We seem to keep learning the same lesson about monolithic things being bad, and modular things being good. It's time to learn that lesson for web UI. With web components on the horizon, at the FT we set out to completely redesign our strategy for developing websites. Totally modular, with the strength of package management, strict versioning and standard build processes at its core, we're building with ultimate flexibility in mind. We can no longer afford to build complex pieces of UI for only one website, as the number of web products also increases (we have 600 domains) we need to spend less time on each one and yet increase performance and improve user experience across the board. Our answer is a standard called Origami, which we're working on in public.
Come and hear about it!
The FT web app, along with many other HTML5 websites, blurs the boundaries between apps and websites, and opens a debate that still rages about what it means to build using web technologies today.
For newspapers, this stuff matters. The FT is 125 years old this year, and to ensure we’re still going strong at 250, we need to fundamentally change the way we distribute our journalism. We need to invest in technologies that will stand the test of time, and create user experiences as good as reading a physical paper. So our aim is not just to create an efficient and powerful delivery channel for our own content, but also to protect and nurture the development and maturity of the web platform.
Right now creating high quality user experiences in HTML5 is very hard, and to get to where we are today we need a huge bundle of hacks and extreme techniques, many of which I’ll cover in the session.
In the future we hope these rough edges will get smoothed, in the same way that print production has evolved over a century to be the incredible logistical miracle it is today. Hopefully, the web won’t take that long.