Zach’s ugly mug (his face) Zach Leatherman

The Tension and Future of Jamstack

Starry background from thefutureofjamstack.org
November 21, 2023 #12 Popular

At the Jamstack ZHUZH, we had a lovely panel discussion on the current and future status of the Jamstack ecosystem.

Some stakeholders and detractors have declared the Jamstack “dead,” in part evidenced by the recent shuttering of the Jamstack Discord, the discontinuation of Jamstack Conf (as Netlify pivots toward the marketing term Composable and a new conference under that name), and the end of the Jamstack Community Survey.

The evidence does support the claim that Netlify has moved on from shepherding the Jamstack (community/architecture)—which is fine! (and maybe preferable?)

A post-Netlify Jamstack opens up a few opportunities that were not possible before:

  1. To refocus the definition and pull it back from post-pivot silver-bullet marketing, which was arguably an overstep attempt to pull dynamic/SSR/on-request frameworks like (non-static export) Next.js, Remix, Fresh (et al) under the umbrella.
  2. To strengthen the community with a broader group of leaders and stakeholders with a vested interest in continuing the community-building aspect of the Jamstack. A multi-vendor gaggle would represent a maturation of the community, insulating it from an influencer rumor-mill.

Refocus

On the first point, I believe that a refocus of the definition will allow us to better define and clearly communicate when to use (and not use) a Jamstack site:

  • Improved backend performance (prebuilt markup on a CDN)
  • Improved scalability (no application servers, no on-request processing)
  • Improved security (reduced attack surface, per above)
  • Portablility (a folder-of-files can be moved to a new host easily)

Which will—in turn—allow the clarity to define the tradeoffs and downsides too:

  • Leans on client-side JavaScript for runtime use cases like personalization and authentication.
  • Takes no stance on front-end performance: single page applications (e.g. the notoriously slow create-react-app) are still under the Jamstack umbrella.

This intellectual honesty allows us to make better decisions when architecting projects: when it is and is not appropriate to use Jamstack.

Next Steps

If you want to be involved, we’re gathering folks together that see the unique value in the Jamstack architecture and the community around it.

Join us by filling out the survey on https://thefutureofjamstack.org/

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Zach Leatherman IndieWeb Avatar for https://zachleat.com/is a builder for the web and the creator/maintainer of IndieWeb Avatar for https://www.11ty.devEleventy (11ty), an award-winning open source site generator. At one point he became entirely too fixated on web fonts. He has given 81 talks in nine different countries at events like Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, Jamstack Conf, CSSConf, and The White House. Formerly part of CloudCannon, Netlify, Filament Group, NEJS CONF, and NebraskaJS. Learn more about Zach »

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2 Comments
  1. @zachleat > "[...] strengthen the community with a broader group of leaders and stakeholders with a vested interest in continuing the community-building aspect of the Jamstack."Yup, that's a good one!

  2. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @ttntm ???? ???? ????

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