Code Splitting With Vue.js And Webpack

Code Splitting With Vue.js And Webpack

One possible downside to bundling your single page app with Webpack is that you can end up with a really big bundle file, sometimes several megabytes in size!

Asset Size
bundle.main.js 1.36 MB 😞

The problem with this is that a user must download the whole file and run it before they can see anything on the screen. If the user is on a mobile device with a poor connection this process could take quite some time.

Code splitting is the idea that a bundle can be fragmented into smaller files allowing the user to only download what code they need, when they need it.

For example, looking at this simple web page, we can identify portions of the app that we don’t need on the initial load:

What if we delayed loading these parts of the code until after the initial render? It would allow a user to see and interact with the page much quicker.

In this article I’ll show you how Vue.js and Webpack can be used to split a single page app into more optimally sized files that can be dynamically loaded.

Async components

The key to code splitting a Vue.js app is async components. These are components where the component definition (including its template, data, methods etc) is loaded asynchronously.

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5 Great Talks From VueConf 2017, The First Vue.js Conference

5 Great Talks From VueConf 2017, The First Vue.js Conference

VueConf 2017, the first official Vue.js conference, took place over the last two days, June 22nd and 23rd.

The event was held in Wrocław (pronouned “vratslaw”, from what I can gather), which is a beautiful and historic city in the South-West of Poland. Around 300 people attended including many Polish locals, Europeans from surrounding countries like Germany and Hungary, and a number of adventerous developers from far away countries like the US, India and Australia (me).

The conference featured a keynote from Vue.js founder Evan You, and variety of interesting talks from Vue.js contributors, experts and advocates.

I think all attendees would agree that each and every talk of the conference was informative and inspirational, but in this article I’ll limit myself to just five talks to report on what you missed!

1. Evan You - The State of Vue 2017

VueConf 2017 kicked off at 9am with a keynote from Vue.js founder Evan You. His talk recapped the history of Vue, which began as a humble idea for a lightweight UI library way back in 2013. He told of how Vue gained unexpected attention on the front-page of Hacker News, and later a tweet from Laravel creator Taylor Otwell gave the project some serious traction.

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4 Ways To Boost Your Vue.js App With Webpack

4 Ways To Boost Your Vue.js App With Webpack

Webpack is an essential tool for developing Vue.js single page applications. It makes your development workflow much simpler by managing complex build steps and can optimise your apps size and performance.

In this article I’ll explain four ways that Webpack can enhance your Vue app, including:

  1. Single file components
  2. Optimising the Vue build
  3. Browser cache management
  4. Code splitting

What about vue-cli?

If you’re using a template to build your app from vue-cli, a pre-made Webpack config is provided. They’re well optimised and there are no improvements I can suggest!

But since they work so well out of the box, you probably don’t have much idea of what they’re really doing, right? Consider this article an overview of the Webpack config used in the vue-cli templates, as they include the same optimisations I’m discussing here.

1. Single file components

One of Vue’s idiosyncratic features is the use of HTML for component templates. These come with an intrinsic problem, though: either your HTML markup needs to be in an awkward JavaScript string, or your template and component definition will need to be in separate files, making them hard to work with.

Vue has an elegant solution called Single File Components (SFCs) that include the template, component definition and CSS all in one neat .vue file:

MyComponent.vue

<template>
  <div id="my-component">...</div>
</template>
<script>
  export default {...}
</script>
<style>
  #my-component {...}
</style>

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Extending VueJS Components

Extending VueJS Components

Do you have components in your Vue app that share similar options, or even template markup?

It’d be a good idea to create a base component with the common options and markup, and then extend the base component to create sub components. Such an architecture would help you apply the DRY principle in your code (Don’t Repeat Youself) which can make your code more readable and reduce the possibility of bugs.

Vue provides some functionality to help with component inheritance, but you’ll also have to add some of your own ingenuity.

Example: survey questions

Here is a simple survey made with Vue.js:

You’ll notice that each question has a different associated input type:

  1. Text input
  2. Select input
  3. Radio input

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Single Page App Backends: Where Laravel Beats Node.js

Single Page App Backends: Where Laravel Beats Node.js

I’ve been commissioned to write a book about building full stack Vue.js apps. Since many Laravel developers are interested in Vue (Vue now ships with Laravel), the publisher wants the book to focus on full stack Vue.js with Laravel.

In preparing for the book I knew I would have to answer a very important question for myself: why would anyone even want to use Laravel as backend for a single page app when they can use Node.js?

Node.js advantages

Like many web devs who learned to code in the last decade, I started out with PHP. But as I got interested in frontend development and SPAs (single page apps), I eventually made the switch to full stack JavaScript and I hadn’t really looked back since.

Node.js has some very clear advantages as an SPA backend:

  1. One language in the project (JavaScript) means it’s simply easier to code.
  2. There’s opportunity to share code between the frontend and backend apps or even make the app isomorphic.
  3. Node.js allows server-side rendering. This means you can render your page on the server before it hits the browser, allowing users to see the page quicker. (There are attempts to achieve this with PHP/JS extensions, but for the time being, these do not work with many SPA frameworks like Vue, and if they do, they’re much slower).
  4. Node has non-blocking I/O and is better at handling concurrent requests (PHP can do this now too, but again, slower).

Stuck with PHP

Given all of the above, my assumption for why you’d use PHP for a SPA backend is because you must be stuck with it, and Laravel is chosen because it’s simply the best of a bad situation.

You might be stuck with PHP if:

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