React is a subsidy
Thirty seconds in, Langridge relates Zack Leatherman’s example of 8.5MB of tweets in static HTML rendering 1/5 of a second faster than a React site rendering a single tweet (Hellsite).
Reader, I howled, despite that being a bad idea after a week of dangerous air quality and six hours a day on video calls. Then I summoned The Infinite Scream (Hellsite) to do the howling for me while I wrote a blog post.
- Users have to buy and use high-end devices (phones, tablets, and laptops) to access content
- Developers abandon the web for native applications
- Which in turn demand rents (transaction fees)
- And concessions (non-political content, what content can be sold)
- Orgs sticking with the with web use tool chains with high overhead and requirements (every dev needs a high end laptop and training in the React tool chain)
- Development jobs go to people who have the time and skills to use React and native frameworks instead of the open web
- Device manufacturers
- App stores
- Surveillance capitalism
- Elite developers
at the expense of:
- Users stuck on a device upgrade treadmill
- Especially anti-racist, anti-policing, and anti-colonialist projects
- Creators who have to work under the precarity of large Social Media platforms
- Developers without access to tools and training for elite jobs
This subsidy will continue to harm all of us who were told that the Web was a boon for everyone.