The Road to Native Web Components

As emergent web tools aim to align w/ component web standards, it behooves us to know what those standards are, and where that alignment is

The Road to Native Web Components

Abstract

One of the major challenges of building rich applications for the web, is that our foundation (JavaScript in the browser) is a document viewer, not an application platform. In fact, if you show a mobile or desktop app developer the primitives we are given to start with, the typical reaction is that we’re missing many important building blocks.

All of the tools we rely on like Angular 2, React, Ember, Polymer, etc... all are, essentially, shims and hacks that we make use of while we wait for things like the W3C Web Component spec to be completed and implemented in browsers. As it becomes more feasible to build on the standards instead of a framework, it becomes important for developers to have awareness of what those standards are, what’s missing from the official spec, and how well of a job our favorite libraries do with establishing alignment.

We’ll take a close look at the W3C component spec, and compare it to the concept of a Component in the React.js library, the and the Ember.js 2 and Angular 2 frameworks. We’ll try to do a few things using native web components, involving rendering and styling an encapsulated piece of interactive UI. Along the way, we will highlight the things that we’re waiting in the W3C spec, which we’d need to land before we can start decoupling our apps from a specific third party tool, and rely on “Native Web Components”