One of the fundamental principles of our business is continuous improvement through the integration of new technologies. While we monitor and constantly evaluate (new) technologies, we make sure to implement only those that will improve our work and add value for clients. Among the tools and systems that boost the quality of our work are frameworks. They are libraries of code that make frontend development and maintenance easier, especially on large and complex software solutions.
Recently, we recognized the value and potential of Svelte, an open-source framework that has gained popularity over the last years. Many developers and companies have embraced it, so we took to examining its potential in getting better outcomes for our clients.
In the dynamic world of frontend, many frameworks appeared over the past decade. Jokes about a new one popping up every day are not uncommon. They largely address the same challenges in user interface development, but they do it in different ways.
The abundance of choice leads to the question: how and why to choose one framework over all others?
The choice will often depend on the balance between the dev team knowledge and needs on the one side, and the solution requirements on the other. It’s important to understand that there isn’t such a thing as “the absolute best” among frameworks. What works great for one solution, can be far from ideal for another. Also, a framework that is widely accepted in a particular community (i.e. seen as “the best”), may not necessarily be the best choice for a particular solution. In other words, the framework that developers like the most may not necessarily be the best choice for the application they are building.
Therefore, when making a decision, it’s important to take various factors into account. They include the needs of the solution, the desires and requirements of the development team, the quality of the framework itself, compatibility with our own processes and operational business, and how to make the most of it in our daily work.
Svelte was created by Rich Harris in 2016, which makes it one of the latest among the major frameworks. It’s still in an early stage of development, but its results are more than promising. Compared to other front-end frameworks, Svelte takes a fundamentally different approach. It is primarily a compiler, which is a key concept in modern frontend development. The compilation process involves optimizing the code to reduce its size and complexity, resulting in improved web application performance.
While other frameworks send an entire package of code, including a large block of functions that need to be integrated into the code to generate results, Svelte does it differently. Instead of sending large blocks of code, it generates only the necessary functions, making web pages faster and lighter, which leads to a better user experience.
For example, in some other frameworks you might need to write ten lines of code to get a functionality that your users need. In Svelte, you can get it with just two lines. “Write less, get more” is one of the better-known Svelte principles. Complex syntax is not required to execute specific functions, allowing for the development of fast and dynamic web applications.
While it may not provide all the functionalities of its dominant competitors, Svelte stands out with its simplicity and innovative approach. It is an attractive choice in an already saturated market.
Responsiveness is another of its key features. Svelte enables the building of user interfaces that quickly respond to user interactions, as well as to changes in data. From an architectural standpoint, it simplifies the development and maintenance of even the most demanding user interfaces. This is because it operates on the principle of smaller components that quickly react to changes, independently of each other.
In other frameworks, establishing communication between disconnected components will often require a deep understanding of the framework. In Svelte, a single variable is enough to ensure smooth interaction.
Back in the time when the first front-end frameworks began to emerge, they were client-side only. Data and code were delivered from the server, and everything was executed in the browser. Today, there are things like SvelteKit. It is a comprehensive toolkit for full-stack web application development built on top of Svelte. It falls into the category of transitional (meta) frameworks and offers the best of both worlds. It allows for client-side and server-side data loading and uses the same language (Svelte) for both modes of operation. The result? Faster development and reduced complexity.
SvelteKit can be implemented in various ways - using serverless architecture, edge computing, or containers. This is possible thanks to adapters that, through compilation, adapt system variables to different systems and solution requirements. This allows us to focus on solution development without the need for in-depth understanding of all the intricacies of external systems or infrastructure. It also speeds up the development process in a simple and flexible manner, while optimizing the code for different frontend platforms.
We chose Svelte for a number of reasons, ranging from solution requirements and the quality of the framework to the ability to quickly adapt it to our way of working.
Three key benefits it brings to our clients and solution are:
By investing in new and better technologies, we enhance our ability to meet client needs and power their competitive edge. Introducing Svelte framework into our business processes was one of many steps in this direction.
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