by Cedric Dugas on December 17, 2012
Each year I try to do a small review of what has been going on in my dev life, but first I wanted to get out a couple of articles I written a long time ago that I particularly found interesting or just funny, let’s get started:
Year in review
Early 2009 (Predictions & random thoughts)
Where front-end web development will be in 5 years? (Chuckle…)
The next generation of web developers and designers
2008, from my old blog
The front-end developers burden (First article ever)
Less and Sass changed everything again
CSS preprocessor got an hard time at first and lots of devs were against it, myself included. Just thinking about debugging this mess was telling me it would never be worth it. Boy was I wrong. Where CSS standards failed, CSS preprocessor flourished, and it’s now the way CSS should be build. It also helps that big projects like Twitter Bootstrap really jumpstarted popularity and tools to build upon.
Working with Less is just a joy, using mixins feels natural and not adding 3 times border-radius for old browsers is magic. Throw CSS Hat into the mix and you get auto-generating LESS code for Photoshop effects that works.
You will no longer hate your designer and your designer will love you back thinking you are the fucking best front-end developer he never saw in his life (just don’t tell him the trick).
In 5 years, looking at old web internal tools much of them we be built on Twitter Bootstrap.
Twitter Bootstrap launched in 2011 but really picked up this year. It’s the perfect boilerplate to any web project, with multiple JS components, perfect CSS & HTML, LESS mixins, all tested on IE8, oh yeah and it looks pretty impressive.
If you have an internal tool to build on a tight budget and you do not use this project you are probably missing out a great opportunity to give a great default UI to your project and improve the general quality so it can last longer.
Web tooling frameworks have multiplied
If I base myself on how earlier technologies have blossomed like JS file loaders, 2013 will be the year of shell tooling frameworks. With Jazy, grunt.js, Yeoman we already got some serious quality projects starting to get some steam.
I took a look at Yeoman and even created a small script to automate my build process in node but I’m not completely ready to jump into the boat yet, pretty sure I will come around in time, like I did for JS file loaders and CSS preprocessor!
Mobile web apps have taken over native, NOT
Yeah, yeah Zuck dumped it’s HTML5 app for a native one, I can’t blame him. Facebook MUST give native performance to their users at the scale they are, that makes sense. But if you got a small product, a small web team, you can really get 95% there with good old CSS3 and HTML5 if your good at it (and if you only support iOS5+ and Android 4+).
Hell Linkedin created an amazing iPad app using HTML5, if it’s not a proof that it’s coming along, I don’t know what is. Their engineering blog is full of information about how they created it too.
Also please check the demo of fastbook from sencha, it’s pretty good.
More and more front-end MVC
Earlier this year I launched backbonefu.com because we were cruelly missing a place where you could delve in multiple backbone articles (Unfortunately I let that website a bit driftting). Obviously I throwed myself into backbone, and with some good success’s launching WeddingDeck, and currently working on the Cakemail mobile web app and making very good progress. I really like how easy it is to modify the code base to my wish, and it was in fact built in a certain way that allow encourage you to bend it like this. Compare that to angular you need to be a lot more careful if you decide to dabble into its core.
I’m not saying Backbone is better than everything else (because it really doesn’t), angular and ember look pretty awesome but currently I try to stick to what I can work with.
Here we go, that’s what got my attention this year, see you next year!