This Week in Ember
It's been a big month for Ember.js, and we're excited about the progress that we've made. With so much going on, it can be hard to keep up-to-date with the project, so here's what you need to know.
While we have an incredible network of local meetup groups, Ember Camp is the first national event for the Ember community.
We've been working hard on making sure that this event is both fun and educational, and we'll be announcing the lineup of speakers soon. Unfortuately, tickets have sold out, so if you didn't get yours this time, make sure you grab a ticket next year!
While Ember Camp is happening, keep an eye on this website and on our Twitter account. There will be several announcements you won't want to miss!
We were fortunate enough to get to spend a day with Geoffrey Grosenbach, reviewing his in-progress PeepCode screencast about Ember.js. He spent a lot of time getting to know Ember in-depth, and we think the final product will be invaluable for new developers getting started with the framework.
Finished an Ember.js demo app, filming screencast tomorrow, will publish next week. Fun stuff! peepcode.com/system/uploads…— PeepCode (@peepcode) January 16, 2013
The Road to 1.0
If you've been tracking
master over the last month, you know that we
have made many large improvements to Ember.js in quick succession. Some
of these involved API changes that were not backwards compatible.
We appreciate your patience as we round the corner to a 1.0 release. We take feedback about "developer ergonomics" extremely seriously, and we're not willing to rush out a release if we're not satisfied that the API is as good as we can make it.
Thanks for all your excellent feedback on earlier iterations of the
router API. Learning about how you found the API confusing or hard to
use drove our work on the final version that is shipping in
The first iteration of the Ember.js router (which some have colloquially begun referring to as "v1") allowed us to begin fleshing out some conventions around application structure. Previously, application structure was mostly done on an ad hoc basis, but common conventions emerged in the community, which we rolled into "Router v1."
However, despite the fact that developers appreciated conventions around app structure, their reaction to the first version of the API could generously be described as horrified. Indeed, the router for large applications began to look like the twisted amalgams of views in old SproutCore applications. We knew we had to head back to the drawing board with the lessons we had learned.
The reaction to "v2" of our router proposal, in contrast, has been overwhelmingly positive. While we've had to make several tweaks over the past month to make sure the API is as intuitive as possible, the overall concepts behind the API have remained stable.
We believe that we've finally worked out all of the kinks, and do not have any plans to make any further backwards-incompatible changes to the router API before the final 1.0 release.
To learn what this router API is all about, head over to the Routing guide.
In the run-up to Ember 1.0, we have chosen to aggressively make API changes in response to your feedback in an effort to make the 1.0 API as good as possible.
The reward for putting up with that level of churn is that we plan to keep things very stable after 1.0. As we get close to that milestone, we are starting to freeze portions of the API.
As of today, we will no longer make changes to the API that affect high-level tutorials, screencasts or our introductory-level documentation, unless such a change is necessary to address a critical bug.
When we release the first RC, we will no longer make changes that affect any part of the documented API–again–unless such a change is necessary to address a critical bug.
In keeping with SemVer, once we release the final 1.0, we will not make breaking, backwards-incompatible changes to publicly documented APIs until Ember 2.0. We may deprecate APIs, and print deprecation warnings in the debug build, but things will continue to work.
In order to facilitate these API freezes, we are planning on taking several steps:
- We will convert high-profile screencasts and much of our public documentation into integration tests. "Your commit broke the PeepCode screencast" is something that Travis will tell contributors.
- We will freeze the Ember 1.0 tests and run them against all builds of Ember in the 1.x series. This will notify us if we make a potentially backwards-incompatible change, and we can examine if it is the result of an API change or simply brittle tests. If we have to modify an old test, we will announce it here.
Perhaps the most widespread feedback we received from developers was: "Ember.js looks really cool, but your documentation sucks." We heard you loud and clear.
We recently launched the completely redesigned Guides, and due to their more focused nature, have been able to rapidly iterate on them. Since deploying the new site, the bounce rate has dropped dramatically and engagement with any particular page has nearly doubled.
We have lots more great documentation coming your way as we approach the 1.0 release, and we think the design work that Matt Grantham did on the new guides will make them much easier for new developers to approach.
We are also working on improving the API reference documentation. In particular, Stefan Penner has been putting in a heroic effort to bring them up to a similarly polished look-and-feel as the guides.
We've been working on Ember.js for just over a year now, and it's no understatement to say that it has attracted some of the best and brightest web engineers on the planet. It has been extremely gratifying to see our ideas take form, and we can't wait to see what 2013 holds for web applications.
Big thanks to all of our contributors, who have poured hours of their nights and weekends into helping us make one of the best tools for writing ambitious web applications. We quite literally could not have done it without you.
Wishing you all the best in the new year,
Yehuda Katz & Tom Dale
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