Web Design Fresno Discusses Google Agitates for a
Revolution in Web Development
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
At the Google I/O conference this week, the company vigorously lobbied developers to adopt a new programming model,
one that could, the company asserted, make it radically easier to build Web applications.
Fresno, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/02/2014 -- In multiple sessions through the conference, Google engineers spoke about Web
Components, an evolving World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard designed to help organize complex Web pages by
providing a mechanism to assemble them using small single-function components.
â€œWeb Components utterly change the Web platform. This isnâ€™t hyperbole. This actually changes everything,â€• said Ma
McNulty, a Google engineering manager, during a presentation at the conference, which was held in San Francisco.
The standard could be important because â€œit introduces a new world where components from different vendors can live
together on the same page. Apps can be crafted from parts found on a massive shelf,â€• McNulty. â€œItâ€™s about composab
gives you just enough of a container that the Web becomes composable.â€•
Google has been working on its own library, called Polymer, that makes it easier to use and extend Web Components.
â€œPolymer does all the hard work to make [Web Components] a cohesive system,â€• McNulty said.
â€œThe idea behind Polymer is to leverage the Web Components standard,â€• said Al Hilwa, an IDC research program directofor
Hilwa noted that Polymer is an attempt to bring advanced extensibility to the Web platform, in much the same way that the
Java Enterprise Edition and Microsoft .Net allows developers to share components and rapidly build applications using the
work of others.
Although work on Web Components has been going on since 2010, the technology now seems to be picking up momentum.
Googleâ€™s Chrome 36, which will ship in a few weeks and is ready in the beta channel now, will support Web Components.It
is the first browser to do so.
â€œThis is a milestone in Web development,â€• said Eric Bildeman, a Google engineer working on the Chrome team, during
another presentation on the technology.
In many ways, Web Components finally delivers the advanced coding tools and techniques that developers in other
languages have long enjoyed, such as objects, templates and data binding (though the data binding is offered by Polymer,
not Web Components itself).
HTML running out of steam?
Despite its almost universal use over the past decade, HTML, which provides the basic mark-up format for building Web
pages, hasnâ€™t been advanced much in terms of helping developers build complex Web applications, Bildeman said.
For instance, there is no one standardized way in HTML to load additional elements into a Web page without help from
offered the ability to call in external files when a browser renders a Web page.
The recent emergence of HTML5 has provided a lot of support for advanced technology, such as local storage, geolocation
and semantic tagging. But Web components are designed specifically help to make developers more productive, Bildeman
However, Web Components does require a different way of thinking about how to build Web apps, Bildeman said.
Web Components is actually an umbrella term, covering four different specifications that, when used together, provides the
foundation for building a componentized Web pages.
Perhaps the core technology for Web Components is an import tag for HTML. While it sounds simple, the HTML import
tag can save developers from what is known as dependency hell, in which they must declare, in the body of a page, all the
libraries that will be needed to execute the code.
Instead, developers can embed that information within a component, and have the page call the component. The component
can then be used by other pages as well.
The import tag allows developers to define their own elements, which can then be called by the browser.
Users can write their own elements, use those written by others, or even extend the elements that others have created with
new features. Elements can also contain connections to other resources on the Web by wrapping around external APIs
(application programming interface calls).
â€œThere is logical separation now. Itâ€™s about compartmentalizing the problem, so itâ€™s no longer just a bunch of JavaS
HTML and CSS that you are hoping will work together,â€• Bildeman said.
Support coming from other browsers?
Beyond Google, other browsers makers seem to be taking a hard look at the technology.
Mozilla has already included a number of functions to support Web Components, and Apple and Microsoft appear to be
investigating the possibility of including support in their browsers. Opera, because it uses Google Chrome Blink layout
engine, will support Web Components by default.
Google has been testing Web Components in its own operations. The Polymer site uses components. Googleâ€™s site for
documenting the progress of Chrome development also uses components to fetch data from a database and render it on
The ChromeOS operating system, used in Google Chromebooks, uses Web Components to power its virtual keyboard and
Interest in Web Components seems to be growing elsewhere as well. A number of component registries where developers
can use and contribute their own components have popped up, including Custom Elements, Component Kitchen, and
â€œThis ecosystem is just getting started,â€• McNulty said.
Itâ€™s time to say goodbye to design trends which have rightfully gone out of fashion. Web design is always changing, and if
one cling to old trends, one â€™ll soon find their shop left in the dust.
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