Starting a blog because you want to build something with X

Ah, such a cliché in the world of software development.

I’m a big fan of Svelte and its “app framework” Sveltekit. For years I’ve had an eye on the latest developments and blog posts. I just really appreciate the philosophy behind it. A blog post from a couple of years ago, Write less code, in particular had a big impact on me, making me see boilerplate code everywhere… 😶

When Svelte 5 was announced last fall, I was excited. There were promises of even better developer experience and performance, my two favorite things! So I tried out the Alpha version with Sveltekit.

Svelte 5 micro review

With the introduction of runes in Svelte 5, Svelte has gotten a little bit more to type. The old ways of hijacking a — funky, yet clever — superset of Javascript is out, and compiler macros (runes) are in! On the whole, I like it as it feels easier to determine where reactivity is used.

// The old way with "plain Javascript".
let a = 'reactive';
export let b; // `b` is a prop.
$: c = `${a} or ${b}`; // Computed value is prefixed with `$:`.

// The new way, with runes!
let a = $state('reactive');
let { b } = $props();
let c = $derived(`${a} or ${b}`);

It can be a bit more boilerplate-y in some ways, e.g. if you’re using Typescript or JSDoc you have to type out prop names twice.

let { a, b } = $props<{ a: number; b: string }>();

Aside from that, $props() is really nice. If you are writing a component to wrap an HTML element, you don’t need to expose every attribute of the underlying element as a prop. Accept a rest prop and spread it out on the element instead. The rest prop can even be typed using svelte/elements, giving component users transparent autocomplete to the HTML element attributes.

	let { value, ...attrs } = $props();

<button {...attrs}>

I’m still not convinced that I understand the $derived() rune and its reactivity rules entirely, but I’ll hopefully get there with some trial & error.

The problem with cool new tech

There’s nothing to build!

Ok, well, sure, there are probably loads of stuff. But I want to start off with something small, where I can extend it later if I want to.

I tried porting a couple of old projects, including a Vue 2 project, to Svelte 5 just to get a feel for it. It feels nice, but it’s too small. It’s been in the back of my head for many years to start a blog, which would be perfect.

Only halfway into writing this first post do I actually realize that I’m not using any Svelte 5 features, like, at all. 😅 I’m hardly even using Svelte. Most components (page routes) are written in Markdown and rendered with mdsvex. But so far, I don’t have any plans on interactive content. Very uncool. Let’s fix that before we continue.

Wow, very interactive and cool.

Sure, running a Sveltekit app requires some setup in comparison to a CMS or regular static site generator, but you can still get off the ground relatively fast, considering how flexible it is.

It’s not for lack of technical implementation that I haven’t been writing before, though. The actual reasons for that are very simple:

Time spent on the blog, rather than on the content

I know that I will spend much more time on small technical details around the blog, rather than on the actual writing. It’s much easier, and there is always some small insignificant thing that needs doing! Then I can feel really good about the tiny commit I just made for the rest of the day. 🤗

Writing is really difficult

Oh, right, this is a pretty big reason. Collecting your thoughts into something that even resembles a coherent piece of writing is challenging. And what do I really have to say that anyone in the world would find important enough to spend time reading?

Still, I do remember the last semester at university with a friend, writing our masters thesis quite fondly. Yes, it was really stressful and hard and we kept constantly changing lanes on what the final product would be, but once you got into some writing flow it was actually really enjoyable, and I miss that!

Starting off

As you can probably tell, I’ve decided to try to write more. 🎉 If not for anyone else, then for my own sake. I have a couple of ideas for future posts, so this will probably hopefully not be one of those “I’m starting a new blog” posts where it’s also the only post.

Thanks for reading!