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my redwoodJS history

ajcwebdev profile image anthonyCampolo Updated on ・6 min read

April 13 - v0.4

The very first thing I ever wrote about Redwood was on April 13. It's buried in a response to a highlight about NextJS that Jeff Meyerson made on my write up for the ReactJS topic page on Software Daily.

Have you heard anything about RedwoodJS? It's a fairly new project from Tom Preston-Werner (creator of Jekyll and ex-CEO of Github). It's positioned as the full stack Jamstack solution built on React, GraphQL, and AWS Lambdas.

Full stack Jamstack sounds like a bit of an oxymoron so it'll be interesting to see how the project develops, especially considering the influence Jekyll has had on the Jamstack philosophy. He recently was on JS Party talking about it.

At this point Tom had only been on JS Party to talk about the framework on March 12. The Full Stack Radio interview was released about a week after this on April 22.

The JS Party interview put Redwood on my radar but the Full Stack Radio interview in particular was the motivator to invest heavily in learning the framework.

Something I find especially interesting about this little comment is that it hints at a larger theme I explore much more throughout my writing on Redwood. This theme is Tom as the Father of the Jamstack.

May 24 - v0.7

I launched a newsletter toward the end of May. The inaugural article was about Deno with the next planned article to be about Redwood.

On the same day I referenced Redwood briefly in a response to a question about React based frameworks on the ReactJS SEDaily topic page.

Redwood is very new and it is hard to say exactly what it will be like compared to current solutions. For now it seems to emphasize static generation and GraphQL endpoints, putting it more firmly in the Jamstack space than the more full stack Next space. But it also explicitly pitches itself as a full stack solution.

May 31 - v0.8

On May 31 I wrote my first dedicated article/blog post about Redwood. It highlighted the architecture of a Redwood app, the core philosophies of the project, and Tom's idea of a Universal Deployment Machine.

This would become the introductory article to the 12-part series, A First Look at RedwoodJS, which was finally finished on September 2, a full three months later.

June 19 - v0.11

Around this same time I was learning a lot about Blitz in addition to Redwood and became very interested in the idea of building Full Stack React apps.

I wrote a short blog post about this mostly to sketch out a timeline of Redwood and Blitz milestones. This became the second article of the series.

June 20 - v0.11

At this point it had been two months since I first started talking about Redwood and I had written a decent amount of content about the project's motivation and history. But I knew that I needed to start getting my hands dirty.

This was especially informed by my experience writing a first look at blitz.js on June 18. At this point I started transitioning from writing just high level explainers to writing detailed technical content.

With the Blitz article as a test run I used the same format for a first look at redwood.js. Unlike the Blitz article I decided to write a part 2 which eventually turned into parts 2-8.

June 21 - v0.11

Part 2 - Routes

June 23 - v0.11

Part 3 - Prisma

June 30 - v0.12

Part 4 - CRUD

July 3 - v0.12

Part 5 - Contact

July was a weird month.

July 11 - v0.13

At this point I'd built out more than half the tutorial and all the concepts and technologies in the stack were starting to gel in my head.

With a deeper technical understanding of the framework I decided to attempt a definitive history of the Jamstack and how it grew out of static site generators of the late 2000s such as Jekyll and Hugo.

July 26 - v0.14

Part 6 - GraphQL

July 30 - v0.15

July 31 - v0.15

Part 7 - Deploy

August 2 - v0.15

August 9 - v0.15

Part 8 - Auth

August 15 - v0.15

During the month of August I worked on building a project that connected RedwoodJS with FaunaDB. David Thyresson provided significant assistance in helping me figure out the architecture.

You can see how we worked it out on the forums at Building a Minimum Viable Stack with RedwoodJS and FaunaDB.

August 27 - v0.16

August 28 - v0.16

I gave a presentation about the Fauna project at the Redwood meetup. We shall never speak of it again.

September 1 - v0.16

The Redwood+Fauna tutorial was well received and Fauna decided to publish it on their official blog.

Fauna seemed to be such a fan that they tweeted about it on at least four separate occasions. The last time they even included my name!

Even Tom got in on the action

September 2 - v0.17

I finished writing the First Look series at the beginning of August but had a few little details I wanted to clean up before publishing a canonical link to the series. Since the Fauna article actually had a deadline it took precedence.

The issue was forced when I was scheduled to give a meetup talk about the First Look series for Jamstack Denver on September 2. With a few things left to do I decided it was close enough for jazz and hit publish.

The series turned out to be popular.


After I saw that people were actually reading this thing I scrambled to make all the little edits I had put off until now. This included:

  • Creating a table of contents on each article for easy navigation
  • Removing the screen shots of terminal commands and replacing them with code blocks that can be copy and pasted
  • Creating a more in depth outline with sub-sections for each article
  • And finally I'm about half way through a complete rebuild of the project to remove inconsistencies caused by versioning. This also involves updating many of the roughly 400 screenshots contained in the series.
    • I want someone finding the series today to be able to build the project and have the tutorial reflect exactly what is happening in their project on their computer.
    • Redwood is currently on v0.18 and when I started the series it was v0.11.
    • I never encountered any unexpected breaking changes between versions but there were lots of little details like changes to the generators that I wanted to avoid.


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