Say hello to Brian Runnells (@climbingnarc). Brian is an Ember developer working with my consulting company 201 Created on a new project over February and March. He leads a double life as developer and rock climbing blogger. We’re lucky to be working with him, and happy to have him introduce the Ember Community Survey. -Matt

Who is currently developing applications with Ember.js?

What tools are those developers using to build their apps?

What kind of apps are they building?

2015 is an incredible time to be an Ember.js developer. Not only does the framework continue to gain momentum, but there are many features on the horizon. With this, however, comes many questions, like those above. So, when 201 Created began seeking people to help construct a survey for Ember developers, I was excited to take advantage of that opportunity.

Together, we have created a number of questions related to both your personal use of and professional work with Ember. Our goal is to ask the necessary questions about how and why developers are using Ember in order to better inform both the the community at large and the Ember Core Team. These responses will allow us to identify what is going well, where more work needs to be done, and what directions our community is moving in.

As the goal is to have results compiled by March’s EmberConf (tickets are sold out, but hope to see you there!), this survey will be finalized and put out for responses in early February. At this time, we are looking for any feedback you may have regarding the topics and questions we have produced thus far.

Find the survey questions here and share your feedback as a comment. Google provides some documentation about commenting that is good to review if you haven’t used the feature before. You can also contact us directly via survey@201-created.com.

Scalable Vector Ember

November 24th, 2014

Fresh from emberGarten in Toronto I bring you the latest on SVG in Ember.js, metal-views, and HTMLBars:

In Ember.js 1.8, we’ve added full support for SVG. This means you can author templates of SVG and make SVG-element components. Demo here, and code here. Zero graphic design skills were involved in the making of this demo, but you get the point!

SVG is slowly rising in usage as IE8 finally drops from the list of commonly supported browsers. To fully support SVG in Ember templates, 1.8 tackled a few tough challenges:

  • Switching namespaces and element creation methods. Ember transparently swaps into the SVG namespace, and even swaps back out to HTML for foreignObject tags.
  • Track contextual elements. In 1.8, each executed template is a string which must be converted into DOM with innerHTML. To properly support components and nested templates inside an SVG inline document, we’ve created a system to track the contextual (parent) element of a given template. This also helps us implement fixes for broken DOM APIs, and handle complex edge cases in the spec such as optionally omitted start tags (like tbody).

But the big story of metal views, and HTMLBars, is the slow migration of Ember from a string based rendering pipeline to a DOM based one.

  • pre-1.8 Ember templates returned strings, and the rendering pipeline assembled strings. This is akin to how a server-side framework would generate HTML.
  • In 1.8-1.9, Ember templates are strings individually converted to DOM, then folded into a DOM based rendering tree.
  • In 1.10+, Ember will introduce the DOM based HTMLBars templating engine. This completes our migration from string composition to DOM.

The nominal goals of this transition are to introduce new syntaxes (<li class="{{someClass}}">) and improve performance (less strings means less GC pressure).

DOM based rendering opens up an additional and less discussed frontier- That of interoperability with other DOM based rendering engines such as those in Angular, React, Mithril, and Polymer. None of these tools output strings, all expect to be attached to a DOM node and yield to a DOM node. By kicking HTML strings to the curb and embracing the DOM, we’ve created the possibility of using the best rendering strategy for a given part of an app.

SVG support is nothing more than a proving ground for how this kind of integration can work. Our next steps are to ship HTMLBars, then work on making Ember’s conventional path a competitively performing one for all common cases.

My Ember.js consulting firm 201 Created has helped 15+ companies get up to speed. We’re eager to work on SVG projects, and available for hire in January.

Ember’s path to a 2.0 release has been announced in an RFC. Our ambition is not simply to have 2.0 be a great framework, but for every 1.x codebase to make the transition forward with us.

There is a lot of code to be written. Contributing code to Ember.js, especially if you are new to open source development, is a rewarding and skills-building experience. The project maintains a high bar for technical contribution, and fixing a bug often involves a healthy dose of new knowledge. Additionally, there is a mature process for adding new features and bug fixes that should serve as an inspiration to your development process elsewhere.

If you have the time and will, adding code to Ember.js is an opportunity to collaborate with wonderful and extremely smart people.

the time” is what keeps most developers from contributing to open source. There are businesses to build, families to raise, and always another Tolkien movie coming out.

But you don’t need to contribute code to help Ember.js reach its 2.0 goals. Here are five great ways to be a part of the process.

Continue reading →

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