I have had a lot of success with elm without webpack. Is that just for reloading, or does it help with something else?
Webpack tends to work a lot better if you have multiple Elm pages i.e multiple entry points. I’m the co-author of the webpack plugin, and also worked on sprockets plugin. I’ve been in charge of managing the sprockets -> webpack shift at NRI, and we’ve seen some considerable speed gains thanks to moving to webpack, both in developement and on deploy. This is because the node-elm-compiler has a bunch of benefit, including but not limited to: 1) better change detection in deps, 2) the use of a tmp file in order to avoid long IO, 3) a more intelligent way of looking up things to build (i.e using a webpack entry point rather than sprockets crawling through all the pages).
There’s nothing wrong with using sprockets or any other approach. I’ve seen lots of people use other approaches such as a manual build system using gulp. Use whatever works for you. If your existing tools are webpack based or speed might be an issue, then you might be better off using webpack. That isn’t a one-fits-all case though, webpack can be slower with Elm depending on your set up.