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Flexibility AND Stability: No, not Yoga - Veoci with Webpack

Aug 23, 2017

Back to Veoci BlogFlexibility AND Stability: No, not Yoga - Veoci with Webpack

Since its inception, Veoci has been a platform that has strived to be as flexible as possible while simultaneously exceeding the stability norms typical of more traditional products. 

Veoci’s Development Team is always researching and creating ways to achieve these goals, stemming from a sincere passion for learning and trying out new technologies.  Simply put, we are dedicated to advancement and progress.  It’s a fundamental part of our core values, and one of the things that has given us a competitive edge. Running Veoci with Webpack is one example of how we work to keep our tech stack on the leading edge.

Veoci and Javascript

Every single browser today runs Javascript (JS) natively.  It’s what allows for the rich, interactive web experiences people everywhere have come to expect.  This makes JS one of the most widely used programming languages on the planet.  Veoci itself is built extensively using reusable JS components. For many years the Veoci platform has loaded these components through a technology called RequireJS.  RequireJS is a script loading mechanism that allows JS modules to be loaded “Just In Time”, or only as the pages need them.  This is a great way to minimize the overall footprint of a webpage - only the necessary JS components are loaded when a Veoci page first renders.  However, as the number of modules grows, some reliability is potentially lost - if there is a network hiccup, or if the user has a very slow internet connection, a chance exists that scripts won't load.

Veoci with Webpack

Recently, we have been experimenting with a new technology called Webpack.  Webpack is a development tool that falls under the umbrella of “build tools”.  These are development tools that allow us to compile our code for distribution to production.  Webpack differs from RequireJS in one fundamental way. 

It will only load a single JS file per page, greatly limiting the chances of component load failures.  To accomplish this, Webpack will pre-compile all the code any given Veoci page will need up front and serve these “bundles” to the clients as needed.  From an end-user standpoint this may seem like a minor change, but Veoci components will be more stable and pages will feel snappier as components will not need to be loaded while clicking around a page. 

Adopting Webpack also opens up some new development-related spaces for us to extend our exploration into cutting edge web technologies:

  • It allows us to leverage the latest Javascript language standards (called ECMAScript2015/2016/2017)
  • It opens up the potential usage of modern Javascript libraries and frameworks such as Vue.js and React

We are very excited to be introducing Webpack to Veoci in the coming weeks and looking forward to building new customer features using the new capabilities it provides!

Image: Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons

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