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    The main problem with Next.js 14 now


    Eric Burel recently posted an article about securing statically rendered paid content in Next.js with the App Router. This article raised concerns that Next.js makes it easy for people to do the wrong thing.

    However, Next.js does not recommend protecting your routes in a layout, as you can read on the Authentication page in the Next.js documentation. It is recommended to use middleware for route protection. Yet, Sebastian Markbåge, formerly of the React core team and now at Vercel, tweeted that middleware shouldn't be used for auth either, which adds to the confusion.

    Anyway, the article from Eric Burel highlighted two main problems from my point of view with Next.js 14 App Router.

    It doesn't prevent you from shooting yourself in the foot

    Next.js 14 does not prevent developers from writing bad code that can cause bugs, such as guarding routes in a layout as demonstrated in the article. This is a hard problem to solve. Is it even possible to show warnings when developers do that?

    Another issue I encountered personally was when trying to redirect the user from a server action; the cookies I set before the redirection were not preserved after the new page loaded. This might be a bug. I worked around this quirk by redirecting from the browser after receiving the server action's response.

    There was also a build failure problem when I exported the generateStaticParams from the layout, which cost me several hours of debugging.

    The documentation doesn't tell you what you should NOT do

    These examples lead to the second problem with Next.js 14. The documentation lacks information on what not to do. There should be notes advising against protecting routes in the layout, against exporting generateStaticParams from the layout, and highlighting that cookies may not be set if you redirect the user in a server action.

    This scarcity of information makes Next.js 14 feel unready for production, especially when Vercel markets it as such.

    I love using Next.js and have many projects written with it. I hope there is more effort put into improving the documentation and adding stability to the framework by addressing more edge cases.

    By the way, I have a book about Pull Requests Best Practices. Check it out!

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