Last week was a fun (and tiring) week! Subu Baskaran, Ajit Kumar, Phil Merola, Simmi Kaur, and I traveled to 3 exciting east coast cities in 3 days, to host and present at the SenchaCon 2017 Roadshow events in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. If you attended one of these shows, thank you for being there!
Our sessions were primarily focused on our plans to add ES6 support to the Ext JS framework, integration with React and Angular 2 frameworks, test automation using Sencha Test, and the enhancements coming to the Ext JS modern toolkit. We also had a few sessions from our partners: Speedment and Fig Leaf Software.
We had great discussions with Sencha community members, partners, and customers around all of these topics. Below are 7 things we learned about how our customers are using Sencha technologies.
1. Almost no one is using legacy browsers anymore.
Only two out of hundreds of attendees mentioned that they are still supporting IE8. Most are on IE11 or Edge already. This tells us that almost everyone is ready to move on to the Ext JS Modern Toolkit. As I mentioned and demonstrated in my presentations, we’re working very hard to add the remaining Classic components to the Ext JS Modern Toolkit, so it won’t be long before you can build fully modern applications for desktop, tablets, and smartphones, using just the Ext JS Modern Toolkit.
2. Boston surprised us – 100% of the attendees told us that they are using Sencha Cmd as the foundational tool for Ext JS development.
This is the first time we were in a room full of people with everyone using Sencha Cmd. There are many benefits that Ext JS developers get by using Sencha Cmd. But the most important one is that Sencha Cmd ensures the right architecture, which leads to improved upgradability of Ext JS apps.
3. Developers are interested in components.
4. Visual tools are extremely critical to improving productivity.
Whether it’s a drag-and-drop development environment, or a visual theme builder, developers are looking for low-code or no-code solutions – because these tools improve productivity, and they enforce standards and best practices.
5. Material Design has become a defacto standard when it comes to the look-and-feel for web applications.
Even though there weren’t many designers at the events, all design questions focused on the use of our Material theme, and its extensibility, along with how easy it is to customize the Material theme with Sencha Themer.
6. Developers understand the need for “Exploratory Data Visualization” and are now planning how to implement it in their apps.
And by data visualization, I don’t mean the kind of graphs and charts that we are all used to. We need tools such as D3js, that allow us to unearth the patterns in our data. There is so much data now, and we haven’t identified all the questions we should be asking, let alone the answers.
7. Test Automation is on everyone’s mind, but teams are still working on creating a good test strategy.
Developers and Testers both want to focus on test automation, but they need help in areas such as the ability to use Ext JS specific locators, faster test creation, and continuous integration, to name a few. Attendees were excited about the Sencha Test API-driven testing philosophy, which abstracts test automation away from the DOM. We had many individual conversations with attendees who were enthusiastic about getting started on building a good test automation strategy.
It was such a great week, and we can’t wait to host and present at upcoming Sencha events. Stay in touch, and let us know how we can help you build great web apps.
Mark Reidy says
How are those ‘modern first’ examples coming along, anything to show us yet?
@Mark Reidy – Thank you for your interest. We are in final few sprints of development. I believe we will be ready to share the examples in 4-5 weeks time frame
When will the material theme be available for the classic toolkit?
@Rob, – Hi Rob, Given most folks have moved away from legacy browsers, and we are close to creating component parity within the modern toolkit (compared to classic), we are still debating if it is worth doing a separate Material theme for classic. Having said that, users can use Sencha Themer to create a Material looking theme pretty quickly, although it would not support the Material Design animations, unless we explicitly build a new Material theme for classic.
The Ext JS codebase is getting dated and its pricing is not flexible enough.
Is there an update on modernizing the class system and Ext JS tooling for Ext JS 7?
@Les – At SenchaCon and the roadshows following SenchaCon, we presented our plans to support ES6 & Modernizing the Ext JS class system. We are targeting Ext JS 7 and the new Ext JS tooling (with modernized class system) by end of year. Please note that we still plan to support the current Ext JS class system, while providing an option to use ES6.
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Shirlie March says
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