🧶 Skipping the Bundling

Published 2022-05-12

We're in the era of ES6 modules, esm.sh and Typescript.

Do you really need to spin up that webpack/snowpack/rollup/vite/parcel/insert other bundler here for your small scale project?

I think not. These days, module management is built right into the language of JavaScript. JSX is also so widely used that Typescript transpiles it for you by default, removing another responsibility from bundling tools.

The emphasis on small scale is important. If you have hundreds of files that all need importing this would require many round trips to the server as all imports are not known ahead of time, but only as the browser processes a file and sees more import statements.

Need to import React?

import React from "https://esm.sh/react"

How about react-query?

import { QueryClient } from 'https://esm.sh/react-query'

You can do this for module that exists in the NPM registry and uses the ESM format or any ESM file that exists on your webserver.

This blog is actually built this way. No bundlers were used and all dependencies are imported via url. Either from tantaman.com or from esm.sh.

Some bunlders (like Vite) are a pleasure to use but if you're doing something small (like a personal blog), might as well skip them altogether. You can always add them back pretty easily if/when you need them. yagni

While writing this I found a similar article on LogRocket from 2019: Building without Bundling