Tree shaking — How to write code and reduce the bundle size in Webpack 4+

 

Tree shaking has become more popular during recent days and hence now its becomes a vital responsibility for a bundler to support tree shaking.

Okay why it is much more important?. The answer is below,

No user will wait for more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

So its important to keep the bundle size as small as possible for a web page to load fast. Webpack and Rollup are the two popular bundlers which supports tree shaking.

In this article, I am going to speak about some guidelines to write code that support tree shaking and also how to reduce bundle size in Webpack.

Write or compile code to ES6

Since tree shaking works by marking the export and import statements as unused, it is better to write or compile your code to ES6 format. Unused imports will be removed during minification process.

If your browsers does not support ES6 codes then there are many transpiler available to do the conversion (For example: Babel).

Use Feature Module (Loose coupling)

Segregate features into separate modules. Know your customer before planning your web site or library.

All users are not going to use all of your library features, so its always a good practice to segregate the features into separate modules and allowing the user to inject when needed.

The feature modules should be loosely coupled with main module and also ensure to avoid explicit usage of the feature module classes or functions inside main module. Create a pub-sub pattern for your website/library to perform communication between modules.

Learn to use functional programming paradigm

Well, writing code using functional programming paradigm allows you to easily maintain and deliver a bug free product. Below are some of the things, you need to know when using function programming.

  • Write pure class/functions.
  • Use array methods such as filter, some, map etc.
  • Avoid using shared state.
  • Avoid mutating state.

You can find a complete explanation about Function Programming in the Master the JavaScript Interview: What is Functional Programming? drafted by Eric Elliott.

Set sideEffects — Reduce bundle size in Webpack

 

When you have followed the above sections in your code then you are halfway away from enabling proper tree shaking capability for your code.

The last thing, I need to share is the use of settings sideEffects keyword as false in your package.json file. Settings this will inform the webpack that your code/project is safe to exclude the re-exported classes/functions.

Please go through the webpack official documentation for more information on marking your project with sideEffects key.

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen how to use write code that can be tree shaken properly and setting sideEffects keyword in package.json to mark the project as safe to exclude the re-exported codes.

Happy coding.. 🙂

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ES6 const is not immutable

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Now most of the ES6 features can be used in modern browsers without transpiling. If you are using ES6 features in your project then you must have come across the const keyword.

Most of us know that the value assigned to the const cannot be changed. Yes, this is true when your are assigning primitive values.

const-2

But when comes with object type you can change the object’s property.

const-1

This proves that the const is not immutable and it cannot be reassigned or re-declared.

MDN says this clearly in their documentation.

The `const` declaration creates a read-only reference to a value. It does not mean the value it holds is immutable, just that the variable identifier cannot be reassigned.

Happy Scripting…

Arrow function (Lambda expression) in Brief

What is Arrow function?

Arrow function expression defines the succinct syntax for writing the function expressions in JavaScript, which has been introduced in the ES6. It will not bind its own this, while using it within the functions and it has in-built return type attribute.

Syntax:

(parameters) => {stuffs}

Example:

Following is the simple demonstration about the usage of Arrow functions to make the code more compact.

var marks = [68, 83, 72, 56, 88];
var sum1 = marks.reduce(function (total, mark){
    return total + mark;
});
console.log(sum1);// Output: 367

var sum2 = marks.reduce((total, mark) => {
    return total + mark;
});
console.log(sum2);// Output: 367

var sum3 = marks.reduce((total, mark) => total + mark);
console.log(sum3);// Output: 367

Fiddle Demo

Advantage of Arrow function:

Example with JavaScript object constructor

In the following example the student () constructor has setTimeout () method for updating the “totalMark” attribute of “student ()”. Here the “this” defined by setTimeout () method is refers to the Window object. Hence it will not match with the “this” defined by the student () constructor. So the “totalMark” attribute of student () constructor cannot be changed in setTimeout () method as expected and it results in TypeError.

var s = new student();
function student() {
    this.student1 = { "name": "Smith", "totalMark": 375 };
    //To change the "Total Mark"
    setTimeout(function () {
        var newTotal = 395;
        if (this.student1.name == "Smith")//Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property 'name' of undefined
            this.student1.totalMark = newTotal;
    }, 500);
}

To overcome this issue in ES6, Arrow function expression can be used with that setTimeout () method as stated in the following code snippets.

var s = new student();
function student() {
    this.student1 = {"name":"Smith", "totalMark":375};
    //To change the "Total Mark"
    setTimeout(() => {
        var newTotal = 395;
        if (this.student1.name == "Smith")
            this.student1.totalMark = newTotal;
        console.log(this.student1);//{name:"Smith",totalMark:395}
    }, 500);
}

 

Disadvantage of Arrow function:

In the following example, while using the Arrow function inside the marks () function prototype for total () method, it will change the context of “this” to Window object. Hence it leads to unexpected output or error.

var marks = function() {
    this.mark1 = 80;
    this.mark2 = 60;
};

marks.prototype = {
    total: () => this.mark1 + this.mark2 //Here "this" refers to Window object. It does not represents the "this" of marks()
}
var m = new marks();
console.log(m.total()); //NaN

So in this case, writing the function expression in normal way is preferable as like as following code snippets. Here in total () method, “this” will be referred to marks () object constructor and it works as usual without exception.

var marks = function () {
    this.mark1 = 80;
    this.mark2 = 60;
};

marks.prototype = {
    total: function () {
        return this.mark1 + this.mark2;
    }
}
var m = new marks();
console.log(m.total()); // 140;

 

Note:

For Arrow function line break is not acceptable as shown below. It will throw Syntax error.

var sum = ()
=> {return true}; //As arrow symbol at starting position