Web development: Embedded JavaScript Libraries are updated almost never

A Cloudflare-examination reveals, what did a web developer, always. Once used JavaScript libraries remain without Updates.

The CDN provider Cloudflare explores a phenomenon that developers might not be new. Developer required libraries such as jQuery have linked once in the Head of the respective Website, you will stay in the linked Version permanently in operation. An Update strategy, there is not a rule.

The static state of popular JS libraries

Cloudflare was able to demonstrate on the basis of the jQuery library and animation Library Tweenmax about the Hosting Service CDNJS. In both libraries showed that old, even very old versions to get to any significant extent Requests.

Although Cloudflare was able to pay always growing Use for the current versions of the find, with these increasing Numbers, not declining values went hand in hand, however, in the case of old versions. This confirms the impression that once implemented libraries on forever, at least until you are out of other reasons, dysfunctional, remain in the project.

Explanations are not offers to Cloudflare, the following factors could be crucial for the phenomenon.

jQuery: Omnipresent JavaScript library. (Screenshot: t3n)

The 3 ways a JS library to integrate

CDNJS (i.e. Content Delivery Network for JavaScript) is a alternative about the Google CDN. The difference is in the variety of hosted libraries is at CDNJS larger.

The CDNJS allows developers popular JavaScript libraries via a Link to the CDNJS to integrate. However, old versions are replaced with new ones, but the version history will remain available.

The Alternative to a CDN consists of the required libraries on the web server of the project, and from there to include or via a Link on the official Repository of the library does not have access, what is allowed, however, any library or provides for.

The Problem: Set it and forget it

The options presented already show the Problem. Once embedded JavaScript libraries are statically linked. If the library developers give an Update, it will not be updated to the part of millions of embedded Libraries automatically. Rather, the Webmaster would have to take care of it.

Small Update-Motivation for 2 reasons understandable

In classical creation processes, it is Essentially two problems. Often, the developer will be paid for the provision of a site. Once completed and handed over, care for, neither the customer nor the developers.

The second Problem is that it comes in the Wake of the Updates of JS libraries to the so-called Breaking Changes. This means, that the updated library would make other Changes to the site so that it works as before.

This second point is the customer usually does not understand. You have paid for a Website that works and will now have to pay for adjustments to ensure that it continues to function as before. The developer, in turn, is also unusually motivated to make Changes, the odd behavior of previously functional processes can lead to.

Disadvantages of CDN and other Third-hosters

For the integration via a CDN (Content Delivery Network) or via the project’s official, provided that the permits at all, decide developers working in the customer order, just as reluctantly. Because a CDN or other Hoster is always a third party, for its smooth functionality, there is no guarantee. Why should the developers of this risk, especially since the popular JavaScript libraries near put your sizes in the CDN use in any way?

For the developer, even in the worst case, the automatic integration would be the most recent Version of a library. So he loses all control of the Uptime forecast of the supported Websites. Who wants to be by the customer in the night at three from the bed rang the bell, because the online store has given up the Ghost?

Current libraries only in the case of Large and private projects on the Agenda

Otherwise all what it looks like when developers take care of your own projects or as employees for the operation of one or more web sites are responsible. Here, too, an external integration will not be because of the additional Requests, the non-controlling latency and the potential safety issues is the first choice.

But on the to-do list will be sure that the libraries be at least reviewed at defined intervals up to date, and in case of doubt, adjusted.

How do you deal with the topic?

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