Evolving frontend development; dancing on the tip of a hurtling rocket

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Front end development is a fickle, fickle game. Tools, best practice and standards shift like memes in a feed. Even in the 6 years since the introduction of the iPhone we've seen progressive enhancement, responsive design, version-less browsers, HTML5, JavaScript frameworks, native mobile applications, 4G speeds, and staggering mobile web access increases just to name a few things. When work opened on Drupal 7 only hints of this future existed. Here we are again, on the cusp of another major Drupal release staring into our crystal balls trying to predict the nature of front end development for the next five years.

Out of the box, Drupal 7 produced HTML. From a default Drupal 8 installation, we can now request JSON in addition to HTML. With this fundamental shift in the basic architecture of Drupal, we have the potential to power dynamic front end applications with it. But we may not get all the necessary tools from a default Drupal 8 installation. For instance, the entity CRUD API will be incomplete. Contrib module developers will find themselves filling in the gaps. The future will arrive and its distribution will be uneven.

In this session we will discuss how Drupal is shifting to support complex front end architectures. Specifically,

  • Decoupling front end templates from back end data sources using a framework such as Backbone.js
  • Balancing the dynamism of single page applications with addressable, RESTful content management
  • What the functionality gaps of Drupal 8 might be concerning modern web app development
  • How we use tools like Drupal to keep pace with the racing evolution of modern front end practice

Drupal is many solutions to many problems. It is difficult to know where your particular solutions are hidden within its numerous features. Together we'll identify those pieces that front end developers need, we'll unravel their mystery and then we'll get to writing the code that we love.

Schedule Information
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Tuesday · 14:15-15:15