React, Relay and GraphQL: Under the Hood of the Times Website Redesign

The folks over at The New York Times have made change to using React, Relay and GraphQL for the new version of their website (which they are rolling out over the coming months):

We thought it would be nice if there was one place to add and retrieve data and one way to authenticate against it. It would also be helpful if there was a common language and repository for creating and reusing components. If a new developer joins our team, I want to point them at a single page of documentation that explains how to get up and running — and preferably start building apps the same day.

This is not at all a dream scenario. We are moving towards this reality. That future is Relay and GraphQL.

In case you – just like I was – are wondering if they’ll break the web with this, they won’t. In the comments the author mentions:

Isomorphism (rendering a full server response) is a first-class citizen in our architecture. Most of the challenges we have run into are around ensuring that our server responses and client responses have parity. By solving this problem, we don’t have to worry about the SEO hit. SEO is a top priority at the NYT.

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