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Harnessing the Green Power of Qwik

Let’s dive into the concept of green coding and how Qwik could empower developers to create applications that are not only high-performing but also eco-friendly. Can sustainable edge bring advantage for a technology against other competitors and solve issues common to all frontend frameworks? Well, Qwik might just fill these both boxes. Let’s look a bit closer.

If you want to discover the coolest and shiniest new things in the frontend developer community, check out what is coming in Future Frontend –event in Helsinki in June 2024. Before that, a brief remembrance on what was on the menu last year.  A lot of talks were about or touched by Green IT, which today, in our world is becoming more and more crucial in our work as software developers. One of the most interesting topics in the event in 2023 was a new frontend framework called Qwik. It turned out that Qwik is a very high-performing framework, but it also has several features which are beneficial to the ideology of Green Coding. 

Green Code in a nutshell 

In case you are new to the subject, ‘Green Code’ is a term that refers to the practice of writing computer programs with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Green coding involves writing code in a way that minimizes the use of system resources, reduces energy consumption, and promotes eco-friendly computing practices. 

So, what does this mean in my daily job as developer? How can I contribute to green coding? The most important thing is to first get interested on the concept and learn what it is. When we want to apply the greens to our daily job and project there are several practical things we might consider. We could, for example, optimize algorithms to reduce processing time, minimize network requests and use efficient code practices. Additionally, if we are working on an infrastructure, we could choose energy-efficient hardware and data centres, optimize server configurations, and reduce unnecessary computations. There are a lot of options to work on and learn by doing. 

Well, what if a framework, tool or platform could do some of the developers' green work out of the box and at the same time provide an efficient and performant solution? That sure sounds ideal, and fortunately, we can flirt with the thought in the case of Qwik.  

Qwik – fast and green 

In recent years, numerous front-end frameworks have entered the market to challenge the power of React, Angular and Vue. Qwik is one of the newcomers and the spearhead of their marketing is that it claims to be the fastest framework now. Qwik promises superfast page load times, regardless of the size and complexity of the site.  

So, what is the problem that Qwik wants to tackle? When we visit a modern website the browser sends a request to the server to fetch all the needed files and data what the browser needs to form and eventually render the website. After the initial render we can browse and interact with the content. This can take up a quite some time, the key factor being the amount of data to be fetched. The websites and applications have grown to be complex animals and the evolution is ever growing. This means, in practice, that the data traffic is also ever growing. More sites, grows into more complex sites, into more data traffic and into increased energy consumption. You get the idea, right? 

What if we could download only the minimum amount of data the site needs to be up and working? Well, Qwik can do this exactly. It has two main strategies on how to tackle this problem: 

  1.  Delay execution and download of JavaScript for as long as possible. 
  1.  Serialize the execution state of the application and the framework on the server and resume it on the client. 

The delaying of the execution means that the code is shipped to the browser only when it’s needed. This way a huge amount of code which is never used will not end up to the browser at all. The serialization provides the grounds for the resumability, which is one the key concepts of Qwik.  

The basic idea behind Qwik is that it is resumable. It can continue where the server left off. There is but the tiniest amount of code to execute on the client. 

The best part is that this code will stay constant no matter how big your application becomes. All the other interactivity of your website is downloaded lazily as you interact with the site in the smallest possible chunks.says Misko Hevery, the creator of Qwik 
The code is splitted into tiny entities and through resumability it could be used and passed to client only when it’s needed. This is the key for Qwik to create superfast sites that result in better SEO, better UX, more sales and better conversion rates. BUT (and I think this is a huge BUT), at the same time Qwik provides developers an efficient tool that significantly reduces energy consumption by lowering the data traffic needed for the application to become alive. 

Sustainability is the key

This was just an appetizer of Qwik, but there are already loads of good resources available to learn it more deeply. And fortunately, if you know your React, it’s easy to jump in the world of Qwik. But when looking at Qwik more closely it’s interesting to follow the development of programming and watch as sustainable values are becoming key factors when pushing new technologies to the market.