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Lucas Porfirio
Lucas Porfirio

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From XMLHttpRequest to Fetch API: How Fetch became the Way Forward for JS Development

Hello there ✌

This week I have been reading about the "recently" added Fetch API in NodeJS, which got me thinking about how we moved from XMLHttpRequests to the Fetch API. As developers, I really think we should understand the history behind the things we use daily.

XMLHttpRequest (XHR) has long been the go-to choice for making asynchronous HTTP requests. But, with the introduction of the Fetch API, a newer alternative has emerged. We will now explore why the Fetch API is considered the way forward for JavaScript development, and why it has quickly gained popularity among us, web developers.

Drawbacks of XMLHttpRequests

XHR, while functional, comes with a few limitations. Its syntax is complex and often requires extensive boilerplate code. Beyond that, XHR responses are based on event listeners, leading to the famous callback hell and unreadable code. The Fetch API addresses these drawbacks, providing a simpler and more intuitive approach to handling network requests.

Simplicity of the Fetch API

I guess we all can agree that ES6 changed the internet, presenting us with many new resources, including the Fetch API. With that said, one of the major advantages of the API is its simplicity. The API is built around the concept of promises, allowing for cleaner and more readable code. Now we can easily chain operations using the .then() method, making the code flow more intuitive and way easier to understand.

Community adoption

The Fetch API has gained significant popularity within the JavaScript community. It is widely used in modern frameworks and libs, and extensive resources and documentation are available for developers to explore and learn from. By using the Fetch API,
devs jump right into a sharing community that's all about working together.


There are tons of reasons for why we moved to the Fetch API, such as standardization, CORS support, async/await and others. The API represented a significant step forward for JavaScript networking, offering a simpler, more flexible, and future-proof approach compared to the traditional XMLHttpRequest. Its seamless integration with promises, improved syntax, and robust support for modern web standards make it the preferred choice for making asynchronous HTTP requests. By using the Fetch API, developers can unlock the full potential of JavaScript networking and build more reliable, and scalable apps for the web.

I truly love the history behind all this revolution we're living, and I really enjoyed writing this. I hope you like the read as well! ❤

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