Is the modern web development complicated? Yes, and it’s not because we love making things complicated, however, it’s due to the diverse and complex range of platforms, environments, and devices. Web development frameworks have saved developers from coding everything from scratch and spend their time implementing new features. However, finalizing a framework for the project is sometimes more time consuming than designing the user journey. Moreover, new frameworks are sprouting at a much faster pace to complicate things further.
At Inkoniq, we always think beyond the framework battle and recommend one that provides a solid set of patterns. In this practice, we came across a new web standard called web components, which is touted to be the future of web development. There are solid reasons why this prediction may turn out to be true.
But first, let’s cover what are Web Components and how do they work?
Elements of the Web Components
It allows a new component to be directly defined as a template. Any HTML markup can be specified inside the template tag. It creates sections of DOM within a tag that can remain inert at page load and can be called later at runtime.
You can now link to HTML documents through HTML and import them into other documents.
APIs for building your own HTML elements. These can be completely original or extend the functionality of HTML 5 standard elements.
Using Web Components
Web components are easy to use. You can go to the web component libraries, pick a component, and import it into your project. All the web component libraries are based on W3C standards so you can freely choose your web components from any of the libraries. They all provide an abstraction layer for writing web components faster without much coding. These libraries have a vast range of components to choose from and a strong community of developers contributing regularly.
The most famous library being the Polymer project with over 6000 members on their Slack channel and thousands of web components. It uses a declarative syntax to create custom reusable HTML elements and also has a range of pre-built elements including Google Analytics, Google Calendar, and Google APIs.
This open source library is courtesy Mozilla and is backed by Microsoft for extending the functionality of the custom elements specification. It uses the W3C standard Web Components family of APIs to provide a feature-rich interface for faster component development.
Bosonic is another popular library for providing compatibility with older browsers like Internet Explorer 9 by using the existing specification of web components. Since Bosonic elements are interoperable with frameworks and libraries, they can adapt to fit the needs of different applications.
Why Web Components?
Reusability – Web components are interoperable within frameworks and therefore can be used in multiple applications.
Easy to Maintain – Since components use a template to put the entire markup separately, they are low on maintenance.
Encapsulation – Shadow DOM prevents style, script, and HTML markup of the component to be affected by the external document.
Simplification is the key
When the focus is changed from web pages to building components, development becomes easier, customizable, and faster. Furthermore, powerful features like DOM encapsulation and reusability make them more reliable and adaptable to the changes of the future. The future of development is about uncomplicating the complex web and web components especially serve the purpose.