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The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

While browsing through a website with an extremely easy user interface (UI), our mind inadvertently goes back to the times when just loading a web page was an enduring task.

Moving from the mouse-driven computers to smartphones and tablets, web pages have adapted themselves seamlessly over the years.

The year 2015 and beyond will witness some benchmark transformations in front-end technologies. Internet users will traverse this wave of change, enjoying speedier and more appealing web pages.

Moving along this technological wave, we are hooked on providing the best web solutions today. Based on our expertise, here is an in-depth view of the current and future trends in front-end development.

The User’s Perspective

Front-end development is the face of the application. As users, we want web pages to be friendly and appealing.

Here are some aspects of front-end technologies which users are most interested in:

  • Compatibility: The ability to adapt to different internet browsers.
  • Usability: This attribute signifies the easy-to-use aspect of the website.
  • Complexity: This specifies the back-end of the web application, which controls the speed and security of the data.

Whatever the style and time may be, engaging these aspects remains unchanged.

Recent Trends in Web Development

Web technologies have taken a major leap with the changing requirements. The applications that go well on a laptop screen are now also compatible with mobile phones.

There are some important parameters that have implemented these changes, so let’s take a look of these:

Responsive Web Design

For any website, the response of users is the most imperative factor. A responsive web design (RWD) allows users to browse the website from any appliance, including mobile phones and tablets. The most recent and famous RWD frameworks are Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb.

responsivegraphics

 

The above figure shows the compatibility of a webpage towards a screen of any size. Some features of RWD are that it:

  • Makes websites compatible with web and mobile; and
  • Minimises user efforts, such as updating data.

Hence, a web application with the best RWD is required to streamline the user’s interactions.

Mobile-First Architecture

The architecture of a web application is currently being controlled by the mobile-first strategy. It’s an obvious move, as we all have turned into frequent mobile users. The most recent is the Representational State Transfer (RESTful) architecture for server-side coding.

Note: The RESTful architecture style provides a uniform interface. Properties such as performance, scalability and modifiability to work on the web are induced in the application.

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global

Image credits: www.smartinsights.com

The bar diagram above shows the growth of smartphone users till 2018 and shows that meeting the demand of the use of adaptable architecture is important.

Features of mobile-first architecture are that it:

  • Supports mobile platform and enterprise integration;
  • Streamlines end-to-end procurement for the organisations; and
  • Streamlines web development.

Rise of API Driven Development

It is difficult to find someone who cannot operate a smartphone since the “touch factor” has made this possible. The Application Program Interface (API) is, therefore, the strength of these devices. The architectural design, especially RESTful architecture, has an important role to play.

Features of API-driven development, especially RESTful, are that:

  • It is compatible with both mobile and web applications;
  • Its server side is restricted to data and security only;
  • It is compatible with operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows and TV; and
  • It is adaptable to the changing technological landscape.

Mobile Back-End as a Service

Mobile Back-End as a Service (MBaaS) is the cloud technology facet of front-end technologies. The back-end services for Parse and Azure Mobile Services have already adapted MBaaS.

Mbaas

Image credits www.appspanel.com                                                           

The figure above explains how MBaaS can enhance the shaping of the enterprise.

Some of the strongest features in favour of MBaaS are that:

  • These platforms provide automatic Restful services;
  • It supports mobility-specific back-end services; and
  • The platforms provide JavaScript SDKs along with Mobile SDKs for HTML5 clients.

Hence, MBaaS will take over the pages for mobile as well as the web. It can induce a dramatic growth in front-end technologies.

Single Page Application

A Single Page Application (SPA) loads a single page and dynamically updates the page as per the user’s interaction. With the RESTful services, the web pages on our desktop act like the UI of the web browser. The server side is, therefore, limited to data and security.

 SPA Working

Some of the strong features of SPA are that it is:

  • Powered with hybrid mobile containers for multiple mobile platforms;
  • Best for small-sized to medium-sized mobile apps;
  • Recommended for UIs based on data forms; and
  • Single code base for both web apps and mobile apps.

ReactJS Front-End Frameworks

ReactJS

ReactJS is a form of JavaScript, which has been extensively used by recent web applications. The most well know implementations are Facebook and Instagram. This framework supports quick rendering.

Some important features of ReactJS are that it:

  • Can work as a face of the Model View Controller (MVC) framework;
  • Introduced the concept of virtual DOM;
  • Has a high performance while rendering the UI; and
  • Provides data flow in a single direction when used with FLUX architecture.

The six aspects mentioned above are an integral part of today’s web development.

With our years of experience and expertise in the field, we have comprehensively ventured into every aspect.

Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

Though the recent revolution in web technology is astounding, the next era will bring about a massive vertical leap.

Currently, the technologies that rule the brains of web developers are facing challenges with the changing requirements and landscapes.

The most common scripting methods like Node.JS, JavaScript and Koa framework are on the verge of “gradual extinction”. The year 2015 and beyond will bring in new trends, such as:

  • Dynamic languages will gradually come to an end;
  • Technologies like Node.JS can become obsolete for maintainability reasons;
  • The emergence of GO technology will occupy all the work done on Node.JS; and
  • Java and .Net will survive the medium-sized and larger enterprise apps.

The GO Technology Era

GO (i.e. golang) is a static, open source programming language that supports building simple and efficient software solutions.

Developed by Google, GO is predicted to be the next generation language. GO has already been implemented in systems like Docker, Packer:IO and websocketed. Some reasons that stand strong in favour of GO are that:

  • It is static with the flexibility of dynamic languages;
  • There are no JIT compilation needed and, hence, concurrency is its strength;
  • It is the most recommended for building an HTTP server using RESTful services;
  • It is flexible for use in system programming and large distributed apps; and
  • It will be known as the language of the cloud era.

Ace the Race with the Masters

Trends are dynamic and so are the technologies associated with them. The introduction of cloud and platform independent technologies has brought new languages to instruct digital devices.

RESTful services have taken over control and static languages, such as GO, are immersed as languages for cloud technologies. To ace this race of huge turnover, associating with the best maven would be the first and most important step.

So what’s your prediction about front-end development? Please share your comments below and thanks for reading!

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

While building a multifaceted and interactive web application, architects and developers are usually met with the challenge of performance, maintainability and modularity and are in constant need of a set of frameworks that can act like a backbone to their project and help them knock-out all the glitches in the process.

JavaScript, a programming language that was designed to give easy access to pre-built components that serve as building blocks for a webpage, thus entered the field.

Gone are the days when web development was all about uploading static HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to an HTTP server. Modern web applications are much larger and more complex than earlier and require a framework of language that provides structure, quality and maintainability all at the same time.

JavaScript frameworks were created to address the need of building a stable foundation for a web application.

What are JavaScript Frameworks?

JavaScript frameworks are libraries of pre-written JavaScript that allow easier development of JS-based applications by providing a layer of abstraction on top of the core language.

These frameworks provide a multitude of functions and help make it easier and more achievable for developers to create responsive, fluid and maintainable interfaces for web apps.

JavaScript frameworks are open-sourced, released under the permissive MIT license and aim to resolve the problem of single page web apps using an MVC or MV* design pattern.

Top JavaScript Frameworks

There has been a great surge in MV* frameworks over the past few years and the list of new and stable frameworks continues to grow each year.

Developers usually find themselves lost in choice as to which framework best addresses their needs. So, we have simplified the selection process by reviewing the top JavaScript frameworks that have proven to be the best frameworks in the world of development.

The most established frameworks are Backbone.js and AngularJS, while the ones that have experienced the most growth in the last year are AngularJS, Meteor, Ember.js and Knockout.

AngularJS

AngularJS

Created as part of GetAngular, AngularJS is the oldest of all three top JavaScript frameworks and represents a client-side library written JavaScript that aims to simplify the development and testing of single-page applications by providing a framework for MVC and MVVM architectures.

This framework typically works by first reading the HTML page and then interpreting the custom tag attributes as a directive to connect the input and output parts of the page to a model represented by standard JS variables.

It is also worth noting that the values of these variables can be manually set within the parameters of the code or can be retrieved from JSON resources.

The rationale behind building AngularJS is the common belief that declarative programming is ideal for creating user interfaces and connecting components together, whereas imperative programming is well suited for business logics. All this innovation does not, however, rule out the flip side of the framework.

When it comes to the pain points, AngularJS is largely criticised for the complexity of the directives API. What confuses developers is the concept of ‘Transclusion’ which makes it challenging for them to understand the underlying concepts of compiling functions, pre/post linking functions and all other configuration settings for directives.

Ember.js

ember-logo

 

The newest addition to the flock, Ember.js, is the modular framework that is now used for creating scalable single-page applications by combining common idioms and best practices into the framework.

It uses the Handlebars template engine to write codes with Handlebars integrated templates that update automatically when the underlying model changes. Ember.js makes it easy to take on a multipage, navigational, long-term project, compared to other frameworks in the realm of JavaScript.

It is capable of inferring much of the configuration on its own and can create a controller for your resource, even when you don’t define one yourself.

However, what concerns developers is the fact that much of the content and examples in Ember.js no longer work and this confuses them when first using the framework.

Node.js

nodejs

 

The next top JavaScript framework is Node.js, an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment, which was designed for server-side applications. Node.js comes with an event-driven architecture along with a non-blocking I/O API that ensures optimum throughput and the application’s scalability.

This framework uses the Google V8 JavaScript engine for code execution and contains a built-in library to enable applications to act as a web server. Bringing event-driven programming to web servers, this framework enables development of fast web servers in JavaScript.

Using a simplified model of even-driven programming, developers can build highly scalable web servers using callbacks to notify them when a task is complete.

The drawbacks of using Node.js is the tonnes of nested callbacks and the use of single thread. It means that, unlike pre-emptive concurrency, programmers will have to figure out how to deal with concurrency. Some issues with regard to API stability have also been reported by developers.

Another challenge with using Node.js is the newness of the framework. Not every developer is well aware of the pain points of working with a large-scale Node.js application until the language is thoroughly road tested and made error free.

Conclusion

Developers with an MVC programming background in Ruby, Python, Java, C# or any other object- oriented language may find Ember. js’s holistic approach a viable option for application programming.

For those who prefer to work in the non-blocking, even driven I/I paradigm, Node.js is the best.

Lastly, AngularJS’s innovative approach makes a lot of sense to developers who are working for quick prototyping projects and large-scale production applications.

So, which is your favourite framework? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

AngularJS — A Review

AngularJS — A Review

angularjs-logo

The rising popularity of HTML5 has acted as a catalyst for the increased use of JavaScript frameworks for developing rich client applications. These frameworks allow developers to incorporate enterprise complexity in client-side applications. This is perhaps the reason why server side frameworks have become a thing of the past and applications, like AngularJS, Ember and BackBone, in addition to several others, are being used.

Although, this blog is not focused towards deriving comparisons between the different frameworks, here are a few ways by which AngularJS is better than the rest –

  • Efficient Code
  • Good documentation
  • Impeccable developer community
  • Google backed
  • Small footprint
  • Data-Binding is simple

The key features of Angular JS are discussed in the sections that follow.

Scope

Scope is used for detecting changes in model objects. Besides, it is also used for creating expressions’ execution contexts. It performs marshalling of the model to a view and events are forwarded to the controller.

Controller

In order to create a model and connect it to a view, a controller is required. Therefore, the interface between the controller and the view is scope. Typically, an application is effective and efficient if the controllers are thin and services are rich. The controller in AngularJS supports inheritance and nesting. The major difference between controller of AngularJS and other frameworks is that, in this case, DOM manipulations are not supported.

Model

The model in AngularJS can simply be described as a JavaScript object. There is no need for you to create structures or make extensions. This allows the framework to support the functionality of nested models.

View

The view, in this case, is not based on strings. In fact, it is based on DOM objects. This component is used for UI designing and ideally, should not include functional aspects. This framework provides the flexibility to the user to include multiple views in one controller.

Services

It is the services component of this framework that provides support for executing common task for web-based applications. It also allows the developer to allow sharing of functionality between multiple controllers. A service can be built using Factory, Service or $provide API.

Data Binding

The data binding provided by this framework is a two-way process, which binds the model and the view. This is made even easier by the automatic synchronization that AngularJS supports.

Directives

Directives can be used for creating new behaviors and transforming DOM. Besides, the HTML vocabulary can be extended using directives.

Filters

Data transformation can be easily performed using the filters that are available in the AngularJS framework.

Validation

This framework has an inbuilt validation mechanism that has been built around the HTML5 directives and input variables. Moreover, a custom validation can be created easily for the validation purpose.

Testable

One of the biggest concerns for enterprise solutions is testing. There are several methodologies that can be used for testing applications made using the AngularJS framework. Most commonly used procedures are Jasmine tests.

AngularJS is capable of quickening client-side development if you create your own custom AngularJS Plunker. Besides this, a clean documentation and strong community makes AngularJS is particularly good option.