Welcome to issue #1 of The Stackless Newsletter. Each week you’ll get:
Let’s make this a conversation! Tell me about your background and how you heard about stackless. A quick and easy reply by email will aim the newsletter toward what you want!
Leveling up Borrowing a bit of manager-speak, let’s level-set before we get to next week’s concepts and hacks. Pretend we meet someone a bit skeptical of “stackless” (maybe it’s you!). They say (and we reply):
Wait! What is stackless anyway? It’s about web development without frameworks or build tools. It’s about exploring how far we can go without React, Rails, or all the other systems used to build web applications.
Haha, really? Stackless? Of course, there’s still a stack! Just like “serverless” still has servers, there’s a stack with Internet plumbing like TCP/IP, an operating system, and web browsers. But we want to see how far we can go without piling on web stacks like LAMP or MEAN or Ruby on Rails that we’ve needed for the last ten years.
What? No framework? Well, there is a framework. It’s the browser! New web standards built into the browser make some framework aspects superfluous.
Ok, what’s the new tech I need to learn? Just three things: ES6 imports, module CDNs, and custom HTML tags (via web components). Once you learn this stuff, it’s evergreen, because it’s standard, and you can mix it into any framework, if you need it. This newsletter will be your guide.
So what about the future? Is it stackless? Truthfully, I don’t think we’ll be talking about “stackless” in a few years. It’s just going to be part of any web developer’s professional bag of tricks. There will still be reasons to use frameworks or build tools (just not as often). And hopefully, web development will be simpler, easing up on a developer’s cognitive workload.
Okay, that’s enough for now! As a long-time writer of the long form, I’m challenging myself to condense “stackless” into bite-sized weekly email messages. Let me know how I’m doing!
Hey there. Do you have time now to hit reply and introduce yourself? I’d like to know my newsletter readers, starting with you.
I promise I’ll send something else interesting next week!
Best wishes from Bali,
Web Frameworks: Why You Don’t Always Need Them
An introductory article from February 2021 by Richard MacManus, senior editor of The New Stack and founder of ReadWriteWeb.