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Web app bundling in the browser with zuix.js

by Gene — posted on 1 August 2018
Though the topic covered on this post might still be actual, this content referrers to an older version of zuix.js library. See zuix.js website for up-to-date documentation.

What is web page/app bundling?

Bundling is the process of collecting all resources used in a page and then compiling them into a single, optimized file.

This will drastically reduce the number of network requests the browser will have to do to complete the page loading and that will so load the page faster.

There are actually two way of doing this:

In-Browser bundling

Usually when a website is ready for production you can decide to bundle it in order to gain better performances. All of its components and resources will be crunched into a single file and loaded from memory rather than from network/localhost.

Step by step guide

Include the zuix-bundler extension script in your page right after the main zuix script inclusion:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/zuix-dist@1.0.0/js/zuix.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/zuix-dist@1.0.0/js/zuix-bundler.min.js"></script>

After adding this script you can reload the page and generate the application bundle by typing in the browser console the command

zuix.saveBundle()

This will create and save the app.bundle.js file to the Downloads folder.

Copy the generated file to your website root and include it right after the main zuix script inclusion.

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/zuix-dist@1.0.0/js/zuix.min.js"></script>
<script src="app.bundle.js"></script>

Remove the zuix-bundler script inclusion from the page after the bundle is created.

Remarks

When using lazy-loading only components loaded so far will be included in the bundle (incremental bundling).

To force inclusion of all components/resources used in the page, issue the following commands in the console:

// disable lazy-loading
zuix.lazyLoad(false)
// force loading of all components
zuix.componentize()
// create the bundle
zuix.saveBundle()

Also external JavaScript libraries and CSS files can be included in the page bundle. In order to achieve this, remove the <script src="..."></script> or <link rel="stylesheet"> and use the method zuix.using(...) instead to load the script/css.

// Loading a .css style
const flaCss = 'https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/flex-layout-attribute/1.0.3/css/flex-layout-attribute.min.css';
zuix.using('style', flaCss, function(res, styleObject) {
console.log("Added Flex Layout Attributes CSS.", res, styleObject);
});
// Loading a .js script
const momentJs = 'https://momentjs.com/downloads/moment.js';
zuix.using('script', momentJs, function(res, scriptObject){
console.log("Added Moment.js.", res, scriptObject);
});
// Loading a zuix component
zuix.using('component', '@lib/extensions/animate_css', function(res, componentContext){
console.log("Added AnimateCSS extension for zuix.", res, componentContext);
});

If the zuix.using method is called on a resource that was already loaded, it will just ignore the request.

This method is also used to create self-contained components that can be loaded without having to worry about external dependencies to include.

Example

As an example I remixed the zuix-app-4 of my previous post into zuix-app-5.

In case you missed my previous post:

{# link https://dev.to/genejams/adding-a-viewpager-to-the-mobile-web-app-n67 #}

This is the new source code and this is what I did:

I wanted the RSS feed to be the one from Google News, but unfortunately Google no longer provide this service (so sad), so I ended up using the CNN feed as it was the only feed with nice images and up-to-date titles.

Most feeds of this kind do not allow downloading from a different domain so I used the cors-anywhere.herokuapp.com proxy to hack CORS behavior. This proxy gets very slow sometimes, but that's OK for an example.

So, to sum up, the zuix-app-5 is the version without the app.bundle.js (not bundled) and I used it to create the bundled version that is available on zuix-app-6.

Here is a comparison between the two versions.

zuix-app-5: total files 18

zuix-app-5 files

zuix-app-5: network performance

zuix-app-5 perf

zuix-app-6: total files 4

zuix-app-6 files

zuix-app-6: network performance

zuix-app-6 perf

This is the source code for zuix-app-6.

Web Starter bundling

zuix Web Starter

The image above shows the bundling process of zuix-web-starter used for the zuix website itself.

But... since it's already kind of a long post, I'll just briefly put the main features here:

gotta go

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