Designing very large (JavaScript) applications

896 2018-07-14 11:54

Very Large JS App = a lot of developers + large codebase

How to deal with a lot of developers?


What is a senior engineer? A team of senior engineers without junior engineers is a team of engineers

  1. being senior means is that I’d be able to solve almost every problem that somebody might throw at me.
  2. make the junior engineers eventually be senior engineers.

what’s the next step of a senior engineer?

  1. senior: “I know how I would solve the problem” and because I know how I would solve it I could also teach someone else to do it.
  2. next level: “I know how others would solve the problem “

good programming model

how people write software, e.g. react/redux, npm. Here comes a model that affects all large JS apps - code splitting.

  1. People have to think what to bundle and when to load
  2. route based code splitting
  3. But, what if it is not enough?
    1. lazy loaded every single component of our website
    2. How does Google do? split them by rendering logic, and by application logic. simply server side render a page, and then whatever was actually rendered, triggers downloading the associated application bundles. Google does not do isomorphic rendering - no double rendering

How to deal with a large codebase?

Code Removability/Delete-ability

e.g. CSS is bad in code removability

  1. one big css file. There is this selector in there. Who really knows whether that still matches anything in your app? So, you end up just keeping it there.
  2. People thus created CSS-in-JS

avoid central configuration of your application at all cost

  1. Bad example
    1. central routes configuration
    2. central webpack.config.js
  2. Good example
    1. decentralized package.json

avoid central import problem: router imports component A, B, and C

  1. to solve this problem, do “enhance” instead of “import”
  2. However, developers still have to decide when to enhance and when to import. Since this might lead to very bad situations, we make “enhance” illegal, nobody gets to use it–with one exception: generated code.

avoid base bundle pile of trash

  1. e.g. base bundle should never contain UI code
  2. Solve this problem with forbidden dependency tests
  3. most straight forward way must be the right way; otherwise add a test that ensures the right way.

Be careful with abstractions

We have to become good at finding the right abstractions: Empathy and experience -> Right abstractions

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