JAMstack Update: November 16th, 2019

Whiter JAMstack?

This week’s big event was Gatsby’s announcement of their multi-faceted Cloud product (see Kyle’s post). It’s notably difficult to build businesses around open source software, but as we see so much adoption of Gatsby, not just as a tool in the JAMstack space, but as an entry point into React, it seems to me that Gatsby Cloud will be a natural for organizations wanting to take advantage of pre-rendering their sites. Think Acquia or Automattic, but for JAMstack (more on this in the Software Engineering Daily podcast linked to below).

One pattern we sometimes chat about in our Slack is the misunderstanding of the term JAMstack. JAMstack, of course, stands for Javascript, APIs, and Markup. Brian Rinaldi wrote a piece not long ago on the M being for markup, not Markdown, concluding that:

Today’s JAMStack sites are often indistinguishable from any other dynamic web application incorporating things like dynamic content, authentication, and much more. Calling them static sites would be both unfair and misleading.

Indeed, my site’s original name was “Static is the New Dynamic.”

What’s more, the folks who output pure HTML without using Javascript or APIs take exception to the implication of the term’s first two letters. Has JAMstack served its purpose in letting the world know that static site generators don’t have to be just static? Is that purpose over with? I find many people who know Gatsby who have never heard of the term JAMstack. They’re building JAMstack sites and aren’t even thinking about it in terms of stacks. It’s just front-end web development as we know it today.

The term JAMstack has become a handy reference point (and still a counter point to the persistently overwhelmingly common monolithic systems), so I don’t suppose it’s going away soon, but I think it will be a sign of our success when the term does blend in to the landscape and is no longer necessary.

Join our Slack to continue the conversation.