Artem Tyurin

Adventures in bundle optimization

It was time to explore the optimization possibilities for the app I've been working on.

Our main bundle was 1.25 MB (515 kB gzip). create-react-app handles the build and produces the bundle with the source map.

All bundle visualization tools I remember looking at required webpack config tweaking. But source-map-explorer is simple to use:

source-map-explorer \
build/static/js/main.9998a4e8.js \

It produces beatiful dependency hierarchy:

My first surprise was the size of Firebase with its 300 kB. I noticed storage.js and messaging.js which correspond to newer Firebase 3 features we did not use.

There should be a way to include only necessary modules. After a quick search I found an answer in the NPM readme of the firebase package.

Instead of

import firebase from "firebase";

you can do

import firebase from "firebase/app";
import "firebase/auth";
import "firebase/database";

This achieved a small win in 25 kB. Bundle size was down to 491 kB gzip.

Next, I was looking at 130 kB iconv-lite. I had no idea where it came from. npm still doesn't have a nice command to explain why the module is in node_modules. I had to unleash my shell skills:

npm ls | grep -B 5 iconv-lite
├─┬ lokka-transport-http@1.6.1
│ ├─┬ node-fetch@1.6.3
│ │ ├─┬ encoding@0.1.12
│ │ │ └── iconv-lite@0.4.15

Aha, lokka! This is the GraphQL client we use.

I couldn't find a way to reduce the size of node-fetch through webpack bundling. But it took me only about an hour to switch to a different GraphQL client (Apollo Client).

From 515 kB to 284 kB, much better. Time to get some users.