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The Rise (and Fall) and Rise Again of HTML Frameworks

HTML-first. HTML-only! HTML Frameworks. HTML-first custom element rendering. Expanding custom elements. Server-rendered HTML. Web components SSR. Split components. Buzzword buzzword buzzword! Why is suddenly everybody going on and on about HTML frameworks?

By Jared White

Has something entirely new recently been invented? Or are we as an industry perhaps reimagining oldie-but-goodie ideas for a newer audience and shedding some bad habits we’ve accumulated over the decades? Let us roll back the clock and take a deep-dive into the history of building things out of HTML on the web—with a nod towards the “Futurest Future” where we can server-render HTML Modules in any language/framework and then “hydrate” those components on the client via minimalist JavaScript. Best of all worlds for most projects? A good progressively-enhanced default approach? Yes, and yes!

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