This is not an issue for me, because I am steeped in privilege with my top-spec MacBook Pro and iPhone 11, so generally, most sites—even ones with outrageous bundle sizes—tend to run fine. We should’t be building for people like me though, because people like me are the privileged minority. We should instead be optimizing for low-to-mid powered devices. One good way to test your sites against devices like this is Webpage Test’s “easy” preset.
Some other related advice is to not 100% rely on Lighthouse scores. Lighthouse is a fantastic tool which gives you a good idea of how your website is performing, but it can also be misleading, as Manuel Matuzovic eloquently describes.
Anyway, back to Addy’s article. Another takeaway from the article is this:
This is what my issue with the Gatsby article is.
Benefit of the doubt permalink
I want to give Gatsby the benefit of the doubt on this. I want to believe it’s not a sinister attempt at self-justification by distributing a little mistruth that could cascade, much like the myth that you can use multiple
I also think that there could a bit of naivety from the author of the article in question, who might not be aware of the points raised in Addy’s writing.
I’m trying to look at Gatsby in a more positive light, as I mentioned in my 2019 year in review article. I even built Front-End Challenges Club with Gatsby to better understand the workings of it and I must say, the developer experience was lovely. I’ll also be teaching a course on Piccalilli using Gatsby as the core static-site generator. I still, of course, prefer Eleventy, but it’s important that I’m fair with criticism and that actually using tools like Gatsby contributes to that.
This all boils down to trust. Trust is often not lost in single events but instead it is chipped away at. With the rather problematic theme competition, last year, which encouraged people to build an entire theme to win a conference ticket (hello, unpaid spec work) and then articles like this coming about: I can feel my own trust being chipped away at. It also doesn’t help that Gatsby is built with React, so by proxy, has a direct link to Facebook, which for those who know me well, will know that’s almost immediately in impossible barrier to get beyond.
But as I said when I was lucky to be on the Shop Talk Show: Gatsby is not going anywhere and will only get more popular, so I want to try to be productive with criticisms, with the hope that in turn, they make a big, positive impact on the web.