3 Matching Annotations
- Feb 2021
Source maps eliminate the need to serve these separate files. Instead, a special source map file can be read by the browser to help it understand how to unpack your assets. It "maps" the current, modified asset to its "source" so you can view the source when debugging. This way you can serve assets in development in the exact same way as in production.
When Sprockets was introduced, one of the opinions that it held strongly, is that assets such as CSS and JS should be bundled together and served in one file.
The alternative was to have multiple scripts or stylesheet links on one page, which would trigger multiple HTTP requests. Multiple requests mean multiple connection handshakes for each link “hey, I want some data”, “okay, I have the data”, “alright I heard that you have the data, give it to me” (SYN, ACK, SYNACK). Even once the connection is created there is a feature of TCP called TCP slow start that will throttle the speed of the data being sent at the beginning of a request to a slower speed than the end of the request. All of this means transferring one large request is faster than transferring the same data split up into several smaller requests.
- external assets: one larger file vs. multiple smaller files (HTTP requests)
- design goals
- fast load times (web pages)
- strong opinions
- fast startup times
- network performance