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GIFs vs Web Components


Everyone knows that Web Components are the future, right? Or maybe you think that a well-written Angular directive has everything you need. Or, perhaps, you think that there's no such thing as a well-written Angular directive and so you'll stick with your Ember components thank-you-very-much. Then again, once your brain is thinking in React, why would you use anything else?

This talk is about the reality of component-based web development, told through the frivolous pursuit of a more awesome IMG tag for animated GIFs. It's a not-so-serious window into a terribly important debate about better encapsulation, reuse, and happiness in our front-end lives.

We'll talk about:

  • The surprisingly complicated logic involved breaking apart and manipulating GIFs
  • Our ideal Component and how it beautifully hides this complexity
  • The different goals, abstractions and constraints of Polymer, Angular, Ember and React
  • The challenges involved in trying to write a component compatible with all of them
  • What the future of developing reusable components might look like

GIFs have been a part of the Web since the very beginning, and epitomise the beauty of a simple interface for a powerful, flexible component. What better test for the imminent future of the web than to see how it tackles its past?

Why I think this is a good talk

This is a new talk, and sort of a continuation of my other submission "A GIF Odyssey". I really enjoy using non-serious use-cases to introduce and advocate for serious concepts. My last talk, A GIF Odyssey, sought to do just that, and was quite well received:

I've presented that talk at Mountain West JS and JSConf AU, but neither video is online at the time of submission (hopefully it will be by the time your final decision). The slides, however, are online here, if you want to get a sense of the style I'm aiming for:

Speaker Bio

Photo of Glen Maddern

Glen Maddern is an independent web developer from Melbourne, Australia, with a background in mathematical simulations and distributed computing. Since 2009, he's been working exclusively on the web and most recently, almost entirely on the front-end. He believes there's never been a more potent target for ideas than the browser and the web, and loves the incredible pace at which new ideas are emerging, and the new ways ideas can be demonstrated, shared and built upon. He runs the Melbourne AngularJS meetup and was an organiser of the inaugural CSSConf AU.