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Redwood: A JavaScript framework designed for startups

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Redwood is a JavaScript-based full-stack framework aimed at startups and enterprises that want a complete stack based on popular tools.

Github founder and former CEO Tom Preston-Warner is one of the four founders and 300 contributors to the open source web development framework.

“What I wanted to do was bring together a set of tools that were already in common use, but I did the hard work of integrating them so beautifully that people could find special features in their applications. ,” said Preston-Warner. new stack.

JavaScript has a lot of competition: Preston-Warner admits that JavaScript is currently a primitive option soup with a wide variety of choices. From Remix, Next.js Blitz.js, Deno’s Fresh, this is a crowded and growing area.

This shows that the language is popular and thriving, but it can also make it harder to transition from project to project, he said. With so many different tools, it was also difficult to choose a tech stack that wouldn’t be obsolete in three months, given how fast things change.

“It’s calmed down a bit now, it wasn’t that big, but more people were asking where is Rails for JavaScript,” he said. “No matter what a Rails app looks like, some of the major basics are the same, but in the JavaScript world every company does it differently, and I think that’s a little silly. ”

why another framework

What prompted the creation of the new framework was Preston-Warner realizing that he had been building something at his previous company and that everyone, including himself, was building the stack from scratch.

“We were kind of formalizing this a bit, seeing what would happen if we could standardize this in a way that uses the most popular set of tools, and package them all up, and we were saying, ” He said. “The idea around it was to take open source tools that are already very popular and put them together.”

redwood stack

According to Preston-Warner, Redwood is designed to help developers manage the complexity of startup applications as they grow. To that end, it’s our own full-stack JavaScript/TypeScript framework that incorporates:

Preston-Warner said the choice of tools and the tight integration between them set this framework apart from the rest. He added that when it came to choosing React over Vue.js and Svelte, he won because React is the most popular front-end rendering tool.

“Then we combine that with GraphQL to fetch data, so we communicate from the React frontend to the backend via GraphQL,” he said. “He then uses Prisma, a database tool, on the backend to pull information from the database into his GraphQL API on the backend.”

Especially for front-end developers, Redwood offers additional features. This includes cells, a declarative approach to data retrieval.

“It becomes very clear that you define exactly how your React components do data fetching, which is one of the best features you get when using Redwood,” he said. “The front-end cell is an example of a pattern where you say, ‘This way the code is very clear.'”

Anyone who has seen this code knows that it is a data acquisition component, he added.

Redwood Startup Fund

Preston-Wagner is betting on companies that take Redwood literally. The Redwood Startup Fund, announced in April, is expected to launch by mid-August, he told The New Stack. A million dollar fund, he will distribute $25-$50,000 to companies that prioritize diversity and climate concerns while using redwoods as part of the stack.

“We want to prioritize founders who are neither white nor male, so we want to increase the diversity of founders we see in the Redwood community,” he said. He also wants to prioritize companies working on climate-focused software that can help mitigate climate change. ”

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