Single Page Apps

Manuel Matuzović´s article Why I’m not the biggest fan of Single Page Applications resonates in many ways. Single Page Apps (SPAs)[1] are a fragile way of rendering content to a user. Using JavaScript on the main thread of the browser to create the HTML that will be rendered into what the user will see, is not what I would call straight forward. If a tiny thing goes wrong with the JavaScript, the entire frontend might not be operational anymore. It´s a very engineered – maybe overengineered – way for doing what the web is for: Rendering HTML pages.

Manuel is more differentiated. The quick notes:

Manuel is also referencing The market for lemons[6] by Alex Russel, who is a Microsoft Partner on the Edge team. The text is a rant but nevertheless, especially the Sandy Foundations section is interesting to read.

  1. Technically, Single Page Apps might be implemented by using frameworks such as React, Angular, Vue, Meteor, and the like. ↩︎

  2. A historical reference of React criticism, Zach Leatherman, February 2023 ↩︎

  3. is neat website to compare and visualize initial load times of web pages ↩︎

  4. will present initial load times of a web page for different continents ↩︎

  5. Multi Page Apps can be inaccessible either. It depends a lot on how the developer is writing the app. This is not a black-and-white thing, as Marco Zehe lays out in his text JavaScript is not an enemy of accessibility, from November 2016. ↩︎

  6. The market for lemons, Alex Russel, February 2023 ↩︎