The people in the open source web community are my heroes, particularly those doing WordPress, Chrome, and open-source Web. They continuously amaze me with improvements that changes and re-energises the way we build the Web. There has not been any time as exciting as this year for me as a web developer to be re-exploring and re-learning and re-creating apps. These tools and technology are especially potent and critical in shaping a richer and more fulfilling Web experience: RESTful services for lightweight and scalable apps; Service Worker for serving optimised caches and offline access; web components particularly Polymer for a more rapid, standardised, and delightful interfaces across devices; Firebase for a more robust backend database and app platform; and recently, Accelerated Mobile Pages for instant loading of your content everywhere.
Progressive Web Apps.
Seriously, these stuff are so amazing, that my whole nerdy self buzzes with excitement just thinking about it.
The WordPress REST APIs is the most exciting effort that has come out of WordPress since it was created. I thought that it was about time that WordPress catches up with the current best practices in handling web services and apps. As a WordPress developer, I’m no longer constrained to just manipulating my content via the typical themes and plugins, or even hooks and action calls to the WordPress core. The APIs now allows me to extend WordPress to be an actual, full-blown app!
The Offline Web — no more Cordova?
The need to package your web app into a hybrid mobile app looks to be increasingly unnecessary. But will that mean that the Apache Cordova or other Cordova-based wrappers like Ionic and Phonegap be irrelevant? Unless there’s a way for apps to interface directly and securely with mobile hardware devices, Cordova’s usefulness is hardly threatened. I do expect a drastic increase in hybrid mobile apps compared to native apps in both mobile platforms Android and iOS, as the attraction of rapidly creating cross-platform compatible apps becomes more possible.
My fight isn’t over
Still, with all these amazing tools and technology already available to exploit, I believe they are still not accessible enough for use, especially in places like where I am in which it lacks a stable Internet infrastructure and reliability.
Since late last year, I have made it my personal mission to create and share a web development workflow that will better serve developers with spotty Internet connection. This came about after long periods of frustration over organising code labs and developer events where participants can’t even explore what they’ve learned on the spot merely due to tortoise-slow, inaccessible Internet connections.
I’m sorry, people. I just can’t do it the way you do. I can’t stand waiting for my downloads to finish. I need to create. Stop telling me to bear with it.
Really, just stop.
My efforts so far has been slowly building. I have to thank the resources I received from Google via GDG Kota Kinabalu, which I’ve explored, then ripped off all the unnecessary parts of it to come up with a lean and much more offline solution for current web development flow. Or, at the very least, have a work flow where almost everything can be downloaded and prepped offline for later installation.
For now, the slidedeck I made for my DevFest 2015 talk is still relevant.
And my intro to the few ways in which you can set up your Polymer development environment is still relevant, I suppose, although I’m still reeling in sadness over Google stopping its development of Chrome Dev Editor.
I thought I’ve uploaded my modified Polymer tutorials for local/offline dev environment in GitHub, but apparently I haven’t! I believe there was a bug with the Polymer element I was using which caused my to pause my git sync. I’ll get them up soon.
I’m still wow-ed
The state of the Web continues to impress me, along with other up-and-coming innovations coming or have already arrived from Google. You can watch a recap of the announcements in the following Google Developers video. Oh, guess what? I was in it for, like, two seconds! Find me at 0:10 🙂
Let’s catch up in my next blog post.