PWA super starters

No matter what you think about Mastodon, the “federated Twitter killer*”, it has attracted an interesting ecosystem of apps and tools, largely due to its very open API.

I’m not a big Mastodon user yet, with a total of exactly one toot, but last week my interest was piqued by Nolan Lawson’s Pinafore, a progressive web app for Mastodon.

Pinafore is fast. Impressively fast. It’s a (nearly) 100% client-side app with offline support that uses a combination of service workers (for resources) and IndexedDB (for data). Nolan wrote about his approach to building Pinafore on his blog a few months back. It’s worth a read.

I came across Pinafore because Alex Russell, the client-side stack-trace obsessive, was similarly impressed.

Much of the credit for Pinafore’s performance goes to Svelte, the UI framework that uses aggressive performance optimisations at build time, and Sapper, a PWA framework built around Svelte. I came across Svelte a while ago, but never had a chance to dig in. The approach intrigues me, especially if it can help to product impressive real-world performance like Pinafore demonstrates.

Alex Russell also name-checked other PWA ‘starter kits’ later in the thread. Namely: Polymer PWA Starter Kit, Preact CLI, Next.js and Ionic PWA Toolkit.

Likewise, I’ve never used any of these in anger, and they don’t seem to have really entered the mainstream yet. But it feels like we’re not far away from something like this becoming very popular.

Have you used any of these starter kits for building PWAs? What did you think of them?

If you really want to, you can follow me on Mastodon at @[email protected].

All the best,

– Jim

* - possibly

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