Book Image

Progressive Web Apps with React

By : Scott Domes
Book Image

Progressive Web Apps with React

By: Scott Domes

Overview of this book

For years, the speed and power of web apps has lagged behind native applications. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) aim to solve this by bridging the gap between the web apps and native apps, delivering a host of exciting features. Simultaneously, React is fast becoming the go-to solution for building modern web UIs, combining ease of development with performance and capability. Using React alongside PWA technology will make it easy for you to build a fast, beautiful, and functional web app. After an introduction and brief overview of the goals of PWAs, the book moves on to setting up the application structure. From there, it covers the Webpack build process and the process of creating React components. You'll learn how to set up the backend database and authentication solution to communicate with Firebase and how to work with React Router. Next, you will create and configure your web app manifest, making your PWA installable on mobile devices. Then you'll get introduced to service workers and see how they work as we configure the app to send push notifications using Firebase Cloud Messaging. We'll also explore the App Shell pattern, a key concept in PWAs and look at its advantages regarding efficient performance. Finally, you'll learn how to add of?ine capabilities to the app with caching and confirm your progress by auditing your PWA with Lighthouse. Also, you'll discover helper libraries and shortcuts that will help you save time and understand the future of PWA development.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Customer Feedback

The RAIL model

RAIL is what Google calls a "user-centric performance model". It's a set of guidelines for measuring our app's performance. We should try to avoid straying outside of these suggestions.

We will use RAIL's principles to speed up our application and ensure that it performs well enough for all users. You can read Google's full docs on RAIL at

RAIL outlines four specific periods in an application's life cycle. They are as follows:

  • Response
  • Animation
  • Idle
  • Load

Personally, I think it's easier to think about them in reverse order (since it's more true to their actual order), but that would have spelled LIAR, so we can see why Google shied away from that. Either way, that's how we'll cover them here.


First, your application loads (let there be light!).

RAIL says that the optimal load time is one second (or less). That doesn't mean your entire application loads in one second; it means the user sees content within one second...