Bonjour David

On 25/05/14 23:33, David Bruant wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> Le 25/05/2014 07:10, Michael Heuberger a écrit :
>> Look at Angular, their templates reside on the client side. For
>> production, a grunt task can compress all files into one single, huge JS
>> file that is served to the client, then for any subsequent pages no more
>> resources are loaded from the server. It is a widely used practice.
> Look at React.js, it allows to render templates on the server side and
> it's been a selling point for some people (it allows to generate the
> same page whether you are on the client or server-side. It helps for
> SEO sometimes).

Yeah, each framework has it's own way - nevertheless, Angular is very
popular these days.
>> Also I mentioned earlier, PhoneGap is getting more popular and exactly
>> uses the architecture I have described.
> With application built with PhoneGap, the application (including the
> main HTML file) is downloaded once, so that's different from a webpage
> served from a server.
>>> Serving different content based on different URLs (and status)
>>> actually does make a lot of sense when you want your user to see the
>>> proper content within the first HTTP round-trip (which saves
>>> bandwidth). If you always serve generic content and figure it all out
>>> on the client side, then either you always need a second request to
>>> get the specific content or you're always sending useless data during
>>> the first generic response which is also wasted bandwidth.
>> Good point. From that point of view I agree but you forgot one thing:
>> The user experience. We want mobile apps to be very responsive below
>> 300ms.
> Agreed (on UX and responsive applications)
>> Hence the two requests. The first one ensures the SPA to be
>> loaded and the UI to be initialized. You'll see some animation, a text
>> saying "Fetching data" whatever. Then the second request retrieves the
>> specific content.
> What I'm proposing is that all the relevant content is served within
> the *first* request. The URL is used by the client to express to the
> server (with arbitrary granularity, it depends on your app, obviously)
> what the user wants.
> What I'm proposing is not two requests to get the proper content, but
> only one. The user doesn't even have to wait with a useless "Fetching
> data" screen; the useful content is just there within the first
> request (hence server-side rendering with React or Moustache or else
> being useful).

Yeah of course I could do that too. It is psychologically proven that
the subjective waiting time is shorter when you see something as soon as

>> This is better than letting the user wait about 700ms until the user
>> sees something on the screen.
> I'm proposing for the user to wait 0ms (ignoring uncompressible
> networking time of course) until the user sees something useful.

Huh, 0ms? Database queries take some time ...

... but that's not the issue here. Let's stick to the topic please :)

>>> On this topic, I recommend watching [1] which introduces the idea of
>>> "critical rendering path". Given your focus on performance and
>>> preventing wasted bandwidth, I think you'll be interested.
>> Thanks for the link but I am Deaf and do not understand what they talk
>> on YouTube :(
> I apologize for mistakenly assuming video was a proper format for
> everyone to consume.
> You can find the slide deck at
> It should be self-sufficient. I'm happy to answer questions if it isn't.

No problem, you couldn't know before that I am Deaf. Thanks, will study
these slides tomorrow.

> And credit where it's due, everytime I wrote above "what I'm
> proposing" it is just a reformulation of my understanding of Ilya
> Grigorik's presentation on the critical rendering path (I just add an
> emphasis on content).
>>>> Furthermore you can convert a whole single page app into an iPhone app
>>>> with PhoneGap. All the HTML resides in the app, not on the server.
>>>> That's a very different approach and a good reason why JavaScript has
>>>> the right to know if the HTTP request resulted into a 200 or a 404.
>>> If all the HTML resides in the app, not on the server, then it wasn't
>>> served via HTTP, so there is no 200 or 404 to inform about (since no
>>> HTTP request occured).
>> Ah, well spotted. PhoneGap comes with two options:
>> a) You can choose to reside the whole HTML in the app or
>> b) have it served from the server during the first HTTP request.
>> Option a) saved bandwidth but you cannot update pages easily (option b).
>> Option a) wouldn't need to know if it's a 200 or 404, you are right.
>> Still, option b) needs to know the status code.
> Option b) sounds like a bookmark, so it's a regular web page, so the
> arguments against stand (?)

Yes like a bookmark. And that's a case where it would be great to read
the HTTP status code from JavaScript.
>> Let me ask you another question:
>> Is there a good reason NOT to give JavaScript a chance to find out the
>> HTTP status code of the current page?
> By that argument, an absurd amount of features should go in ;-)

Really? How many "absurd amount of features" do you guys get every day?

> From a technical standpoint, I see no strong reason to not provide the
> HTTP status code.


> From a more "social" standpoint, it bothers me, because it means
> people serve the exact same content for all URLs, which defeats the
> very purpose of why URLs were invented in the first place.

Ummm, I am not sure if I can follow you. What do you mean with "people
serve the exact same content for all URLs"?

It is absolutely normal that URLs change or become invalid, hence the
need for status codes. You know ...

> You want to serve the same content regardless of the URL and then have
> client-side code read the URL and change the page state based on the
> URL. We already have a standardized way to express a part of the URL
> that is only interpreted on the client side which is the hash
> (everything after '#'). Format your URLs using # if that's your
> intention.

My single page app works without the # part and uses absolutely
normal-looking URLs to make it easier for search engine to spider it.

> Also, given that you always serve the same content and only figure
> things out on the client side, why does your server sometimes answer
> 404? Deciding whether the URL is erroneous should occur on the
> client-side, no?
> Anyway, so far, what you're asking for seems like it's only
> encouraging misusage of existing technologies.

Okay, I have a huge sign language video library here for Deaf people.
Anyone can add / edit / delete stuff. Each video has an unique URL. When
I load a page of a deleted video, a 404 is returned with the whole SPA
code and additional stuff is rendered to deal with 404s in a nice way to
improve usability. Here you have a real-world example and it is not a
misusage of technologies.


PS: I wonder how the WhatWG procedure looks like? Are you all working
for the WhatWG and deciding which features to implement?


Binary Kitchen
Michael Heuberger
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