What is Vite? All you need to know about the new JS bundler
Vite is the next-generation frontend tool. Essential in setting up modern frontend dev environments, critical for web applications.
Vite is derived from the French word, pronounced as “Veet,” and it means “quick.”
The tool comprises both the dev server and the build command interface. Vite’s dev server has rich features enhanced over native ES modules. And it’s built command can package your application source code with Rollup, which pre-configures it to produce tremendously optimized static files for the production environment.
Vite offers capabilities to spin up the dev-server-start time by dividing the application into two segments; the source code and dependencies.
How does Vite work?
To fully understand how Vite works, we must dig deeper from where everything starts.
Usually, when it’s a simple application, the task is much easier to maintain and organize the code as a few variables are involved. However, the task becomes complicated in complex applications with unimaginable lines of code containing countless variables and functions, especially during maintenance and upgrades.
But maintaining the scope also proved to be complicated, and it had several technicalities involved. A better way was needed to solve the problem, so a modularized approach was introduced to package variables and functions together.
Modules are used to organize an application code into self-organized parts with an open accessibility relationship. This means that inside the modules, the components share an open relationship without any limitations.
So inside the module, multiple functions can also share variables, directly challenging the traditional function scope approach. The other benefit of modularized application code is that variables from one module can also be accessed and manipulated by another module which brings a flexible and dynamic capability during the application development.
Handling the CommonJS build “problem”
Now, tools like Webpack, Parcel, and Rollup were also created to support the applicability and functionality of the CJS and AMD modules. While these tools are great, application performance problems were witnessed as more code and dependencies were added to the app.
Vite solves dev-server cold-start and slow updates problems associated with bundle-based tools like Webpack, Parcel, or Rollup. These tools have to crawl and build the entire application before it is served in the dev server. In the end, the process increasingly becomes slower and more frustrating, especially when the files and dependencies grow.
So, Vite dev-server is programmed to start instantly while solving the slow performance issues associated with the other bundler tools.
Vite can forego the bundling step to serve the browser with native ES modules. It plays a big role in allowing browsers to import modules from an application without throwing errors. Vite can rewrite the imports to valid URLs by automatically detecting bare module imports from your source files.
Features of Vite
Vite provides various features, and these include the following
NPM Dependency Resolving and Pre-bundling
Furthermore, imports are rewritten to valid URLs to facilitate browsers to import them. And the dependency requests are stored in the local cache to make debugging and editing possible when necessary.
Hot Modulation Replacement
Vite provides the Hot Modulation Replacement (HMR) API feature to integrate with other platforms like React and Vue, which provides precision without the need to refresh or reload the page or blow away the application state. The source code can upgrade in the background with the help of the Hot Modulation Replacement functionality while boosting and optimizing application performance.
Vite comes with inbuilt CSS libraries you can manipulate to style your application to your needs. This is one of the features you will find interesting in this front-end tooling.
Why use Vite in your web projects?
Undoubtedly, you have to be flexible to keep up with evolving tech. Modern applications are designed to provide optimized performance to the end users while employing little resources to run and maintain them.
Vite.JS has taken developers by storm. It’s such an incredible front-end tooling system with the potential to revolutionize how modern web applications are developed.
You would want to use Vite today in your projects for a couple of reasons. And these are:
In addition, Vite uses route-based code splitting, a technique used to define the part of the code that needs to be loaded. And this happens on the fly, and it does not have to re-bundle the whole app. Such functionality is the power behind Vite’s strong performance in web applications.
Easy to set up and run
Faster browser performance
With Vite, the Hot Module Replacement (HMR) feature is leveraged to change the source code without the need to refresh the browser. The development changes take place in the background as if nothing is happening. This feature is important as it leads to performance optimization critical for any application in development or production environments.
Free and Open-source
Vite is offered under MIT License, so you can use the software freely without facing any legal limitations. You’re free to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and /or sell the software with restrictions. The Vite developer has made the tool freely available for everyone to use without license restrictions or limitations.
Here is a summary of the pros associated with using Vite.JS;
- Drives up application performance using pre-bundling functionality of the esbuild tool
- Easy to set up, and you can get it running using a few commands
- You can freely run the software and make any modifications and changes you want, as it’s offered under the MIT License
- Drives up browser performance using Hot Module Replacement (HMR) feature. The code runs in the background without the need to refresh the browser.
- Solves problems associated with other bundle-based tools like Webpack, parcels, and more.
- Faster dev CLI start-ups compared to other tools like Vue and React.
- offers Typescript support out of the box.
- Supports Library mode, which is used for creating browser-oriented libraries and functionality
- Comes with built-in functions and libraries. Vite comes with functions like CSS preprocessor, hash naming, HTML preprocessor, compression, asynchronous loading, sub-package, HMR, etc.
Here are some of the cons associated with using Vite.JS;
- It involves using various tools for development and production. You must use the esbuild during development and Rollup for the production bundle. The downside is that bugs can manifest in an application that can be complicated to debug and fix.
- Has a limited community. Because Vite is relatively new, there are limited instructional resources about it. When you run into unexpected errors, it’s likely to give you a hard time finding the most appropriate solution.
Which companies are using Vite as part of their tech stack?
According to Stackshare, several companies use Vite as part of their tech stack. Some of these companies include the following;
- Mak IT
- Voice flow
How to get started with Vite
To run Vite on your computer, you must first install Node. And then you will need to the following command below;
npm init @vitejs/app.
Once the above command has been successfully executed, you must follow the next steps to create your first project and spin up the dev server.
Alternatively, you can try out Vite online using a browser-based platform called StackBlitz. This platform offers a virtual workspace environment to run Vite directly in the browser.
What makes Vite faster than its competitors?
Undoubtedly, Vite technology is proving to be disruptive in the market while outpacing competitor tools. Vite provides a faster application performance experience because of the following reasons;
- On-demand compilation
Vite runs a specific portion of code based on the browser request. This means that the application doesn’t have to compile the entire source. This saves resource consumption and CPU usage.
- Background update capabilities
Vite uses its Hot Modulation Replacement (HMR) feature, which allows the application to update in the background without the need to refresh the page.
- Bare module imports
While most browsers don’t support the importation of Bare modules, Vite provides the capability to rewrite the file content and execute module resolution to find a suitable file from the dependencies.
Vite is undoubtedly a revolutionary front-end tool that could be a game changer for your web application development. The kind of power and performance this tool provides makes it the right piece of tech you need for your next project. While Vite is relatively new on the scene, many developers are keen to adopt it for their projects.
At Talendor, we have professional and experienced engineers and developers who can help you to take your web development project to the next level using Vite. Our developers are dedicated, Collaborative, and eager to build relationships with employers and clients of any category.
Do you need engineers for your next Vite project? Let’s talk, and we will gladly answer your questions. We’re always available to discuss your project in detail and help you fully achieve your business goals.