News about Web components, a set of W3C standards and upcoming browser APIs for defining custom HTML elements, started appearing right about the time we started putting together a proof of concept for Baasic. Right away, it seemed like an ideal match for putting together simple yet powerful set of elements that could be easily reused and customized across totally different projects.
A year later, Web components are still one of our favourites, although many will say that they are still not ready for production. However, we think that this is one of the most important recent breakthroughs in Web development, and while the support for more established technologies in Baasic is just about to be announced, we are ready to start showing how Baasic allows you to reap the benefits of Polymer.
Who’s who in the Web components world
Google’s Polymer is just one of the polyfills available today - other options include X-Tags by Mozilla and Bosonic - enabling you to use the benefits of Web components standards even before they are natively supported by all browsers. Baasic currently fully relies on Polymer for all things related to Web components. Chrome 36 brought full native support for the complete set of standards, and Opera, being switched to Chromium base engine, is following its lead. The status of other major browsers can be seen here.
So what is it all about? More experienced developers will probably benefit from the comparison of Web components with a more established technology like AngularJS. In a nutshell, the standard itself relies on a set of not-so-glamorous APIs that together make magic happen:
- Shadow DOM, a tutorial, an advanced tutorial, and an even more advanced tutorial
- Custom elements, a tutorial
- HTML Imports, a tutorial
- Templates, a tutorial
As you can see from above, I am not afraid to admit that I really like Eric Bidelman’s writing style - so be sure to bookmark his list of Web compontents resources. Also, the community has been active lately, producing various components that can be downloaded from customelements.io or component.kitchen.
What’s in it for Baasic?
Starting this month, we are going to start releasing open source Polymer elements, along with showcase sites demonstrating the usage of the technology and how to interface it with Baasic services. First elements will support membership and basic content management functionality, allowing you to use it from a wide range of applications, ranging from plain old HTML sites to modern client- or server-side frameworks. Here is a sneak preview - stay tuned for more news and join our beta testing program if you want to get a front seat.
Polymer demo site
Polymer login element
Polymer article editor
Polymer article preview element