At the risk of grossly oversimplifying things, I propose that the core of the debate can be summed up by these truisms:
- The best SPA is better than the best MPA.
- The average SPA is worse than the average MPA.
Monday, June 27th, 2022
Monday, May 23rd, 2022
I’ve got the same hunch as Nolan:
There’s a feeling in the air. A zeitgeist. SPAs are no longer the cool kids they once were 10 years ago.
And I think he’s right to frame the appeal of single page apps in terms of control (even if that control comes at the expense of performance and first-load user experience).
Thursday, February 24th, 2022
The headline is a little misleading because if you follow this advice, your multi-page apps will be much much faster than single page apps, especially when you include that initial page load of a single page app.
Here’s a quick high-level summary of what I do…
That’s an excellent recipe for success right there!
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022
Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
I keep seeing Single-Page-Apps with huge JS files that only, in terms of concrete User Experience (UX) benefits, deliver client-side validation of forms plus analytics. Apps rarely leverage the potential of a Single-Page-App. It’s still just the same ‘click, wait for load’ navigation cycle. Same as the one you get with Multi-Page-Apps. Except buggier and with a much slower initial loading time.
When you look at performance, cross-platform and mobile support, reliability, and accessibility, nearly every Single-Page-App you can find in the wild is a failure on multiple fronts.
Replacing those with even a mediocre Multi-Page-App is generally going to be a substantial win. You usually see improvements on all of the issues mentioned above. You get the same general UX except with more reliable loading, history management, and loading features—provided by the browser.
Before you dismiss Baldur as a hater based on what I’ve just quoted, you should really read the whole article. The issue he points to is not with the technical architecture of single page apps, but with management.
Single-Page-Apps can be fantastic. Most teams will mess them up because most teams operate in dysfunctional organisations.
Baldur’s conclusion chimes a lot with what I’ve been saying in conference talks this year: the biggest challenges facing the web are not technical in nature.
The biggest hindrance to the web’s progress isn’t non-expert developers, tooling, libraries, Single-Page-Apps, or Multi-Page-Apps.
It’s always humans.
Friday, June 4th, 2021
On framework-dependency and longevity:
Thursday, October 8th, 2020
A follow-up to full-bleed layout post I linked to recently. Here’s how you can get the same effect with using CSS grid.
I like the use of the principle of least power not just in the choice of languages, but within the application of a language.
Monday, October 5th, 2020
When you’ve got a single centered column but you want something (like an image) to break out and span the full width.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
If there are no specific reasons to build a single-page application, I will go with a traditional server-rendered architecture every day of the week.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018
Harsh (but fair) assessment of the performance costs of doing everything on the client side.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
A glanceable indication of the current Thames tide, from James Bridle.
Monday, October 5th, 2009
My new favourite single serving site.
Saturday, January 17th, 2009
I mentioned to Brian on IM that he *totally* had to make this single serving site. Within in an hour, he had the domain and the site up an running. "Just need to do the RSS feed," he said.
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
This is seriously brilliant. Starting from a single URL (adactio.com), a lifestream is creating based on XFN rel="me" links. David Singleton wins the internet.