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JavaScript Meta-frameworks

Author: Natalia Venditto

Date First Published: Wed Jan 04 2023

What are JavaScript metaframeworks?

We are going to focus on frameworks that are considered new generation typically known as meta-frameworks, and that prioritize runtime performance via an html-first strategy, minimal or zero transpilation, the use of web platform APIs, and techniques to reduce JavaScript load and execution on the client-side, including progressive hydration, resumability and streaming.

The birth of meta-frameworks

With the general acceptance of the idea that client-side rendering is sub-optimal for performance, a new breed of frameworks emerged.

Meta-frameworks are a descriptive term for those frameworks that implement some of the optimizations described above, and are typically isomorphic, implement file-based routing, and serialize state to transfer it over the network during a process we will later describe in-depth, called re-hydration -also known as hydration.

I explain universal rendering with a diagram and the impact to some of the most important performance metrics at that time, in this slide deck from 2020.

Let’s take a deeper look at every type of rendering strategy, promoted by the new generation of frameworks.