The Tilt.com website was originally built using Perl. Over the years, we added jQuery UI to build widgets that had dynamic page behavior. Perl on the backend and jQuery UI on the frontend helped us get to where we are today, but about a year ago it was clear to us that we needed to start introducing a more modern technology stack. We chose React for our view layer and Node.js for the application layer. We recently launched a revamp of our settings page which is built on top of this new technology stack.
We’re always busy working to improve the Tilt website, so stopping everything to port the rest of the site to a new stack would take time that we can’t afford. Instead, we needed to gradually introduce the new technology – ideally side-by-side with our existing codebase. In this post I’ll go through how the Tilt website does server-side rendering of React components from application servers running Perl Dancer. This has allowed us to modernize our tech stack without requiring us to rewrite our entire codebase.