I've long been a champion of Progressive Enhancement as an approach for anything on the web, so no surprise that I was a huge fan of this tweet from Chris Heilmann:
👉🏼 “Progressive Enhancement, the New Hotness™” 🔗 https://t.co/QnGk5Wqp8W This is depressing. How many more times do we need to advocate the obvious?View on twitter
Around a decade ago, it seemed like this approach was slowly fading away. The heavy lifting was moving towards the browser as we saw a clearer divide appear between the front-end and the back-end.
A recent example that sits in my mind is being asked to look at a junior developer's project only to find that I had been sent 140MB for a single page web app that was little more than a glorified address book.
One hundred and forty. This was all down to dependencies that were inherited from following tutorials and instructions so it continues to make me wonder exactly what managing of packages is going on in the world of NPM?
What is progressive enhancement?
Back to the topic in hand, the article that Chris linked to has this to say:
Progressive enhancement means that you add functionality to the things you build in layers.
Progressive enhancement means that you add richer and more dynamic functionality when as required if the browser can handle it.
From that same Go Make Things post:
Myth: PE is only for people who disable JS on purpose, and you shouldn’t do that.
For anything I build myself, I do what I can to take a Progressive Enhancement approach but it feels like a novelty on the web today. React and Vue seem to be dominant in the way we deliver single-page apps now.
Sometimes feels like Tailwind, Bootstrap and other frameworks have are a similar 'threat' to CSS. I really enjoy building interfaces and most of all I enjoy writing pure CSS. It's not that it's hard to do or understand, there's just a lot of nuance and once you get your head around it's another area in which you can really reduce your footprint by only doing what you need to do.
As if to highlight my distrust in NPM, take a look at what happened with the npm-ipc package recently for those that are identified as being based in Russia.
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