Oct 7

SafetyNet 2016 recap

By on October 7, 2016 8:41 am

SafetyNet is an annual conference hosted by Pulsiam and is focused on trends in software for the safety industry. Because of our expertise in shaping the modern web and our ongoing work with Pulsiam’s application development efforts, I was invited to deliver a keynote about the past, present, and future of the web, as this industry begins to transition to web-based solutions.

Sep 29

Improving TypeScript modules

By on September 29, 2016 3:15 pm

improving typescript modules

One of the main challenges with creating modern JavaScript web applications is the relatively incomplete approach to ES modules. As an interim solution until all necessary use cases are solved, many developers create source code with ESM, and then transpile to either AMD, CJS, or UMD for easy usage within today’s browsers. As we work on creating Dojo 2 in a manner that is easy to use for both TypeScript and JavaScript users, one challenge we faced was how to support loader plugins and/or other dynamic module loading. AMD has long supported loader plugin syntax, and SystemJS supports loader plugins as well as System.import.

Aug 24

The long and winding road to Dojo 2

By on August 24, 2016 10:46 am

Recently on GitHub, someone accused Dojo 2 of being vapourware. This opinion came from a position of misinformation. I was glad the individual then engaged with the Dojo 2 project to understand where we are today. We are making swift progress and a beta is on the horizon. It has taken Dojo 2 a long time to get here and to really solidify our vision. We first started brainstorming about plans for 2.0 almost 5 years ago! Around a year ago we solidified our plans and have been unwavering in moving down that path.

Aug 19

Mixing Dojo widgets and Angular 2 components

By on August 19, 2016 9:10 am

Mixing Dojo widgets & Angular 2 components

We were recently asked about options for mixing Dojo widgets and Angular 2 components into the same application:

  • Is it possible to render an Angular 2 component and Dojo widgets on the same page?
  • Are there any special configuration settings needed?
  • What’s the best way for Angular 2 and Dojo to communicate and/or send messages?
  • What kind of complex challenges and communication issues should we be aware of?
  • For an application that assembles many different components, if some of these are are Dojo widgets and some are Angular 2 components, how can we get them to play nicely together?
Jun 30

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications Part 3: SitePen solutions

By on June 30, 2016 5:51 am

In this installment of our series on building web applications, we look at the SitePen approach to solving challenges in web application development. We employ all of the solutions described in part 2 of the blog series. Additionally, we have some overarching principles we apply to our work.

The right architecture and an emphasis on quality

Solid applications and robust architecture begins with finding the right approach based on the goals and requirements for a particular application. There is no one right architecture for every application, but having the right approach to understanding requirements, translating those to architecture needs, and having a strong emphasis on quality lead to approaches that work for any application. We do this by making sure we ask the right questions and challenge our assumptions for every application we create.

Jun 29

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications Part 2: Solutions

By on June 29, 2016 6:36 am

While there are many challenges today with building web applications, there are also many options to address the issues we face with technology, process, and people, allowing us to reap the benefits of the web as an application platform.

Technology solutions

While many of the challenges with today’s web applications come from the vast array of technologies that are available, there are clear strategies that can be employed to turn those same issues into advantages that can make building applications easier. The key is to use a technology portfolio that allows applications to be modular, simple, and isolated from any instability in the underlying platform. Another critical aspect of each member of this portfolio is that it must be able to maintain those abilities at the scale at which the application will be built.

Jun 28

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications: Challenges

By on June 28, 2016 8:45 am

Web applications provide many benefits. Most organizations seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes through the use of software.

The benefits of web applications include:

  • Simple distribution model for end users (e.g. no installation required)
  • Instant propagation of changes
  • Unified code base to support many platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.)
  • Easy piloting of new features with a subset of users
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Well-established scalability models as user-base grows

Over the past few years, building the client-side portion of web applications has changed significantly. Web application development, while arguably better than any other platform available today, is not without its challenges. We categorize these issues as coming from three sources: technology, process, and people.

We thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and look first at the challenges, and then the solutions for building modern web applications, and to share some of the strategies and techniques we use at SitePen to improve our approach.

In this installment, we’ll begin by looking at the challenges currently faced when building web applications.