July 9, 2019
2 years ago I created and have since maintained a library called React Static. It's a progressive static site generator much like Gatsby, but less opinionated (and likewise, less magical). If you're interested in learning more about it, you can watch my presentation about it at JamStack Conf NY 2019.
Writing and maintaining this library has taught me many reasons why static progressive site generators are great. But has also presented so many difficulties inherent to their architecture that I didn't see before. Most of the difficulties revolve around a few core ideas:
Over the last few months, I have been investigating serverless functions as a new tool for scalability and dynamic website generation. I was wondering how serverless functions could compliment static content and eventually found the article: Serverless Prerendering (SPR) from Next.js's blog. The concepts involved are really simple to understand and really resonated with me.
The issues that I was trying to solve with scalability and flexibility could theoretically be solved with SPR, so I dug right in. After a lot of experimentation and discussion in the community, I'm convinced for now that Next.js is the platform that comes closest to my ideals.
Yes. First of all, I'd like to make it clear that in the world of programming, the worst thing you can do is develop emotional attachment to an implementation detail or means to an end. I originally wrote React Static and used SSG's because they solved a problem for me that other tools didn't. But things change, and tools and ideas evolve. When I am given the opportunity to open my mind and adopt a new technology for the sake of the end product and user, I can't pass it up. This is one of those circumstances.
Next.js is a highly polished product now and I have been extremely impressed with the progress the Next.js team has made towards performance, scalability, cost, etc.
In summary, React Static will continue to live on through the great developers and companies that use it. It is to those great individuals that I am handing it off to as successors. If you are interested in owning, sponsoring, or contributing to React Static, head over and read the RFC!
I plan on aggressively working on Next.js and it's features for the next little while. I am still very passionate about building fast, SEO and developer friendly websites in React and have no plans of stopping on that front.
My experience with React Static has been amazing, and even though it's just an open source project, it has felt like a career. I put my heart and soul into it for countless hours simply to help people build better sites in React. I will admit, it's been difficult to move on. I would like to thank everyone who made that possible. Namely:
Thank you all so much!
Until next time, you can always check out my: