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The Zeit team just open-sourced Next.js.

April 2020: Zeit is now Vercel!

The Zeit team just open-sourced Next.js: a small framework for server-rendered universal JavaScript webapps, built on top of React, Webpack and Babel. Next.js even powers their own site. #EatYourOwnDogFood 🐶

Next.js is already at 18 contributors, 8 more on the way!

Next.js is a framework to get pretty excited about as its offering include:

  • Zero setup with the ability to use the filesystem as an API
  • JavaScript oriented, focused on everything being a function
  • Auto-magic server rendering and code splitting - whoa!
  • Allowing developers to explicitly define data fetching effects
  • Baked-in performance optimization, and
  • Easy-peasy deployments ala their Now platform

Having worked on a mission-critical, end-to-end digital product at Tesla, these are all things that we have needed to create ourselves, or address in one form or another, for our specific needs. This is fine and typical in most teams—and something I don't suspect is work that is going away entirely—but to have a stable and supported framework like Zeit's Next.js that has a lot of common developer needs baked-in with the ability to customize the setup further is huge!

Next.js: "a flexible enough system that can share rendering code between browser and server…"
Next.js: "a flexible enough system that can share rendering code between browser and server…"
https://t.co/YrnoLN3tG6 https://t.co/b7PQ8k3ZnE

There's great potential to save engineers a lot of upfront time that can then be used to focus on building specific features and enhancements for their company's product(s). I also see cross-functional teammates, like release and devops engineers, benefiting from some of the initial leg work being done upfront that they can customize to fit their own build pipeline needs.

And, with Next.js being built with automatic server-side rendering and code splitting, the end-user of a team's digital product is bound to benefit greatly; for instance, experiencing faster page load times and time-to-interaction with the product/web app.

Little known fact: it should be fairly easy to add hot-code reloading for *production* code on top of Next.js 🔥. Lots of stuff left to do!

So looking forward to how Next.js evolves, and exploring use cases for it both at work and on personal projects.

Good stuff Zeit team!

Links of Interest: