The Hidden Benefits Of Iframe Based Development

Posted by: Poster Image

Summary Argument: Iframe based web development as a software practice hasn't sufficiently been analyzed. This article argues that iframes allow single page apps to isolate security, improve performance, and increase developer speed through modular operations.  1432 tokens
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     There's a real power to using iframes as a web development practice. Coupled with the postMessage api, iframes provide a clean solution for communicating within a web app. With iframes, you actually get multiple pages within a single page app (SPA). The user experiences a seamless site, often just at one url, with no url redirection. But behind the one single domain are actually many little pages iframed as widgets.
     Stakedy.com uses iframes and postMessage. If you navigate to stakedy.com, you get the entire app's functionality all in one page. You don't need to navigate away to a second page to access the wallet or generate tokens. It's all iframed with communication happening using the postMessage api. But what other reasons beside user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are there for developing with iframes?
     Iframes can provide security isolation. If your SPA includes third party dependencies, they will potentially have direct access to your code. Even trusted items like Google Analytics still could access the site. If you put features behind an iframe, you can separate out dependencies from the parent window, such that third parties can't access the iframe.
     If you have a lot of code, it can cause performance lags. Yes, you can use a content delivery network (CDN), but if you don't load the data, you are always going to be quicker. With iframes, you can lazy load the frame. This happens with celody.com, where the iframe wallet starts as a blank html window and then only gets loaded when the user requests the wallet functionality.
     The fact that iframes are separate windows in the page means that they are split. It's logical to make the splits in a modular fashion, where certain features are contained within the iframe. This means that you can have separate teams working in parallel. Each team works on their window portion and they agree to merge the windows in a final SPA using the postMessage api as a communication bridge.

Staked: 1432 tokens

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Staked:
1432 tokens

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