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Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps by Maxime Najim, Jason Strimpel

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Part I. Introduction and Key Concepts

Ever since the term “Golden Age” originated with the early Greek and Roman poets, the phrase has been used to denote periods of time following certain technological advancements or innovations. In the Golden Ages of Radio and Television in the 20th century, writers and artists applied their skills to new mediums to create something fresh and compelling. Perhaps we are now in the Golden Age of JavaScript, although only time will tell. Beyond a doubt, JavaScript has paved the road toward a new age of desktop-like applications running in the browser.

In the past decade, we’ve seen the Web evolve as a platform for building rich and highly interactive applications. The web browser is no longer simply a document renderer, nor is the Web simply a bunch of documents linked together. Websites have evolved into web apps. This means more and more of the web app logic is running in the browser instead of on the server. Yet, in the past decade, we’ve equally seen user expectations evolve. The initial page load has become more critical than ever before. According to a Radware report, in 1999, the average user was willing to wait 8 seconds for a page to load. By 2010, 57% of online shoppers said that they would abandon a page after 3 seconds if nothing was shown. And here lies the problem of the Golden Age of JavaScript: the client-side JavaScript that makes the pages richer and more interactive also increases the page load times, creating a poor initial ...

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