Yesterday's Next.js Conf left me with mixed feelings and a bittersweet taste.
If the Next.js 10 announcement is incredible and brings some long-awaited features to "the React Framework", I am getting worried of the impact Vercel (the platform) is having on the development of Next itself.
Those things can be summarized by looking at the new nextjs.org website's header:
3 our of 6 links are directly related to Vercel (paid features) or "Contact our sales team"-like page.
It's not secret Vercel is a "for-profit" company, and this is perfectly fine. But I am worried the Next.js team may give more priorities to the Vercel agenda, than actual issues developers face everyday on Next.js.
It is tiny things, but I have for example the same feeling when browsing on the "Vercel for Next.js" page:
Deploy Next.js on the platform it was made for.
A framework should be universal (no pun intended), not tight to one specific hosting platform.
Yes, it not actually the case right now, but it's all the wordings, communication and features priority around Vercel that makes me uncomfortable when I have to compare front-end frameworks for my projects.
Yeah we have all those shiny features, but half of them are really just working on our own hosting platform
hopefully no-one, never
I doubt the "We're building the next-gen front-end framework" and "Look at our ecosystem! Contact our sales department to know more" double-talk will work in the long term.
One will lose (Vercel, or the community)
I always saw Next.js as one of the big open-source frontend frameworks out there (with Angular, Nuxt, Sapper...). I never saw it as a "profit-oriented product".
Now, I'm not so sure.
And I hope the future will prove me wrong: Next.js is a really nice tool.
ps: now, the next-site project became closed-source, too bad as it was a great source of inspiration for anyone who wanted to see an somewhat-complex Next.js codebase.
edit: it looks only temporary