For the Gonzo exploratory engineering project I’ve been working on the backend receiving data as well as the web interface where said data can be viewed. Compared with the other parts of this project which were replacing the system app on Firefox OS with a camera and 3D printing enclosures for a new kind of device I definitely got the most straightforward one. However, since we didn’t have enough unknowns on this project I’ve jumped on every emerging web fad and gone down every rabbit hole I’ve encountered on my way. It’s been great fun and it’s made me think a lot about where Web UI is heading.
First, interaction with HTML is replaced with a virtual dom. As David Nolen of Om and ClojureScript said when React was released: “If you treat the browser as a remote rendering engine and stop treating it as a place to query and store crap, everything gets faster.” With React the HTML is stripped of its responsibility for state and is left as a rendering target.