Making Strides: Notes from EmberConf 2015

Stability without stagnation and learning from the community were major themes seen at this year's EmberConf. Patrick recaps.

A few months ago, Tom Dale published a pull request about The Road to Ember 2.0, largely talking about stability without stagnation and learning from the community. These ideas speak volumes to where Ember is heading. The Ember Core Team is not only developing the framework, they’re using it, and the community is helping build it.

These thoughts were reiterated in the opening keynote by Tom Dale and Yehuda Katz, where they said, “As a community, we're going to move all our apps together,” which was a major theme at EmberConf 2015.  

FastBoot & Glimmer

A few months before the announcement of FastBoot, there were many in the community concerned about progressive enhancement. FastBoot is the Ember community’s answer to keeping the web a stable document-driven platform, while getting a modern web app experience at the same time. FastBoot renders your Ember app on the server, giving you the capability to serve static HTML. FastBoot is not completely ready—it hinges on a new rendering engine called Glimmer.

Glimmer aims to address the fact that Ember is not the fastest JavaScript framework right now. This was demonstrated humorously at React.js Conf, where React’s DOM differencing annihilated Ember’s render-the-world strategy. Glimmer improves the speed and performance of Ember’s rendering engine in a similar way to React, but instead of differencing the entire DOM, Glimmer leans on Handlebars templates to difference and rerender only the necessary parts of the DOM.

You can view an example of Glimmer running the React.js example with visible performance gains, and you can track the Core Team’s progress at is-ember-fast-yet.firebaseapp.com.

A Bigger Community

During the closing keynote, Chris Eppstein talked about the community beyond the Ember community, about how the JavaScript community loves to rip each other apart and get wrapped up in “winning” a framework war. The community, as a whole, has much to learn from each other. This idea resonated with me. Let’s stop tearing each other apart and start learning and building together.

You can watch all the EmberConf 2015 talks on youtube.