As the web evolves, developers are compelled to push the boundaries of what’s possible; we are driven to build apps that provide native-like experiences, all while retaining the benefits of what the web provides. The good news is that over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge improvement in both the quality and capabilities of the web. Technologies like web push notifications, web app manifests, and service workers provide the foundation for building web apps that are far more reliable and performant than ever before. Web apps that are built with these technologies and accompanying patterns are known as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). They represent a new class of web apps to provide “radically better web experiences.”
The term, “progressive web app” was first used by Alex Russell in a blog post entitled, Progressive Web Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul. As the story goes, he and Frances Berriman came up with this term to describe a “new class of applications” with a specific set of new features. In the 3 years that followed that now famous dinner, the web has evolved to the point where developers can now start building PWAs; much of the required plumbing for PWAs is broadly supported. The story (here) is immensely positive. For example, Is Service Worker Ready? is a site by Jake Archibald that tracks the commitments from browser vendors to a piece of this required plumbing. We’re almost there, folks!
Now is the time to start preparing yourself for PWAs. Tara Manicsic (Developer Advocate, Kendo UI) has been doing just that - and helping others - for the past year. She’s been super-busy in the developer community sharing with folks about how to build PWAs. For example, she recently wrote a GIF guide showing how to build PWAs with React and Kendo UI. (If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out. It’s great.) She also spoke at DevReach on the subject of PWAs. Her presentation entitled, “PWA All The Things” is a great way to get exposed to the world of PWAs - what they are, why they matter, and (most importantly) how to build them:
For a detailed walkthrough of PWAs, please check out Raymond Camden’s series, A Gentle and Practical Introduction to Progressive Web Apps. Also, if you prefer to use Vue.js then I’d recommend reading Building PWAs with Vue.js by Brandon Satrom.
DevReach is our premier developer conference in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2017, it featured 30+ presentations delivered by 20 world-renowned speakers. These presentations were recorded and we’re pleased to make them available online for everyone. The playlist for these videos is available on YouTube: DevReach Conference 2017.
John Bristowe is a member of the Developer Relations team at Progress. He specialises in web and mobile app development.