Traditionally, engineers use mixins, decorators, inheritance, and plain code duplication to add common functionality to a handful of components. Mixins and decorators can modify the target object in such a way that you are never really sure what methods are safe to override without unwanted side effects. Inheritance can quickly get out of hand as you choose a base class and later discover that you actually need functionality from several base classes. Code duplication increases your technical debt and creates more work later. Sometimes, these patterns are the smart choice to solve your problem, but often, you can solve them more effectively with higher-order components.
Previously on Web Frameworks, we looked at how various frameworks deal with the concept of applications. Akin to listening to the whole album, we got a sense of how the frameworks pull it all together. In this post, we explore what are common types of applications and how the frameworks we are considering might work in those use cases. If you are going to throw a party, you want to know if your favorite band is going to set the right mood.
Applications built with web technologies, something that was a curiosity a few short years ago, have emerged onto the scene as a must have for most organizations. Transcending websites and providing users with a more open and unbounded experience, web applications are everywhere. Likely the main reason you are reading this series is to determine how modern frameworks enable you to build web applications.
The assumptions made often turn out to be wrong. What’s worse is that these choices may prove to be correct for a very long time before coming back to bite us. During this period of blissful ignorance, toolkits can become tremendously popular and become a vital part of large, complex codebases.
We have previously discussed the look and feel of web frameworks. While we often become interested in a framework based on the stylishness of the widgets and applications it can create, this may lead to a similar approach to how we have historically selected music. Traditionally, you would go out, buy an album, maybe from a band you knew, with a great album cover and a list of interesting tracks.
Perhaps the album was currently #1 in its popularity on the Billboard charts? Maybe you even sample a few tracks while in the music shop. However, once you got home with your CD and played it over your kick-butt, valve amplified, highly optimized sound system, you find out that it was mixed by someone who thought that no one listening on an MP3 player through cheap headphones would ever notice the low sample rate and removal of the bass! Instead of feeling like you are in the middle of a concert, you feel like you are listening to a band playing in a toilet over a phone. So the album was optimized for its look and feel while ignoring the foundational architecture needed to create an album that scales under the demands of a highly optimized stereo system!
While instruments such as guitar and drums are part of a band, how they are used by the musicians define the style of the band’s music. Similarly, the elements of an application user interface connected together define the user experience. In this post as part of our ongoing series about frameworks, we are going to explore in depth the ways in which frameworks enable an overall UX design.
Whether it is Top 40 or classical or R&B, artists and music have a recognizable look and feel. When looking at frameworks, some simply provide us with a bag of instruments, while others provide us with chord progressions and album covers we can customize.