The WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2018 is the largest developers conference in Europe. More than 8000 attendees from 70 countries came together in May to listen to talks from more than 150 speakers, addressing a broad range of today's challenges and upcoming technologies. In this post we want to give a short overview of some major topics and trends in web development we're excited about.



Reactive Programming

RxJS (Reactive Extensions for JavaScript) is widely used in a whole lot of applications and frameworks. It basically is a set of libraries to bring the reactive programming paradigm to JavaScript in terms of a domain specific language for reacting to events. In Angular, RxJS is a first class citizen, heavily used in all core components. As described by Tracy Lee (@ladyleet) in her talk "Reactive Programming Demystified", following this paradigm comes with a lot of architectural benefits and helps implementing an event-driven, resilient and responsive application. In addition, it helps to create a new abstraction layer with clear separation of concerns and loose coupling between the application's logic and the used web framework.


Web Components

With the rise of component-centric development frameworks like Angular, the W3C's standard for web components is gaining traction and has been implemented by several major browsers. At the WeAreDevelopers Congress, we got to listen to Ana Cidre (@AnaCidre_) and Sherry List (@sherrrylst) talking about Web Component Architecture and Patterns. The standard consists of three main technologies: The HTML Template, Custom Elements and the Shadow DOM. The HTML template allows you to declare fragments of markup which are parsed as HTML. Custom Elements provide the possibility to create new HTML tags or modify existing ones. And, in order to avoid a pollution of the rest of the application, the Shadow DOM isolates the DOM of the component from the rest of the application.

Web components promise to increase the scalability, maintainability and reliability of an application as well as the reusability of the source code within the application. By encapsulating the code for components into a reusable package, one can achieve maximum interoperability. With Angular Elements, web components are also integrated in Angular 6.


The Future of the Web

Usage of the web is constantly evolving. How should we, as web users, expect the web to look like in the future? This is the question that Ilya Grigorik (@igrigorik), web performance engineer at Google, tried to answer in his talk: The (Bright) Future of the Web. Firstly, he presented the fact that the internet is already used more on mobile devices than on desktops and that it is evolving in this direction as a lot of people worldwide cannot access a desktop. Thus, the web has to evolve to counter problems that mobile users are currently facing (slow loading, non-responsive content, content shifting…).

Then, he introduced the concept of Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which are web applications, which look and feel like a mobile or a native application without their constraints (memory usage, need to download the application …). Thus, there is no need to make new developments to be compatible with the different platforms, OS. As it was also mentioned by Amahdy Abdelaziz (@Amahdy) during his talk about Offline Apps and Web components, the advantages of the PWA is that they are fast, light and can be designed while thinking offline first. Thanks to service workers, which are relying on a smart cache usage and a proxy to manage the WEB/HTTP requests, the offline experience is enhanced as they allow to keep a functioning state without errors when the internet access is interrupted. The PWAs also offer the possibility to install a shortcut on the mobile home page at the same place as the mobile applications.

The web is changing constantly and fast-paced. At NTS Retail, we're countering this fact with curiosity, continuous learning and the motivation to keep our product's technical foundation up-to-date and state-of-the-art. Conferences and congresses, like the WeAreDeveloper Congress, are helping us identifying these new changes early on.


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