Re: Generic Bundling

François REMY at
Sat Oct 26 14:45:01 PDT 2013

I think it was once discussed at public-webapps at

At some point there was also a community group but I’m not sure it’s still active; it published some interesting format comparisons:


There are a lot of links you can follow from there.

De : Andrea Giammarchi
Envoyé : ‎samedi‎ ‎26‎ ‎octobre‎ ‎2013 ‎23‎:‎29
À : François REMY
Cc : 'Ilya Grigorik', es-discuss

Apologies, I just answered what Ilya answered but I'd like to see this discussion ... where is this happening? Thanks a lot and send even off thread if you can.

On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM, François REMY < at> wrote:

I can’t help but repeat, what you describe is called an app package format. Windows 8 has one, Chrome has one, Firefox OS has one; others may have one, too. There are discussions about a standardized app package format going on, but they are not happening on es-discuss. 

Why do you think this discussion belongs to es-discuss? Did I miss something?

De : Andrea Giammarchi
Envoyé : samedi 26 octobre 2013 22:15
À : 'Ilya Grigorik'
Cc : es-discuss

Is it possible to not put HTTP in the middle of your thoughts?

Why is **non HTTP** bundling a no go?

Don't you donwload a single blob to install chrome and then eventually have incremental updates?

Why that single blob at the beginning should not be possible only in JS since every other programming langauge has one and working without HTTP in the middle? Without servers? Without an internet connection ?


On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Ilya Grigorik <igrigorik at> wrote:

On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM, Andrea Giammarchi <andrea.giammarchi at> wrote:

Ilya ... just to re-clarify what was the discussion about: Generic Bundling ... not HTTP Bundling.
I don't know why many keep coupling and confining HTML5 over HTTP and nothing else.

Bundling as you do with executables or apps, bundling as you send a single file update for your customer to replace instead of unzipping, overwriting each file, etcetera.

Why is in your opinion bundling bad for non HTTP, offline, apps created using these technologies ?

Every programming language I know have some bundle support that works as single package/file ... C has the executable, then we have phar, war, jar, python has many ... what about JS ? Won't work without HTTP ? Why ?

I'm not saying it won't work. I'm saying there are many downsides to distributing large blobs of data. Case in point, once you start distributing large blobs, you'll soon realize that it sucks that you have to download the entire blob every time a single byte has changed. As a result, you end up developing binary-diff formats.. like Courgette [1] that we use to update Chrome. A much simpler solution for web apps is to do exactly what AppCache did, create a manifest which lists all the resources, and let HTTP do the rest: each file can be downloaded and updated individually, etc. 




On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM, Ilya Grigorik <igrigorik at> wrote:

+ 1 to François's comments.

You're not saying that gzipping and wise pre-fetching and parallel download of scripts don't improve page load times. Or are you?

- We already have transfer-encoding in HTTP, and yes, you should definitely use it!

- Prefetching is also an important optimization, but in the context of this discussion (bundling), it's an orthogonal concern.


In the equation you paint above something important is missing: the fact that there's a round-trip delay per request (even with http2.0), and that the only way to avoid it is to bundle things, as in .zip bundling, to minimize the (number of requests and thus the) impact of latencies.

With HTTP 1.x (and without sharding) you can fetch up to six resources in parallel. With HTTP 2.0, you can fetch as many resources as you wish in parallel. The only reason bundling exists as an "optimization" is to work around the limit of six parallel requests. The moment you remove that limitation, bundling is unnecessary and only hurts performance. 


And there's something else I think .zip bundling can provide that http2.0 can't: the guarantee that a set of files are cached by the time your script runs: with such a guarantee you could do synchronous module require()s, à la node.js.


This is completely orthogonal... if you need to express dependencies between multiple resources, use a loader script, or better.. look into using upcoming promise API's. As I mentioned previously, bundling breaks streaming / incremental execution / prioritization. 


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