want to pay for that?

When your load is high enough, well, aws lambdas become quite expensive even without zappa overhead compared to, say, EC2. https://servers.lol/ should say if serverless makes sense for any defined usecase.

Additionally, lambdas have hard restrictions (like 15 minutes limit) and sometimes it's a dealbreaker for you.


As a non-expert on lambda... Django encourages one function per view, and adding database calls, celery functions, maybe API calls, to your views make them quite big, and potentially slow to run. Running slow functions is not how lambdas are supposed to work (as I've understood them). Rather, you'd want smaller ones that call out to other smaller lambdas. That coding style is not something lambda encourages.

That's a very confused take on how things work. Celery functions run async, and Django frontend view responses are normally lighting fast

So programmers are running servers on serverless platforms? Is this common?

Yes, it's super cheap and simple. Check out serverless.com to get started. Run your vue/react/angular app on a S3 bucket, and then only handle the API calls on lambda functions. Pay only for what you use, and it's infinitely scalable.

Seconded on Vue. If you haven't used a frontend JS framework in a while, Vue will still be easy to pick up and learn. I love it. As for backend, Django, Rails, even .net core will do. Whatever you're most comfortable with.

I'm amazed at how many people use a client side framework, am I the only one who prefers good old server side rendered static html with maybe a little bit of javascript on top?

When I need a more dynamic page, I create a react app specifically for this one page.

Whenever I need to write JS these days, I go for either TypeScript or F# using Fable (an F# to javascript compiler).


For a long time I was in the server-side html + js for ajax/validation/effects camp, but I'm starting to gravitate to the SPA side of the fence.

Why? While server-side based web sites can load quickly, there's something dissatisfying (to me) about clicking around a site, waiting for server responses, when nothing has changed.

Sure, js, css, img, etc. assets are likely cached in the browser, and you're just downloading a blob of gzip'd html, but wouldn't it be better to flip the script and notify the client, rather than the client clicking around, uselessly consuming resources?

A SPA combined with websocket connections allows you to implement the, "don't call us, we'll call you pattern". Granted, for mostly static sites this isn't particularly useful, but still, in principle, only consuming server-side resources when state has changed is a "natural" goal I'd argue.

There are tradeoffs with both approaches, but I'm leaning toward SPAs more and more.


I urgently encourage you and anyone else reading this to check out Turbolinks 5, ideally in tandem with Stimulus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWEts0rlezA&t=3m22s

https://github.com/turbolinks/turbolinks

https://stimulusjs.org/

You can get all of the benefits of server-generated pages with the speed of an SPA. 90%+ of the sites built using SPAs would be better served by Turbolinks and Stimulus.


I’ve never used Stimulus, but I can concur that Turbolinks is magic, at least for the simpler Rails app I made. It took load times from over one second to feeling like a native app, didn’t require any changes on the backend (it’s enabled by default in Rails), and the site works just fine without it, for those of us who like blocking third-party JavaScript.

Just looked at stimulus. Really cool framework. circa 2008 or so there was this concept of non-intrusive javascript where you bind js to elements. So you could wysiwyg html and then inject js where you need it. Thought that was a neat idea and like what stimulus does it. Any real life experience from anyone ?

Just for context, Stimulus is written by the same people who make Rails, Turbolinks etc - Basecamp. In fact, primary author Sam Stephenson was the author of Prototype, which was the library that inspired the creation of jQuery.

Stimulus and Turbolinks 5 don't have to be used together, but when they are it's a beautiful thing. That's because Stimulus uses the MutationObserver API to observe for DOM changes (eg. loading a new view in response to a click). It is the nicest event handling concept I've ever worked with.


Yes, I'm using it in the budgeting webapp that I develop and here's one little component that I shared, a calculator for input boxes https://tomk32.de/2018/08/04/stimulus-component-calculator.h...

Really should add a gif or something.


pretty cool.. thanks for sharing... I could not work on the app itself, but that is ok.

I've never heard of either before, and they've really caught my attention. Thanks for bringing this up.

Let me know if you need any help getting up and running. I'm not involved but I'm a big fan.

For what it's worth, if you are impressed by the reasoning and design-thinking that created these libraries, I encourage you to try Rails sometime as well. I still consider it the best way to build a web application for 90% of use cases. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-so-many-startups-use-Ruby-on-Ra...


This all looks really nice - any idea if there's anything comparable that works with Django?

Stimulus will work with any (or no) backend.

Turbolinks will work great with Django, but I recommend configuring your stack to automate the inclusion of the Turbolinks-Location header in your responses.

I just did a quick Google and this came up: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/47240766/to-use-turbolin...

Let us know how you make out!


Turbolinks has out-of-the-box support for Rails, but should theoretically work with any backend without much work. Just install via npm.

> clicking around a site, waiting for server responses, when nothing has changed

> flip the script and notify the client, rather than the client clicking around, uselessly consuming resources?

What are they clicking on that is being useless? Are you putting buttons on your page making requests for no reason?

When its server side you send them a mostly-static page with a bunch of links or submits to make more requests with. All those requests are for either sending data back or getting something new off the server. If your use case would involve a lot of user generated input in a streaming fashion then yes, SPA client side programs are th way to go, but if all you are doing is throwing mostly-static CRUD applications you aren't getting an efficiency advantage dumping all the data on the user at first request and then hoping to only get one response of everything they want changed later. You're burning a ton of client memory and CPU cycles to do work you could have done more efficiently with page caching on your end anyway.


Why not just make the traditional site, and then add what, a dozen or so lines of JavaScript (or some backend frameworks will do it for you) to make form submissions/links into XHR calls dynamically.

Also - using WebSockets for a one-way communication channel is ridiculous. I know it's the cool kid way to do things, but that invariably means it's over hyped and has a more appropriate alternative. In this case, it's EventSource/Server Sent Events.


Also - using WebSockets for a one-way communication channel is ridiculous. I know it's the cool kid way to do things, but that invariably means it's over hyped and has a more appropriate alternative. In this case, it's EventSource/Server Sent Events.

I have some sympathy for your view here, but there are some other practical concerns as well in this case. For example, EventSource/SSE are not natively supported on IE/Edge but WebSockets are, so how well whatever you need to do works with your chosen polyfill is a factor.


Right, except eventsource is pretty simple to pollyfill because it’s just http.

Websockets requires explicit support on the backend, in every layer of your http stack that it’ll traverse.

If the goal is to simplify your stack, websockets is not the solution.


Oh, I agree, and under normal circumstances EventSource + polyfill is what I'd use too. I'm just pointing out that it's not always as simple as overhyped things being used only because of the hype, because sometimes there are genuine technical differences in areas like compatibility or performance as well.

You're not alone. Frameworks favour vendor-lockins, better avoid those ones, if they get abandoned or iterate too fast (see React)

In my experience, the problem with a lot of those solutions is that at some point you still need to handle data and some significant dynamic content. Of course, this depends on what you do, but even a simple e-commerce site is fairly dynamic nowadays.

What happens if you go the I'll-do-it-myself is that you still get a significant amount of code, and lots more bugs since you'll have to redevelop significant pieces of what the libraries and frameworks already have done (and tested) - and you'll ever be better than them.

Of course, you don't need to use Javascript to render your whole page. You can still use React or Vue to add these dynamic parts, and render the rest at the backend.

Imo this might be one of the most underrated ways of doing things. I guess human tend to go to the extremes without being rational about it necessarily (or thinking for themselves and just buying into the hype).


It's funny that some of these client side framework is wrecking the pages as if things are worse than 10 years ago from users' point of view.

I visit a major credit card company's account page and it shows the last time I visited as 'undefined' for a second until it grabs the data to render and it just looks shit.

And I also don't like seeing the page loaded with minimal placeholder, only having have to wait a few seconds for the page to finally render, which is more annoying than even waiting on a blank page because you can't easily tell if things are all loaded or not with placeholders all over.

A pure bad example of over engineering.

You need to make sure things don't look shit using client side framework.


I totally agree with you! I've used react and redux in almost every project last year, but that doesn't mean the entire web app was written using react and redux. 50 ~80% was plain old static content rendered on the server.

A dynamic client side UI is more expensive to build compared to static html rendered on the server. Our software usually aims to solve a business problem for as little money as possible so we only build these dynamic ui's when they're absolutely required.


At my work we need APIs for integrations. The easiest path for us is to write the API and write an app to consume it. Although I suppose you could do the extra work to bundle a UI with the API and share the business logic. Also dog fooding helps us get the API right the first time. Im not 100% into the SPA world, in fact one of our clients is an MVC app which uses a mix of HttpClient to call our API and good old fashioned jQuery AJAX calls.

I just wanted to voice this and say if you live in a world where people do not need to integrate with your API then a regular MVC style app and little to no JS is fine. Also, JS helps when you need to do things like CRUD many-to-many relationships on your UI without a bunch of postbacks.


Nope, I would not use SPA unless it's certainly necessary. If client wants the "SPA Effect" you can just slap Turbolinks and be done.

I found the entire premise of the question weird - s/he asks about what people are using, and then states s/he wants to use two specific things.

"Waiter, what can you suggest for me, I want to eat a fillet mignon?".

As for your view - I agree mostly. I'm definitely in favour of making things entirely in the 'classic' web model, adding javascript to enhance things where it makes sense (some of this now is just polyfilling html5 form controls where they're not native).


No. You're not the only one.

Not at all, as I replied on another thread.

Plain old Java and .NET frameworks or CMS, with server side rendering, with dynamic behaviour on as needed basis.


Easy there tiger, React and others are compatible with server side rendering. They’re capable of being the “little bit of JS” on top. Everything will be ok.

I am well aware of server side rendering but you still need to send all that javascript to the client, whether it ran on the server or not. Wouldn't exactly call this a "little bit of js" on top :p

Let's see - one could have both server and client jumping through hoops rendering a client-side framework on the server and then hydrating it again on the client (including having to pull in all the tooling that would require)...or one could just use regular old templates.

There certainly is nothing wrong with going with simplicity over a solution that's overengineered for one's case, tiger.


I was a web dev in a previous lifetime and have gone to the backend for almost a decade now; one of these days I need to climb back up again. Threads like this one are intimidating in a way because there's just been So Much Development and everything I knew was wrong, except... it also still all works just fine! It's just the incorrect way of doing things now.

It's good to hear that maybe when the time comes, I can dip into React by using it as the sprinkle of JS that jQuery / jqxWidgets and such were for me the last time I did any of this.


If you want to be fast and flexible:

Frontend: Vue.js on top of Nuxt.js (reactive web programming cannot be easier than this and you get SSR or SPA or PWA or static page generation out of the box easily, you can decide later on that). There is not only React out there (which is like a jungle and more complicated in comparison to vue)...

Frontend styling and components: Vuetify or Bulma (you can also go with some vue bootstrap) + Stylus or SASS

Database: PostgreSQL (it's so stable, flexible e.g. with JSON, extendable and scalable in so many ways).

Backend: Whatever suits you to build a RESTful or GraphQL web API. Python+Flask, Go, Django, Ruby on Rails, Java Play Framework, PHP (e.g. Laravel) etc. etc.. Whatever you are most productive in. It does not matter really.

CI/CD and source control: Gitlab.com and the CI you get for free there is unbelievable good.


All of your points are great. Imo vue / nuxt is a much simpler and complete set compared to react and Gitlab CI is an amazing tool, you can literally use docker in docker to build the container right from it and even deploy to kubernetes.

This.

First, be entirely sure that you actually need an SPA.

So, in stages:

- Database: Postgres (you could start with any relational DB, Postgres is just one of the best). It's very, very likely that your model is gonna be relational so better pay that debt upfront. Don't even consider NoSQL this early; we're paying a heavy price on my current job because the initial developers bought that non-relational databases were better at prototyping. Worry about NoSQL and consider switching to any of those if you see, once you release, that the type of data you're handling is more of a stream of mostly independent records than an actual model.

- Like I said, make sure that you actually need an SPA. It's likely that you don't and in that case you can get away with using Django; it gives you pretty much everything you could possibly need.

- If you're dead set on a SPA, go for a more lightweight framework geared towards creating REST APIs. The usual recommendation is flask with any of the rest extensions, but there are other options such as falcon or molten (which is recent, but really well designed).

- Since this is a SPA, use Vue. I find it to be leagues ahead of the js frameworks when it comes to striking a balance between power, expressiveness and ease of use. Much like Flask in the backend, for that matter.

- Dockerize. I don't like promoting a specific tool in this area but docker will make it very easy to develop and deploy your application (also makes it easier to implement the usual suspects like a reverse proxy, a queue, a cache, etc) without having to rely --and thus essentially marry-- any specific tool provided by a given cloud platform.

- Use gitlab for version control. They give continuous integration and private repos for free out of the box.


At least briefly consider whether or not you actually need a relational database when starting a project. I work with some rather complex data access using Postgres, JPA, Hibernate, HikariCP, and a second level cache, all within a separate microservice exposed via a REST API. To make matters worse, the responsible developer has since left the project to me.

We don't even use relations, so this essentially means that we are paying a hefty price for something that we don't actually need. A much simpler solution would be to have used MongoDB together with Spring Data, where we can still have caching and object mapping.


I would personally never use MongoDB again. Broke one too many times. Postgres on the other hand has never failed me.

MongoDB was released nearly 10 years ago. Do you believe those issues are still relevant today?

If that’s the argumentation then Postgres is over 22 years old which makes it over two times better? On the other hand Windows is over 30 years old and it still hasn’t fixed many issues which for me are the reasons why I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

I'm not saying MongoDB is better because it is old, and I was rather hoping you would elaborate. For all I know, you could have had issues with it yesterday or 9 years ago.

I haven't tried it in 4 years myself. But I invested in a company that just launched their product two months ago and already regrets building it on Mongo.

Same. I went on hype train, got burned badly and I am never going to use MongoDB again.

I would turn the remark around and say that one should consider if a NoSQL database is required at all.

What would Mongo give you that Postgres doesn't?

Non-relational (NoSQL) databases like Mongo serve a different purpose. They store data in forms other than the traditional relational database table. Theoretically, for certain workloads, they make horizontal scaling easier and improve availability. However, most workloads are suited just fine with a relational database like Postgres.

Postgres also had document store functionality and for many workloads performs better than Mongo. In my personal experience, Postgres is better at being Mongo than Mongo.

Admittedly I'm not yet using it in production, but the simplicity is the most appealing factor, albeit this depends a lot on client libraries used. In addition to my original comment, with Postgres we also had to deal with schemas and migrations.

We can also easily leverage reactive streams with reactive Spring Data. Technically you could also use JDBC in a reactive manner, but it looks unlikely to work with the frameworks we use with Postgres.


If simplicity and lack of migrations is the only advantage of MongoDB then there is no reason to use it in place of Postgres, since you can just use JSONB instead and not worry about any of those.

> with Postgres we also had to deal with schemas and migrations.

Schemata are good things. Migrations are the database insisting on tedious bureaucratic nonsense like "don't blow your foot off" and "don't regret this later".

> Technically you could also use JDBC in a reactive manner, but it looks unlikely to work with the frameworks we use with Postgres.

The Spring team are pretty keen on removing that gap: http://r2dbc.io/


> with Postgres we also had to deal with schemas and migrations.

JIC, this is exactly what I meant with "paying that debt upfront". If your model does turn out to be relational and you don't have this, you are going to get burnt, badly.


Frontend: (vanilla) React with TypeScript.

- TypeScript is more important than React, static typing is such a productivity boost, even for projects of all sizes.

- Start with vanilla React and create-react-app, monitor for painpoints and look for solutions for these pain points in the community, don't look at the whole ecosystem before you start building stuff.

Backend: Kotlin on the JVM.

Kotlin is a really nice language for either functional or object oriented programming. Static typing with strict null checks are again a huge productivity boost. Standard library is very complete

Beeing on the JVM without beeing stuck with Java is a big win:

- unlocks a huge ecosystem and Java interoperability of Kotlin is superb.There are a lot of lightweight frameworks for stuff around here, enterprise Java is a myth if you are free to choose what to use.

- special shoutout to the JOOQ library, the golden middleground between an ORM and raw SQL Strings.

- JVM is fast

- fat jars are somewhat like containers, can be run everywhere with minimal setup (yeah I'm looking at you python-uwsgi black magic)

Database: Postgresql. Everything you need (relational, JSON), fast, rocksolid


Wanted to look into Kotlin on the backend for a while now. Do you use any framework or do you just assemble individual libraries for whatever you need?

I am not sure I find Spring an attractive proposition and Ktor seems rather young, slow and not that well documented.

What do you think is the best option?


I'm personally in the "functional handler" way of doing HTTP Request camp.

We have a very small Ktor service in Production, and it works nice, for legacy reasons, we're using http://sparkjava.com/ for the heavy lifting. An alternative would be https://javalin.io/

I would not start with Sparkjava anymore. The way you write handlers is quite okey (compared to other frameworks), but there are issues with how it's connected to Jetty and relies on singletons that will be painful if you would like to do advanced stuff. It's on our todolist to swap Sparkjava with Ktor somewhere down the road.

To be honest, Ktor seems to have come a long way, the docs improved a lot last year and it seems well thought out. I would give it a try. It's quite easy do decouple your application Handlers from the underlying framework via functional composition, so there is no big lock-in Risk.

In my experience, all three Frameworks are way better than the regular Java-like approach with annotating classes. Request-Context specific information ("The user making the request") is very hard to get to this way and it's usually untyped. On top of it, you are locked in HARD to the Framework. Swapping out a Framework that just mounts Functional Handlers is way easier...


Thanks for the writeup, Javalin looks like what I was looking for honestly, but I'd check out Ktor again as well.

EDIT: Ktor does look a lot better today and now that Kotlin coroutines are actually stable, I'd definitely check it out.


Has anyone used both Ktor and Javalin and have any advice for choosing between the two?

Just use any Java framework or library, Kotlin can adapt to them quite easily.. We've used Ratpack with great success, we had to do a tiny bit of plumbing but it's great now and we open sourced our coroutine adapter (it was around 10 lines of code).

Vert.x already did the Kotlin plumbing on their own so you can use coroutines and similar goodies out of the box, Spring Boot supports Kotlin natively AFAIK, and something like Dropwizard should be easy to use as well..

Seriously, don't limit yourself, part of Kotlin's beauty is how easy it is to use it with Java products and reap immediate gains!


I haven't used it yet, but I like the look of this guy: http://micronaut.io/

At this point this would prolly be my advice as well.

From React/TS, to Kotlin, to PG, to the JOOQ shout out.

I hoped a strongly(ish) language that spans from BE to FE, like ReasonML, would be ready by now, but it isn't.

Kotlin to JS is not there I'm afraid:

https://kotlinlang.org/docs/tutorials/javascript/kotlin-to-j...


What's not there about Kotlin/JS for you, out of curiosity?

Interop with other JS libraries for example - Vue in our case. We switched to Typescript mid-project and never looked back. Server is still Kotlin and we just export the data transfer classes as Typescript definitions (using a library we found on GitHub that works well enough).

I .. cannot upvote this enough :) We're using an almost identical stack (Vue instead of React, but that's about it) and we love it!

Going back to old projects using various ORM products makes me cringe nowadays, JOOQ + Postgres are such a powerful combo!


Curious to know if you tried React with Flow before choosing to go with React and Typescript.

Professionally and for personal projects I go with Elixir. Having 99% transparent parallelization of any task is irreplaceable in our multi-core CPU era (especially having in mind that CPUs seem to have more and more cores lately -- see AMD). Functional programming improves the way you reason about your tasks as well.

Having a simple language living inside a 30-year old runtime and being able to reach for pretty advanced tools if you need them, is heaven. Not everything is ideal though; there are still holes to be filled in the ecosystem.

If you do something more serious and need compiler help as much as possible, I'd say go for OCaml. Its multi-core parallelism story is still not good but there are ways around that. I hear from some people Idris is good as well.


If your app is going to do anything real-time with lots of messaging or reactive / live behavior, then Elixir is going to hit it out of the park. There's a reason Discord and Whatsapp are using the BEAM.

Elixir/Erlang is concurrent, not parallel though.

Not to pile on with the rebuttals, but Elixir/Erlang are actually truly parallel. There wouldn't be much point to all the interest into it unless they were. You should go to the phoenix framework website for statistics on how it handles many connections and processes.

Of course, true parallelism only comes with multicore CPUs anyways, and this is what the Erlang VM ("BEAM") is geared to. The processes are not threads in the C++ sense and there is no shared memory, but there are separate BEAMs for each CPU core and the processes are scheduled to them. Message passing in the Actor style takes the place of shared memory.


Erlang is as parallel as it gets. Async message passing actor model. The runtime will distributed the processes (actors) over the available CPUs.

See: https://www.culttt.com/2016/07/27/understanding-concurrency-...


To best of my knowledge, Erlang was not built for parallelism, but concurrency. When the language was created, multicore CPU where not yet available. The following article can explain better the point.

http://jlouisramblings.blogspot.com/2011/07/erlangs-parallel...


It's true that when Erlang was first made, machines were single-core, so parallel execution was not possible on one machine. However, the "no shared memory" process model made transitioning to true parallelism much simpler. The ability to run one scheduler per core was added around 2005 I think. See https://hamidreza-s.github.io/erlang/scheduling/real-time/pr...

Also:

> Erlang achieves concurrency by interleaving the execution of processes on the Erlang virtual machine, the BEAM. On a multi-core processor the BEAM can also achieve parallelism by running one scheduler per core and executing one Erlang process per scheduler. The designer of an Erlang system can achieve further parallelism by distributing the system on several computers. > https://happi.github.io/theBeamBook/

My understanding is that the BEAM will also do "work stealing" among schedulers to take better advantage of the available CPUs.


This is pretty old. They have per-core actors and GC for a long time now.

The OTP is both.

For static websites, https://getstatik.com/

For “dynamic” websites, Mithril (https://mithril.js.org/) and Redux written in Haxe (https://haxe.org/) on the front end with Rocket (https://rocket.rs/) and SQLite on the backend, proxied behind nginx with Let’s Encrypt on the backend.

Personal projects hosted on a VM at Linode, company projects hosted on VMs at Google Cloud.

It’s a somewhat unique stack but I love it and can be exceedingly productive with it.


Its an interesting stack, for sure. I'm only surprised by the sqlite choice. With such a concurrent and speedy backend, what do you do about concurrent writes and the lack of row/page level locking in sqlite?

SQLite is great when there are few writes, such as for a personal blog. For lots of writes, you probably need another database.

Most things I do never get that big / popular so it’s not really an issue (especially for the convenience of SQLite when starting up a new project). The odd time I’ve run into issues I just migrate to postgres.

That is exotic indeed, but I know Mithril and Rocket as well, they’re nice. I take it you favour performance over other things?

That is a very interesting stack. Thanks for pointing to statik and mithril, I didn't know about them.

Backend:

  Clojure
  Datomic
  Luminus
Frontend:

  ClojureScript
  Regent
  Datascript
  Datsync
Some advantages:

  Immutability down to the database
  Database reads scale horizontally
  Impossible SQL injection from reading API
  Cache TTLs can be set to infinity
  Can ask for data at any point in time or do speculative writes
  Same programming language front and back
  Running queries within loops are performant due to data locality 
  Query results can be returned with nested results
  The database can be queried with Clojure functions
  Data shape is defined at query time, not at schema time
  Specs can enforce stronger safety than types
  Specs can help generatively test your application
  Prolog -> Datalog many things from SQL can be expressed easier in datalog i.e. recursion, nesting, joins etc
This kind of stack is just getting started, see hyperfiddle as a real-time app builder that leverages these primitives that thing is off the chain powerful it can render itself inside its self, can express blogs, tables, crud applications very easily, once that gets deps support no reason it couldn't support much more complex apps

The equivalent would be a site were you could write SQL client side, to define your data for your application then add react code to complete your app


This is very cool and certainly unique compared to some of the other responses. How much have you used this in production? Have you worked at companies that do?

Ultimate stack

Storage: Postgresql

Backend: Go (no framework, just the standard library)

Frontend: Vue

Working great so far. A little longer to get things up than using Rails/Django, but the extra speed and control is really nice.

Using Go's templating engine to assemble Vue components into HTML <script> tags works well.


What are you using for SSR?

I haven't yet seen any concrete tutorials for getting this up and running with Vue and Go. All I've been able to google is augustoroman/V8 and dop251/jago and other derivatives.


to be honest, at this point I don't bother.

My only dependency is Vue (and vuex), and I only send the components that the current page needs (packed into a single <script> by the template engine). I also send the initial data inlined in that script as js objects. So there's 1 fetch to get the the HTML (usually around 200-300Kb), then 4 fetches (vuejs, vuex, css, logo file) totalling around 500Kb (and all cached, so that only happens on the first load).

So far, no speed problem and no rendering lag worth worrying about. If that changes I'll look at methods of fixing it, but I'm learning to not solve problems that I don't have yet.


If you’re using a service like Netlify to host your front end code, you can use their predenderer (if you’re okay with 24H TTL) or run your own prerendering engine with Google’s Rendertron (Headless Chrome packaged as a renderer)

Nuxt (a framework for Vue) can take care of the minefield that is SSR

Sounds interesting cause I like to use Go everywhere. Do you have any example we could look at? Thanks.

Nothing I could post here. I'll look at knocking together a blog post about it

If it's a brochure site, use a static site generator and put your generated stuff on S3. I happen to use Hakyll, but they're all more or less the same and nobody cares what software generated your files.

If it's a web app, my weapon of choice is Haskell/Yesod because I have opinions about how complexity grows over time and how that should be managed. Dynamic languages fall short of my needs.

If I need a complex UI (lots of state and interactivity), I use Elm. It works, and in my experience it works better than dynamic alternatives (JavaScript, ClojureScript, etc). TypeScript and Flow are not alternatives to Elm.

For storage I just use Postgres, and sometimes Redis if I need it.

For infrastructure, I do just about everything with Nix/NixOS/NixOps (although I develop on an Apple Macintosh Book Air).


Clojure + ClojureScript

* One language across the whole stack

* Its approach for React makes it both easier to grasp and more correct/maintainable than its ES6 counterpart

* Gradual typing for the parts that matter

* The overall experience is the opposite of "Javascript fatigue"

Needs some investment, cannot be denied but it pays off over the years.


* Feels lonely

That is true, at least from here. But it sure is a pity, as the technology is fun and technically awesome, and the stack is not so esoteric - it is actually used by a lot of people.

Part of the reason is that libraries can be “finished” (as in, so stable that they don’t need frequent updates), so there is way less busywork and noise in the open.

Another reason is that clojure is open source but not free software, and this has affected the community. There was a big discussion lately about this, where some vocal leaders of the community complained about it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18538123


thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Could you elaborate on why or how libraries feel "finished" in Clojure versus in other languages?

Also, curious about the gradual typing bit. How sophisticated is Clojure's type system once applied, compared to one found in (say) Typescript, or as another extreme Scala?


JS has its uses. Once in a while I see a site which actually needs it and makes proper use of it. Much rarer, I have to develop such a site myself. But generally, I hark back to ancient times when websites meant html and css. When I do need a dose of JS, I usually go with something raw, or the unfashinable jQuery. I abhor the thought of JS in the backend.

Html and css always via Pug and Sass.

Out back, I really, really like minimalism, usually in the form of a single executable made with Nim. Static link whenever possible, so I can just bang the thing unto anything linuxish. For a reasonably low-volume site (meaning 99.9% of all sites), I go with SQLite for data. Yes, there'll be shouts of outrage that I shouldn't do it. These I know I can safely ignore, but keep my code clean and simple and easily portable to Postgresql if the should occasionally arise.

Sometimes I need easy access to every library function ever written, so I'll drop the purity and go Python. Bottle or Cherrypy is what like to build on, then.

No matter what, these days run the whole thing behind a Caddy server and be done with any headaches over configs and https.

I realise, of course, that I am completely out of whack with current general consensus. So be it. My stuff works, and works fast, and I can cram amazing amount of it into a fairly low-end VPS.


I use the exact same setup using Go instead of Nim.

It works marvellously well. I use VueJS when I have a page which requires more intensive JS.

For dead simple use case (no subdomains), I was even able to embed caddy within my static binary file.

Serving hundreds of users on a $5 VPS.


Hundreds of users, exactly.

And yes of course, Go. Solid language, good tools, and a much richer set of libraries than Nim. First rate solution, and I have tried. Several times. But for some reason, Go and I always end up in a shouting match, and one of us inevitably slams a door. It's a purely personal thing.


How to create a website with Go and SQLite and why that might be a good idea to start with:

https://crawshaw.io/blog/one-process-programming-notes

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