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A Survey of JavaScript Meta-Frameworks


Room Qu4b

Wednesday, April 12th 2023
8:50 AM—10:00 AM EST

Why you should consider a meta-framework for your React, Svelte or Vue project?

In the dawn of the JavaScript front-end application development days, there were heavyweight development frameworks like Angular.js, Ember, and before that, jQuery. In those days, the framework had to do most of the heavy lifting, and developers used to back-end development looked for familiar patterns and features to their server-side brethren.

When React took over most current-day single-page application development, it did so by being very small, and by doing one thing well: rendering and managing state and behavior using components. Vue and Svelte evolved as strongly component-driven APIs, with all of the additional features such as routing, shared state management and networking features being external to the core project in an opt-in fashion.

As people began to assemble bespoke React and Vue platforms, pulling from a wide variety of tiny libraries, it became difficult to get started quickly on a new project without picking a template, hoping it was up to date, and then customizing it for your own needs.

There was a real need for a more predictable and performant set of implementation patterns, and for a framework-for-your-application-framework, or, as they are now known, a meta-framework. Meta-frameworks ride atop the component API and add all of the other needs in one, coordinated set of modules.

In this talk, Ken Rimple will discuss the need for, and key features of a meta-framework, and then dive in, discussing how Gatsby, Nuxt, Next.js, SvelteKit and Remix.run answer the question we didn’t really ask: “how can I keep my package.json file at less than 500 lines, and how can I get most of my work done with one meta-framework, rather than going surfing on NPM every day to keep on top of the myriad changes to those dozens of bespoke curated libraries I chose?” He’ll compare the feature set of these five meta-frameworks and provide some pros and cons to help you determine whether one of them will suit your needs.

Ken Rimple
Director of Training & Mentoring, Chariot Solutions