re: I'm having some "not this again" feelings with Parcel, how should I be feeling about this tool? VIEW POST


I still feel the same as my last post on the topic -- I hate front end build processes.

My disappointment with front end processes is very influenced by using Visual Studio all these years. It has templates which automatically setup the build processes. Then the IDE does a decent job of keeping the build process up to date as you use it. Example, when you Add New File from the UI, it also adds that file to the build template. If you add a source file, it will be added to the compile list. If you add a content file, it will be copied to the output as-is. And you can adjust the behavior on the file's properties. In effect, file organization is a separate concern from file build settings... you don't have to put certain files in static and other files in src to get it to build correctly. Nor maintain build configurations for each file by hand.

The IDE cannot do everything you might ever need -- in which case you can use the command-line build tools and scripts -- but it does a great job of covering standard cases. I've never really needed to write command-line build scripts until recently with .NET Core. And that is mostly to build docker images. VS added Docker image build support in 15.7, but I had major issues with it for multi-container projects. So I'm building the images with scripts.

But front end basically has very limited coverage of even common cases. You are expected to write custom builds from the get-go. It is such a large barrier to entry that many setup tools have sprung up such as Create React App to start you off right. If I take a lesson from VS, what we really need is some build template support integrated into editors so they can manage common cases and just let me worry about coding my features. Maybe "IDEs" are not so bad after all.

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