Netflix’s home page, according to the article, delivers 150kb of payload in a single JS file. The file itself is actually various files strung together. Netflix has personalization algorithms for the different aspects of UI based on a subscriber’s location, viewing tastes, country of signup, and even sharing preferences. So, Netflix tries to package different aspects of different UI components together depending on the user, and sends the according components together in a payload. Each functional section of the site is known as a module. They group relevant features together into a single unit. They are also important because they help manage dependency management. The article explains that in many programming languages, dependencies can all be imported synchronously because the runtime environment of the application is on the same machine as the required dependencies. The problem with JS dependencies is that the runtime environment known as the browser is separated from the source, or server, which creates a lag. In fact, this lag between browser and server is one of the most contributing factors to web application performance.
Many attempts have been made throughout the years to try to tame this problem, but the closest so far has been to use libraries that have developers create modules, then generate payloads containing only the modules that the page requires. Still, Netflix can’t use this solution because of how many different split tests they want to implement at one time, as this solution is not very scalable. Netflix needed to figure out a way to resolve all the different conditional dependencies of each component when they are loading different components for different users across the board. They implemented a technique called the Just-In-Time dependency resolution. Using statistical analysis to build a dependency tree, a data structure that organizes structures within code so that there are relationships between structures. By linking certain Netflix users to specific JS files, then the said specific files can be linked to the page payload and then load on the client side.
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