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I’m mainly posting this because the story on web performance budgets mentions Progressive Web Apps in passing, and I’ve finally realized why that phrase irks me.

‘Progressive’ in ‘Progressive Enhancement’ means first you make your web page work, and then you add CSS and JavaScript to enhance its functionality. ‘Progressive’ in ‘Progressive Web App’ means ‘avant-garde, forward-thinking’. The fact that PWA sounds like Progressive Enhancement, but embodies quite the opposite philosophy, feels like a let-down every time.

All of the above this is nonsense, of course. Language belongs to nobody, and Progressive Web Apps are a valid genre of technical solutions. But Progressive Enhancement is a good mindset to have, and I think it’s starting to be forgotten, so I think it’s a good time to repost this article.

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